Attire & Accessories Forum

Mismatched groomsmen?

tigerlily6tigerlily6 member
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edited January 2016 in Attire & Accessories Forum
I am interested in your thoughts and opinions on this. My wedding will be in the summer, and going for earthy-tones for the wedding. The bridesmaids are going to be mismatched (they can choose any knee-length dress that fits their body and budget best, either peach or green). After conferring with a few of the groomsmen, FI and I like the idea of have them be mismatched also, with some in vests & ties, some in suspenders & ties, somewhat akin the the photo attached below (but different colors -- we are thinking charcoal gray with brown shoes). The best man came up with this idea, and I really like it. The groom would stand out as the one guy in a full suit.

However, I just talked with my parents, whom I want to respect since they are helping fund a lot of the wedding (although the groomsmen will be paying for their attire), and my father did not like the idea that the groomsmen would not all look the same. He and my mother also did not seem to think that brown shoes are proper for gray suits. 

What are your thoughts? (1) Is it acceptable to have mismatched groomsmen, or is this too casual? (2) Do brown shoes work with gray suits, or should I do black shoes? And, (3), even if mismatched is okay, should I avoid it if it bothers my parents who are bankrolling most of the wedding, or go with what the groomsmen themselves prefer who will be paying for their own attire?
                    


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Re: Mismatched groomsmen?

  • Thank you all in advance for your input! I have said it before and I'll say it again -- finding this message board has been a life saver! :)
                        


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  • holyguacamole79holyguacamole79 a taco truck in Houston member
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    I'm honestly not a fan of the ensemble in the picture. I like how the Groomsmen look, but they don't look like they are on the same level of formality as the groom. I do think the mis-matched look would be fun, though.

    Regarding grey & brown, I'm weird and don't like mixing black / grey with brown.
  • I am interested in your thoughts and opinions on this. My wedding will be in the summer, and going for earthy-tones for the wedding. The bridesmaids are going to be mismatched (they can choose any knee-length dress that fits their body and budget best, either peach or green). After conferring with a few of the groomsmen, FI and I like the idea of have them be mismatched also, with some in vests & ties, some in suspenders & ties, somewhat akin the the photo attached below (but different colors -- we are thinking charcoal gray with brown shoes). The best man came up with this idea, and I really like it. The groom would stand out as the one guy in a full suit.

    However, I just talked with my parents, whom I want to respect since they are helping fund a lot of the wedding (although the groomsmen will be paying for their attire), and my father did not like the idea that the groomsmen would not all look the same. He and my mother also did not seem to think that brown shoes are proper for gray suits. 

    What are your thoughts? (1) Is it acceptable to have mismatched groomsmen, or is this too casual? (2) Do brown shoes work with gray suits, or should I do black shoes? And, (3), even if mismatched is okay, should I avoid it if it bothers my parents who are bankrolling most of the wedding, or go with what the groomsmen themselves prefer who will be paying for their own attire?
    (1) Totally acceptable, and also cute. I wouldn't go overboard assigning out who's wearing what - I'd just tell the guys to wear what they like, and give them the options. I'd also just say grey or black pants and shirts with brown shoes - I think the different shades of grey may accentuate the look you're going for better.

    (2) This was the rule I learned from my mom when I was like 5 in 1990: greys and blacks are worn with black shoes, browns with brown, and navy with navy. It isn't a rule anymore, and hasn't been for at least 15 years. Go to Pinterest or Google Image Search and look for "Charcoal brown shoes" and you'll see plenty of dapper examples. ;) Show your parents and I'm sure they'll come around.

    (3) TBH, I'm not sure. I think they shouldn't have much say in this, but I also think the other ladies here know better than I do.
  • @holyguacamole79, I appreciate the feedback. And as much as I love the mismatch idea, I get the whole uneven sense of formalities with this get-up. Any ideas how to strike a good balance?

