Create a look that's uniquely you when cookie-cutter just won't do.

This story first appeared in the spring/summer 2020 issue of Columbus Weddings, published in December 2019.

When compared to the challenge faced by brides in selecting just the right wedding dress, some may feel that grooms get off easy. After all, most traditional suits or tuxedos will get the job done. But what about grooms who want to make their outfit their own?

Personalization is increasingly popular among husbands-to-be, says John Roberts, store manager at American Commodore Tuxedo in Polaris Fashion Place. From perking up a suit with an unexpected choice in neckwear to adding bling in the form of a watch or other jewelry, many guys are finding ways to make sure their attire is eye-catching on their wedding day.

“There are a number of different ways that you can just add a little something to [an outfit] that gives your own little personal touch,” Robert says, “but also at the same time accents whatever the party is going with.”

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Many grooms add interest through socks with striking designs. “We’ve had guys do superhero socks,” Roberts says. “That’s not uncommon.”

Some grooms opt to switch up the pattern of their necktie—options include stripes, paisley and plaid—or go old-school by bedecking themselves in a bowtie. Pocket squares can be different colors and folded in a variety of ways. Other grooms choose to customize their appearance through the addition of jewelry.

“Instead of just doing your basic jacket, pants, shirt, vest, tie and a pair of shoes, you can add in those studded cuff links and those different [accessories]—tie bar, stuff along those lines—that can add that little pizzazz to it,” Roberts says.

We asked several area grooms how they made their wedding-day garb unique to them.

DWAYLON RICHARDSON

When Dwaylon Richardson was making plans for his wedding to Danielle (Holland) Richardson, the former bodybuilder knew that an off-the-rack suit was not in the cards for reasons of fit alone. “Even when they kind of make the adjustments, it’s still not the way it should be,” says Richardson, who ordered his custom-made suit from Persona Custom Clothiers.

Given the opportunity to personalize the final product, Richardson decided to add a pop of pink to his navy blue suit. “In the back, where you flipped up my collar, it was all pink,” he says. Embroidered in navy blue inside the collar were the words “Cigar Lifestyle.” No, it wasn’t a reference to the TV series Mad Men, but a nod to one of Richardson’s passions. “I’m a huge cigar smoker,” he says. “That’s what I do.”

Other touches Richardson settled on included embroidering his custom-made shirt with his initials and the inside of his suit coat with his name. All of the choices were made with the goal of setting the groom apart. “A lot of people had navy blue suits on, but I had the navy blue custom with the pink undertones,” he says.

JORDAN ARON

If you attended Jordan and Kara Aron’s wedding at the Columbus Museum of Art, you might have gotten the impression it was a fairly formal affair. “I wouldn’t say it was over-the-top formal,” Jordan Aron says. “My wife wanted the women [in attendance as guests] to be in longer dresses, and the only way to guarantee that happens is set the dress code as black-tie optional.”

In keeping with the traditional aesthetic of the event, Aron’s tuxedo from Formally Modern Tuxedo in Chicago, where the couple lives, had a few subtle but well-placed modifications. “[They] are less so on the outside and more so the look and feel of the tux, and then the inner linings,” he says. “I had some blue patterns on the inside.”

Because his outfit was made to order, Aron also had the advantage of making intricate, almost imperceptible adjustments, such as to his left sleeve. “I usually wear a watch on my left hand, so my left-hand sleeve was slightly longer,” he says. “On the surface, nobody is going to notice, but ... you don’t have a sleeve pulling and tugging as you try to slide it over a watch.”

Aron also distinguished his look from his groomsmen by picking a black bow tie speckled with white polka dots. “I had four different size options,” he says. “I went on the smaller-than-average size, just because I’m a fairly small human being.”

JIMMIE BROWN

In planning his wedding to Alexus (Bates) Brown, Jimmie Brown knew he wanted to differentiate his style from that of his groomsmen. The initial plan called for the groomsmen to wear navy tuxedos; for a bit of contrast, Brown would don a champagne-colored vest and bow tie.

That didn’t quite cut it, though. “We wanted to do something where I popped out more, to where you would know who really is the groom,” says Brown, who ended up sporting a gray tux with a navy vest from American Commodore. The whole group wore navy bow ties.

Brown also wore a silver watch with a black face that matched his ring, but he saved his boldest style choice—a chain-link necklace—for the reception. “It was just trying to be more professional at the ceremony—make sure the pictures look great and everything—and then obviously at the reception, you want people to get loose a little bit,” Brown says.