Suit Rules: A Guy’s Guide to the Perfect Wedding Photos

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Every month we receive hun­dreds of real wed­ding pho­tos from all over the Unit­ed States. And let me tell you, they aren’t all pic­ture per­fect. In fact, too often we see pho­tos com­plete­ly ruined by one fac­tor or anoth­er. Nine out of 10 times, it’s those darn boys. The last one is usu­al­ly a grand­ma pho­to bomb.

I am going to let you in on a lit­tle secret: the bride just wants the pic­tures to be per­fect.

As wed­ding day nears, a bride and groom will undoubt­ed­ly be on edge and think­ing about thou­sands of details. So, a good look­ing wed­ding par­ty ready for the cer­e­mo­ny and pho­tos can ease a lot of stress. Do grooms­men always get it right? No. They don’t. And the bride does­n’t have time for every sin­gle grooms­men to ask her “how do you wear a suit?” But for­tu­nate­ly with a lit­tle edu­ca­tion and guid­ance any guy can mas­ter their look and avoid com­mon mis­takes. We asked our styl­ists for their insid­er knowl­edge and pet peeves to ensure that the groom and grooms­men make the pho­tos per­fect.  

bride and bridesmaids in blue dresses and groom and groomsmen in blue suits

1. Check your zipper

Dude, com­mon cour­tesy. Already checked it? Check it again.

2. Remove your wallet, keys and phone from your pocket

You can total­ly see it in the pho­tos. And not only that, it will leave an impres­sion on your pants, so just avoid it all togeth­er. At least until after all real pho­tos have been tak­en.

3. Button only the top button of your jacket

Oth­er­wise, you’ll just look sil­ly. Don’t ask us why there’s a sec­ond or third but­ton when they’re nev­er used. That’s just how it is.

4. If you’re wearing a vest, always keep the bottom button unbuttoned

More silli­ness. Plus, it’s prop­er. You want to be a good gen­tle­man, right?

5. Always unbutton your jacket before sitting down

Ever won­der where this habit came from? Test it out to see. Actu­al­ly, don’t. It can ruin your jack­et.

6. Ensure your suit jacket is just long enough to cover your pants zipper and butt

Any longer and you’ll be swim­ming in it—and the hand-me-down look is not very attrac­tive. And any short­er and it’ll look like you grew a few inch­es since your fit­ting.

groom and groomsmen in blue suits

7. The top button of a two-button (or the middle button of a three-button) jacket should fall at or above your navel

And that’s the way it is.

8. Your tie should just reach the waistband of your trousers or the top of your belt buckle

That’s the way the cook­ie crum­bles.

9. Sleeve cuffs should be exposed about half an inch

That’s my sto­ry and I’m stick­ing to it.

10. Pin boutonniere on/near lapel buttonhole

And for the love of all things holy, make sure it’s secure.

11. Never remove the stitching of the jacket pockets and never use your pockets

This can stretch and warp your suit. You don’t need them any­way. You’re a man, your pants come with back pock­ets. (Except for in pho­tos, remem­ber.)

12. Your belt should be relatively thin and the same color as your shoes

You’d think that would be obvi­ous, but no.

groom in gray tuxedo

13. Refrain from putting your arms around shoulders

For the nice pho­tos at least. It cre­ates bulges in the suit and we’re not going for the frat look, any­way.

14. Make sure your pocket square doesn’t match your tie in either pattern or fabric choice

But, by all means, wear one. They add a lit­tle extra pol­ish to your look.

15. Your tie bar should never be wider than your tie

Anoth­er should-be-obvi­ous one.

16. Make sure that your socks are long enough

Oth­er­wise you end up show­ing off your pale, dad-at-a-water­park calves. Not a good look. Kind of icky, if you ask us.

17. Avoid over-accessorizing

If you’re already wear­ing a pock­et square and a tie bar, you’ll want to recon­sid­er that clever lapel pin. Yes, even the one that says, “Assis­tant to the Region­al Man­ag­er.” Yes, we know it’s fun­ny. No, you still shouldn’t wear it. Even if you’re the best man.

18. Don’t pair a three piece suit with a belt

Too much, bro.

groom and groomsmen in blue suits

Being asked to serve as a grooms­man is a major hon­or. Sure, you’ve got some duties to attend to, but hav­ing fun is still part of the plan. Sup­port­ing one of your best guys (and look­ing good for their for­ev­er pho­to albums) can be easy. Keep these tips in mind and you’re sure to impress.

The boys have enough to wor­ry about the day of the wed­ding and their brains can only han­dle so much respon­si­bil­i­ty at one time. But why not ease some of that bur­den and get what you want and what they want?

With Gen­er­a­tion Tux, the wed­ding par­ty will receive their out­fits two weeks pri­or to your event—no last minute pick­ups and try-ons. If any­thing doesn’t fit to your lik­ing, send it back with­in 48 hours of deliv­ery and we’ll make it right. We’ll guide them through the entire process from fit­ting to plac­ing their order.

Plus, we’ll give you full vis­i­bil­i­ty into their process with our event dash­board. No more stress­ing about your grooms­men. We have you cov­ered.

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