Columbia, MO

Should the Groom Wear a Suit or Tuxedo?


How do you decide on the attire your groom should wear on the big day? Should the groom wear a suit or tuxedo? This is one decision that sets the standard for black-tie, white-tie, formal, or semi-formal weddings. If you’re not really sure on your preference, we’ve got you covered on the options! Here’s a simple guide on how to decide whether a suit or a tux is just right for your groom and your wedding.


Suits & Tuxedos – First, What’s the Difference?

Men’s suits and tuxedos may look similar from afar but there is an easy-to-spot difference up-close: satin. This is usually seen on the detailing of a tuxedo, decorating the buttons, lining the lapel, or commonly seen on the side-stripe down the pant leg.

Suits are made using one type of fabric, which makes them slightly less formal. You will find when accessorizing a tuxedo you’ll include a waistcoat, cummerbund, and bow tie. That said, these accessories aren’t needed for a tux, but can be added and removed to the groom’s (or bride’s) liking.

You can still pair a suit with a bow tie, but suits you typically see with standard ties, and tuxedos are worn with bow ties.

Formality Check

If you’re planning to have a black-tie wedding, the most polished option, a tuxedo is a must for your groom and the perfect way to set the tone for your formal event. If you set black tie as your wedding dress code, you’ll likely have several guests arrive wearing tuxedos, so be prepared some might come dressed more formally than your groom. But if classy photos are key, then black tie is your best bet!

There is actually an option more formal than black tie, but less common at weddings: white tie. The white tie dress code requires floor-length gowns for women and a black jacket with tails for men. The men also wear white bow ties with their white tie formalwear. This is a contrast to the more common black tie style: a black jacket without tails, a white dress shirt, and a black bow tie.

Time of Day

Typically, it’s customary that your groom would wear a tuxedo at evening events only. If you’re planning to marry during the day we recommend that a suit would be a better option for your groom’s attire.


The Price Factor 

The costs can be an important deciding factor, so we recommend being thoughtful when it comes to how much your wedding party will be spending to make it to your big day. Men are more likely to get additional use out of a suit than out of a tuxedo. That said, it is possible to rent a nice tuxedo and it’s often a more affordable option than purchasing a new suit.

Locations like Men’s Wearhouse on Stadium Boulevard in Columbia or The Black Tux allow for easy rentals once you decide if the should groom wear a suit or tuxedo.

Express Yourself

Your personal preference is extremely important to your big day and is your groom’s decision. If he’s more excited to dress up in a tuxedo, let him have fun with it! If you find he really enjoys accessorizing, a suit might just be a good fit. Use the time and style of your wedding to guide you to the best decision.

Love our groom photos? Learn more about our Missouri wedding photography here.

Author: Monica Garcia

Complete Weddings + Events, Columbia’s leading provider of event and wedding photography, videography, lighting, DJ services, coordination, & photo booth rental.

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