Navigating wedding day planning can be a daunting task. From table cloths to music selection, the amount of decisions to make is overwhelming to all. While we can't help with choosing invitation fonts or welcome cocktails, we sure know our way around what you can put on your feet.
Take a read of our simple guide to groom and groomsmen styling, and get ready to tick this off your list.
Part 1: What To Wear Above Your Ankles
If you already have your wedding day ensemble, (SUCCESS!), you can skip right on to Part 2. If you are still deliberating, the easiest place to start is by studying the venue. Certain venues lend themselves to certain dress codes, of which the groom and the groomsmen should be the champion.
For example, grand old-world style venues, or slick modern inner city venues, often lend themselves best to classic black tie dress codes. For these sorts of weddings we always suggest a classic tuxedo in black or navy to give a nod to the surroundings. Tying the knot in a winery or outdoors? The dress code can be a little less restrictive - think anything from a crisp navy suit to sandy cotton tailoring.
Ensure that the fit of your suit is on point. If you’re going made-to-measure, it’s all smooth sailing as your suit will be perfected to your body. If it’s off-the-rack, have it altered by a knowledgeable tailor (avoid those shopping mall tailors, guys).
An important question we get asked a lot is - should i, or how do i stand out from my groomsmen? There are very few rules to weddings anymore, so if you goal is uniformity, having yourself and your gents in the same look can keep things simple and classic. If you do want to have a point of difference, we think it's often best done with accessories. A loafer rather than a lace up, a bow tie vs a tie, vests, pocket squares, button hole flowers - there are little things you can add or change to give you a leg up over the groomsmen.
Part 2: The Shoes
We might be biased, but the integral accessory for the perfect wedding outfit is the perfect shoe. Your suit and venue will likely dictate what will happen below your ankles, but that by no means restricts your options. The rules of what you can wear to walk down the aisle have been upgraded to include everything from the most slick of patent lace ups, to a classic pair of white leather sneakers. How far you go is up to you, and the dress code!
Here are some simple hints to get you started on your search based on what you are wearing:
A Tuxedo - Decide whether you are going for an ultra traditional look, or something a little more modern. If tradition is what you seek, a beautiful patent dress shoe is the way to go. If you are after something a little more modern, try a loafer in either leather or patent black.
A Navy, Charcoal or Grey Suit - You have a little more freedom when it comes to matching classic tailoring. If you are getting hitched in the warm weather, a classic loafer is hard to beat. In winter, a traditional derby, or not so traditional chelsea boot might be a better option.
Separates - Opting for a linen blazer/chino combination? Or something even more laid back than that? Your opportunities here really are endless. Either dress up the look slightly with a dress shoe, or keep things even more relaxed with a pair of sneakers. Before you gasp - yes, done right, sneakers can have a place down the aisle. Our only caveat is that they should be leather, clean, and not something you could wear to the gym.
How do you navigate shoes for you and your bridal party? With AQUILA+, it cannot be simpler. AQUILA+ Members receive 25% off when you buy two or more pairs of full price shoes*, which means all the groomsmen can get a fresh pair of shoes for the big day. Head here to find out how you can sign up today.
You have two options for you and your groomsmen:
Option A). Match your shoes. This is an obvious option and one that many men take. Opting for the same black leather Oxford or Derby dress shoe can look smart and sophisticated and shows some unity between the grooms and groomsmen.
Option B). Similar style, different price point. As a groom, opt for a classic pair of Italian Black leather Oxfords. This is an elegant and smart shoe that will see you putting your best foot forward. For the groomsmen, put them in a black leather Derby for that subtle point of difference. Same can be done for other styles of shoes, like monk straps or different brown loafers.
Image courtesy of @immersephotography
Image courtesy of @hellochlosemay | Styling @styledbyramzy
Part 3: The Accessories
Again, depending on the formality of your wedding, you might decide to go for a bow tie, tie or open-shirt. Should the wedding be formal, a great way to style a groom and groomsmen different is by opting for a black velvet bow tie, whilst the groomsmen go for a classic tie that doesn’t draw too much attention - play with colour and pattern but keep it subtle.
Should a groom and their groomsmen all decide to wear ties, the leading man should opt for a different tie all together.
Our final piece of advice - as much as you want to look your best on the big day, don't sweat the small stuff. At the end of it, while you want to walk down that aisle with your best foot forward, it's the destination that counts. Enjoy every moment of it, and give whatever shoes you wear a work out on the dance floor afterwards.
Need some more advice? Our talents store teams have dressed many a man for many a wedding - from the more formal of black tie affairs to beachside celebrations. Head into your nearest Aquila store for expert advice for you and your groomsmen.
Can't decide what you want? Visit the Aquila Wedding Collection.