The Groom's Attire
Why should the bride have all the fun when it comes to choosing wedding outfits? In this age of men-only designers male grooming products and manbags, it’s hardly fair to expect the groom not to care how they look on the biggest day of their life. Follow these steps to choosing the perfect outfit, and you won’t have to hide the wedding photos from your grandchildren.
Pick Your Colour SchemeMake sure you know what colours will be involved in the bride’s dress and decorations before you pick a suit. OK, so you might not want to wear pink and lilac head to toe, but you can make sure you don’t clash with it. However, the colour scheme should be echoed in your accessories, so make sure your shirt, tie, waistcoat, cummerbund or breast-pocket handkerchief is in a matching shade.
Mid- to light grey suits are an excellent complement to pastel shades, while charcoal or navy will offset stronger colours. White’s a totally acceptable choice for the flamboyant – but if you turn up to the church wearing black, people might get the wrong idea about the kind of service being held.
Decide on a StyleThere’s no rules saying the modern groom has to stick to a suit. For the traditional, morning dress is accepted attire at a church wedding – a frock-coat with trousers (matching or contrasting), waistcoat, high-collared white shirt, cravat and top hat. This provides plenty of options to fit in with your colour scheme, and feels appropriately formal. If you’re getting married after 3pm, however, morning coats cease to be socially acceptable.
For a late afternoon or evening wedding, up the formality and make it a black-tie event. This means you can wear a dinner jacket complete with tie, cummerbund and/or waistcoat that fits in with the colour scheme, and you also get access to all the fun accessories like shirt studs and cufflinks. The pinnacle of formal evening dressing is a white tie and tails – but it take a flamboyant man to pull them off!
Informal weddings – such as those on a beach – pose problems because a suit’s just not right for the occasion. A relaxed blazer and chinos is dressy without being overdone, or try a linen shirt for full-on Hollywood casual chic. Keep colours light – pale grey, beige, cream and white will all look ideal.
Get the Party TogetherIdeally, your groomsmen should wear clothes similar to your own, so it’s only fair to consult them about your ideas before you start ordering them to wear frilled shirts and frock-coats. Physique will play a part in it – it’s difficult for larger men to look good in restrictive morning dress, while kilts are only for those with decent legs.
The trick is to ensure the outfits are co-coordinated without forcing everybody to wear exactly the same clothes. The groomsmen should all wear suits the same colour – the groom can stand out if he pleases by choosing a different shade.
Accessories, as discussed, should be in keeping with the general colour scheme, with the groomsmen’s matching the colours of the bridesmaids’ dresses. They don’t all have to be the same, but a rainbow of different shades is a recipe for disaster too, so pair off your groomsmen and get each twosome to wear matching colours.
Choosing Your ClothesIt’s traditional to hire men’s outfits for the big day – very few men will want a morning suit permanently in their wardrobe! Visit several different hire shops with your groomsmen and try on the clothes, so you can be sure you’re getting something that’s right for you. As grooms tend to start sorting things out later than the bride, you won’t have to go shopping until a couple of months before the big day.
It’s a good idea to take swatches of material from the bride’s dress and bridesmaids’ outfits so you can be sure you won’t end up clashing. Consider asking the groomsmen to buy their own shirts and bow ties, as a second-hand shirt often doesn’t fit as well as you’d like and bow ties have a propensity to get lost easily.
Don’t neglect the practicalities. Check the outfits you want will be in stock on the day, and give the rental agreement a thorough read before you sign – particularly the parts relating to damage. Take advantage of any accidental damage cover that’s available, or you’ll spend the whole day panicking about spilled drinks or rips.
Even if you’re not the fashion-conscious type, it’s worth taking the time and trouble to get you and your groomsmen looking great. It’d be dreadful to be standing next to your stunning wife-to-be and have everyone thinking you haven’t made nearly enough effort. Just remember that making your friends wear anything too daft can backfire on you when it’s their turn to stand at the altar…