Local grooms break the mold on their special day.

This story first appeared in the Fall/Winter 2019 issue of Columbus Weddings, published June 2019.

The bride’s look differs from those of her ’maids; why shouldn’t the groom’s do the same? As more couples buck trends and traditions, grooms increasingly are choosing to stand apart from the people standing by their side. After all, this special day is not only about the bride—it’s about her partner, too. We spoke with several local grooms who found their own ways to sport different looks and bask in the spotlight with their brides.

Like what you’re reading? Sign up for our bimonthly newsletters.

Groom: Aaron Childs, recruiter for Google

Married: Kayla Childs on Oct. 5, 2018, at Creekside Conference & Event Center in Gahanna

Wore: A custom, navy blue, cutaway, three-piece suit with tails and a vest from Hockerty; cognac brown shoes, red socks with flowers, a white shirt, a maroon tie and wooden cuff links with initials and wedding date. Groomsmen wore brown shoes and a gray, three-piece suit with the same color tie, but they wore bowties to contrast Aaron’s.

He says: “I just wanted to stand out and look a little different. It’s my day, too. [My wife] wanted me to stand out as well. It put an exclamation point on the day.”

Groom: Jim Westlake, CEO of a home health company

Married: Flo Westlake on Sept. 22, 2018, at the Hilton Columbus at Easton

Wore: A custom, navy blue, Joseph Abboud suit, tan shoes, argyle socks, a ruffled white dress shirt and blue bowtie, all from Men’s Wearhouse. Groomsmen wore a similar navy suit with a standard tie in purple.

He says: “We loved how everyone came together despite all of us selecting our own attire. We did give them directions—colors we wanted, color of shoes we wanted, and we bought the socks and ties we wanted them to wear. But overall, we were pleased with how everyone fit into our scheme without all being dressed exactly the same.”

Groom: Alex Haas, print center operations specialist at IGS Energy

Married: Brittney Haas on Oct. 6, 2018, at Our Lady of Victory Church in Grandview

Wore: A dark navy suit, white shirt, and gray vest, and brown shoes and belt, all from Generation Tux; a cranberry tie from The Tie Bar, dusty blue socks with an owl print from Nordstrom and owl cuff links from Etsy. Groomsmen wore a similar suit, sans vest, and a light blue tie.

He says: “[My wife] thought the color and fit looked sharp on everyone. [I really loved] the color and the simplicity of the entire look. … I thought [dressing differently] was the best way to differentiate myself from the groomsmen, without taking any of the attention away from my wife. It definitely added more symmetry.” 

Groom: Ben Lautzenheiser, HVAC service technician

Married: Katelyn Lautzenheiser on Sept. 22, 2018, at City Club of Columbus

Wore: A custom, dark blue suit from Jos. A. Bank, white shirt, navy polka-dot tie and matching suspenders, tan shoes, navy polka-dot socks. Groomsmen ditched the jacket and donned a white shirt, suspenders, bowties and dark blue pants.

He says: “I wanted a suit so I would stand out as the groom, rather than blending in with the rest of the groomsmen. I just wanted to make it clear that I was the groom. [My wife] loved it as well; she gave me free reign of it, and she loved it all.”