Men’s Tuxedo Shoes!


My husband of going on 32 years, mentioned the other day that I had not posted much on the attire for the men in the wedding party.  He is right.  While it is more fun to discuss women’s dresses, the men’s ensemble is vital for a “pulled together” wedding look.

This post will discuss one of the most basic accessories…Men’s tuxedo shoes!  Most formal weddings are black tie (i.e. tuxedo with a black tie and no tails).  According to “The Fine Young Gentleman” a wonderful blog on gentlemen’s attire, black tie allows men many options on their shoes, as long as they are black.  The blogger says that there are three shoes most commonly worn with a tux.  They are: patent leather, velvet, or leather, either smooth calf or cow leather.

His opinion is that patent leather is the most ‘appropriate’.  The choice of the word ‘opinion’ tells us that is really is a matter of choice.  As long as your shoes are black, the men are in good shape.  That being said… some shoes are better choices that others.  Below, you see a very traditional leather oxford and a patent leather.  I like the oxford, as once the wedding is over, the gentlemen have the option of wearing the shoes again with a formal black business suit…patent leather shoes…not so much.  I never liked patent leather, even on women.  And really…the velvet shoes below…I just can’t see anyone wearing them again except maybe as bedroom slippers!  “The Fine Young Gentleman” says, “Velvet is not as formal as patent leather, but significantly more stylish and elegant when paired with a tux…. It is worth noting that velvet only works in slipper form; commonly known as prince Albert Slippers… The only catch is that in the most traditional sense they are worn only by a host or a gentleman at his club.”  Sounds too complicated for me…

Our expert at “TheFine Young Gentleman” thinks loafers and slip-ons should be avoided – a lace-up/oxford is his choice. Or as he defines it, a “…well polished black oxford.” 

what shoes to wear with a tuxedo velvet slippers patent leatherwhat shoes to wear with a tuxedo velvet slippers

Below you see the father of the groom, and the father of the bride in all the glory of their wedding attire…
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Do It Yourself Wedding Centerpieces


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Let’s face it…weddings are expensive, and they always seem to cost more than we expect, OR budget… One way to save is by making Do it Yourself Wedding Centerpieces.

In the top photo, the mother of the groom made these delightful centerpieces for the Rehearsal Dinner.  She started with mason jars, then created a mercury glass mirror effect to give the jars an antique look and feel. If you’d like to have the recipe/directions,  click on the following link:,  They were beautiful, and added a gently refined air to the tables…AND “It was a nice way to repurpose used glass jars, vases and volitives,” to quote Debbie, mother of the groom.  The picture below showcases the finished product in more detail.


Consider using items you already have on hand at home.  For my daughter’s bridal shower, the groom’s mother, the ever creative Debbie, used my collection of teapots as vases for our flower arrangements.  Please note the photo below.

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 Our Bridal Shower buffet table also boasts some “teapot” arrangements.  If you decide to use teapots, or other some such decorative containers, it’s advisable to use a floral frog to hold the blooms in place.  Remember to keep plenty of water in the pots, and it’s not a bad idea to put a protective coaster on precious wood tables to avoid water stains.  And keep the teapot lids close by, or use in the display (see above).  It would be easy to misplace the small items in all the flurry/and inevitable refuse of a party.

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Debbie also created this beautiful table using items we had around our homes. The white tablecloth is only paper, but she jazzed it up by covering it with white tulle.  This made for easy clean up, and no worries if we had a spill.  And of course the beautiful serving dishes and specialty china added an elegant flare.


The above photo once more highlights Debbie’s creativeness on a shoestring.  She repurposed the purple paper these fresh blooms were wrapped in to make the lovely bow on her crystal vase!
Photo credits: Debbie Stauble Photos.

Wedding Headpiece

This photo is of my headpiece and veil.  They are 30 years old now.  I had them preserved, along with my dress, by my local dry cleaner.  I opened my “Memory Keepsake Box” when Maggie got engaged, and coincidentally close to Kenny’s and my 30 year anniversary.  I was pleased at how well the dress and veil held up.

All four of our daughters are now taller than I.  I do not hold onto hopes that one of them will wear my dress.  Dresses can be hemmed, but not much can be done when when they are too short.

The veil/headpiece is another story.  I would love it if someday one of the girls wore some component of my “Veil.”

This creates a problem.  My dress and veil were pure white.  It is the fashion now to wear an ivory shade.  White is very harsh, and the off-white hue is much more flattering to most skin tones.

So what would one do to transform the pure white netting to a darker shade?  I have read that it can be easily done by brewing weak tea and staining the gauze.  It’s a scary proposition.  If I ever do it, I’m going to go to my local fabric store and buy some white netting, and experiment. Or better yet, find a company that would do it for me.  Maybe the type of company that sells “dyed to match shoes”?

Another option is to use just the headpiece with an ivory netting.  We’ll see…I have four weddings to hope…

Update: Yea!  Maggie decided to wear my Wedding Headpiece!  And I have it on good authority that KK will as well.  Each girl will have her own veil to better match the colors of her dresses – but the headpiece…that will be mine.  Dare I hope my youngest two daughters will also wear it?  I can only hope…  🙂



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Wedding Signature Cocktails



What will your signature wedding cocktail be?  It’s all the rage to have a signature drink at your wedding reception. So what is the purpose of the “Signature Wedding Cocktail”?  From what I can discern, two things – to add a bit of flair in either your theme or wedding color scheme, or – to save cost on your bar tab.  Maybe both…

It can be more economical to have a beer, wine and “signature cocktail” bar vs. a full bar. If you have only beer, wine, and  signature cocktails, the host only has to buy alcohol for three drinks, vs. having to stock a full bar.  This is provided the host is buying his own alcohol – a cost effective choice.  You may also get away with fewer bartenders/stations.  If wedding signature cocktails can be pre-made, the bar line moves much more rapidly – making for happier guests!


 Another options is to pre-make the signature cocktails and have a server offer them to your guests so they don’t even have to approach a bar line.  Plentiful food and drink make for a good start to your wedding reception.  Remember, the usual timeline is for the bride, groom, wedding party and close family members to take photos immediately following the wedding ceremony.  Your guests must be entertained and fed during the time you are “working”.  Having readily available food and drink for your guests as soon as they arrive at the reception sets a relaxed and festive tone.

A signature cocktail is also a way to make your reception stand out, and give it something unique.  My daughter, Maggie,  didn’t choose to have a special cocktail, but I am going to encourage my second daughter to do so.  In fact…she has already chosen it.  Kathleen put a lot of thought into her special drink.  It not only follows her color scheme…but it has a sentimental touch as well.  I’ll attach a picture after the wedding…






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