Groom's Checklist: What You Need For Your Wedding Day
Whether you’ve decided to go full black tie or wear a suit with more formal accessories than your 9-5 calls for, getting dressed for your wedding day will not be like getting dressed for any other day of the year. From cufflinks to bow ties, these are the little pieces you’ll want to take care of well ahead of time so you can concentrate on what matters most during your big day.
A backup shirt
Perhaps this isn’t the most glamorous suggestion to start with, but a backup shirt for your wedding day is smart planning. You never know when an errant splash of coffee or strand of spaghetti might hit its mark, before or during the event. And if your primary wedding shirt avoids disaster, you can wear your backup at the next day’s brunch or for a nice dinner during the honeymoon.
A boutonniere—from the French word for “buttonhole”—refers to the clutch of flowers that can be attached to the buttonhole of your jacket’s lapel. Whether or not you’ll be wearing a boutonniere typically depends on the wedding’s floral situation, and will be matched to whatever flowers may be included in the bride’s bouquet.
If you’ve decided to go the tuxedo route, the bow tie should be the only item of neckwear in contention. While pre-tied bow ties may be an easier job for the untrained hand, we’re big believers in the perfect imperfection that comes from a self-tied bow tie. For that reason, we’d recommend purchasing your bow tie a few weeks ahead of time so that you can perfect your tying technique well before the big day arrives.
If you’re wearing a shirt with French cuffs, you’ll need a pair of cufflinks to cinch together its closing. Cufflinks are functional, but can also be considered a piece of male jewelry; there’s almost no limit to the shape, size, and sculpt of cuff links on the market. In a pinch, we’d recommend picking up a pair of simple (and inexpensive) knit cufflinks. Black knit cufflinks with a tuxedo is a classic formal look.
As always, the pocket square is optional. For an event as formal as a wedding, we’d recommend keeping things classic and opting for a simple white pocket square—particularly if you are wearing a tuxedo.
If you’re wearing a suit, you should have a pair of dress shoes polished and ready to go. But if you’ve decided on black tie, your choice of footwear will be more limited and particular. Tuxes are typically accompanied by either black patent leather dress shoes (sometimes called pumps) or black velvet slippers.
Many tuxedo shirts feature a removable button strip so that you can remove its first four or five buttons and replace them with black enamel studs. Studs are often sold as a set that includes matching cufflinks. Studs are entirely optional, but add a more formal, old-school sensibility to a black tie look.
If you’re wearing a tuxedo, you’ll want to make sure that you have a tuxedo shirt on hand. Because tuxedos sit higher up on the formality ladder than your suits, the same barrel-cuff shirts you wear to work won’t quite cut it. Instead, you’ll need a shirt that features French cuffs and a collar that can best flatter a bow tie, typically a mini point or spread. Tuxedo shirts also feature removable button strips for adding studs, and can be made with a pleated front.