What to wear, what to wear, what to wear? Once the location, venue and guest list are set, it’s only natural that a groom’s attention turns to the all-important wardrobe question. No matter what your wedding style may be—Southern Cal cool to country club chic to trendy and fashion-forward—we’re here to help you figure out how to best bring out your groom style with a carefully selected wedding suit.
For the Effortless and Laid-Back, But Tucked In Groom
You’re the type of guy who sets trends without even trying, single-handedly brings back old fads and really, truly doesn’t have a care in the world as to how others see you. But, no one would mistake your effortless style with sloppiness or carelessness—you’re neat, tucked, tailored and extremely well-dressed.
Photo by Rachel Goble Photography
Designers to try: Topman, Ted Baker
Grooms Andrew Blackwell (left) and Jerrold Blackwell (right) chose their understated, but fashion-forward suits from Topman and Ted Baker, respectively, for their Beverly Hills Courthouse wedding in February 2015. One consideration for these grooms: Buying suits they would be able to wear again after the wedding.
For the Elegant, Preppy and Traditional Groom
Hey, there’s nothing wrong with tradition! Things become traditions because they’re cool, and people really enjoy them, so why rock the boat? But, we don’t have to convince you of this, because you’re a groom who appreciates classic lines and tried-and-true styles and cuts. This in no ways means that you aren’t stylish—you care deeply about your appearance (and aren’t afraid to put in the time, effort and money it takes to look sups handsome everyday).
Photo by Stephanie W Photography
Designers to try: J. Crew, Brooks Brothers
Traditional grooms need look no further than Joey Balistreri (bottom left) who wed his groom Michael (bottom right) at the South Carolina Aquarium in August 2014 wearing a black J. Crew suit from the Ludlow collection along with a matching black tie. Joey and Michael’s four groomsmen wore suits from Men’s Wearhouse with shirts and ties from Brooks Brothers. Men’s Wearhouse was especially helpful for the grooms, as their wedding party was spread across the country, so the stores were able to accommodate everyone’s sizes in a location that was convenient for the groomsmen.
For the Statement-Making, Style Chameleon Groom
Your spirit animal is Pat Field (you know, famed “Sex and The City” stylist) and you were voted most likely to design a dress for Madonna by your high school class. You love fashion—not clothes—fashion. Shopping is your cardio and Fifth Avenue is your nirvana. So, on your big day, you’re going big or not at all.
Photo by Dani Fine Photography
Designers to try: Mr. Turk, Versace
Grooms Bobby Scott (left) and Cal (right) made style a major theme of their Belle Mer wedding in September 2015. Both looked stunning, with Bobby choosing an eye-catching black and white graphic suit from Mr. Turk and Cal going for a classic black suit from Versace Collection, each accenting with a black bow-tie.
For the Colorfully Dapper Groom
You have a love of both the classic and the colorful, and you’re not afraid or unaccustomed to mixing them to achieve a look that suits you. Your style choices typically reflect your desire to “do you” and live authentically, and if that means you stand out, then you’re fine with that, too.
Photo by Robin Shotola Photography
Designers to try: Bespoke tailors like Knot Standard and Bindle & Keep
Grooms Quentin (right) and James (left) went the bespoke route for their custom suits, which featured matching slate gray and lavender vests and bow ties for their September 2014 wedding at the DC War Memorial. Knot Standard, a tailor with showrooms in New York, DC, Dallas and San Francisco, among other cities, designed and created the suits.
For the Classic and Cool Groom
Just about everything looks cool when you put your stamp on it, but what you happen to favor is structured, masculine styles. You’re the epitome of the old saying “not to let the clothes wear the man,” and you honor that by bringing your intrinsic coolness to traditional cuts to make it your own.
Photo by Michael Farmer Photography
Designers to try: Calvin Klein, Kenneth Cole
Grooms Anthony and Ignacio Contreras wore identical suits from Black by Vera Wang, along with black ties (one bow tie and one long tie) and shirts by Calvin Klein and shoes by Kenneth Cole for their California golf club wedding in November 2014.
