From khakis to tuxes, grooms get more comfortable choosing their own style
Rob Jenkins was relieved his wife, Crystal, didn’t want to have a big, formal wedding, he said. They both didn’t want the stress of planning it, he said.
“It’s nice when you’re on the same page with your spouse,” Jenkins said.
The Galveston residents married in New Orleans on May 26, 2018. They asked their guests to dress comfortably because they wanted them to focus on having a good time and not feel stuffy, hot and uncomfortable, Jenkins said.
Jenkins, who also dressed casually, wore a classic seersucker suit with a pair of gray Converse shoes.
“It’s all about comfort for me,” Jenkins said. “That’s more important than looking cool.”
Tuxedos and other formal menswear still are popular for grooms, but casual attire is becoming more prevalent, wedding experts say. A wider variety of venues, tighter economic circumstances and pursuit of comfort have inspired more grooms to dress casually at their weddings.
Grooms are more likely to wear tuxedos at more formal venues like a reception hall that costs $5,000 or more, said Jane Park, wedding planner and owner of The Total Wedding Experience. But they might dress more casually if they marry on a beach or in a barn, backyard or a garden, she added.
More men are dressing casually for their weddings, Park said. She has seen some grooms wear khaki pants and a white button-down shirt, she said. Tighter finances because of the pandemic’s effects on the economy have caused some men to dress more casually, she said.
“Times have been hard, and people have had many setbacks,” Park said. “Many people still want to get married, but it can’t be on a large scale.”
Jenkins didn’t want to spend a lot of money on a tuxedo he would wear only once, he said. He can still wear his seersucker jacket with jeans and go to dinner or the movies, he added.
The green velvet tuxedo jacket John Anders wore at his wedding cost less than $200 and was the most expensive clothing item he or his wife bought for their December wedding, he said. The Dickinson residents were married in a rustic barn in Wimberley, Texas.
Anders wore a white linen shirt, black jeans, black Vans shoes, a cashmere black scarf instead of a tie and blue socks with faceprints of his wife. He and his wife were comfortable all night, Anders said. He has no regrets about how they planned their wedding, he said.
“It was important we made the wedding more focused on ourselves instead of other people,” he said. “I wouldn’t change a thing about it.”
Anders wanted to be a little formal, but never wanted to wear a full tuxedo, he said.
Most men still rent tuxedos, though, said Peter Ochoa, director of events for The Bryan Museum, 1315 21st St. in Galveston.
“Younger guys are starting to care about how they look,” said Ochoa, who plans weddings. “They’re starting to catch up with the brides.”
Venues dictate how men choose to dress, Ochoa said, adding he sometimes sees grooms wear cowboy boots and hats for their barn weddings. Lighter colors like tan, linen suits, or nice dress shirts with blazers are good casual wedding looks, Ochoa said.
Park has seen some grooms wear shorts and flip-flops, she said. But it was OK because that look worked for them and their weddings, she said.
“Do what you feel comfortable with and can afford,” Park said. “And keep your setting in mind. I don’t want to see anyone stressed over spending money for tuxes when they can probably use that money in better places.”