In many cultures, tradition historically dictated that the bride’s family paid for weddings. Grooms had it easy: leave the planning to the bride’s cohort and show up on time for associated celebratory events. That tradition, however, is fading.
Danielle Andrews, Co-Founder and President of The Wedding Planners Institute of Canada, explained that because so many couples now pay for their own weddings, grooms want to be more involved.
“It has a lot to do with people marrying later,” she said. “They are more established and have already started their lives, so parents aren’t expected to contribute as much. Today it’s not unusual for couples to pay for the entire wedding themselves, so every decision is much more important and personal.”
From dedicated photographers to “costume changes” for the reception, today’s grooms want to express themselves just as much as the bride. Nowhere is this more evident than in fashion. Grooms have discovered that their look can be a powerful vehicle to express creativity, values and personal style on their special day. And it makes sense: According to a study conducted by GOBankingRates, groomsmen spend an average of $682 on wedding attire, whereas bridesmaids spend an average of $438.
It’s time for grooms and their comrades to shine. Whether über formal or shoeless on a beach, here are some ways grooms are using fashion to make the day their own.
Unique and Meaningful Accessories
Brides have the tradition of carrying “something old, something new, something borrowed, something blue.” Grooms are also having fun with accessories that have a fun, unique or sentimental twist. Look for curated accessories such as bow ties and pocket squares made from real flowers or heirloom jewelry on lapels in lieu of boutonnières.
Tracey Manailescu, Co-Founder and Vice President of The Wedding Planners Institute of Canada, also sees a move toward “classy” wedding accessories.
“For years we saw socks, ties, and cufflinks with fun prints such as catchphrases or superheroes,” she said. “Now we are stepping away from that and getting back to a classier look. For instance, custom socks and cufflinks are still a hit, but perhaps they are monogrammed with the groomsmens’ initials or a nod to the couple’s heritage or personal interests.”
Embracing the Full Spectrum of Color
After two years of postponements and quarantine-style weddings, couples are excited about celebrating their love with (and for) family and friends. “Dopamine dressing”—a reference to attire in bold colors such as magenta, orange, yellow, and green—is a nod to this positive energy.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, earth tones such as brown, tan, sage, and cream channel a natural, minimalist vibe and are perfect for summer or destination weddings.
Fabrics that Evoke a Mood
The classic black tuxedo, with an average rental price of $200 will likely never go out of style, but today’s grooms are also having fun with fabric.
“We are seeing a lot more color and texture such as silk, cashmere, and brocade for the groom and his party,” Andrews said.
Velvet dinner jackets in jewel tones like burgundy, blue, emerald green, and cerulean blue lend a romantic, moody feel to formal weddings, while thinner, lightweight suit fabrics such as chambray, linen, seersucker, or chambray in light colors are a smart choice for outdoor or destination events. Micro-prints—and conversely, large-format patterns—are also en vogue.
Tailored and Fitted Suits
With so much thought and effort going into their wedding looks, today’s grooms want to look their best on all fronts when the big day arrives. They’ve kicked up the workout routines—and aren’t afraid to show off a silhouette.
A properly-tailored suit is a must for modern grooms. Even if you aren’t in tip-top shape, a tailored outfit looks sharp and intentional. Some grooms are taking it a step further and having custom details, such as a letter to their partner, sewn inside the jacket.
For beach weddings, don’t be scared to ditch the socks (or the shoes for that matter), or go with loafers for an effortless look.
Mixing it Up
Bridesmaids have been mixing and matching their bridesmaids’ dresses for years; now grooms are getting in on the action, too. Individual but cohesive groomsmen attire is all the rage.
For instance, some members of the groom’s party can wear tuxedos, while some wear suits, and some don’t wear jackets at all. Monochromatic three-piece suits are timeless, but can also be jazzed up with different colors, textures, or patterns for each groomsman.
Grooms have also discovered the thrill of the costume change and fully embraced the mission. After the ceremony, guests may see the groom’s party switch to a more casual look that embraces their personal style with dance-friendly attire and coordinated footwear for the reception.
Grooms are no longer standing by and letting their brides have all the fun: they want a chance to shine and express themselves as well.
“Social media and wedding magazines have expanded their focus to include groom's portraits, getting ready photos, and funny or heartwarming wedding traditions and rituals incorporating the couple’s various cultural traditions,” Manailescu said. “It's a great way to see the love story unfold from both perspectives.”