For the Carefree and Unapologetically Quirky Groom
Look, life is meant to be lived and you’re the guy that makes sure you do it to the absolute fullest. Your life is full of fun, love and laughter, so your style choices reflect this. Muted tones and stuffy patterns do nothing for you as your exuberance and zest would burst out of the seams if you didn’t express yourself. Why should your wedding day be any different?
Photo by LetLove Photography
Designers to try: David Donahue, Ted Baker
Grooms January (left) and Danni Reclosado (right) chose statement suits with colorful bowties for their pinwheel-themed wine country wedding in July 2015. January chose a David Donahue coat and tuxedo shirt and a Ted Baker bow tie that perfectly matched the wedding’s teal and orange colors. His pants were by Armani. Danni went for a coat and bow tie by Ted Baker with a David Donahue tuxedo shirt and Kara Mann slacks.
Their wedding party was equally stylish in matching tan slacks, blue gingham dress shirts, suspenders and patterned bow ties from Dockers, St. John’s Bay and other JCPenney brands.
For the Fresh-Off-the-Red-Carpet Groom
You don’t need to add any adverbs to your chic, because chic is descriptive enough for you. The Ryan Gosling’s and George Clooney’s of the world are your style stars, as it’s nothing for you to look like you’ve tipped off the latest runway or red carpet in your day-to-day life. The walk down the aisle is your biggest Hollywood moment, and you’re ready to bring it.
Photo by Christine Arnold Photography
Designers to try: Etro, Suitsupply
Grooms Ryan O’Meara (right) and Philip Johnson (left) went for sharply tailored jackets in clean neutrals to match their desert Palm Springs wedding in September 2015. Ryan’s jacket and pants were purchased from Etro, his shirt from Suit Supply and his shoes were Christian Louboutin. Philip’s suit, jacket and shirt were from Suit Supply and his shoes were Cole Haan.
For the Groom With Exacting Taste
Maybe you were born into a military family, or became a member of the military yourself. Whatever the reason, you value precision, punctuality and exact targeting—of everything from your goals to your cuff length—over just about everything else in life. Your style is traditional and true, but, most importantly, precise and devoid of needless frills.
Photo by Derek Chad Photography
Designers to try: Jos. A. Bank, bespoke tailors
Grooms Steve Barber (left) and Jimmy Stokes (left) went for a rich indigo color palette for their May 2016 rooftop San Diego wedding. Steve wore a custom two-button suit by Lim’s Tailor in Osan, South Korea, while Jimmy’s slim-fit suit is Jos. A. Bank. Both grooms and their two pup ring bearers wore matching ties, purchased by Jimmy’s mother, from The Tie Bar.
Although I’ve spent the last decade riffing on everything from suburban politics to race in media, documenting love stories as content manager of GayWeddings.com definitely takes the cake. A proud alumna of Howard University’s journalism program, I’ve written for Parents.com, The Huffington Post, xoJane and Essence magazine. When I’m not writing, I’m debating the merits of Drake, obsessing over frozen yogurt or plotting my next international adventure. I want to feature you on GayWeddings.com! Always feel free to drop me a line at community [at] gayweddings.com to share your engagement, wedding and love stories.
Photo by Karina Rivera Photography
By Megan Velez
What a wonderful year 2016 has been for LGBTQ couples! Since gay marriage became legal in the United States just over a year ago, couples have been taking full advantage and are jetting off to tie the knot abroad. With the increase in popularity, we’ve got a fresh batch of new trends that are taking hold in the destination wedding market that we are thrilled to share with you.
Traditional destination beach weddings aren’t going anywhere, so it’s no surprise that Mexico, The Bahamas and Jamaica continue to be the locales of choice for many brides and grooms. So what emerging locations are giving them a run for their money? Look no further than Ireland, Spain and South Africa, which are all on the rise. After all, who wouldn’t want to get married with the romantic Montserrat Mountains in Spain as their backdrop, or in a beautiful Irish castle? In addition to some unforgettable memories, these countryside locales are perfect for gorgeous scenic photo ops.
