While informal weddings are becoming more and more common these days, many of us still prefer to head down the traditional route and don a tie for the occasion. However, to make the most of the look, you first need to ensure that you can actually tie a tie properly (there is nothing worse than turning up to your wedding day with a tie that looks like was tied 3 years ago and has been pulled over your head ever since then).
Choosing a tie (and your knot) is a matter of personal taste and can add a certain flair or style to your attire. Despite what some women may think, there are a number of different looks in ties 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.
The first step is to know what style your wedding is going to be as this will affect what will be suitable groom attire. For example, if your bride is wearing a casual dress your bow-tie/tuxedo combo may look a little out of place.
A tie can also be a good way to add a little colour to the mens' attire as often a groom will choose a dark colour for his suit. Do not be afraid to go for a colour that is different from what you would usually wear, as this is a one-off occasion and the colour will look great in the photos. Some people like to match the groomsmen's ties with the bridesmaids dresses. If that appeals to you, often your dressmaker will be able to run up the ties from the same fabric as the dresses.
When choosing the groom's tie, 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 presents for the groomsmen as well.
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 don't want to be spending hours infront of the mirror of the day itself trying to learn a new tie technique. Remember that younger members of the bridal party may not have tied ties often, so make sure to have your dad or someone with tie knowledge on hand to help them out!
When considering they type of knot you will use, it is worth trying 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 picked four popular ties and prepared a "how to do tie that tie" checklist for them (just click on each tie):
Windsor: a thick, wide and triangular tie knot which is best suited for spread collar shirts.
Half Windsor: a modest version of the Windsor Knot, this is a symmetrical and triangular tie knot that you can use with any dress shirt.
Four in Hand Knot: a narrow, more discreet and slightly asymmetrical tie knot that works best with wide ties made from heavy fabrics.
Bow Tie: A classic and formal tie, the bowtie knot is designed for wearing with a tuxedo.
If this all seems a bit much for you don't despair, you can always get a ready-made bow tie that clips on or opt 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 both of these ties for hire - no preparation required!
Remember wedding fashion isn't all about the bride, 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. 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, you should be thinking about your look for the day as well!