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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

Long time (unregistered) lurker, but now trying to plan for my wedding in early October in California. Trying to figure out groom and groomsmen attire. The wedding ceremony starts at 5PM at a country club, with the ceremony outdoors but the reception mostly indoors.

I know it's a bit breaking of the rules to wear a Tuxedo before sunset, but I'd really prefer to wear one if possible given the reception will end at 11PM. I wear suits regularly in my profession, so a Tuxedo would help make it feel more of a special occasion for me, even though I realize I probably won't get much additional wear out of it (vs. a suit), living in CA.

I'm currently considering ordering a Navy Mohair MTM shawl collar tuxedo from Spier and Mackay, with otherwise a pretty standard rest of ensemble w/ black satin, covered buttons, etc. and black bow tie, but without a cummerbund/vest.

For my groomsmen, I know none own tuxedos and I don't want to force them to rent/buy something they likely won't use again, so am considering having them wear their own Navy suits, with white shirts, black shoes/belts.

Had a few questions for the folks here:
  • Is Navy for the tuxedo ok over black or midnight blue (not an option at S&M)? Part of it is to have at least some consistency with the groomsmen in color, and otherwise it's to make it slightly more flattering for the 5PM start
  • I currently own black AE Fifth Ave Cap Toes, but they have some broguing on the line of the cap. I don't own any wholecuts or standard black captoes, so it'd be great to use these polished up, but I do realize the broguing somewhat reduces appropriateness for a tux. Wondering if it's a minor enough detail that I can overlook
  • Will it be too much of a mismatch having myself in a Tuxedo and groomsmen in suits? The wedding is "cocktail attire" so I'd likely be the only one in black tie, but again trying to balance practicality for guests/groomsmen and my own desire to own/wear a tuxedo
  • If I do stick with the above plan, I'm going to be buying the groomsmen ties to wear. Trying to decide if I should do traditional grey glen plaid, or something like a Navy tie. Open to other suggestions as well
 

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Whan,
I am not replying as a groom but as the father of one who had a wedding similar to yours and with a similar set of circumstances. It was a 5:00 wedding in the outskirts of Atlanta and my son did wear a tux and all his groomsmen, including my self wore navy suits as you suggest. Ties, were navy POW or glen plaid and you seem right on target to me. The primary thing that you and your bride need to agree on is WHAT THE TWO OF YOU WANT, not what some rule says must happen. Remember As Jimmy Buffett says It's always "Five O'Clock Somewhere" which also means it's also 6:00 somewhere so do not get hung up on an hour one way or another. Enjoy your wedding and the festivities and have a great experience.
Just my $.02 from an old guy.
(and welcome to Ask Andy)
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Whan,
I am not replying as a groom but as the father of one who had a wedding similar to yours and with a similar set of circumstances. It was a 5:00 wedding in the outskirts of Atlanta and my son did wear a tux and all his groomsmen, including my self wore navy suits as you suggest. Ties, were navy POW or glen plaid and you seem right on target to me. The primary thing that you and your bride need to agree on is WHAT THE TWO OF YOU WANT, not what some rule says must happen. Remember As Jimmy Buffett says It's always "Five O'Clock Somewhere" which also means it's also 6:00 somewhere so do not get hung up on an hour one way or another. Enjoy your wedding and the festivities and have a great experience.
Just my $.02 from an old guy.
(and welcome to Ask Andy)
Thank you!!
 

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"Had a few questions for the folks here:
  • Is Navy for the tuxedo ok over black or midnight blue (not an option at S&M)? Part of it is to have at least some consistency with the groomsmen in color, and otherwise it's to make it slightly more flattering for the 5PM start
  • I currently own black AE Fifth Ave Cap Toes, but they have some broguing on the line of the cap. I don't own any wholecuts or standard black captoes, so it'd be great to use these polished up, but I do realize the broguing somewhat reduces appropriateness for a tux. Wondering if it's a minor enough detail that I can overlook
  • Will it be too much of a mismatch having myself in a Tuxedo and groomsmen in suits? The wedding is "cocktail attire" so I'd likely be the only one in black tie, but again trying to balance practicality for guests/groomsmen and my own desire to own/wear a tuxedo
  • If I do stick with the above plan, I'm going to be buying the groomsmen ties to wear. Trying to decide if I should do traditional grey glen plaid, or something like a Navy tie. Open to other suggestions as well '
FWIW here are my responses:
  • I would go with traditional midnight blue (or black) and not worry at all about color consistency. Color consistency is part of a matching practice that has become something of a modern norm among bridesmaids, but it has never been a groomsmen tradition and certainly is not required. The level of sartorial formality among the groomsmen should be the same but may be somewhat less formal than that of the groom as long as complementary. Accordingly, lounge suits for the groomsmen are perfectly fine if the groom is in black tie, and the groomsmen's suits need not all be navy, but may be dark gray or navy (black is also acceptable in this context even if not traditional for business wear) and preferably solid.
  • You can overlook the Fifth Avenues' minor broguing IMO.
  • Not a mismatch at all. Again, the groomsmen should all be at the same level of formality but may be less formal than the groom. .
  • Matching ties for the groomsmen are not at all required (and not really traditional), but brides tend to like it and it is certainly not wrong. Moreover, it can eliminate the risk of a tasteless decision. I prefer the glen plaid option but nothing wrong with solid navy or pretty much any traditional necktie. Finally, white linen (or cotton) pocket squares would be in keeping with the joyful nature of the occasion.
 

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A few points: A navy tuxedo jacket just doesn't sound right: Midnight blue or black are really the only options, October being a little late for a summer/tropical tuxedo jacket in white or off-white. That said, it can be hot as hell in Southern California in early October. My third (and I trust final) wedding was on October 8. It was extremely hot, and a large brush fire was raging nearby! (I might mention that my second wedding was on April 8 in Los Angeles, and the temperature was in the 100s! I was wearing a rental morning ensemble, and I looked like a complete costume doofus!)

Unless your jacket is double breasted, you should definitely wear a cummerbund or vest. You don't want your suspender tabs showing, and not wearing a waist covering will be a very unfinished look. (I am assuming you weren't even considering a belt!)

As far as shoes go, you can get away with the Fifth Avenues, I'm sure. Nobody but a clothing geek (like most of us here) will notice or give a damn! For the record, plain toe oxfords would be preferable to either captoes or wholecuts. If you really wanted to be dandified, opera pumps would be the top choice. Truth be told, in the unlikely event I ever have to wear a tuxedo, I shall merely put a high polish on my A-E PA's and be content to be a second-rater!
 

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J is dead on about the weather in SoCal. Growing up, I never understood why they insisted on starting school in September back before the days of AC in public schools. Now, as summers get longer (which is a major reason why I moved to Oregon) October has become the new September. Whichever color you choose, go for the lightest fabrics you can get. It can be very upsetting to the bride if a groomsman or two faint from heat exhaustion.
 
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