A wedding is such a joyous occasion and it’s one where we see everyone dress their best.
Nevertheless, as a groom - and likely for the first time in your life - it is not immediately obvious what to put on. “What do I wear…?” “How do I accessorize it…?” “What colour should I pick…?” These are some of the common questions asked by couples who are about to get wed.
Over the years in my tailoring practice, I’ve worked with hundreds of couples to answer just those questions. They tell me their ideas and plans, and together, we come up with solutions on how they could look their best for their special celebration.
Here’s what I’ve learnt, put together in a condensed form:
There seems to be four parts to a wedding. Not all the parts may be relevant to you, but generally there are: the registration of marriage (ROM), the pre-wedding photoshoot, the gate-crashing ceremony, and the banquet dinner.
1. Registration of Marriage
First of all, congratulations! You’ve made the first step to transition into marriage life.
Now, back to the topic of what to wear. Every man has his own inclinations and personal taste. The setting for a ROM ceremony is typically laid-back and casual, and unlike the banquet dinner (which is being addressed below), there are far fewer guests. Most ROMs are also held during the day, which makes the event even more chilled out. This is a great occasion to dress smartly, but not necessarily formally. A casual jacket and light coloured trousers make a good pair for the happy occasion. Or a casual suit. A casual suit, as opposed to a formal or business suit, is characterised by lighter colours, more visible texture, or louder patterns.
Although the ROM ceremony is likely to be a small and private affair between you and your loved ones, it is still a very special occasion. You’ll want to look great in person and also in photographs! Even though the attire is of the smart casual genre, pay particular attention to accessories and shoes. A thoughtfully selected tie and pocket square, and just the right shoe will amplify the overall effect.
2. Pre-wedding Photoshoot
These days, if you’ve engaged with a photographer or a studio for your pre-wedding photoshoot, chances are, the service comes in a package inclusive of certain wedding costumes for the bride and groom provided by a bridal house.
The availability and selection of the wedding gowns and suits for the bride and groom are likely to differ depending on the package chosen. If they are not provided, or you are hiring your own photographer, you have several other options including renting, purchasing, or making a bespoke suit.
There is only one important thing about wardrobing for the pre-wedding photoshoot: The attire should match the setting. If the setting is a plush interior of a 5-star hotel, put on a formal, elegant suit. If you’re about to take pre-wed shots at a beach in Bali, do not don a tuxedo, but instead wear something not incongruous with that ambiance.
Depending on what kind of look you’re going for, formal suits are recommended if you’d like to sport an elegant look in an indoor shoot. You may also choose to invest in a casual suit - light coloured, noticeably textured or chequered - which is suitable for outdoor shoots.
3. Gate-crashing Ceremony
Since the ceremony is a daytime event, a lighter suit is an option as you should be in a more breathable clothing but not necessarily look any less stylish or formal.
It’s likely that this part of the wedding will be more “formal” than the ROM since certain customary practices such as the tea-drinking ceremony will be held at the same session.
In terms of colours, you can’t go wrong with a light grey or airforce blue suit for a refined and sophisticated look at the same time.
It will be a smart investment as you can easily put on this suit again for almost any formal events in the future.
4. Banquet Dinner
There is nothing more elegant, more evocative of a sense of occasion, or more optimal for a banquet dinner than a garment which was specifically developed for such occasions: the tuxedo. Traditionally made in a midnight blue cloth with a mild sheen, and with satin silk lapels, the tuxedo is currently the most formal attire a man can wear.
But what if you do not have many occasions to wear a tuxedo at after the wedding? Should you still invest in one? Some do, because they think the occasion justifies it. An alternative would be a three-piece suit in dark grey/charcoal or navy. A three-piece suit includes a vest, and it is this vest which creates the separation between this, and a typical business suit.
So there you have it. A simple groom’s guide on wedding suits.
One last thing: What if you only have the budget for one suit? In this case, go with a dark suit that is either dark grey or navy. This way, you’d have a versatile attire for the wedding, and business or formal needs after that are also being taken care of. It is not the ideal attire for the all stages of the wedding, but not many would fault you for it.
Once you’ve gotten your desired clothing, try not to fuss about them. Enjoy yourself, be grateful that you are going through the process of getting married with your loved ones, and thank all who took the trouble to attend your wedding.