For a groomsman, a destination wedding is the ideal mixture of both work and play. You’re there to fulfill a function, sure, but it’s all set against a gorgeous out-of-town backdrop and everyone is encouraged to relax like it’s their own holiday. Here’s how to pack for the joyous occasion in style:
Consult the itinerary.
Take it from G.I. Joe, A Real American Hero: “Knowing is half the battle!” Destination weddings are usually guided by a detailed itinerary or schedule, so check your e-mail or wedding invitation for it. If one hasn’t been provided, reach out to the best man or groom and ask them how the festivities are to be conducted. Knowing what the upcoming events are will enable you to plan your outfits accordingly. It’ll also keep you from under- or overpacking.
Depending on what’s on the agenda, you will probably need:
- A couple of casual outfits
- A rehearsal dinner outfit
- Comfortable sleepwear
These are all in addition to what you’ll be wearing to the wedding, unless that ensemble is already waiting for you at the destination. You’ll also need appropriate casual and dressy footwear to go with all these clothes. If it’s going to be a beach or resort wedding, you might also want to bring flip-flops or sandals.
Lay out everything you’re going to wear.
After you’ve picked out your outfits, it’s a good idea to lay all the clothes that you plan on bringing out on your bed. Group separates together according to how you plan on wearing them, and then take a step back. Are you bringing enough clothes? Too much? If you really want to lighten your load, a visual overview like this should help you see how much you’re bringing and allow you to edit your wedding capsule wardrobe further if necessary. If you think there’s still too much, try swapping certain pieces out for clothes that you can use more than once. Instead of bringing two pairs of shoes, consider bringing just one pair, but in a more versatile style.
Another advantage of laying all your clothes out like this is that it gives you an opportunity to see if the clothes you’ve chosen still fit. There’s nothing more embarrassing than showing up to a celebration in garments that are too loose or too tight. Do a quick try-on and leave anything that doesn’t look good anymore at home.
We also think it can’t hurt to bring at least one extra pair each of underwear and the best dress socks for men with you. These should offer adequate cushioning while still maintaining a thin and narrow profile. They shouldn’t take up much space in your suitcase or carry-on, and you never know when they might come in handy!
Stick to basics and neutrals.
Give your brain a break from the mixing and matching by filling your suitcase with staple pieces in tried-and-true neutral shades. For summer, you’ll want to stick to the lighter colors in the spectrum. Go for shades reminiscent of the beach such as white, yellow, sky blue, seafoam green, and sand. Garments in these colors can be mixed and matched together without ever clashing. Keep it simple but sophisticated in well-fitting crewneck or polo shirts, tailored shorts, and classic chinos.
Don’t forget the sunscreen.
Being a groomsman at a summer destination wedding means having to endure the hot sun and the sizzling heat for your bro, the groom. Take it like a man—you know he’d do the same for you—and slather on a good sunscreen product with an SPF level of 30 or higher to protect yourself from cancer-causing radiation. Use a sweat-proof product that’s actually meant for the face instead of using the same one you use for your back if you want to look good in the photos.
In addition to sunscreen, you’ll probably also want to pack a few skincare necessities into a Dopp kit or toiletry bag. Bring travel sizes of your favorite cleanser, moisturizer, shaving cream and cologne, as well as your favorite razor and other items you deem essential.
Put together an emergency essentials kit.
If all goes according to plan, the entire affair from getting dressed with the groom to the part where he kisses the bride should go off without a single hitch. However, it never hurts to be prepared for certain eventualities anyway. You can fit a miniature sewing kit, a stain remover pen, and a container of mints in your inside coat pocket without sacrificing the suit’s silhouette. You’ll thank yourself for having them on hand in case of certain common emergencies.
Use packing hacks to save space.
The internet is full of packing hacks that can help you save space, time, and energy. You’ll want to look up business travel hacks specifically, especially if you’ll be bringing your suit.
Linen suits are a popular summer destination wedding staple, but they wrinkle quickly and are a pain to iron out. If you don’t want to carry a cumbersome garment bag around, look up YouTube videos on how to fold a suit jacket while maintaining its press. Rolling your clothes, including your dress trousers, also helps them stay wrinkle-free while saving space.
Just because it feels like you’re packing for a vacation doesn’t mean that you should shirk on your groomsman duties. Fortunately, that list is relatively short: just pick out a good present, show up for your brother, and get him to the church on time!
Disclosure: This article was written by a guest author.