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Wedding - Groomsmen in Bow Ties, Groom in a Necktie?

post #1 of 37
Thread Starter 

First time poster here.

 

I'm getting married in San Diego this August. The ceremony is outside in a Spanish-style courtyard in Balboa Park, the reception is next door at the Natural History Museum. (I'm not giving you my life story, this all has a point, trust me.)

 

This will not be a black tie affair, so I and my groomsmen will be wearing charcoal suits (3 piece for me, 2 piece for the other fellas), white dress shirts, black belt and shoes. The tie colors will in some way reflect the colors that my fiancee has chosen for the affair: navy blue, with green accents.

 

Finally, we come to the point: I would like for my groomsmen to wear bow ties, while I will be wearing a necktie. I think it'll be a smart look, bringing some traditional/formal elements into the mix, somewhat fun & creative, and will help distinguish me from the rest of the gang (although of course my wearing a vest will help, too).

 

First, I'm prepared for incoming and welcome your general thoughts on this.

 

Second, has anyone heard of this/seen this before? Tons of searching online has revealed only one or two images of semi-formal weddings with this approach. By which I mean, not a wedding where all the guys look like they're in a barbershop quartet, or where they're wearing bow ties and flip-flops, or that kind of offbeat or whimsical style. Basically, I want to be able to sell this idea to my and my fiancees' mothers, and to be able to say, here, you can see that this is not a crazy new idea, people have done this from time to time and their families have not been cast out of society. Photographic evidence would go a long way.

 

After all, nobody wants to piss off the moms.

 

If it matters, we are both professionals in our 30s. OK, I feel like I've given way too much info here. Stop me before I provide you all with menus and song lists.

 

Thanks in advance for your help.

post #2 of 37
There's nothing wrong with bowties or neckties, nor anything wrong with you wearing one and they wearing the other. Generally people here (myself included) try to discourage you from too much coordination amongst the wedding party. If you give out ties to be worn, make them all in different patterns, but complementing each other if you wish.
post #3 of 37
Thread Starter 

Wow, thanks for the quick response. And from someone whose blog I follow & admire. What do you know.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by unbelragazzo View Post

There's nothing wrong with bowties or neckties, nor anything wrong with you wearing one and they wearing the other. Generally people here (myself included) try to discourage you from too much coordination amongst the wedding party. If you give out ties to be worn, make them all in different patterns, but complementing each other if you wish.


 

post #4 of 37
Your choice of charcoal suits is tasteful: You are on the right track.

As to ties: I would do the opposite. Groom in bowtie (and a DB or 3-pc suit), groomsmen in four-in-hands. Bowtie in a sober pattern is older and more formal than a four in hand in the same. You don't want to wear something less formal than your groomsmen.

I recommend getting all the ties in different wedding tie patterns: looks so much better than anything else with charcoal suits and white shirts. I suggest checking out the thread on wedding ties for ideas.
http://www.styleforum.net/t/62219/wedding-ties

samhober.com can make all the four-in-hands for you at a good price. For yourself, you could get a Ralph Lauren blue label four in hand for $40 on ebay, send it to beautiesltd.com to have them turn it into a bowtie with your choice of shape for $35, and you're good to go.

I also suggest reading Manton's speech on wedding attire.
http://www.askandyaboutclothes.com/Tutorials/AntongiavanniWEDDINGATTIRE.htm
If your fiancee demands that the men wear wedding colors, show her that speech.
post #5 of 37
Thank you for the kind words sir! Best wishes with the ceremony and subsequent imprisonment marital bliss. smile.gif
post #6 of 37
Thread Starter 

Thanks. That article was certainly informative. And it did make me feel better that the groomsmen are going to be wearing different suits. The original plan was to have them all wear the same suit (as is common these days in my experience). However, I have the good fortune of having a tight group of friends from when we were kids, and suddenly we're all at the age where we're getting married, so we are all going to be in at least 3 different weddings over the course of a year, and possibly one more. Meaning, given travel, gifts, bachelor parties, bail money following the bachelor parties, etc., we had to find a way to make the wedding attire as affordable as possible for them. And given that I know that most of the guys own a charcoal suit already, that was the way to go. Hopefully they'll all be able to figure out that "charcoal" doesn't mean light grey, or charcoal with pinstripes, or whatever.

 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Testudo_Aubreii View Post

Your choice of charcoal suits is tasteful: You are on the right track.
As to ties: I would do the opposite. Groom in bowtie (and a DB or 3-pc suit), groomsmen in four-in-hands. Bowtie in a sober pattern is older and more formal than a four in hand in the same. You don't want to wear something less formal than your groomsmen.
I recommend getting all the ties in different wedding tie patterns: looks so much better than anything else with charcoal suits and white shirts. I suggest checking out the thread on wedding ties for ideas.
http://www.styleforum.net/t/62219/wedding-ties
samhober.com can make all the four-in-hands for you at a good price. For yourself, you could get a Ralph Lauren blue label four in hand for $40 on ebay, send it to beautiesltd.com to have them turn it into a bowtie with your choice of shape for $35, and you're good to go.
I also suggest reading Manton's speech on wedding attire.
http://www.askandyaboutclothes.com/Tutorials/AntongiavanniWEDDINGATTIRE.htm
If your fiancee demands that the men wear wedding colors, show her that speech.


