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Dressing Up the Men

Nick and I went back and forth for a while about what we wanted for the groom and groomsmen attire, not because we didn't agree but we just weren't sure. Initially, we had ruled out tuxes as stuffy and formal, but once we went to a few places we realized a lot of tuxes look like suits, the main different is the satin stripe down the leg and the satin lapels on the jacket. If you pair the tux with a tie instead of a bowtie, it can look a lot like a suit. We started our journey by visiting a Men's Wearhouse. Since we thought we had ruled out tuxes, we were now entertaining the idea of having the boys rent or buy suits. Men's Wearhouse and other stores like JoS. A. Banks often have great deals like buy 2 get 1 free, buy 1 get 1 free or large discounts. We were hoping if we caught one of those that buying the suit would end up being about as much as renting it. Of course, these stores won't tell you exactly when they are having these fabulous deals, so you have to do a bit of hunting. After spending several weekends in different suit shops, tuxedo rentals place, etc. we were feeling overwhelmed and like we didn't know what we were doing. We felt like we got a lot of information, but couldn't piece it together. We did end up finding a family owned shop that we really liked and tried on a tux there that was very nice. The price wasn't too bad, I think we were going for the middle grade tux (based on the weight/feel of the fabric) and it was going to be $130 to rent. Not bad. We hadn't settled on anything yet…

I ended up contacting the shop where I purchased my dress, The Perfect Dress, to see if they could recommend a place to rent from. Turns out, they also rent formalwear – score! Since we weren't in town, she sent me a link to the site that provides their formalwear and explained that she would just need a few measurements from each guy and we'd be all set. The best part – the price – $91! We'll have to pay a $5 damage insurance and then $5 if we want to rent a special tie, but otherwise, everything is included! In addition, we have them Tuesday to Tuesday, so there is plenty of time to exchange if necessary and we don't need to rush them all back to the shop the next day. In the end, we'll save our groomsmen and Nick (and my Dad) about $30 a piece from the average tuxedo price. The suit is a basic 2 button black suit, I think our guys will look very sharp.

The tie we picked if we decide to rent is a basic black tie with a simple stripe. We might end up gifting the groomsmen their ties because who doesn't need a black tie, but otherwise, we'll go with the rented option. If I remember correctly, it looks like this or very similar. Black with a subtle striping in a satin.

Image via weddingcentre-wi.com

We've also decided that we will probably gift the guys shoes. We want everyone to be comfortable so we think we're going to give the guys some classic black slip on Vans. We're positive 3 of the 4 groomsmen will wear them again, so we feel like it's a pretty good gift and they will be way more comfortable than wearing rented shoes.

groom and groomsmen attire
Image via VANS

So, the guys will have their black suits, ivory shirts, black on black ties, black Vans with white bottoms and then their green cymbidium orchids to add a little pop of color. We're hoping this look really classy and not like a funeral – but that is on our minds. However, I've seen a lot of black & white weddings and I think they look really nice. I'm happy with our choices and happy that our groomsmen won't have to spend a ton of money to be part of the wedding – guys get off kind of easy!

What will your groom be wearing? Tux or suit or something else? What was the deciding factor?


Erin Zimmerman

is a teacher living in Baltimore, MD. She got married 2012 in Ocean City, MD. You can read her wedding planning posts here.