    Also, @JediElizabeth, thank you also! I had seen some matching grays and browns on pinterest, and I liked the look, but wasn't sure if it was actually a grave faux pas or not -- after all, just because some people do it, doesn't always make it a classy thing to do! But I trust the feedback from everybody here. :)
                        


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  • holyguacamole79holyguacamole79 a taco truck in Houston member
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    Is your fI going to wear a suit? What is the level of formality?
  • Modern mens vests are generally not made to be worn without a jacket, so that's something to consider. And I agree that the groomsmen need to match the groom in formality, so if he's in a suit they at minimum all need jackets. I wouldn't tell them what color shoes to wear, though. We just told our groomsman dark suits with light blue shirts and provided matching darker blue ties. I think some wore black suits and some charcoal.
    image
  • I also think the mismatched look is neat, but that the groom in the picture doesn't look like he "fits" with the others. He's too formal for their casual.

    Also, our groomsmen wore dark charcoal suits with brown shoes. They all had brown shoes and not everyone had black (weird I know but that's what happened) so they all wore brown. I assure you no one cared what kind of shoes they wore.
  • @holyguacamole79, I was planning on the formality level being semiformal. At maximum, there will be 110 guests; the ceremony is in a church during the afternoon; the reception follows in a basic hall, with buffet-style dinner. The girls will be wearing cocktail length dresses. I'm still wearing a traditional white lace dress, but I'm thinking in place of a traditional veil, I will have a small flower crown with white ribbons. The assumption thus far has been that the groom will be wearing a suit, but probably not a tux. So I guess I should probably follow @artbyallie's suggestion, and ask the guys to get jackets also (I am fine with this idea). However...

    New development is that, after talking with FI, he has really taken to the idea that the guys should NOT have to get full suits, since he would like to keep the guys from having to pay too much/ the best man (his best friend) has expressed his dislike for wearing suits... FI wants to wear a suit as the groom, though. (I guess I'm happy he has an opinion!) So now I feel like I am caught between my parents and the groom & groomsmen. Sheesh. I guess I need to put my foot down about the suits/ vs. no suits one way or another as tactfully as possible. 
                        


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  • Personally, I think the idea of the GM in shirts and ties/bow ties/vests, and the groom in a less formal suit (not a tux) is fine. I think traditionally the mix in formality was frowned upon, but these days it's more trendy/cute. Then again, I think modern vests with jeans and no jackets look great on guys, so take that with a grain of salt. ;)

    More importantly, you're taking your GM's budgets into account, and forming a vision that works with them. I think that's pretty cool of you. 
  • holyguacamole79holyguacamole79 a taco truck in Houston member
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    edited January 2016
    I saw this on Pinterest and think this may be what you're thinking .....
    http://abeautifulmess.typepad.com/.a/6a00d8358081ff69e201901e74feb9970b-800wi
    tigerlily6SP29
  • thisismynickname2thisismynickname2 City By The Lake member
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    I dig mismatched. I am also fine with the groom being in a suit and the groomsmen not being in suits. Think about it- bride wears formal gown, BMs were cocktail dresses- that's not equal in formality either. 
    For the men though, I wouldn't try to force the mismatched. If they'd prefer a vest and tie, or suspenders and tie, let them choose. For the groom, I'd go with a gray suit rather than black. One idea is to buy them matching ties that would go with the colors and both vest and suspenders- that would tie them together (no pun intended). 
    As to the parents, show them lots of pictures to help them come around but ultimately, in my opinion, let them clutch their pearls and get over it. They're not paying for the actual attire and their influence shouldn't cause a guy's budget to hurt over buying a new suit. 

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  • @holyguacamole79, spot on! Definitely the colors I am looking for, I love this photo and will be sending it to the guys. Do you think it would be weird for some of them to do suspenders mixed with vests? The best man apparently has a nice pair of leather suspenders that he was really enthusiastic about wearing. I'm okay with it, but I know it is a bit less formal. 
                        