 

post #7 of 37
Thread Starter 

My thoughts about the colored ties rather than traditional "wedding ties" - I have a feeling that the era of color photography has something to do with it. People tend to look better & more elegant in b&w photography. Now that (a) photography is a big part of the wedding process in general; and (b) almost all of the photos are going to be in color (although my preference may be otherwise), introducing bits of color causes the groomsmen to "pop" a bit in the pictures. Especially given that the bridesmaids will be wearing bright colors - a monochromatic gang of groomsmen would practically disappear if there wasn't something there to provide some visual interest. I'm not saying this is good or bad, simply trying to explain why certain trends may have evolved.

post #8 of 37
It is somewhat the point for the men to disappear and just provide an elegant backdrop for the more brightly attired females. Make sure their dress shirts are nice and crispy and they won't be dull at all.
post #9 of 37
Thread Starter 

True. I was trying to articulate my theory about how color photography actually distorts the way the brain perceives a scene...I went to film school a long time ago, it's all not quite as fresh in my mind as it should be, I guess.
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by unbelragazzo View Post

It is somewhat the point for the men to disappear and just provide an elegant backdrop for the more brightly attired females. Make sure their dress shirts are nice and crispy and they won't be dull at all.


 

post #10 of 37
If you are not going to wear dinner suits, I would not so finely orchestrate the kinds of suits your groomsmen wear. A group of men in the same charcoal suit is a conspicuously inelegant sight. I recommend asking them to each wear their best solid-colored suit in any shade of gray or navy.

Also, please do not have them wear bow ties. Bow ties, when worn outside of black tie, are far more eccentric and casual than regular long ties. Again, it will look conspicuous, and not in a good way. Instead, have each of them wear a wedding tie (you can look that up on the forum). Let them each pick their own wedding tie, or supply them yourself. Just make sure they aren't all the same.

The groom shouldn't worry so much about standing out. You'll be next to your bride the whole time--that will take care of it for you.
post #11 of 37
I would second the Foo's sound advice.
post #12 of 37
FWIW, I attended a wedding this summer, the groomsmen wore all different bowties and all different 3 pc grey suits. I thought it worked quite well - but it's possible that without the waistcoats it would not have. If most guests are from the area, the general attitude and attire in the San Diego area is so casual that any kind of suit and tie is both conspicuous and very formal - the bow-tie aspect doesn't really affect either significantly IMHO. If you like it, go with it.
post #13 of 37
Thread Starter 

They are great guys but none of them would win the Styleforum Fashionable Male of the Year award. Trust me, guiding them towards varying charcoal suits is the most elegant move I can make in this case. If I asked them to each wear their best solid-colored suit in any shade of gray or navy...it's not like each of them has a closet full of suits to choose from. I think we'd end up with a motley group of charcoal suits in either case.

 

I may as well include myself in that group. I'm trying to step up my game, but I grew up in San Diego, so I didn't have a lot of positive influences in the menswear department. Although my father is very well-dressed - he's inclined to gently poke fun at me if my collar is drooping a little bit, given that he has all of his shirts and suits made in Philadelphia (Barton & Donaldson and Ventresca).

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mafoofan View Post

If you are not going to wear dinner suits, I would not so finely orchestrate the kinds of suits your groomsmen wear. A group of men in the same charcoal suit is a conspicuously inelegant sight. I recommend asking them to each wear their best solid-colored suit in any shade of gray or navy.
Also, please do not have them wear bow ties. Bow ties, when worn outside of black tie, are far more eccentric and casual than regular long ties. Again, it will look conspicuous, and not in a good way. Instead, have each of them wear a wedding tie (you can look that up on the forum). Let them each pick their own wedding tie, or supply them yourself. Just make sure they aren't all the same.
The groom shouldn't worry so much about standing out. You'll be next to your bride the whole time--that will take care of it for you.


 

post #14 of 37
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidML View Post

They are great guys but none of them would win the Styleforum Fashionable Male of the Year award. Trust me, guiding them towards varying charcoal suits is the most elegant move I can make in this case. If I asked them to each wear their best solid-colored suit in any shade of gray or navy...it's not like each of them has a closet full of suits to choose from. I think we'd end up with a motley group of charcoal suits in either case.

I may as well include myself in that group. I'm trying to step up my game, but I grew up in San Diego, so I didn't have a lot of positive influences in the menswear department. Although my father is very well-dressed - he's inclined to gently poke fun at me if my collar is drooping a little bit, given that he has all of his shirts and suits made in Philadelphia (Barton & Donaldson and Ventresca).

They might each wind up in a charcoal suit, but at least each will be wearing one he is comfortable with and which is more likely to fit decently. Forcing them each to wear the same suit will achieve nothing above that other than looking extra odd.

You can only do what you can do, but I would not go out of your way to make mistakes. The bow ties would be a mistake.
post #15 of 37
Thread Starter 

Just to clarify - I told them charcoal, but other than that they are free to choose their own suit (or wear one that they already have, which is the case for most of them).

 

I'm definitely weighing the bow tie thing carefully, so I appreciate your input.

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by mafoofan View Post


They might each wind up in a charcoal suit, but at least each will be wearing one he is comfortable with and which is more likely to fit decently. Forcing them each to wear the same suit will achieve nothing above that other than looking extra odd.
You can only do what you can do, but I would not go out of your way to make mistakes. The bow ties would be a mistake.


 

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