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Men Showing More Interest in Wedding-Day Fashion, Choosing and Designing Custom Accessories
When it comes to weddings, we've all heard the saying, "It's all about the bride." But we also know that there wouldn't even be a wedding without the groom!
Perhaps that's why, these days, more grooms-to-be are abandoning their traditional, secondary role and taking more responsibility in the planning and design of their special day.
Just as a bride may spend considerable time searching for or designing the perfect wedding gown, grooms are also looking to fashion as a way to express their individuality, selecting and sometimes creating custom menswear accessories.
Grooms want to look good, too
"It used to be that the bride handled all the fashion details for a wedding, from her own gown, to bridesmaids' dresses, to tuxes, and even mothers' dresses," says Liz Smith, wedding coordinator for Beau Ties Ltd. of Vermont, a web retailer and cataloger of specialty bow ties and men's accessories. "Now grooms are realizing that they're not limited to black tie and tux on their wedding day... and they're having some fun with it, too."
Ms. Smith says that at Beau Ties, a groom likely will choose a bow tie, cummerbund and pocket square in patterns or shades that reflect his personality—from stripes in the colors of his alma mater, to the logo of a favorite football or baseball team, to the sophisticated stylings of our designers.
Says Ms. Smith, "It's not often that grooms and groomsmen opt for the traditional, black tie. We've matched ties to a bridesmaid's dress, a wedding gown, even an heirloom family quilt being displayed at a reception. With more than 300 fabrics to choose from, grooms generally don't have any difficulty finding something that suits their own, personal style, as well as what the bride might have in mind."
No pink socks, please!
Now that brides and grooms are working more in tandem to create the look and feel of the wedding day, men have more opportunities to add their style signature to a traditionally female-dominated occasion.
"When the bride and her mother planned the wedding, grooms felt somewhat that they were to get dressed and show up on time—that was their only job," explains Ms. Smith. "The bride got to choose everything, and the honeymoon plans were the groom's only responsibility. So grooms sometimes decided to get creative with the few areas they could control—socks and shoes. And they didn't always do it tastefully!"
Outfitting the entire wedding party
Just as a bride might help her mother and future mother-in-law select coordinating dresses for the occasion, grooms also are taking an interest in the formalwear of groomsmen, fathers, grandfathers, and even nephews and ring bearers. Matching bow ties and accessories can help unify and identify key friends and family members, and make them feel included in the ceremony.
"Outfitting the gentlemen in a family is definitely a trend," Ms. Smith says. "It makes for beautiful group wedding photos, not to mention giving them all a wonderful keepsake of the wedding day."
Coordinating accessories for men also solves the problem of shopping for groomsmen's gifts—a dreaded task for many brides and grooms.
"Groomsmen who receive custom-made bow ties as wedding party gifts, such as the ones we create here at Beau Ties, will gladly wear them to special events years into the future," adds Ms. Smith. "You can't do that with most bridesmaids' dresses!"