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  • tigerlily6tigerlily6 member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited January 2016
    I dig mismatched. I am also fine with the groom being in a suit and the groomsmen not being in suits. Think about it- bride wears formal gown, BMs were cocktail dresses- that's not equal in formality either. 
    For the men though, I wouldn't try to force the mismatched. If they'd prefer a vest and tie, or suspenders and tie, let them choose. For the groom, I'd go with a gray suit rather than black. One idea is to buy them matching ties that would go with the colors and both vest and suspenders- that would tie them together (no pun intended). 
    As to the parents, show them lots of pictures to help them come around but ultimately, in my opinion, let them clutch their pearls and get over it. They're not paying for the actual attire and their influence shouldn't cause a guy's budget to hurt over buying a new suit. 

    Bingo! This was exactly my reasoning too. The girls will look nice, but their dresses will definitely be less in formality than mine, so I am okay with the guys mirroring that. Also, the girls' dresses will be two different colors, and different styles, so it seemed fitting and fair to let the guys mix things up a bit, too. 

    As far as the mismatched thing goes, I thought I would put it out to the 5 groomsmen whether they want a vest or suspenders (as long as 2 of them pick one style, that is good with me -- and I have a feeling they can create that ratio through their own preferences). I'd also ask each of them if they prefer bowties or neckties, and then FI and I will buy whichever one each guy likes with coordinating colors to the bridesmaids. 

    Does that sound like a good game plan? 
                        


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  • I think that sounds good, and @holyguacamole79 's picture looks much more "together" than the first. If the colors are the same for GM and groom I like letting the men pick vest/suspender/bow tie/necktie.

    I also think this is one area where even though for parents are paying, they don't really get a say. I think it's great you're trying to take the guys budgets into account. You may just have to put your foot down with your family and say that this is what the groom and his wedding party are wearing.
    tigerlily6
  • holyguacamole79holyguacamole79 a taco truck in Houston member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    The first picture was just meh for me since the groom was in navy and the guys were in khaki tones. It just didn't look like they went together at all. I think the suspenders would be fine.

    Oh and I found that pic (and others) on Pinterest searching for "mismatched groomsmen"
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  • Ya'll are awesome. Thank you for the advice, ideas, and support! :smiley: 
                        


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  • CMGragainCMGragain member
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    edited January 2016
    I am interested in your thoughts and opinions on this. My wedding will be in the summer, and going for earthy-tones for the wedding. The bridesmaids are going to be mismatched (they can choose any knee-length dress that fits their body and budget best, either peach or green). After conferring with a few of the groomsmen, FI and I like the idea of have them be mismatched also, with some in vests & ties, some in suspenders & ties, somewhat akin the the photo attached below (but different colors -- we are thinking charcoal gray with brown shoes). The best man came up with this idea, and I really like it. The groom would stand out as the one guy in a full suit.

    However, I just talked with my parents, whom I want to respect since they are helping fund a lot of the wedding (although the groomsmen will be paying for their attire), and my father did not like the idea that the groomsmen would not all look the same. He and my mother also did not seem to think that brown shoes are proper for gray suits. 

    What are your thoughts? (1) Is it acceptable to have mismatched groomsmen, or is this too casual? (2) Do brown shoes work with gray suits, or should I do black shoes? And, (3), even if mismatched is okay, should I avoid it if it bothers my parents who are bankrolling most of the wedding, or go with what the groomsmen themselves prefer who will be paying for their own attire?
    1.  The groomsmen should match the groom in the level of formality.  If the groom wears a suit, then so do the groomsmen.  Wearing vests and/or suspenders without a jacket is never proper, but you can do it if you really want to.   I am guessing that when you look at our wedding photos in 25 years, you will regret this choice.

