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Formal Attire - Groom and Attendants

- Men's Attire
- Women's Attire

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Men's Attire

Since men are generally not clothing shoppers, the bride will have to make sure she gives her fiance a deadline to find a tux. Generally, it's best if the groom gets his tux at about three to four months before the wedding. He'll then have to apply some pressure to his groomsmen to get their attire in a timely manner as well. If they wait till the last minute they may not be able to find a matching tux or all the accessories they need.

The biggest question with men's attire is to rent or to buy. This is a good question, just as any rent vs. buy question is. The groom (and groomsmen will have to figure out if/how many times they will wear the tux again. Since rentals only cost about 15-30% of the original price, you'll have to wear the tux a couple times a year to get your money's worth. Even if you won't wear it that much, you may still choose to buy if the idea of renting is absolutely disgusting to you. Even though the tuxes are cleaned after every use, some grooms may choose to skip the "unknown" and just buy a tux.

Don't worry grooms- tuxes are not your only option. If your wedding is going to be casual, or semi-formal, you may choose to wear a suit instead. The suit will have to be more or less formal depending on what time the wedding is (day/evening). However, if you are having an ultra-formal event in the evening, you can kiss your casual dreams goodbye. Usually, an ultra-formal occasion will call for black tailcoat tux with black accessories and a white tie. You will be able to tone that down a little if the wedding is in the daytime or in the summer.

Of course, don't forget that your groomsmen have to match your attire. You'll have to make sure that you still stand out though- since you don't want people thinking your best man is the groom. There are three different ways to make this distinction. First, you can have them wear slightly less formal attire than yours, in matching colors. Second, you can have them wear different vest/tie colors than yours, possibly matching the bridesmaids dresses. Third, you can wear a more ornate boutonniere than them, either by having more flowers, more variation of flowers, or completely different flowers (in a coordinating color).

One of the most important things to remember is that you need to rent or buy matching accessories as well. You don't want to wake up the day of the wedding and realize the nicest shoes you own are your three-year-old Dr Martens. Usually, the store you buy your tux from will have accessories for sale as well. If you buy/rent your tux and all of the groomsmen tuxes at the same place, you may be able to get free rental on accessories, or a deal on the whole outfit.

 
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Women's Attire

Your bridesmaids are your best friends. These tips will help you keep them like that. Many brides go all out with the bridesmaids' attire, making everyone where the same color, same style, and the same accessories. In these modern times, it is no longer appropriate to do that. Follow these ideas to ensure your bridesmaids will love their dresses.

First of all, no one said they didn't have to match. In fact, if you tell your bridesmaids to wear whatever they want, you are in for a disaster. The only problem is the extent of matching. For example, there are three different ways to match your bridesmaid dresses in a way that they will have individuality. First, you can have them all wear the same style and let them choose one of your wedding colors (give them swatches so they don't go overboard). Second, you can choose one or two colors and let them choose the style they want (from the same manufacturer so the colors match). Third, you can let them choose their own style and their own color from a list that you have compiled of "acceptable" dresses.

Second of all, keep your bridesmaids in mind when looking at dresses. Would your tall red-head look as good in that dress as your stocky blond? What about your preppy college friend and your high school "concert buddy"? Different people all have different styles, not to mention different colors and shades that look good with their coloring. Make sure you keep all these ideas in mind when picking out colors and/or styles. The best way to go is to do the third option and let them choose from a designated list. This gives you control over-all, but lets them feel truly independent. You can even let them get their dresses from different designers if you choose a color scheme (like various colors of green) and a style idea (like only dresses with halter tops). This way, they don't have to buy their dress from the salon down the street from you and have more chance of being able to buy a dress from a store accessible to them.

Third of all, remember their financial situations. If your best friend is still paying her way through college, don't make her buy a $400 dress- that would just be cruel. Generally, it's a good idea to keep your dress budget around $200. Definitely try to keep it under $200 so that your bridesmaids will be happy with your decision. Another consideration with money is- will they wear it again? If you don't think they would ever wear the dress you pick out again, try to keep the price as low as possible. This doesn't mean if they will wear it that it's okay to have them spend $350- just be cautious about your decision. If you happen to follow one of the three options for matching the dresses, your bridesmaids are likely to wear them again since they had a say in it. However, it might be better still if you find inexpensive two piece that they can wear separately for every-day occasions. If you do choose an expensive dress that they won't wear again (ex: if it's too formal), then it is a good idea if you pitch in with their costs.

One of the main things to remember is that these bridesmaids are in fact your friends and you do not want to sabotage them by making them wear something hideous just to make yourself look better. Make sure all of your bridesmaids are happy with their dress before making them purchase it. This way, you will all be able to have a great day.

 
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