Choosing Engagement And Wedding Rings

Choosing Groom and Groomsmen Apparel


A semi-formal to formal suit

Traditionally, casual weddings involve button-down shirts and nice pants, semi-formal weddings call for suits or tuxedos, and formal weddings involve to-the-nines tuxes or morning suits.


While the coat and pants of most wedding outfits are fairly basic, accent pieces such as ties, pocket squares, and vests can give the look a little punch. If your wedding color palette has an accent color, this is an excellent place to incorporate it. For instance, if the main wedding palette is lavender and dark green, consider accenting male attire with gold or dark purple vests and ties.

Vest vs. Cummerbund:

Cummerbunds are a good way to incorporate a strong, bold, single color into male outfits, while vests have the more subtle option of patterns. Generally, cummerbunds are worn with bow-ties, while vests can be paired with bow-ties or long ties.

Bow tie vs Straight Tie:

Bow ties tend to make the neck area look thicker, which may be a concern for some men. Bow ties also tend to be a little more formal, making straight ties a great option for a semi-formal wedding. If using bow-ties, consider getting clip-on versions to avoid wedding morning tie-related panic.

Shoes and Socks:

Black shoes are typically worn with navy, grey, or black suits. Brown shoes may be paired with brown, taupe, or lighter blue suits. To avoid all sock-related crises, just mandate that socks match the color of the shoes or pants. Bring a couple of extra pairs of dark socks in case someone shows up wearing white.

Renting Clothes:

Generally, suit or tux rentals are done at least a month in advance; rentals less than two weeks may incur rush charges. Since most groomsmen are fairly easy going about what they wear, style decisions can simply be made by the bride and groom, who can put in a single order for the whole wedding party.

Since many rental houses will charge extra if suits are not returned within 24 hours of the event date, be sure to put a trustworthy groomsman/best man in charge of collecting and returning all the suits. Farming out this task allows the groom to spend his first day as a married man sleeping in with his wife, rather than frantically counting cufflinks.

Choosing Bridesmaid Dresses

This has the potential to be a stress nightmare. Bridesmaids with different sizes, skintones, and personal tastes can make choosing a dress problematic, even before the price is considered. But take heart, Decidebride will help you ease into this decision with a few basic considerations.


Generally, bridesmaids dresses are a good place to incorporate your color palette, either with a bold statement in one of your main colors, or a more subtle use of your accent hues. Narrowing the color choice down to the few on your palette is a good way to start making your decision.


The bridesmaid’s dress can really set the standard for clothing formality at the wedding. If the gals are in floor-length silk evening gowns, the event is likely highly formal. Tea-length cotton or jersey probably indicates a more relaxed setting. If you’re going sleeveless, consider purchasing shawls or wraps for the girls, both for those with modest taste and in case it gets chilly.


The biggest source for bridesmaids dresses are wedding-specific clothing stores, but these are far from the only choices. Department stores and online clothing shops usually carry dresses in a wide range of sizes, allowing you to take advantage of sales and avoid the “wedding markup” charged by most wedding clothiers. Alternatively, you can also have a seamstress make the dresses for you.


If you are purchasing dresses from a wedding store, they will usually offer many different styles in the same color. This allows the bridesmaids to choose a cut that flatters them, rather than all trying to squeeze into a standard look. If you are going to allow variation, consider requiring that the girls all choose a dress with a standard length, which will help keep the bridal party looking somewhat similar. Necklines, sleeves, and waistlines, however, can allow them considerable variation within the color.

 If, however, you simply tell your bridesmaids to all wear a green dress from wherever they please, expect that there will be some variation in shades. It’s very difficult to find dresses from different manufacturers that are exactly the same color, so be prepared for some tonal differences. Nevertheless, this look can be really lovely if you use one of your main palette colors, creating a beautiful tone on tone effect.

Choosing A Wedding Dress

The most beautiful brides are those who match their own style- whether quirky, modern, or traditional- to their dress. Regardless of what many bridal books tell you, there is no set style, cut, or even color that will transform a woman into a “perfect bride”. Worrying about perfect will only stress you out; instead, choose a dress that makes you feel like you at your best.


A wedding dress can help set the tone for the style and formality of the wedding itself. Generally, details like trains, flowing veils, and ballgown skirts tend to suggest a more formal tone, while asymmetrical hems, sheaths, and unusual colors may add to a quirky or less formal vibe.


With thousands of wedding dresses on the market every year, it’s easy to get overwhelmed. Simplify your choices by first considering the three major components of any dress: neckline, waistline, and skirt.

When choosing a neckline, think of how this part of the dress can compliment your sillouhuette. Boat , off-shoulder, and V-necks can show off shoulders and make your waist look comparatively smaller. Straight and scoop necklines can de-emphasize the chest, while sweetheart and square necklines can increase a small bust. Queen Anne and One-shoulder styles are unusual choices that help create a strong, visual statement.

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For Waistlines, be sure to consider comfort as well as the fit on your curves. Natural waist cuts are very flattering for those with hour-glass figures, while empire waists look great if you are concerned with comfort and concealing a tummy without resorting to shapewear. Drop-waist styles often look great on petite figures, while the exotic basque waist creates a lovely corset effect.

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The skirt is really where your dress fantasies can come into play. Although different shapes may look better on certain body types, skirts can be cut to skim instead of fit tightly, and thus can be made flattering on any shape. One note- thought trumpet and mermaid cuts look similar to one another, a trumpet skirt flares at the thighs or lower hips, while a mermaid flares out closer to the knees.


Here is another area where it’s good to forget everything you know about weddings. Yes, white is traditional, but the truth of the matter is that few women look their best in pure white. While some may recommend “ivory” or “off-white” as a solution, it can also be fun to go a few shades further. Two interesting options are rum pink, which can set off pale complexions beautifully, or gold, which can look fantastic on skin with a yellow undertone. Just as colored-stone engagement rings are becoming popular, so too are colorful wedding dresses that combine a white-neutral with a pop of contrasting color in the embroidery or details.


Just looking at the price-tag on a wedding gown can make you want to throw out the whole idea, elope to Vegas, and get married in your old cheerleading outfit. While there’s nothing wrong with splurging on a designer gown, consider a few possible alternatives that will help make extra room in the budget. Pre-owned wedding dress websites allow former brides to sell their dresses, and frequently include designer gowns that could easily cost three times as much brand new. Another option is to find a designer dress style and look for a reputable tailor (or very helpful friend) to copy the dress. This option is often the most cost-effective, and allows you a greater choice in color, fabric, and unique details.