The Devil’s in the Details
Some would argue that it’s the details that make an event, and destination couples are no exception! 2016 said goodbye to shabby chic and hello to rustic glam, featuring bold table patterns mixed with metallic details. Additionally, Chiavaris are taking a back seat (literally!) to ghost chairs and we also love the emphasis on romantic lighting.
When it comes to fashion, we are seeing dramatic backs and embellished sleeves, (a trend we hope never goes away!) as well as colorful shoes and bold ties paired with neutral suits to offset the patterns for grooms and their buddies.
Photo by Ali Rosa Photography
One of the biggest parts of any wedding is, of course, the food! Couples are embracing the regional cuisine, which simultaneously shows off the area while also serving as a cost-effective strategy. When it comes to the sweet course, naked cakes (which are great for hot weather events!) and butter cream have risen as the top choice for couples.
Destination weddings continue to evolve every year with more diverse options for couples around the world. With the affordability and flexibility a destination wedding can offer, you will be sure to give you and your guests and experience they will never forget!
Megan Velez is the vice-president of product at Destination Wedding Travel Group, the world’s leading destination wedding and romantic travel planning company. Destination Wedding Travel Group, which encompasses GayDestinationWeddings.com, DestinationWeddings.com and LuxuriousDestinationWeddings.com, has worked with nearly 25,000 couples and half a million guests to plan dream destination weddings around the world. For more information, visit DestinationWeddings.com.
Photo by Derek Chad Photography
You’re a crafty person. You DIY’d before there was a tv channel, a YouTube and a whole broadband’s worth of blogs dedicated to it. It doesn’t matter if it ran in the family or if you had to pick those sweet sewing skills up out of necessity; where other people saw three rusted bolts and a discarded doily you saw opportunity. And what sort of opportunity does your wedding present?
One riddled with booby traps at many wedding DIY opportunities. The prospect of having a completely DIY’d wedding seems fun at first. But if you’re not careful, you’ll find yourself crying mere moments before the big walk because you misspelled your new last name on 37 hand-personalized serving spoons and literally no one noticed until that very moment. It’s a lot of pressure, takes a lot of time and it’s not always the best way to save money.
It doesn’t have to be this way. We rang up our good friend and primo wedding planner Sarah Petersen of Sincerely Pete Events to guide us through this strange and terrifying world of DIY weddings. Her key pieces of advice?
1. Let’s be realistic.
I’ll admit it: when it comes to personal projects, I tend to over-scope. Well, that’s not quite accurate—really, I drown myself in an ocean of “To-Do” lists and double-over-triple-rebooked semi-meetings-sort-of-work session. I obviously get a lot done and am super, super productive. Obviously.
But my coveted method of getting stuff done might lose some of its effect when applied to a wedding. It’s best to just come clean with yourself from the beginning about your talents, your funds and how much time you actually have to put towards this.
“Every DIY project needs to be put into perspective. Is the money saved going to be worth the stress and time it will take to accomplish?” Petersen advised. “ Every task will take longer than expected! First rule of advice when it comes to DIY is to ‘Know Thyself!’ If you are not a crafty person, don’t attempt arts and crafts. If you don’t have good handwriting, don’t write your addresses by hand on your invites.”
Ignore your ego completely because they’ll only lead you to harm. Seems easy enough.
2. Focus on what actually matters
“Also, make a list of what is most important to each member of the couple and what you each find value in,” Petersen continued.
“I have several couples who just don’t find value in flowers. They want a beautiful atmosphere, but flowers just aren’t for them. That’s totally OK. Candles and other decorative elements like glass can be used for centerpieces. Because these items can be reused in the couple’s home or sold following the wedding, these items can be seen as having a return on investment.”
