So, you popped the question and they said yes (or vice versa)! Huzzar!
It's wonderful news, but now you've realised that you've been allocated wedding preparation jobs and it's kind of a minefield. Well fear not... we're here to help.
Why don't we start by giving you some tips to finding your perfect wedding suit?
Whilst neither of us would describe ourselves as being fashionistas, we do go to a lot of weddings and our job is to see things, so we see a lot of wedding suits. We're also reliant on our knowledge of colour and how it can be implemented for best results to do our job, so we know a few things about how it all works.
With this in mind, here are our top things to consider when choosing your wedding suit.
Wedding Suit Colour Palettes
The first questions is, has there been a colour palette set for your wedding? Does your partner have specific ideas for wedding flowers, or table centrepieces at your wedding breakfast? Have the bridesmaids' dresses been chosen and are you expecting to wear a tie (and possibly a pocket square) that matches the colour of them? This will give you good direction to choosing your suit colour and it is a great way to narrow your choices.
Using basic colour theory will allow you to find a suit colour that looks amazing when paired with your designated tie colour.
There are three really quick and easy ways to use a colour wheel to get great results.
1. Look for colours at opposite sides of the circle. Colours that are across from each other are complimentary to one another.
2. Look for colours directly left or right of a colour - these are know as analogous colours and are really just varying shades, but will work well together.
3. Draw an imaginary equilateral triangle across the colour circle from a chosen colour. The other colours that you land on are known as triadic colours. They'll work well together to create a rich colour scheme, but they're a little harder to make work well. To really nail this look, it's best to choose one colour to dominate over the rest. A great example of this would be choosing a maroon tie with a navy suit... an absolute classic combination.
Considering neutral colours? That's a great idea! Wedding suit colours such as beige are really easy to pair with other colours, especially when there is a pop of colour. One thing to think about though is that it can be a tricky business when pairing lots of neutral shades together, so be careful!
Check out the gallery at the end of this blog for some examples of all of these principles in practice!
Wedding Shoes and Belts
So, you've got your wedding suit and tie combination chosen and you're one step closer to looking dapper at you wedding in the picturesque Leicestershire countryside. Next stop, shoes and belts.
There are some general rules to follow here, based predominantly on the colour that you've chosen for your wedding suit. However, it's still important to consider the colour of your tie and other accessories, which may render some of the below pairing options obsolete. If in doubt refer back to the colour wheel.
Some of our favourite wedding shoe and suit colour combinations are:
Navy suit - Brown footwear of any shade. Black does work well, but can sometimes look a bit "business".
Blue suit - Tan or light brown are great!
Grey suit - Brown (light or dark), black, burgundy or oxblood (consider accessories colours before committing to burgundy or oxblood).
Charcoal suit - Dark brown, black, burgundy or oxblood (consider accessories colours before committing to burgundy or oxblood).
Black suit - Probably best to stick to black footwear. Brown can work, but it's really tricky to nail this combo!
Florescent pink suit - errm... dunno mate. You just do what makes you happy.
Style of the Wedding
Should You Hire or Buy Your Wedding Suit?
There are two options when arranging the suit for your wedding day. Should you hire for your wedding day or buy a suit to keep? We are generally of the opinion that it really depends on the style of wedding that you're going for.
If you're aiming for a very traditional, formal wedding and you're going for a look that involves a morning coat or tailcoat (and perhaps a top hat) then we would definitely recommend hiring your suit from a mens outfitters. They'll be able to measure you to find the perfect fit and there is a low likelihood that you'll have lots of additional use from such a suit after your wedding.
Should you be considering a more modern wedding and you're looking for a two or three piece suit, then we would go down the route of buying a suit for your wedding. Prices between hiring and buying can be relatively close (depending on your choices) and it means that you'll have a functioning suit that you can wear again in the future. It also opens up a much wider range of options to you when choosing you suit.
Seasonality and Wedding Suit Material Choices
You want to be comfortable! It's your wedding day and the last thing that you want to be thinking about is how you're waaay too hot or freezing cold. Here are a couple of pointers for choosing a wedding suit that it made from the right kind of fabric and construction for the season:
Spring / Summer Wedding:
Choose natural materials with more open weaves, such as cotton, linen or lighter tweed or wool options. It may be a good idea to look for an unlined suit for summer, which will allow air to flow better through the material.
Autumn / Winter Wedding:
You'll benefit from a wedding suit which uses heavier materials such as thicker wool or tweed and that is fully lined to help keep you warm. Herringbone materials aren't as thick as tweed but their weave make them suitable for winter suits too - just check on the thickness and feel before you head in this direction.
We are professional wedding photographers, so it would be bizarre if we didn't relate any of our advice to getting the best wedding photographs. From a wedding photography point of view, we would recommend avoiding shiny finished materials as they have the potential to look poor in images under flash when you're clearing the dancefloor with your sweet moves later in the day.
Think About the Rest of the Party
Wedding Suit Cuts and Sizes Available
At this point we are assuming that you're going down the route of buying a suit and It's important to consider the rest of the groomsmen and their requirements. Different people are different shapes and what works for one person may not work for somebody else. Here are a few questions to ask yourself before committing to a suit.
If you have members of the wedding party that are larger or smaller, can you get your chosen suit in their size?
The good news is that even at highstreet level, varying body shapes and sizes are considered more now than they ever have been. No matter what your budget is, you should be able to find something that fits everybody. NEXT for example offer suits in a "big, tall and short" range and they're easy to spot as they have a note over the top of the image on their website.
Does the cut of the suit work for everybody?
Not everybody can get away with a super skinny fit and you'll want your groomsmen to look almost as handsome as you do on your wedding day.
Take a trip out together and check to see which cuts work for everyone. You may find that the same suit is available in different shapes, so it'll suit everybody (pun definitely intended).
If you really had your eye on that perfect, special suit, but it doesn't work for anybody else, why not consider having something different to the rest of the groomsmen? That way you'll get the suit that you want and can pair the others back using colour. Picture this - you in that beige suit that you love with a navy tie and the groomsmen in navy suits with beige ties. Absolute magic.
Finding Wedding Suit Inspiration
So, you've read all of this and you're still struggling? Don't worry. Here is a massive tip on how to find your perfect wedding suit...
Businesses actually want to sell you their suits, so to help do that they spend a huge amount of money on professional stylists and photographers to make their products look as amazing as possible.
Take a look around at websites (both in and outside of your price range) and pay attention to what the models in the images are wearing. The chances are that every single one of them will be wearing a colour combination that is perfect, with shoes that really work with the outfit. Once you've found a combination that you like, make a shopping list and get hunting for a combination that is similar.
Communication is key. This isn't a wedding dress that has to be kept top secret until it reaches the aisle:
Speak to your other half.
Ask for their opinion and make sure it'll work with whatever they have planned for the day.
It's going to be OK.
Final Wedding Suit Thoughts
Hopefully now you'll have a better steer on how you'll be picking your wedding suit; colour, material, fit. It's as easy as ABC, whoops. that should really be CMF.
If in doubt, refer to styled images and make sure that you talk to others to get their opinions on fit and style.
Now, let's take a look at the rest of your wedding to-do-list:
- Work out what type of wedding car to arrange for your perfect wedding day.
- Discover which flavours of wedding cake are the best.
- Find out where to hire a wedding band and book a REALLY good one.
Ah, it looks like you're going to be a busy bee then! Well, we can probably help out with advice for the rest of your jobs too. Keep an eye out for our upcoming blogs featuring some of our friends from within the wedding industry.
Happy wedding suit hunting,
Al & Phil
The best Midlands based wedding photographers
(They're also incredibly modest... and handsome.)