Keep your wedding party attire in check with these tips.
This story first appeared in the spring/summer 2020 issue of Columbus Weddings, published in December 2019.
The continued trend of mismatched ’maids raises an important question: What to do with their male counterparts? Creating a cohesive look among your wedding party is tricky enough when everyone wears the same attire. Factor in a variety of gown styles or colors on the ladies, and the options for the men can become overwhelming. We turned to Laura Wingfield, owner of Twirl Bridal & Prom Boutique, for advice; her shop sells bridesmaid and wedding gowns in addition to menswear rentals and purchases.Like what you’re reading? Sign up for our weekly newsletter.
Option 1: Match guys’ accessories to the ladies’ gown color.
The classic option, dating back to your parents’ wedding (or even earlier), ensures a timeless bridal party photo. The aesthetic has evolved over the years; today’s trendiest couples, Wingfield says, are opting for a classic three-piece ensemble in one color, with the tie and maybe a pocket square matching the bridesmaids. “The vest is definitely matching the suit,” she notes.
Another evolution of this trend is that the suiting often veers away from the basic black.
“We do a lot of charcoal, a lot of navy,” Wingfield says. “Some do indigo colors.”
Option 2: Coordinate guys’ accessories with the ladies’ gown color.
You can introduce a secondary color from your palette into your bridal party by putting your ladies in one color and selecting another, complementary color for the guys’ ties, pocket squares or vests. Again, Wingfield notes that current fashion tends to favor a vest that matches the jacket and pants, but you can modernize a colored vest by pairing it with a light gray or dark blue suit, rather than basic black.
Option 3: Coordinate guys’ accessories with the ladies’ gown palette.
“I’m still seeing a lot of mix-and-match dresses and colors,” Wingfield says. “Bridesmaids getting to choose their [gowns] is still very, very popular.” Such variation can be difficult to coordinate among the women alone; harder still is finding a color for the guys that won’t clash or match too closely.
For this, Wingfield recommends champagne or gold hues, which often are neutral enough to complement a varied palette. A secondary color from your palette could also work, if chosen carefully. And if all else fails, the classic black-on-black—or its modernized cousin, navy-on-navy—is practically foolproof. The monochrome men’s look also provides nice contrast to a varied palette among the ladies.
Additionally, Wingfield notes that not all groomsmen are wearing black pants, either; the continued popularity of the rustic aesthetic has fostered many a jacket-less wedding with the guys in khakis, for example. Letting them wear their own khaki pants would provide variety in tone without looking messy.
Option 4: Go all-out monochrome.
Navy and black are your two surest bets for a one-color-fits-all approach—an ideal option for mixed-gender wedding parties (think: best woman, man of honor, bridesman, groomslady) and those who want to exude elegance. But don’t assume a monochrome palette will lack personality. You can let your ladies choose their own gowns in your color selection, and give the guys a fun tie to spice things up.
Prefer a black-tie formal vibe? Stick with a bowtie for the gents, and make sure the women don floor-length gowns. If you like, you can add a pop of color in the pocket square or boutonniere and bouquets.