You may think that a fully traditional wedding complete with all the trimmings is exactly what you need to assure that your new life will be greeted with nothing but good vibes and money, but you’re probably wrong. Not all couples are into flowers, and some don’t even need a cake. Sit down with your honey and discuss what absolutely, positively need and what you wouldn’t mind letting slip by the wayside. Figuring that out from the beginning can help you decide where to best allocate your time and money, before the crunch does it for you.
Photo by Derek Chad Photography
3. Know how to handle the crew
So, Grandma’s friend Beth just loves to cook and would love, love, loooove to feed you and all 200 of your little friends. Bless her heart and her minor arthritis. As much as you love Beth, it might be time to let her know she simply isn’t about this life. Friends and family who are eager to help are angels (of destruction). Things get surprisingly personal surprisingly fast, and while they may offer to work for free, between you and me nothing in this life is actually free. Unless this is how they bring home the bread and butter (in which case, don’t think you can get out of paying them for their hard work—don’t be that friend.), drop the icing and step away from the serving tray.
“If someone you know, are friends with or is family, offers to ‘help’ with the wedding and you do not want that help, the best excuse is ‘I don’t want anyone I love and care about having to work for my wedding,’” said Petersen. “Second best, ‘My fiancé and I already have a plan for XYZ’ or ‘My fiancé and I already have a vendor in mind. If it doesn’t work out, I’ll let you know.’”
3. Put down the curling iron.
Watching four back-to-back videos of Kim K applying her contour doesn’t make you a makeup artist (I mean she’s not one either). But you can—and should—try to get a beauty team as on-point as hers.
“There’s a lot of pressure to look your best on your wedding day, and there are a lot of people who actually don’t do their makeup daily,” said Petersen.
“It’s important to consider that makeup photographs differently than what it looks like in the mirror as well. Hair and makeup can take up a ton of extra time. A professional helps you stay on schedule and looking your best.”
5. Set some due dates
Looking at all those optimistic procrastinators out there. This isn’t college; the late night trips to Starbucks won’t help you this time. If you plan to undergo a large-scale project (we recommend invites and personal party favors if you’ve really got the itch) go in with a game plan and understand that it is your lifeboat. And you know what happens when you stray from a lifeboat, right?
(Hint: you drown.)
“There is nothing wrong with getting things done too soon!” Petersen told GayWeddings. “All projects should be done a month before they will be used. For example: invites should be printed and ready 30 days prior to the date you want to ship and ceremony programs printed 30 days before the wedding, etc.
“This allows the time if something has to be redone, takes longer than expected or if something comes up and there are delays.”
6. TL;DR? Don’t do anything you’ll have to worry about day of.
Just don’t. You’ll feel terrible on your own wedding day, which will just undercut all of your hard work.
Having an A-List Wedding on a Budget
We see them all over the news. They live it up and blow out every event like there is no tomorrow. High profile celebrity weddings such as Kanye West and Kim Kardashian are examples of those who spared no expense getting married with a lavish destination wedding at Fort di Belvedere in Florence, Italy. How can someone like you with million dollar dreams create a similar stylish wedding experience on a shoestring wedding budget? We are going to break down several different aspects of the wedding budget and show how to best create a memorable yet wallet easy experience that will have yours guests raving for years to come.
Hire a Wedding Planner
The wedding planner is a crucial way to pinch pennies and make every dollar count. While the Gay Wedding Ideas wedding planning guide is a great resource that will cover almost all the potential situations you will encounter and how to deal with them, a wedding planner can help with specific problems, handle vendor transactions, make recommendations, and make sure you stay on budget. Make sure to find the right wedding planner that will allow you to select the wedding vendors you want and don’t charge a fee for not using their vendor clients.
Another item to is consider attending bridal shows. If you shop around, you might be able to get $500 off your catering or several hundreds offer your floral arrangements all for a few hours of your time. Those vendor discounts here or a much cheaper vendor recommendation from your wedding planner, and you have paid for the wedding planners services as well as put some money back into your wedding budget.
