The wedding day is a very special day in the life of any loving couple. Arguably, it is one of the most important days in their relationship.
Regardless of the particulars of the wedding planning process, both men and women will agree that when it comes to wedding fashion, the choices can be overwhelming.
Bespoke tailoring has made it possible for any groom, with any budget, to find great-fitting wedding menswear. These days, men are spoilt for choice. In the world of men’s wedding fashion, menswear ensembles can vary.
Will the wedding be a black tie or white tie affair? Should you, the groom-to-be, go the ready-to-wear suit route or opt for a bespoke tuxedo? Perhaps the wedding skips the more conventional route and takes a semi-formal approach, forgoing formal suits altogether?
And once the groom’s ensemble is chosen, do you buy or commission your suit or tux?
If you don’t have the answer to these questions, our comprehensive guide below will help. In it, we’ll answer all your common wedding menswear questions so you’re ready to greet your bride-to-be in a look that she’ll surely appreciate.
Understanding the difference between suits and tuxedos
At first glance, there’s very little that differentiates suits from tuxedos, and vice versa.
The main characteristics found on a tuxedo that’s absent on a suit include:
- Satin details
- Shirt style
- Shoe style
- Specific requirements of event and/or occasion
To further emphasize the final point on that list, tuxedos have been historically worn as evening wear or formal wear. This means tuxedos are usually reserved for events such as a night at the opera, charity galas, or a black-tie wedding (as a rule of thumb, though, tuxedos should never be worn before 6 p.m.).
Price can also be a differentiator, though a high quality, three-piece bespoke suit can still be a considerable investment.
But when it comes to a wedding, the most important thing to consider when deciding whether to wear a suit or a tuxedo is what the bride is wearing. A very formal wedding gown should be matched by formal attire — specifically, a tuxedo. A suit can be a dapper choice in a less-than-formal setting.
Should you rent or purchase?
As mentioned, price can be a differentiator that could determine whether you choose to wear a suit or tuxedo to your wedding. While bespoke menswear is excluded from the “wedding tax” (upcharges that vendors include in their prices for weddings), wedding suits still come at a significant cost.
This leads to the question: Should you buy or commission your wedding suit?
The answer is not so simple. It can boil down to several factors such as budget, personal style, and the wedding’s classification (formal, semi-formal, themed, conventional, etc.). Unlike a bride’s dress that can only be worn for the wedding ceremony, the groom is not as sartorially challenged.
A classic wedding suit or tuxedo can be worn multiple times on numerous occasions. A groom’s suit is particularly versatile. Many occasions such as interviews, formal business meetings, professional events, and special anniversary dinners call for suits.
While you save money upfront by choosing the rental route, you limit its reusability. Once the wedding is over, your rental suit or tux must be returned. On the other hand, a tailor-made suit that you’ve purchased for the wedding can last a lifetime. And every man must have a great suit in his closet, after all.
Other sartorial choices to consider
Couples who forgo conventional and formal or semi-formal wedding classifications can allow their imagination to roam free. If you and your bride opt for a more themed wedding (think beach, vintage, dandy, or barnyard), consider a more relaxed aesthetic.
A relaxed style of dressing allows grooms to wear non-conventional suits such as a linen suit for a beach wedding or a tweed suit that matches a countryside affair. Barnyard weddings can even skip the suit jacket altogether, with the groom donning a simple five-button waistcoat with a crisp white shirt instead.
This, of course, should be decided beforehand with your bride-to-be to ensure there’s enough time to research and put together an appropriate ensemble for the themed wedding.
Making the final decision
At the end of the day, when it comes down to the final decision, personal preference will play a critical role. While wearing a suit or tuxedo is a personal style choice, both the bride and groom should have their say.
If budget restrictions limit your ability to wear a tuxedo, don’t overlook the importance of accessories. The right formal accessories with the right suit can send a strong message.
But, in the end, you should never skimp on the quality of your suit. As you are commemorating a highly special occasion, you not only want to look your best, but you also want to feel that you are at your best.
AlphaSuit is the brainchild of Master Haberdasher, Sean McKee. Over a span of more than two decades, Sean has provided custom suits to some of the most successful leaders in America. With AlphaSuit, he now brings this same premium service to you, but at 60-70% less than the traditional price.