When deciding what to wear on your big day, all too often the attire of the groom is not given too much consideration as all attention turns to white dresses and veils. However, we think it is time that the groom took a step forward - after all it is his big day as much as the bride’s. Given that this is probably the most photographed day of a groom’s life, he should make sure that he looks his best.
Despite what many women may think, there are a number of different looks in men’s fashion that can suit a wedding day and it can be tricky (especially if you are not a big shopper) to figure out what suits you and what doesn’t. To overcome this, we have put together a few tips for the groom to read before venturing out to buy or hire his wedding suit or tuxedo.
The first step is to know what style your wedding is going to be as this will affect what is suitable groom attire.
If you are following the traditional rules, tuxedos shouldn’t be worn before 6:00 pm. Lately, it has become acceptable for the groom to wear a tuxedo if the reception starts at 6:00 pm. or later. If the groom is having a morning or early afternoon wedding, he may choose to wear a morning coat or a daytime suit instead of a tuxedo.
However, if you are not too concerned about following these traditional rules, you can of course wear a tuxedo anytime of the day. You should, however, ensure that what you are wearing matches the type of wedding that you are having - obviously a tuxedo at the beach may appear a little over-dressed!
The general rule is the more formal the wedding the more formal the attire - think black tie and tuxedo for formal, suit and tie for semi formal and open necked shirt for casual. The addition or removal of ties and waistcoats or cummerbunds at each level of formality can dress up or down the outfit.
If you are wearing a tie, you will also need to know how to tie your tie, whether it be a bow tie or a normal tie. It may be a good idea to get in some practice before the big day. You should consider what sort of tie will match your look and perhaps try a couple of different ways to tie it to see which you prefer as there isn’t only one way to tie a tie. We have prepared a how to do tie your tie checklist for the Windsor, the Half Windsor, the Four in Hand Knot and of course the Bow Tie to help you out with this! If this is all a bit much, you can always get a ready-made bow tie that clips on.
As an alternative to the standard or bow tie, many grooms these days are opting for the European style tie (commonly referred to as the “Euro Tie”. This is essentially a short, fat tie with a big knot that you can wear if you are wearing a waistcoat (think Four Weddings & a Funeral). Most suit hire shops have these for hire.
Most grooms favour dark colours for their suits or tuxedos. Dark colours are more flattering and are more likely to match any colour scheme. If you do want to add some colour why not wear a coloured shirt or tie in the wedding theme colours (not advisable for the very formal tuxedo where only a white shirt will do). This is also a good way to get the groomsmen to match with the bridesmaids which will make for a great uniform-look in the photos.
When choosing what the groom is going to wear, it is also good to think about what the groomsmen will wear. As well as wearing matching style among themselves, the groomsmen should also have a link with what the groom is wearing. A common way to do this is to have the groomsmen wear the same suit as the groom, but with a slightly different waistcoat or colour of tie. At a recent wedding we attended the groom and best man wore exactly the same suits and waistcoats but had different shades of grey for their ties. Cufflinks and tie pins can add a touch of class to your look and make great groomsmen presents as well.
One advantage for the groom is that often a groom will chose to hire a suit rather than buy one and there are many stores set up that will arrange this for you (check out our product and services directory). Suit hire is a great option especially if you don’t need a new suit or won’t have another opportunity to wear a tuxedo. You may choose to purchase a special shirt or tie though to personalise your wedding attire. Hiring is very easy and can be arranged in a few minutes however, it is essential for you and all groomsmen to try on before you hire (in case you’ve lost a few kilos since you measured yourself!). If you are hiring, it may also pay to check with the other male members of your family as they may need a hand getting the appropriate clothing for the day.
While style is importance you should also think about comfort as you will be in your wedding suit until you leave your reception so that’s a long time to wear tight trousers. The basic rule of thumb is if you feel good you will look better so make sure the look you choose suits you. And now our final advice: go to it, if your bride is thinking about her dress so too should you be thinking about your suit!
Click here to read Rod of Exclusive Suit Hire''s answers to the questions we put to him on choosing the right outfit for your wedding day.