Tips for a groom who wants to stand out among his wedding party
When it comes to wedding fashion, brides typically are easy to identify. The groom, on the other hand, can sometimes blend in with his groomsmen. But fear not; the groom who wants to stand out—it is his special day too—has plenty of options. And if your wedding has two grooms? These tips can help the guys show their individual styles while still keeping a cohesive look.
Swap the Suit (or Tux)
Wearing a different tuxedo or wedding suit is one way to set the groom apart. For instance, Joseph Abboud, award-winning fashion designer and chief creative director of Tailored Brands Inc.—which owns brands like Men's Wearhouse and Jos. A. Bank—says the groom could wear an ivory jacket with black pants while the groomsmen wear black jackets and pants with an ivory vest.
“There should be some relationship, but it should be that the groom gets something special,” Abboud says. Those who want to stay consistent with color could instead try incorporating different fabrics and textures. “If all of the guys are in black tuxedos, the groom could have the same tuxedo pant but with a velvet jacket,” Abboud suggests. If your event is less formal, the groomsmen could wear suits while the groom wears a complementary tuxedo.
Rather than putting the groom in a different suit from his groomsmen, some couples will choose to switch up the groom's vest color instead. Another option is to have the groomsmen in vests, while the groom wears a matching cummerbund. Or, if the wedding is more casual and the bridal party members will be sans jacket, he can create distinction by wearing a vest and having his groomsmen don suspenders.
Bow Tie vs. Necktie
If the groomsmen are all wearing the same necktie, the groom may deviate with a bow tie, or vice versa. The same tie in a different color, texture or pattern can also work. If the groom chooses a patterned tie, Abboud recommends subtle microprints over bolder designs, which may end up competing visually with everything else in the wedding.
Jessica Weiss of Generation Tux, an online suit and tuxedo rental company, says one option may be to have the groomsmen's ties match the bridesmaids' dresses, while the groom chooses a color that complements his bride's attire or is a brighter shade than the rest of his team. Another consideration is the knot's style. From the classic Windsor knot to the eye-catching Eldredge or Trinity knots, there are countless techniques to loop a necktie.
Even adding subtle elements to the groom's attire can help accentuate his importance.
“For black-tie weddings [where] everyone is wearing a tuxedo, a great way for the groom to stand out would be a different lapel,” Weiss says. “A peak or shawl lapel really stands out.” In this case, Weiss says she would dress all of the groomsmen in notched lapels, which tend to be more common.
A groom also can spice up his outfit with accessories like a tie bar, pocket square, cummerbund or cufflinks. In fact, many of these options can work in tandem. “Some people don't always realize you can do a handkerchief or a pocket square and a boutonniere to add more color,” says Jon Roberts of American Commodore Tuxedo.
And speaking of the boutonniere, a slightly more elaborate floral arrangement worn on the jacket lapel is a simple way for guests to single out the man (or men) of the hour. Consider a boutonniere with additional blooms, foliage accents or colors, as well as one that is larger than those of the groomsmen.
But Roberts, who has more than 15 years' experience in men's formalwear, also cautions that going overboard with variation can detract from the polished look of the bridal party.
“Those subtle differences are all you're really going to need to separate him in a major way,” he says.
Regardless of what stylistic choices set the groom apart, Abboud says coordination is key.
“There has to be a certain harmony in the wedding, otherwise it's going to look like a hodgepodge,” he explains. “You really have to coordinate the whole wedding party if you really want that to be a special image in your mind.”