Well-Groomed Groom: Hands-On Guy

It's great when a groom takes the reigns and is involved in every aspect of the wedding. Photog Christina Blanarovich of Zen Photography submitted these pics of her involved client Greg and his new wife, Britney. Greg punctuated his traditional navy suit with a spring green, brown, silver, and white striped bow tie. A light blue button-down shirt add more dimension to the look than a standard white would have.

Greg reflects on his wedding day style: Since we were getting married at a barn, tuxes for the groomsmen would have been way out of place, so I decided to wear a suit and shoes that I already owned. But, it was my wedding day after all, so I paired it with a bow tie. I settled on a bow tie I liked and made sure to pick up enough for all of my groomsmen.

more from Greg: If I could pinpoint my look, I'd say I wanted to look like myself, but while paying attention to all the details and trying to look my best. We wanted our kids to look back at our wedding photos and say "Wow, mom and dad were really on their game that day!" I should thank Christina and Zen Photography. We knew they would deliver the goods and capture the moment beautifully and naturally.

Greg's cost-cutting tips: Cut cost corners in places where you or your friends and family can do a serviceable job. For instance, we weren't extremely fussy about flowers, so we ordered them wholesale and did our own arrangements and saved quite a bit of money. On the flip side, the things that matter most should have a more flexible dollar limit. So, looking back at our wedding, we're much happier with stunning photos of our wedding day than we would have been with professionally-arranged flowers and just "good" pictures. A big part of having a great wedding day (and looking like you're having a great day) is being stress-free and knowing that your vision has come to fruition.

Greg, I couldn't have said it better myself. Thanks for sharing your insights!

images by: Zen Photography
venue: The Barn at Boones Dam
caterer: Susquehanna Chef

Do you have a stylish guy's engagement session or wedding to share? Submit them via Two Bright Lights or get the info to submit via email here.

Well-Groomed Q&A: The Groomsmen Can't Afford Tuxes. Now What?

* This post could also be titled: Can the groom wear a tux and the groomsmen wear suits? * It's a lengthy one, so get out your readers and hang in there.

Q: My fiance and I love your blog! We'd love to get your insight and advice on determining wardrobe for the groom and his groomsmen...It will be a church ceremony and an evening reception at a former bank with amazing art deco architecture. Our colors are black and ivory with accents of gold and green.  Our theme will be modern vintage (art deco/1930s/old Hollywood glamour).

The questions we have are about the grooms and groomsmen. Would it be ok for my fiance to wear a midnight blue tuxedo and his groomsmen to wear black suits? Or, would it be best if he wear a suit as well, maybe in gray to differentiate himself? If he wears a tux, do the groomsmen need to wear them, too? Not everyone can afford to buy a tux, but they are amenable to buying a black suit since it can be used more often. We really want to make the event look formal. What about accessories? Any feedback you can provide would be greatly appreciated!!!!! -Joana

A: Thanks for the question, Joana. You've got a tricky situation to sort out, so let's tackle the easy stuff first. You said your palette is black, ivory, green, and gold. Your fiance shouldn't wear a blue tux. It's outside your color palette, and he'd be the only one wearing any blue. That would make it look like the tux shop made a mistake, not an intentional choice. Gray is an informal choice, and traditonally, tuxes are reserved for evening ceremonies, but I wouldn't have a problem with you doing it anyway.

On to the tux/suit mash-up. If you want a truly formal wedding, any mixing and matching you do will take away from that effect. Since some of the groomsmen can't afford tuxes, you've got a few options.

Option 1 | Forget formal, include everyone. Choose well-tailored, three-piece suits for all. The groom could wear ivory to stand out, while the groomsmen wear black. Leonardo DiCaprio's character in The Great Gatsby is a great example. It's set in the 1920s at the height of The Roaring Twenties, before the economy tanked during The Great Depression.

Option 2 | Go formal, tux it up, and gently un-invite some folks. If you're really set on a formal tone, you could let the guys who can't afford the tux opt-out of being in the wedding. Let them know there won't be any hard feelings, and mean it. Don't try to passively-aggressively guilt them with junk like, "If you really cared about us, you'd..." No one should be pressured into going into debt for your dream wedding.

Option 3 | Rent tuxes. You'll probably sacrifice on fit, even if it's tailored, but it might be a good compromise.

Option 4 | Ante up! You pay the difference of the cost of the suit vs tux to get the formal look you want.

Choices about accessories will have to wait until you decide whether you're going formal or giving the guys the boot. To make your choice easier, decide what's most important. The look of the men standing next to you, or the men standing next to you. No matter what you do, tread lightly. Financial situations are sensitive matters, and you don't want to damage friendships over a suit.

Alright, W-G crew are there any options I missed? What do you think of the tux/suit combo?

pics: The Great Gatsby

Well-Groomed Chaos

Well, I'm knee-deep in baby poo, toddler tantrums, and general Daddy duties since my wife gallivanted off to Alt Summit for four days. I'm loving one-on-one time with my girls, but I haven't been able to post a response to a reader's question. (I haven't forgotten about you, Joana!)

I promise I'll be back in action Monday. In the meantime, I'm going to go back to wipin snotty noses and kissing boo-boos.

