Should You Wear a Tuxedo or a Suit for Your Wedding?

groom in tux

Photo by Gaby J Photography

Whether you’re a bride or a groom, one of the biggest choices you’re faced with (other than who to spend your life with, of course) is what to wear on your wedding day. While dress code can help you decide, it's still a personal choice to figure out whether you want to go a more casual route with a suit or lean formal in a classic tuxedo.

We’ve called upon the pros to break down one of the most common questions surrounding wedding day attire: “Should I wear a suit or a tux?”

The Technical Difference

Most of us know that tuxedos are fancy and suits are not as fancy. It turns out, however, the technical difference can help you narrow down your wedding day choice. According to Dean Handspiker, the VP of Design at INDOCHINO, a tuxedo “has satin details — lapels, buttons and a stripe down the side of the pant leg.”

The only thing a tux and suit actually share is the fact that both the jacket and trousers are made from the same, matching material. 

The Price Point

If choosing between the two styles is making you feel stressed, one aspect to keep in mind is the price. In general, tuxedos tend to be a little more expensive thanks to the extremely high-quality cut and fabric used. That said, it hugely depends on the brand (and if there’s a surcharge for satin, which could run you an extra $200 per tuxedo). There are a variety of options out there, such as Dobell, that will keep you looking sharp without spending the big bucks if you dream of saying “I do” in a tux.

Coordination Is Key

When it comes to outfitting your wedding party, “the line between formal and informal wear has almost disappeared,” says Konovalova. While this is great for making your day your own, it can also get confusing come time to make decisions. When asked if you can pair suits and tuxes together, Handspiker suggests that it can absolutely work. “So long as the focus is on the couple in the wedding party photos, you’re good!”

“A tux can be the key element to elevating an outdoor ceremony and keeping the event feeling special,” says Revelry founder, Michelle Deloach. "One of my favorite wedding styles is a mixture of classic elements and current trends called ‘Timeless Boho.’" A combination of bohemian bridesmaid dresses, pampas grass in bouquets, and groomsmen in tuxedos is a way to be both on-trend while still sticking true to some traditional elements.” 

A tux can be the key element to elevating an outdoor ceremony and keeping the event feeling special.

Your Wedding Style

“Tuxedos are to be exclusively used for formal events,” says Ksenia Konovalova, a Managing Partner at Ian Rios New York. Case in point: You’re going to show up to a job interview in a suit, not a tux—at least, we hope not! Traditionally, any event before sunset is too informal to rock the famous ensemble. Nowadays, however, the rules have gotten a little more lax, especially if you’re the host of the event (ie: the bride, groom, or the parents of). 

So, how do you know if your reception is dressy enough to wear a tux? Consider the venue, the time of day, and how you’re asking your guests to dress. If you’re having an afternoon beach wedding, your guests might feel a little strange if they see you looking full James Bond while they’re relaxing in light-colored suits sans ties.

Your Personal Style

Ultimately, one of the most important aspects to consider isn’t the venue or the time of the event—it’s what makes the groom feel best. If your style is more laid back, a suit might be more comfortable, or maybe you want to step out of your comfort zone and feel extraordinarily special on this special day. If so, a tux might be the answer. Try on the different styles and see what feels right. Ultimately, this is the chance to express yourself and dress to impress your future spouse! 

Whether you keep it timeless in tuxes, simple in suits, or you do a mix that’s uniquely “you,” at the end of the day, saying “I do” in style is truly a moment you’ll never forget.

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