Weekends are for weddings! If you’re like me, with 9 weddings each year, the weekends are, quite literally, for weddings (attending them, that is). Also if you’re like me, the weekend is a time to think about planning your own wedding. Lots of people carve out a certain time each week for wedding planning (Wedding Wednesday seems to be very popular). It ensures the wedding doesn’t take over their whole lives; however, I find that confining wedding planning to a specific time is too pressure-filled and bicker-prone. I planned my wedding when inspiration struck. Weekends, in particular, offer the time to let my mind roam and plan my own wedding in a stress-free environment. In this series, I’ll take you through some of my major planning steps – hopefully this will help you plan your own wedding!
Everyone always asks what the bridesmaids are wearing, but people rarely inquire about the groomsmen. The general idea is that the gals’ look sets the tone for the wedding, but in our case, it was actually the other way around. For our wedding, Albert was really driving the look and feel – I can’t believe I gave him so much power!
The decision of whether the men will be wearing tuxedos or suits sets the tone of the wedding, so start there. THIS is why the guys’ outfits have more impact on the look of the wedding than anything else. If the guys are wearing tuxes, it immediately becomes a more formal affair – you’ve now locked yourself into a black tie/black tie optional wedding. It also works the other way around: if the groomsmen are wearing suits, for instance, it’s suddenly strange for guests to show up in tuxedos.
HOT TIP: Wait for the boys’ look to be set before deciding on the bridesmaids. If they’re wearing tuxes, for example, you’ll know the gals should probably be in long dresses (or at least short ones in a very formal material).
Albert hemmed and hawed for a while. He liked the groomsmen in suits but was really drawn to a blue tux with black lapels for himself. I suggested it might not look as good for one to be in a tux and the rest in suits; it should be all one or all the other. He came up with the perfect compromise: everyone would be wearing blue suits, but his would be a different shade to set him apart. He would also wear a bow tie (my fave) while the groomsmen would wear neckties, further distinguishing him from the pack.
I had decided my bridesmaids would be wearing light gray and since I had a Man of Honor, I had him don a gray suit. That way, he looked like part of the bridal party (which he was) instead of looking like a groomsman who happened to be standing on my side of the aisle. The different shades of blue and gray looked beautiful – everything coordinated without looking like such specific wedding colors.
Not only did suits (and blue suits, no less) give our wedding a slightly more casual feel, it opened up the field when it came to designers. No longer did they have to rent from Men’s Wearhouse. The suit was something that could be purchased at a reasonable price and could be worn again. Albert looked at stores like Indochino, TheBlackTux.com, J Crew, and Macy’s – he had plenty of options to find the right cut, color, and price. Wearing a “real” suit also meant the groomsmen looked natural. They weren’t wearing stiff, institutional fabric with basic ties. Even the accessories like ties and pocket squares could look like the kind of thing you’d see on a regular fashionable dude.
About 9 months before our own wedding, Albert was in a wedding where the groomsmen donned suits that were very similar to the look Albert had in mind. Because about 75% of our groomsmen overlapped with that wedding, they already owned the suit. Makes things super easy! The remaining groomsmen just jumped on board and ordered the same suit from Macy’s, which offers TONS of discounts. For our wedding, they didn’t wear the vest and changed up the accessories so our wedding would have its own look and feel. Albert wore a custom 3-piece blue suit that was just a shade or two lighter. I have to say, he looked like quite the stud.
Our ring bearer wore a blue seersucker suit and nautical bow tie. It was a little early in the season for seersucker, but Brooks was 2.5 and adorable, so it worked. Honestly, toddlers (especially those as cute as my nephew) can get away with anything. The groomsmen all wore gray seersucker ties to coordinate with the pattern of Brooks’ suit and the color of the bridesmaids’ dresses. Albert also gave all of them a gray patterned pocket square. The idea was coordinating, not matching, and everything sort of just worked together perfectly.
Unless otherwise noted, all photos by The Happy Bloom