    2.  Brown shoes do not compliment grey suits.  Dress shoes are black.

    3.  I agree with your parents, and he who pays get a say. 

    Check out Kohl's, JCP, etc. for inexpensive two piece suits.  They guys can ditch the jackets after the ceremony and photos to party at the reception.  The suits do NOT need to match exactly.  Any grey suit is fine.  You could have matching ties.
    What are YOU wearing?  If you are wearing a long formal gown, then they guys would look really out of place in anything but a suit.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • Thanks, @CMGragain! I appreciate the feedback, and it's good to hear from the alternate side of things. I am wearing a formal gown, and I understand trying to keep everybody else at a more formal level to match. And I know that my fiance would like to wear a suit (JCP is the place we are looking). He is just being defensive about making the guys pay for a suit, since they are all already paying travel expenses to come to the wedding, and a few of them are also grad students living on loans or small stipends. I love my parents and am very grateful for their support -- for the most part they have not been very picky or demanding -- so I have been trying to include things in the wedding planning to their tastes and styles. My parents are not paying for the groomsmen outfits, however, so that is where I think I have been wrestling. How do I apply the "he who pays gets a say" rule here, when the groomsmen, who are paying, would prefer not to have full suits, but my parents, who are paying for the ceremony and reception, would? 
                        


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  • CMGragainCMGragain member
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    edited January 2016
    Buy a two piece suit is cheaper than renting a tux, and they guys will NEED a suit for job interviews when they graduate.  If they show up to a job interview dressed like your picture, they won't be hired, unless it's fast food service.
    How would you feel about it if one of your bridesmaids said she couldn't afford a dress and would just wear jeans, instead?
    Alternative:  All the men, groom included, wear khakies and a navy sportjacket (blazer).  Brown shoes OK with this.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    tigerlily6
  • Suggestions on how to tell FI and/or the groomsmen they should get a suit? I agree that a suit is an important thing for a guy to have -- I know I am excited to get a fitted one for FI. I just have some apprehension that there's going to be push-back from the guys. Especially the best man. He made it clear he does not like suits, or even vests. How does one work with that tactfully? 
                        


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  • If you, the groom and the GMs like no suit, then no suit. He who pays doesn't apply to the wedding party; I've read enough of these boards to know that. And they are paying for their own attire so they actually get a say! If you really are a fan, you won't regret it looking at your photos years down the line; that is a rude thing to say and styles change, so what was appropriate 25 years ago for wedding attire doesn't necessarily apply nowadays.
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  • CMGragainCMGragain member
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    edited January 2016
    Sherbie25 said:
    If you, the groom and the GMs like no suit, then no suit. He who pays doesn't apply to the wedding party; I've read enough of these boards to know that. And they are paying for their own attire so they actually get a say! If you really are a fan, you won't regret it looking at your photos years down the line; that is a rude thing to say and styles change, so what was appropriate 25 years ago for wedding attire doesn't necessarily apply nowadays.
    Yes, styles do change.  In 1947 it was completely inappropriate to wear a tuxedo to a wedding.  Now they are fine at formal evening weddings.
    It has never been proper to wear suspenders and vests without a jacket.  A wedding is an important time in your life, and I think your men should be dressed properly.
    The rule is that all the men wear the same level of formality.  This level of formality should not be markedly different from the bride.
    It is not completely up to the men what they wear.  I remember a formal wedding where a groom wanted to wear his military camos.  No.  The groom may choose within proper parameters, and he has chosen to wear a suit, which is fine.  This means that the groomsmen should also wear suits.  They are not as expensive as many bridesmaid's dresses.  The groomsmen do not get to choose the level of formality.  That is set by the bride and groom.  If the best man is having a hissy fit, he can decline the honor and step down.
    This would be different if you were requiring the men to buy an specific, expensive suit, but you are not.
    I don't think you know what "rude" means.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    tigerlily6
  • There is no indication the best man is having a 'hissy fit'; he is allowed to express an opinion. An opinion the bride and groom happen to agree with. She likes the idea, her parents don't. It doesn't have to be 'proper', we're not in Downton Abbey! Of course that's your opinion and you're entitled to it, as we all are and we can agree to disagree with no problems. I just think it's a tad much to tell a stranger they will probably regret their pictures because they chose attire you thought was inappropriate that's all. 
    No hard feelings here X 
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  • tigerlily6tigerlily6 member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments First Anniversary Name Dropper
    edited January 2016
    I appreciate the insights on both sides, as both sides in my real situation are very dear to me -- my parents, and my groom and his friends. Neither my parents nor any of the groomsmen have been demanding or immature towards me, but have shared their thoughts and opinions respectfully. I am hoping to navigate and figure out the best solution and treat everybody with respect in turn.

