I don't know about you; but personally, black tie fashion and its classically refined look is the ultimate choice for a wedding dress code. It takes a bog-standard reception and elevates it to a sophisticated soiree with just a few simple touches and a neatly done bow tie! Deemed at the epitome of class, this dress code is synonymous with old Hollywood elegance and gives the wearer a sophisticated and sexy style.
But what defines black tie you may ask? The rules are quite simple, men should wear a tux or a formal, dark/neutral coloured suit a bow tie and smart shoes. Women can wear a long or short dress or a dressy suit. and smart venue appropriate shoes. The defining factor is the expected level of effort and a traditionally dark colour scheme; sure you could throw on any old suit you have rattling around in your wardrobe but why not take it a step further and elevate your ensemble with one of these tips!
One of the nice parts of a black tie wedding is that it gives the groom a little bit more time in the spotlight than your traditional dress code, with iconic tuxedo wearers like James Bond, Fred Astaire & everybody's favourite silver fox George Clooney it's no wonder that this is the outfit most grooms are excited to don! Treat this outfit like your bride treats the wedding dress, don't just settle for off the rack, soak up the luxury of your wedding and have your garment customised and fitted professionally! For the groom you want to stick to the classics, you're the most important man in the room on your wedding day and with a beautifully made black wool suit and silk bow tie, you'll certainly feel like it.
For a truly refined look on your wedding day, I highly suggest splashing out on a three-piece ensemble from a luxury Irish atelier like Benetti Menswear. Not only are you getting the quality you pay for, but Benetti has an amazing selection of suits perfect for your wedding day! Their tuxedo selection is about as old Hollywood glamour as you can get and with their amazing size range (as big as a 64R chest) and tailoring options you'll feel like a king gliding across the dance floor with your new spouse! When you're the star of the show you don't need any fancy tricks to stand out, instead focus on quality and comfort so you can enjoy the most of your wedding day.
One often-overlooked detail in groomswear is a warmer outer layer; unless you're planning a sunny destination event or your big day is bang in the middle of summer then there's a good chance you might run into a cold spell, especially if you're getting married in Ireland! Be it on your way to the ceremony or reception venues, taking family portraits, posed shots with your spouse or a late-night excursion around the grounds of your venue, having a warm coat is pretty important. Plus if you don't wear it I'm sure your bride would appreciate something warm to swaddle in once the sun has set! A beautifully made black or navy wool top coat, adds a dash of extravagance to your wedding ensemble!
The Wedding Party
Just like with any other dress code for a wedding, you want to put your groomsmen in ensembles that complement the grooms but don't overpower his. Adding subtle differences is a great way to distinguish the groom from his friends while also distinguishing the wedding party from other guests. I really love the use of colour in the groom's party to make this distinction while keeping in harmony with the colour scheme for your big day!
Keeping the base suit the same as the groom but adding a different colour blazer can look really striking without teetering towards tacky. The trick is to stick with the basis of black tie, dark/neutral colours. Opt for a rich burgundy, deep emerald or smooth navy to complement the black trousers, waistcoat and bowtie and leave the more dramatic colours to your guests. Remember the wedding party sets the standard!
Having been to a hearty handful of weddings (Coming from a large Irish family means dozens upon dozens of large Irish weddings) in my time I've always loved having a dress code, my aesthetic could be considered quite eccentric so having a helpful guideline takes quite a lot of stress off of my shoulders.
The difference between being a guest and part of the wedding party is the flexibility you've been afforded in your outfit, play with all-over colours in your suit instead of just the jacket. I really love the look of a navy or red tuxedo, keeping the sleek silhouette but opting for something a little more eye-catching and personal is a great way to make black tie feel personal. Have fun with it, how many chances are you going to have to get dressed to the nines!
If the standard tux isn't quite your style then ditch the shirt and bowtie for a fitted turtleneck jumper in the same colour as your suit. It's a really chic take on the tuxedo with a 70's twist, giving you a more relaxed but very fashionable air with not too much effort! To pull this off you really have to focus on the fit of things, make sure your suit is tailored and your jumper has been freshly pressed to avoid the neck rolling down, without the right amount of effort this ensemble will look less chic and more old fashioned; also be conscious of the length of your turtleneck sleeves in comparison to the blazer, nothing looks worse than a jacket sleeve that ends before the wrist and a jumper sleeve underneath creeping all the way to the back of your hand!