by Robbin Montero
...when it comes to tuxedos, there are traditions to be followed...

            If only men knew how much women love a man in a tuxedo, I’m sure they’d find reasons to wear them more often! Goodness knows, many of us live casual lifestyles and some women hardly ever see their men in a suit, much less formalwear. Next to the senior prom, a wedding may be the first (and only) occasion for which the groom and groomsmen will sport a tux.


Fashion and tradition

            Choosing the appropriate formalwear style is important. Coats with tails and shawl collars are traditional attire for a formal evening ceremony. However, what is proper wear for a semi-formal, early afternoon ceremony? When in doubt, go for black or ask the advice of an experienced sales clerk at a tuxedo store. Their professional expertise will direct you to the right type of tuxedo for the time of day.


            What styles are in? Tuxedo fashion changes to some degree, but some grooms have become so accustomed to casual dressing and to ignoring tradition that they want to “do their own thing” at the wedding. Just remember, when it comes to tuxedos, there are traditions to be followed and understated is usually better than the peacock approach. Currently, the casual look of a necktie is in, but the traditional bowtie and vest are always trendy. Cummerbunds are out, for now. As most men are no longer able to tie a bow or to secure a Windsor knot, most tuxedo ties are pre-tied.


            Measuring for a tuxedo is a complimentary service. For groomsmen residing out of the area where the wedding will take place, almost any national or local tuxedo store will take measurements. The information can then be sent to the bridal couple and subsequently forwarded to the store where the tuxedos are being rented.


            Always rent tuxedos in the town where the wedding will take place and always place the order for all tuxedos at the same time. By doing so, the groom and groomsmen can conveniently pick up the attire a day or two in advance and return the tuxedos before going home, thereby saving money on the rental fee.


Practical investment

            Prices for tuxedos differ based on the designer and may range from around $60 to several hundred dollars. By tradition, groomsmen are responsible for the cost of their own tuxedos. Many tuxedo shops offer a “groom goes free” program when five or six tuxedos are rented for the wedding party. However, there is always a charge for items such as shoes, socks, handkerchiefs and ties. Don’t forget that grandfathers, fathers, stepfathers, ring bearers and ushers are also participants who can wear matching tuxedos. 


            Schedule a time for the groomsmen to pick up their tuxedos the day before the ceremony, and make certain that each tries on all items at the store. If any errors occur in the fitting, alterations can typically be performed on the spot. Ensure that shoes are tried on, checking for proper sizing and color. A wedding is not the occasion to settle for ill-fitting shoes. Socks and handkerchiefs should also be checked at this time. The best man bears the responsibility to return all tuxedos and accessories to the shop following the wedding.


            Consider buying, rather than renting as many grooms require a tuxedo on the honeymoon or have occasional need for a tux to attend formal business events. A conservative black tuxedo is perfect for most formal occasions and will pay for itself in a short time if used periodically. Why not make use of it each anniversary to make that celebration special? Any bride would appreciate that!


            Whether they rent or buy, groom and groomsmen alike will look dashing in the appropriate tuxedo for the wedding. And, they will leave a lasting impression on the ladies who admire them.

“Stress Free, Leave the Details to Me,” is the tried and true philosophy of Robbin Montero, California Wine Country wedding planning expert and owner of A Dream Wedding.  Robbin is the premier wedding planner in the Northern California Wine Country, transforming any vision into the perfectly designed wedding creation. Robbin and her weddings have been featured in The Knot, Brides, Elite Magazine, Your Wedding Day and Vine Napa/Sonoma magazines, and Travel & Leisure magazine calls Robbin, “The expert wedding planner in the California Wine Country.” 

©2009 Robbin Montero


This article cannot be reprinted without Robbin Montero’s expressed written permission.


Robbin Montero is a wedding coordinator and special events planner in Northern California.

©2006 Robbin Montero
This article cannot be reprinted without Robbin Montero's expressed written permission.