How And Why You Should Dress Your Groomsmen
No matter what dress code you have for your wedding, one of the most important things to consider is how the wedding party dresses. Your groomsmen should be dressed in a way that’s cohesive with one another and still complements the bridal party. This is essential not only for the event itself but also for those wedding photos you’re going to have for the rest of your life.
Tips on Dressing Your Groomsmen
Whether you’re going for a casual or formal dress code, the groomsmen’s attire should generally match or complement the groom. If you’re not sure how to go about this, here are the best tips to get started.
Match groomsmen’s attire to the event’s formality
The wedding party shouldn’t distract the guests or take the spotlight off you and your partner. So, whether they’re wearing tuxedos, suits, or dress shirts and slacks, your groomsmen should be dressed to match the formality of the wedding. If they aren’t, they could very easily look out of place at your side.
Now, a common question people have is this: If I’m wearing a tuxedo, do my groomsmen also need to wear tuxedos?
The simple answer is no. It’s entirely acceptable for the groom to be dressed more formally than the groomsmen.
For example, you could be wearing a classic double-breasted tux while they wear medium gray suits. In this case, the groom looks more formal — and stands out as a result — while the groomsmen are slightly less formal. Depending on the overall look and feel you’re going for, this setup can work.
Consult with your fiancé about her plan for her bridesmaids
Even if you have a great idea of how you want your groomsmen to dress, it’s still a good idea to speak with your fiancé before making any final decisions. After all, the entire wedding party should look like they belong together.
The only way to truly achieve this is to keep the lines of communication with your fiance open. Chances are, she also has a pretty good idea of how she wants her bridesmaids to dress.
Fortunately, when it comes to classic men’s suits, the color options are neutral — ex. navy and gray suits or black or midnight blue tuxedos. These colors generally go well with anything, so it shouldn’t be too difficult to find something that matches the bridal party.
Complement but don’t match
Your groomsmen’s suits shouldn’t match your attire exactly. It’s natural to want everything and everyone to be uniform, especially when planning a wedding. But if things look too perfect, they also tend to look wrong.
Now, this doesn’t mean your groomsmen can’t wear the same suit. Nor does it mean they should be completely mismatched with each other. The best thing to do is to find small, subtle ways to make them look different.
For example, say your groomsmen all wear a similar medium gray suit. One of them could have a charcoal gray tie, while another could have a blue tie with a pindot pattern. Someone else could have a gray tie with blue and white stripes.
All of these are different, but they work together. Plus, if done right, they can actually make the entire wedding party look more visually interesting than if they all wore the exact same thing.
As a bonus tip, if you’re looking for ways to add distinction to your wedding party, the groomsmen gifts are a good place to start. Instead of something like a flask or whiskey glasses, get them something they can wear — at the wedding and beyond.
Consider the cost
Typically, groomsmen pay for their own suits or tuxedos, so try to consider their financial situation. Just because one person might be able to afford a high-end tux doesn’t mean someone else can. See if there’s a rental company or retailer that fits within everyone’s budget.
And if you don’t know the budget, that’s fine, too. Use your best judgment and try not to go overboard with costs. The last thing you want to do is cause any additional stress around your wedding — for you or those involved.
It may not be their wedding, but it doesn’t hurt to speak with the groomsmen and offer a few choices. They’re probably going to go along with whatever you suggest, but doing this can actually build morale and show respect.
If you know your groomsmen have a lot of opinions about this, set some parameters for them to follow. Then, let them go and do their own thing before checking in with them again later. Also, make sure you check in with your future spouse to make sure she’s on board with this kind of creative freedom.
Make decisions and get your orders in early
Last but not least, make decisions as soon as possible and get those orders in early. Now, early can mean different things to different people. But in this case, early means no later than two or three months before the wedding day — ideally, even sooner than that.
There are a few reasons for this. For one, there are lead times with a lot of online rental companies. There could be shipping delays. Or you or your partner might end up needing to make changes due to some other unforeseen event.
Whatever the case, make sure you have plenty of time for:
- Any unexpected changes
- Potential mix-ups or issues
- If your groomsmen are planning to get something custom-made,
Anything can cause delays. After all, there are a lot of moving parts in a wedding. The more you have to rush things, the more stressful the entire thing can be.
To recap, your groomsmen should be dressed to complement you and the bridal party, but they should not dress identically. Unless you’re planning around a strict dress code, it’s completely fine to add a splash of color or distinction in what they wear. This could be a slightly different patterned tie or cufflinks. Just be sure to consider the level of formality of the event and, if possible, your groomsmen’s budget. And remember, always plan ahead. That way, if anything unexpected comes up, you’ll be prepared.