How does the groom stand out from groomsmen?

Trends are always changing with weddings, and this even goes for the groom’s outfit. In the past, we’ve worked on weddings that had the groom, the ushers and other members of the groom’s party in the same suits. But in recent years, we’ve found more couples want to make the groom stand out, and with more than just a different tie or buttonhole.

Contrasting the groom is much like contrasting the bride to the bridesmaids – it’s very unusual that the bridesmaids all wear white!

If you’re a groom who wants to stand out from the crowd, you’re in the right place. Keep reading to see how you can wear a different outfit while still maintaining a running theme (colour, style, or other).

Should the groom wear a different suit to groomsmen?

The groom absolutely can wear a different suit to the groomsmen, and there are some tips and tricks we use to ensure the looks still maintain some consistency and tie in together:

1. Different suits, matching waistcoats

The first option, which ensures a seamless look across the whole party, is to wear different suits but with the same waistcoat. As the groom, you might choose a grey, tweed or beige suit, depending on which you like best, while your groomsmen can wear a navy suit. The matching waistcoats will tie everything together. This is one of the most popular options.

2. Full suit for the groom, just waistcoats for the groomsmen

Men wearing Ellington waistcoats

If you’re planning a spring or summer wedding, it may be too warm to put everyone in a full three-piece suit. It can work well if the groom wears a full suit, but other party members simply wear a waistcoat, or even add a different accessory like some braces. This option is great for a more casual wedding, when suit jackets aren’t a necessity.

3. 2 piece and 3 piece suit options

This can be a wonderful option if you want your suit to stand out, but you want to maintain some consistency across the groom’s party. This will allow the whole party to look similar whilst also setting the groom apart. The groom in a 2 piece suit whilst the groomsmen in a 3 piece suit is becoming a much more popular option.

4. Same suit in different colours

Suits don’t just come in black or navy. There is a whole range of colours to choose from, including light grey and dark grey, light blue and dark blue. This means you can keep the colour the same, and just adjust the hue slightly. The groom can wear a light grey suit, while the groomsmen can wear dark grey, etc. This allows you all to wear the same tie/waistcoat and the same colour belt and shoes (black).

5. Different suit styles in similar colours

This is a really great option if you want to maintain a uniformity in colour. You can all wear the same colour, but choose suits in slightly different styles. 

Tail suits make a great contrast for the groom, and are perfect for slightly more formal, church weddings. The groomsmen can wear more modern three-piece suits instead. 

You could contrast the ties/waistcoats too, choosing a slightly different colour or pattern for yourself to stand out further. 

If you’re worried about tailcoats being too traditional, you can bring them into the 21st century by choosing a plain coloured tailcoat and wearing a contrasting waistcoat and trousers. 

Then your groomsmen could wear the same colour suit as your trousers to tie everything together. 

Do the groom and groomsmen need matching ties?

The groom and groomsmen don’t need to wear matching ties, and it can be fun to mix things up instead. It’s a great way to make the groom stand out too if the whole party is wearing the same suit. 

The groom might wear white/ivory/cream to match the bride’s dress, while the groomsmen can wear a colour that matches the bridesmaids. This will ensure everyone looks uniform in the photos. Or you could instead do this the other way around – make the groom stand out with a coloured tie, while the groomsmen wear ivory or white.

Can the groom wear a different colour waistcoat to groomsmen?

Yes, the groom can wear a different colour waistcoat to the groomsmen. This can create a subtle difference that doesn’t stand out quite as much as a whole different suit.

Remember, it’s your wedding and there are no set ‘rules’ to follow. If you’d like to have the same suit as your groomsmen, that’s perfectly fine. You can still stand out by wearing a slightly different waistcoat, tie, buttonhole or other detail.

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