One of the most important (and exciting!) items on our wedding checklist is “buy a wedding dress;” another equally important, but often talked about much less task is “decide on groom’s attire.” Graham Shaffer-Rais, Fashion Consultant and Representative for J. Hilburn, reminds us “a woman’s best accessory is a well-dressed man.” Often times the groom’s attire is picked out hastily, without much thought. We wanted to share some different styles for the groom and the groomsmen – from full formal, black tie looks to barefoot on the beach – we have suggestions for any type of celebration!

Full Formal, Black Tie


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A full formal, black tie wedding calls for the groom and his groomsmen to be dressed in a full tuxedo. Traditionally, the difference between a tuxedo and a suit is the presence of satin on the lapel, button and pocket trim, and down the side of the pant leg. Modern day tuxedos may diminish the use of satin, but primarily this is the main difference between a suit and tux. Tuxedo accessories have changed throughout the years as well. Traditionally, the tuxedo was only paired with a bow tie, cummerbund or waistcoat. Today we see more long ties and the absence of the waistcoat or cummerbund as pictured above.

Formal, Not Black Tie

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Today, we tend to see more suits than tuxedos as weddings become smaller, less formal and more personalized. “People know they are going to want to dance,” says Shaffer-Rais, “so comfort is key.” If going for a more casual style but still want to add some color to pull the look together, he suggests using a pocket square in place of a tie to keep your groom’s look polished, while still conforming to the dress code.


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Scott Kelsey Photography

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Brooke Christl Photography












The view on what’s appropriate to wear in a more casual wedding has transformed over the years – anything from a suit without accessories to a nice pair of pants and a polo shirt have all been worn at weddings depending on the venue, location and season. For example, what you wear to an evening city wedding will differ from a beach wedding, which will also differ from what you may wear in a backyard reception. However, one thing remains consistent – no denim!

We hope this is helpful in determining your groom’s attire. The most important thing is to be true to your style. Nowadays, anything goes!


The Swank Team