Finally, the wedding suit is starting to get as much love as the wedding dress.
For generations, groom and groomsmen attire has been informed (or at least heavily influenced) by other elements of a wedding’s vision: the venue, flowers or even the color of bridesmaids’ dresses. But as personality increasingly trumps tradition in marriage celebrations, men are now showing off more of their individual style with their day-of look.
“I think men’s wedding-day fashion is becoming more fluid,” says Jon Eisenberg, managing director of BUREAU, the popular men’s boutique in Buffalo’s Elmwood Village. “It is becoming more adaptable to the individual, the scenery and the occasion.”
In some instances, a groom’s look can now even inform the entire vision of a wedding, says Syrie Roman, owner and principal planner at Social Maven, a Buffalo-based event company. Such was the case when Roman saw that a client’s tuxedo jacket was made of decadent blue velvet.
“I was like, ‘OK, we’re going to design this wedding around the jacket.’ And we did,” says Roman. “The linen for the gift table and the cake table was the same blue velvet, and everything else was navy and ivory and silver and mercury glass and lush florals.”
That said, we know that options can be great…but also overwhelming. That’s why we’ve compiled ideas, inspiration and expert tips to help create a wedding look you’ll love—on the day itself, and as you look back years down the line.
One important note: Whatever you decide, make sure the look still feels like you. “A suit that you wear…not the other way around,” Eisenberg says. “And most importantly, something that makes you feel cool, collected, relaxed and special.”
No matter your style or taste, fit matters. “If it’s your moment, make sure it comes across that way,” Eisenberg says. “You don’t need a custom suit to appear put together. I’ve seen some amazing results taking something from the thrift store to a skilled tailor.”
Renting? Some rental companies, such as The Black Tux, not only allow minor alterations, but will reimburse you up to $15.
Socks are huge—they’re among the most common gifts grooms give to members of their wedding party. In addition to creating a consistent look, they offer a subtle way to honor an alma mater, favorite sports team and more. Plus, they make for fun wedding photos.
From blue velvet jackets to burgundy ties, a pop of rich color can inject visual interest to a look. Feeling more bold? Dark or bottle green is an increasingly popular suit option. “It’s dark enough to be formal, but interesting enough to showcase personality and individuality,” Eisenberg says.
If adding a luxurious lining or embroidered monogram to a suit jacket feels a little extra, consider this: These special touches can boost a groom’s confidence during a day when all eyes (and cameras) are on him.
Bow ties are continuing to have a moment, but don’t count out neck ties. When it comes to suits, pick the tie style you prefer, then have some fun with the fabric.
“Patterns can add a nice element to a look,” Eisenberg says. “I’m a big fan of polka dots and paisleys.”
Just as brides are increasingly creating two wedding styles, grooms are also beginning to embrace the idea of an outfit change. This is an especially good option if you and your partner want a traditional wedding ceremony but more of a party vibe during the reception.
From sneakers to bowling shoes, fun footwear adds instant personality to a variety of styles. Plus, you don’t need to limit yourself to a single pair. When one of Roman’s clients changed from a tux into a suit for his reception, he slipped out of Christian Louboutin dress shoes and into a pair of velvet smoking slippers.
Grooms are getting more involved in planning their boutonnieres, and “a lot are doing hops flowers, which are really cool,” Roman says. Or, consider tucking flowers into the jacket pocket: This fresh take on the classic boutonniere makes it less likely for flowers to tilt to the side over the course of the day.
As you celebrate this milestone moment, consider a blend of new and old accessories.
“Add a pop of color with a pocket square. Or maybe you have a pair of heirloom cufflinks or your grandfather’s old watch,” Eisenberg says. “It’s always nice to add bits of your past to your present.”
Grooms, here’s how to get wedding-day ready
To look your best and happiest on your wedding day, check out these week-of tips from Michael Dinino, owner of Architect for Men in Buffalo’s Theatre District.
7 days out: Cut down on excess.
Have fun at your bachelor party, but make sure it’s at least a week out from your wedding.
“Focus on healthy living from that point on,” Dinino says. “Skin reacts to over-excessive use of anything, so you want to make sure your skin’s up for it.”
6 days out: Plan your sleep schedule.
Now’s the time to make sure you’ll have time for proper rest. Adequate sleep makes a huge difference in how your face and eyes will look on your wedding day—and in wedding photos.
“Get the proper sleep, make sure your stress levels are down, get to the gym,” says Dinino.
5 days out: Consider partner pampering.
Pedicures and massages can pull double-duty during the lead-up to your wedding. In addition to helping to flush toxins out of your muscles and system, it’s a fun thing to do with your partner.
“It’s a way to connect leading up to the special day.”
2-3 days out: Get your wedding haircut.
“When you cut hair, it goes into shock and wants to stick straight out,” Dinino says. “The second or third day, it falls into its natural pattern. That’s when your hair looks its most natural, especially if guys are wearing short haircuts. Two or three days out, that’s the sweet spot.”
Wedding day: Tighten up your look.
Set the stage for your wedding with a day-of barber session. Start with a wet shave, which exfoliates the skin, and then use a charcoal mask to draw out impurities. Finally, rehydrate your skin. Architect for Men’s “Groomsmen Special” packages offer these services—plus neck massages, food and drink—for groups of 4-10 people.