My maternal grandfather relaxed by adding careers on top of existing ones. One of the things he did on the side was having a tailor shop and dry cleaners. To us, that meant that our clothes always fit because it made it so. It also meant that he carried that you were properly provisioned. So when I was graduating from high school, he insisted that I acquire a black dinner jacket — a tuxedo to most folk.
A man should own at least a dark dinner jacket with the trousers, shoes, shirt, studs, bow tie and cummerbund. Showing up at functions in the modern era dressed like the late 19th Century is always a positive for one reason or another. It also comes in handy for male Massachusetts solemnizers.
Showing up for church in your blue jeans speaks poorly of your upbringing. We should all dress for the weddings as well. At the risk of looking, as the British would say, as one in service, I dressed for my first solemnization.
P&K, whose marriage I solemnized last year, did it with fine style. They hired one of the Bay Tower Room function areas, in Boston’s financial district. It is on the 33rd floor at the top of 60 State Street. This room overlooks the harbor, Old North Church and the rest of the North End, and at the time, the elevated Interstate 93 through town. The view gives new meaning to Lord (and Lady) of the Rings.
They did not want a church wedding and chose a far grander setting for a dozen and a half of us. It was a sit-down dinner preceded by the wine, hors d-oeuvres, and a pianist alternating between Baby Boomer oldies, jazz and show tunes. What she didn’t know, she’d extract from her gigantic cheat book.