Should You Rent or Buy Wedding Attire for the Groom?
Casey Fryar is a wedding planner with Two Be Wed, a boutique wedding planning company in Houston, Texas offering event design, consulting, and management for your Big Day.
A common dilemma grooms face is whether to rent or purchase their wedding day attire. Like almost every other decision involved in planning a wedding, there is really no right or wrong answer – just different factors to consider when determining what is best for you.
Before we begin, let's address a few basics about groom attire. Firstly, the groom does not have to match his groomsmen exactly, he is the most important man in the room and it is okay for him to stand out. That being said, your groomsmen should compliment or coordinate with one another. Mismatched bridesmaids is on trend right now, but sorry guys it's a look that rarely translates well for the groomsmen. Secondly, the look should make sense in the context of the overall event. When determining whether to go for a casual suit or a formal tuxedo be sure to take into account the venue, time of day, guest dress code, etc. Finally, the style you are looking for will likely play into your decision on purchasing versus renting.
Groomed to Perfection
If you're the kind of man who appreciates the finer things, values personal style, and has passion for fashion then you are the perfect candidate for purchasing a tuxedo or suit. Even though rental tuxedos have come a long way in regards to fit, nothing can compete with a made to order tuxedo or suit. Buying your attire will give you the ability to customize your look to fit your personality. Whether you want to piece together a bold ensemble with a patterned vest and jacket or keep it classic with a white dinner jacket and bow tie, you have the freedom to express yourself on your wedding day. There are plenty of fun and subtle ways to customize your suit, like adding a secret cell phone pocket or having your wedding date embroidered inside the collar.
Ready to wear and custom tuxedos/suits can be an expensive purchase, but it may help to see it as an investment. Like any investment you must determine if it is worthwhile for you. A standard tux rental is between $200-$300 while purchasing one can cost $1,000 or more. A common rule of thumb to determine if you should buy or rent is to determine if you will need one for future occasions. If you know you need something elevated for a company holiday party, your fraternity brother's wedding, or a fundraiser you promised you'd attend, then you'll make a return on your investment fairly quickly.
With the exception of the powder blue ruffled 70's look, a traditional tuxedo never goes out of style and a good quality tux can be altered several years later to meet the current fashion trends on fit.
A suit is considerably less expensive than a tuxedo, just apply the same principals here by comparing the cost of renting versus purchasing for the specific type of suit you are considering. Rental suits run about $100-$200.
The Silver Lining
There are plenty of good reasons why grooms opt to rent instead of purchasing. Knowing something is a good investment doesn't make the money to pay for it magically appear. You may not have $1,000 or more to drop on a nice tuxedo at this time in your life, and that's perfectly fine. Most grooms choose to match exactly with their groomsmen, which renting makes easy to do. Not all of your groomsmen own tuxedos or can purchase the particular style suit you have in mind. Renting provides you the groom and his groomsmen with both stylish and affordable options.
Renting a tuxedo doesn't mean you can't customize, either. Pair your tux or suit with hand picked accessories like cuff links, ties, bow ties, pocket squares, dress socks, and shoes. Renting keeps the cost low, but still allows everyone to incorporate a bit of their individual style and uniqueness to the look.
No longer does renting a tuxedo or suit mean you are required to walk into a basic franchise men's wear store and choose from 4 or 5 options. There are plenty of online rental companies that cater to a modern day groom and his groomsmen such as Menguin, Generation Tux, and The Black Tux.
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One final piece of advice. If you do choose to rent a tuxedo or suit you should still consider purchasing your own shoes to pair with your look. You will be on your feet all day posing for pictures, dancing and socializing, and you will want to be as comfortable as possible. Cramped feet or a blister on your heel can put a damper on your day. There is no need for you to be wearing someone else's shoes. It's your wedding day not a night at the bowling alley. Ultimately, only you can decide whether renting or purchasing your wedding day attire is the right option for you. But when it comes to your shoes, don't compromise. Spend the money!