Indochino Wedding Collection

Can you count to 3? Do you have ten minutes of free time? Yes? Congrats! You're more than half way to outfitting yourself and all the guys in your wedding. Indochino's recently revamped wedding program makes ordering a custom suit quick and simple, and at $400, it's a steal.

How's it work? In three easy steps, that's how.
1| Choose your suit style.
2| Customize your suit. Pick the lapel, lining, and monogramming options at no additional charge.
3| Grab a tape measure (they'll even give you one if you're lacking), and enter your stats online.

And, done! In 28 days, you'll be the proud owner of a custom, ready-to-wear, wrinkle-free suit.

Don't keep this great deal to yourself. For grooms parties of three or more, Indochino will give each guy two free accessories. Mix and match their ties, cuff links, pocket squares, and more to create a stylish, unstuffy vibe.

Check out the entire Indochino wedding collection, and get your 10-minute 1, 2, 3 on!

| This post was sponsored by Indochino |

Well-Groomed Groom: Classy Casual

Forget the penguin suit for your outdoor ceremony, and grab a pair of jeans. Keep them fitted and dark to make them altar-appropriate like dressed-down groom Aaron did for his Akron, Ohio farm wedding. Not only can a casual look work for your wedding, but photogs eat it up when grooms do something unconventional. Don't believe me? Take it from Mallory and Justin of Maui Creative who photographed and submitted pics of Aaron's casual, bow tie and spectacled look.

from Mallory: We love when a groom puts together a personalized outfit. Sure, any guy can go rent a tuxedo and rock it but we love a hand-picked and collected get-up for a stylish dude...

A grey jacket and blue tie are united by a coordinated gingham shirt. 

Thanks for sharing Aaron and Megan's relaxed, farm wedding with me and W-G's readers. Feel free to swing by anytime.

images: Maui Creative
reception venue: Conrad Botzum Farmstead
groom's look: Banana Republic and Brigade

Well-Groomed Details: Forage Haberdashery

Scared to mix and match? Man up, and check out Forage's new handkerchiefs. The spring plaid and blue Valentine's 'chiefs coordinate with nearly every tie in their collection. I picked three, but there are enough options to outfit all the guys. Even the kids.

Both handkerchiefs work with all three ties. To really shake it up, choose a chambray shirt for the groom with the striped handkerchief and peach bow tie. For the rest of the guys, choose a peach shirt with the striped tie or yellow bow tie or a yellow shirt with the peach or striped tie. 

To make a long story short, you've got options.

images via Forage

Guys of the 2013 Golden Globes

Pretend the aisle is your personal red carpet, and take some style cues from the men of the 2013 Golden Globes. Most chose classic black, but some ventured outside the norm.

First up? Styles for the classic groom. Leo DiCaprio and Hugh Jackman look similar enough at first glance, but further exam shows that Leo chose a notched lapel with rounded edge bow tie, while Hugh chose a peaked lapel and pointy edged tie.

Bryan Cranston chose a pointed end bow tie, and Chris Tucker went big and floppy.
Jonah Hill added texture with a knitted tied, and Jesse Tyler Ferguson chose a black dotted bow tie to add subtle detail.

I know, there's only such much you can do to dress up a black tux. Don't worry, Al Roker and Aaron Paul were reppin' for the non-conformist guys. Both chose blue plaid tuxes, Al's was in your face with the addition of green and Aaron's was subtle.
Bill Murray went for plaid, too in his unusual neckwear, and Ewan McGregor ditched the tie altogether.
images via TMZ.com 

Style Board: Tie Tacks and Pins

Tie tacks add the finishing touch to top-notch neckwear, so choose wisely. A mini-heart for less than $5 is perfect for a Valentine's Day ceremony, and a $100 Lanvin gem is an upscale must-have. Having a woodland wedding? Go for your initials craved in wood or an Eagle set of pins and cuff links. Want something simple? Don't worry, I've got you covered with a monogrammed silver bar.

Calla Jewelry personalized groomsmen set, Block Party Press woodgrain tie tack, Piping Hot Papers eagle tie tack & cuff links, Lanvin crystal tie pin, Moxie Momma's heart pin

Well-Groomed Groom: Beach Boy Elopement

I'm coming up on my 10-year anniversary, so my wife and I are debating an oceanside vow renewal with our two daughters in attendance. You better believe this groom's beach-y elopement with his kids caught my attention. He opted for a navy gingham shirt and chambray tie to offset a tan blazer. The ring bearer, kiddo #2, complimented dad's look with an oversized orange checked shirt, chambray vest, and plaid tie. Jeans keep the little guy's look kid-friendly, while the groom wears khaki slacks.

images by Erin Wallis

Featured: Weddings by The Ritz-Carlton Magazine

The crew at Weddings by The Ritz Cartlon magazine asked me to write an article for their Winter 2013 issue that focused on style savvy grooms. From the wardrobe, to the gifts and reception features, I had a great time cyber shopping for goods tailored to the mag's high-end clientele. You'll notice a Mercedes SLS AMG Roadster made the list, but there are great finds at all price points.

Swing by and check out my picks for soon-to-be-wed guys.


Subscribe to our mailing list for a chance to win 20 pc of gift tags

* indicates required