Saving the Dollar and the Date
Given the amount of postage, coming up with a great save the date idea, and having to pick out all the cards and materials, it can be a burden on your wedding budget. A great alternative? Postcards from the city or venue the ceremony is taking place! Save on postage, they already are designed, are cheap to acquire, and can be shipped from anywhere and be available in under a week.
Double Up the Wedding and Honeymoon Site
Celebrity weddings are well known to have destination weddings. While you don’t have to have a destination wedding, having it at your honeymoon site makes is savvy wedding budget move. You get to experience all the benefits of the honeymoon site for several extra days but you don’t have to pay for extra travel fees, could get a lower rate for a longer stay, and it will help cut down on the guest list. You could even setup your wedding registry to help offset the additional cost by asking for a donation rather than the extra toaster, blender, and other less desirable gifts.
Say Yes to the Imitation Dress
There are some things in life where there is no substitute, but a wedding dress is not one of them. They are hundreds of designs, thousands of styles, and millions of dresses out there today. Why not find out the details of your favorite celebrity wedding dresses , find the special aspects that made them unique, and then have a designer make or tailor your inexpensive dress into a knockout knockoff? Given that wedding dresses run from several hundred to many thousands of dollars, this little tip could go a long way in your wedding budget planning.
Bigger Is Not Necessarily Better
When it comes to fancy cake displays that is. Celebrities have guest lists in that can exceed 500 people. Many of them have personalized individual cakes for each person or several cakes for each table. You probably will have less than 500 people at your wedding, and this means it will be far cheaper than a celebrities cake of the same quality given that wedding cakes are priced by slice. You can have a large wedding cake that serves 50 people and then have the rest of the guest served by sheet cake with the same design brought out the kitchen in the back to cut costs but still have a cake that creates a buzz in the room.
Your family, friends, and relatives can assist in a variety of different aspects of your wedding budget. Things like designing homemade wedding decor, loaning family heirlooms to be worn as wedding accessories on your big day, providing their insights from when they were wedding planning and the issue they encountered along the process.
The Power in Numbers
Premium flowers like lilies, tulips, or peonies especially ones out of season, can rack up big numbers on a wedding budget. If you want to put on a dream wedding like a celebrity, the key here is the sheer number of fresh flowers, not the specific quality of each flower. Depending on your wedding theme, coordinate your floral selections and find the flowers that cost pennies on the dollar to the premium ones. This will let the beauty and color flow throughout the wedding instead of just in several small spaces.
A Receptive Touch
Make a list of a cheap items that you and your bride or groom enjoy that guests might as well such as Krispy Kreme doughnuts and pick one to hand out to guests as Adam Sandler did at his wedding. That was a great example of a nice personal touch that costs less than a $1 a guest, and is an insignificant amount of your wedding budget. However, it is a gesture that will be remembered your guests.
These Heels Aren’t Made for Walking
If you are a bride and are wearing a traditional wedding dress that cover your legs completely, think about wear a nice comfortable pair of flats instead. No one will see your 5 inch heels underneath your gorgeous wedding dress, and why have to sweat the pain and agony of wearing them all day? Wedding flats typically are a cheaper alternative to heels too. Win-Win.
Cut the Wedding Favors
If you did a nice job with the previous eight suggestions for your wedding budget, the guests won’t notice the lack of wedding favors. Think about it: You went the extra mile with your personal gestures. You get your family and relatives involved. You had an interesting wedding theme and are walking around in a stunning knockoff outfit that guests want to know more about. The wedding favors are great, but if anything should go first on your wedding checklist, it’s the wedding favors.
Hey all you Brides and Grooms to be!
Here’s a list of 5 wedding myths that have been found to be completely untrue!
1) You have to wear a white wedding dress or a wedding dress at all.
If you’ve never envisioned yourself in a wedding dress, you really don’t have to sweat about trying to make it work for traditions sake! This is your big day and your friends and family will find you enchanting in whatever you pick to portray your style! Read More