A letter to grooms from a custom clothier Part 2

{Since being in this business 8 years, I venture to guess I've spoken with 500 grooms at one point or another.  This is a series highlighting those 500 conversations distilled to one.}

Neil & Shira • Photo by Ash Carr

Planning a wedding is stressful.  Inevitably, how you approach each step of the process can either add to or remove stress from the adventure.  Having fun helps.  Budgeting helps.  Planning the timeline helps.  There's nothing more stressful than attempting to hit a deadline that's too close for comfort.

Typically, men's custom clothing is made in 3-8 weeks, depending on the clothier.  Our garments take between 3.5-5 weeks.  This is quite different than the world of bridal dresses, where women have to order dresses 6, if not 9, months ahead of time.  So when should you place an order?  10 weeks out from the wedding is good in most cases.  

Problematically, many grooms like to reach a certain weight and then place an order.  If that's in the works, please make those changes to your weight sooner than later as waiting until the last minute makes everyone (bride, groom, tailor) lose sleep.  About 60% of grooms tell me they're going to lose weight.  Maybe 10% of them actually do it.  If you're going to tell your tailor you plan to lose weight, do it.  If not, don't bother saying anything.

Budget.  Weddings are expensive.  However, planning in advance helps.  If you know you'd like to wear a well made custom suit on your wedding day, versus the ill fitting rental, start saving money for it.  The difference between a $200 rental and our opening priced 2 piece suit at $825 is $625.  That means putting away only $52 a month over a 12 month engagement.

Highlight your budget with your clothier.  Let them know where you'd like to spend more money and where you'd like to stretch the budget.  You get to wear your outfit again after the wedding, so it can be advantageous to spend more for nicer fabrics and finishes.

Questions to ask your clothier •

  • How much will everything (clothing, up charges, alterations, accessories) cost?  With tax?
  • What additional services do you offer?
  • Can you ship the finished product(s)?
  • When can we expect everything to be finished?
  • What should I bring with me to the fitting?

Things to tell your clothier •

  • Date & location of the wedding
  • Setting & climate (indoors/outdoors)
  • Special requests from florist or photographer
  • If you're traveling before the wedding

Things to prepare ahead of time •

  • Decide whether you're wearing a blue suit, grey suit or black tuxedo (or something different).
  • Determine what aesthetic, in conjunction with the bride's dress style, your wedding will have.
  • Be prepared to discuss issues you have with clothing you've owned in the past.
  • Know what look you'd like your groomsmen and/or ushers to wear.
  • Feel free to bring a picture and/or swatch of the bride's dress and/or bridesmaid's dresses.

As this can be overwhelming, we recommend grooms come in for a consultation ahead of a fitting to ask questions and get the full run down of our program.  That way there aren't any surprises when it comes down to making decisions.