    The thread has given a lot of good reasoning on both sides, and I will talk over our options with my FI. Ultimately, I'm just going to be very happy to have my loved ones present to celebrate with me, regardless of how the attire comes out. Personally, so long as my family and wedding party are happy (or at least not upset), then I am content. 
                        


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  • I appreciate the insights on both sides, as both sides in my real situation are very dear to me -- my parents, and my groom and his friends. Neither my parents nor any of the groomsmen have been demanding or immature towards me, but have shared their thoughts and opinions respectfully. I am hoping to navigate and figure out the best solution and treat everybody with respect in turn.

    The thread has given a lot of good reasoning on both sides, and I will talk over our options with my FI. Ultimately, I'm just going to be very happy to have my loved ones present to celebrate with me, regardless of how the attire comes out. Personally, so long as my family and wedding party are happy (or at least not upset), then I am content. 
    I like your attitude.  Just for the record, nobody gets to decide what any of the guests wear, just the wedding party.
    I do remember the 1970's with pastel tuxedos and ruffled shirts.  A lot of couple that I know wish they had chosen more traditional clothing for their men.  Oh, it was trendy, but not really proper.  Then there are some who don't care and still like the look.  A lot of them live in Arizona and Florida, now.
    Good luck on your wedding planning.
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
    tigerlily6SP29
  • My parents were one of those couples. My mom didn't even have a white dress, just a pastel green wrap-dress, and my dad wore a tweed style suit. They did not have a wedding party proper, just a few friends, siblings, and parents. They still hang their wedding photo up in the house proudly 38 years later -- a happy reminder of the marriage, and less about the wedding itself. I hope I can look back 40 years from now and laugh at the silly things we wore today with my DH. :)
                        


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  • That doesn't sound nearly as silly as a powder blue polyester tuxedo.  Did you know that until the 1930s, most brides were married in a dress that would be worn many times?  Most middle class brides had a summer white dress with lovely lace.  Only wealthy brides wore white satin.  You could get a veil from Montgomery Wards or Sears and Roebuck's catalog.
    After the depression, ladies who could afford it had "wedding dresses" made up by their local seamstress.  They were not made in a style that could be worn elsewhere.  This was the beginning of the wedding costume.
    Groom's just wore their dark blue suit.  Everyone had one, or could borrow one.  Matching bridesmaids weren't a thing.
    After WWll, the wedding industry arose to take advantage of all the post war couples getting married.  Bridal magazines evolved.  Weddings became more and more elaborate.  Church weddings were the most popular.Yet, many couples still get married traditionally, dressed in their "Sunday best".  That is just fine!

    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • holyguacamole79holyguacamole79 a taco truck in Houston member
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    I like your attitude, @tigerlily6 !
    tigerlily6
  • emmaaaemmaaa North Carolina mod
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    I don't necessarily love the idea but I wouldn't turn my nose up at it.

    For our wedding, DH wore a navy suit with a vest and the GM wore a navy suit (no vest). We also didn't pick a specific suit out, we just any navy suit is fine. Some of the navy suits were darker, some were brighter, and one guy even wore a black tux because that's all he had and couldn't afford anything new (we just wanted him in the wedding). DH bought his suit (pants, vest, jacket) for less than $150 and he has worn it again. He has worn the jacket with khakis to a wedding and job interviews.

  • You know I understand styles change but i feel if you love it now (and really love it not just as a fad) then you'll love it in 20 years. 
    My dad got married in a pink tux and they still love there pictures because it was an important moment in their lives.

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