Does groomswear on a budget mean you have to choose cheap quality suits to keep costs down, have less groomsmen, or make do with Uncle Ted’s hand-me-downs? Here is what I have learned over the years.

Who’s Paying?

The first question is who pays for the groomsmen’s outfits? When I first started within the industry couples tended to marry at a much earlier age than they do now. I would say that mid-twenties was the norm back in the early to mid 90s, but gradually the age group has increased. The great news there is that the more mature a couple the longer their careers, and couples do now tend to have more financial clout. The other good news is so do their friends.

This has led to a wholesale change over the last 20 odd years. When I was a spring chicken within the industry I would say 60-80% of parents paid for all the groomsmen’s outfits. This meant one large bill, thus trying to create outfits that were a little more affordable. Gradually as age has increased, not only is there less reliance on parents or others, it seems that asking an usher, brother or whoever to chip in if required is also not a big deal.

Groomwear Hanging on Rail

This results in a couple’s groomswear budget being reasonable without detracting from the overall look, as part of an outfit, if not a whole outfit, is paid for by others.

Of course, if this is not an option, how else do you save without looking like you have had to watch the pennies?

Charity Shops

Charity Shops are often a wonderful place to find decent wedding clothing. Ask yourself where I take the stock that doesn’t sell or the hire garment that has an almost invisible hole that no one will see but isn’t acceptable to hire out.

You can also find a whole batch of waistcoats and/or ties that are in great condition and save on the cost of buying them new or hiring.

Borrowing Some Items from Friends

If this isn’t your thing then check out things like who owns a white shirt or two and in what sizes. There is no reason why ushers and the like cannot lend a shirt or even decent shoes to a fellow usher. This can ensure that all groomsmen wear a decent shirt and shoes at no extra cost.

Suit hire is obviously the way to go in general regards to helping a wedding budget. The loaning of shirts and shoes also applies here, but suit hire can be very reasonable. Do be careful though as some hire goods can be a tad tired and yet not actually cost much less than better quality goods from more reputable formal wear suppliers.

Look for Offers

In this competitive age you’ll find offers and discounts, so shop around. You can benefit from offers such as getting the groom’s outfit free, free neckwear, and loads more. Searching the Internet, visiting wedding shows and scouring wedding magazines will definitely help any wedding budget.

Guest post by Stephen Bishop

Image from Carla Thomas Photography

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