Our good mate AJ had a big task at hand, so we got in touch with the kind folks at M.J. Bale to help him out. Here’s his story…
Like most people, if I have a wedding to attend it ends up being a large weekend, and that is when I’m nothing more than a guest with zero responsibilities other than being on time and smiling for photos. However, this weekend was a little different…
So here was the challenge: a wedding in Sydney on Saturday followed by one in Queenstown on Sunday and I was asked to be an MC for both. After taking a look at logistics both seemed possible, but it was going to be tight, and any slip up – missed flight, delayed flight, long customs line, no taxi, traffic – would mean that I missed the second wedding. So I ran the gauntlet, booked my flights and let the nerves build ahead of the double wedding weekend.
A week out and I was sure I had all bases covered: flights confirmed, transfer booked, accommodation sorted. I had, of course, overlooked what I would be wearing. At short notice I spoke to my friends at Man of Many and we gave the guys at M.J. Bale a call to see if they could assist. They sent me down to their QVB store in Sydney to take a look at the range.
Martin took me through their latest collection and offered some advice as to what would work best. My friend’s will attest that I’m not a great decision maker at the best of times and this was a tough choice given the impeccable range on offer. We settled on a Cortino Marine Suit from their Classics range, a half-canvas 100% Australian Merino Wool suit cut to their slim-fit Drop 8 block.
The first thing I noticed was how well this thing fitted. Call it luck, but off the rack the jacket was like a glove and looked as though it was tailored. The Cortino is crafted by the impeccable Italian weavers REDA from super fine Australian Merino Wool, fully lined in silky Bemberg ensuring it’ll keep me comfortable throughout the day while still holding its structure. Likewise for the pants, albeit a small alteration on the length was required.
I was still super nervous about making it to wedding #2, but one thing was for sure, either way I was going to look damn good for wedding #1. With a suit picked out we moved onto accessories – Koller Purple tie with white pocket square for Saturday and Belmont Red tie with white/pink stripe pocket square for Sunday. Paired with a couple of crisp white shirts and I was ready to go.
And so D-Day arrived. A hectic week of work meant that plans of being 100% organised prior to Saturday went out the window. After some feverish speech writing and the world’s fastest packing job it was GO time. A beautiful ceremony for a beautiful couple and it was time to step up to the plate. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous, this being my first time MC’ing a wedding, but I knew that at very least I looked the part.
Early nerves dissipated and before I knew it wedding #1 was in the bag. My responsible side told me to call it an early night given the pending 6am wake-up ahead of an international flight. However, not being one to shy away from a night out, something else my friend’s will attest, I rolled into bed at the cheerful time of 3.30am. A short power nap later and I was up, showered and with luggage and suit in hand was on my way to the airport. As many will know, Queenstown is notorious for delayed flights and the smallest delay would cost me. I was due to land at 2.30pm ahead of a 3.30pm ceremony.
Win #1: the plane was on time. Cruising over the Tasman I should have been adding to my 2.5 hours sleep from the night before but nerves and last minute speech edits kept me awake. Knowing I was pushing a tight timeline I decided to get changed on the plane just in case. In waiting to do so I struck up a conversation with the hostess and updated her on my challenge.
Win #2: sympathetic to my situation, she was able to move me from row 15 to row 3. I have to say that my suit travelled incredibly well, something M.J. Bale has recently put to the test. They put this down to the construction of their suits with 100% Australian Merino Wool. The’memory’ within the microns of the wool ensure it fits perfectly no matter how hard it’s crushed, stretched, cramped, packed or slept in on the plane. Now changed and ready to go I got another piece of good news…
Win #3: we were landing 10 minutes early. As if the stars were aligning my confidence began to grow but I still had to make it through customs. Wheels down and I was the seventh person off the plane. Racing towards to an empty customs line was a welcome site indeed. “Just a few days in New Zealand?” the customs official asked. “I’m actually here for a wedding which starts in about an hour” I replied.
Win #4: “Oh my, head straight through and good luck”. Not sure if it’s because he saw the panic on my face or if he knew I was serious given the immaculate nature of the suit, looking like I was ready to walk down the aisle myself. 90 seconds from plane to taxi has to be some sort of record, even my taxi driver thought so given he had just watched us land. Somehow everything had worked out and I made it to the venue early. A quick freshen up, straightening of my tie and I was good to go. Another beautiful ceremony for another beautiful couple, me recycling a few jokes (and adding a few others), partying into the wee hours and the weekend was complete.
This was a real weekend of firsts for me: I’d never MC’d a wedding, let alone two. I’d never been to Queenstown or NZ for that matter. I’d never changed into a suit in a plane toilet (it’s as difficult as you would think) and I’d never danced to Darryl Braithwaite’s Horses in a formal setting before. If you can avoid it, don’t let friends get married in different countries on consecutive days. If you can’t, then give it a crack and hope and it works out like it did for me. I had a blast.
Special thanks to:
- Martin and the team at J. Bale for making me look fantastic and helping me out with the fitting;
- My housemate George who made sure I woke up on Sunday;
- The hostess who moved me closer to the front of the plane and the customs lady who waved me straight through;
- Robbie & Liz, Paul & Amy for letting me be a part of their big days;
- My Co-MC’s Nick and Agga; and of course
- The boys at Man of Many.
Check out M.J. Bale’s Suiting Collection Here.