Weddings often reflect tradition, and the South generally values traditions. But the mountains of North Carolina, South Carolina and Tennessee attract people from parts of the country with different values. So this year, we decided to highlight what’s new and exciting for grooms. We’re targeting men who consider themselves “fashion forward” here — men who aren’t afraid to buck tradition, at least a little.
Traditionally, men wear a black suit on their wedding days. A tux is no longer required, although a vest can make any suit appear extra special. The tie can change, of course, depending on the man. Colored, black or white all work well. Bow ties are also appropriate, if that’s your personality.
Getting the Details Right
Regardless what type of suit you wear, a boutonniere on your lapel identifies you as the groom. Boutonnieres have come a long way from the thorny rose with drooping petals. Talk to a knowledgeable florist about brightly colored flowers, specialty flowers like orchids and even multi-color arrangements. Don’t order a boutonniere to impress your guests; get one that makes you feel special. It’s your day too.
Cufflinks are one of those styles that have faded almost from memory. Most shirts have buttoned cuffs these days. But stylish cufflinks — maybe even a set made for the groom and groomsmen — can create a surprise that you’ll remember fondly in the years to come. If you want custom cufflinks, first make sure you have a shirt with French cuffs, and then shop around for something that piques your interest and matches your style.
Your shoes often go unnoticed, especially if you wear the classic shiny black laced loafer. But you can be creative, as long as you’re able to walk down the aisle without wincing — and can still dance. Shoe styles and fashions have made enormous advances in the past few years. Don’t ignore them just for tradition’s sake. Once you’ve selected your suit, find the shoes to bring out your best.
Going Beyond the Traditional
There are other colors besides black. If you want to wear gray, beige, white or any of the other 16 million colors, check with your bride-to-be first. She might be game for some fun, and maybe it will even influence her own gown decisions. Don’t be afraid to rock the boat, especially if you’re a boat-rocker.
The ties that bind go beyond the tie you wear, so jazz up the proceedings with a tie people will remember. Flowered, patterned, bright, mysterious… there are so many neckties to choose from. If it suits your suit, you can go with a scarf or cravat for something way beyond the traditional look.
It’s possible that the buttoned-up, traditional look is not you at all. Maybe it’s not your bride-to-be either. In that case, go casual. It’s becoming more and more common to see grooms without ties or jackets or even shoes. Explore your inner fashionista. Talk it over with your fiancé. Then plan on surprising people.
Some men just don’t wear jewelry. Maybe they work with their hands. Maybe they are marrying later in life and just can’t get used to a ring. It’s OK. We live in the modern age. Things are different now. How’s this for an alternative: a tattoo on your ring finger. It’s more permanent than a ring. It allows you to profess your undying love in a different way. As an interesting diversion, take off a temporary ring during the ceremony, revealing the tattoo.