When it comes to having a formal Tennessee wedding, many brides and grooms don’t realize that specific types of formalwear for the groom and his men are expected at different times of the day, and at different levels of dress code formality. Navigating this somewhat confusing world of tradition can be quite tricky, but luckily, I was able to chat with Ben Dobson of Knoxville tuxedo shop Savvi Formalwear to make the process just a little easier to understand. Ben has been in the business for many years and is an expert at making sure your groom and his men are dressed impeccably well in the right kind of formalwear for your special day! Read on to learn when your man should wear what – and when you need to list a dress code on your wedding invitation for your guests!
A colored long tie or bow tie paired with a matching vest, worn with a classic tuxedo jacket and matching trousers
Level of Formality: Formal enough to stand out, but more relaxed
Dress Code: You do not need to list a dress code for this. (Guests will generally wear “Sunday best” for weddings that do not list a dress code.)
An ascot paired with a dove gray vest, worn with a dove gray cutaway coat (also known as a morning coat) and matching striped trousers
Level of Formality: Very formal wedding early in the day
Time of Day to Wear: For ceremonies between 11am and 4pm
Dress Code: List “Formal Attire Requested”
Evening Formal, referred to as Black Tie.
Traditionally, a black bow tie paired with a black cummerbund or vest, worn with a one-button black tuxedo jacket and matching trousers. Modernly, a black long tie (Windsor tie) with a black vest is also accepted. (Modern times have also grown to accept accessories in colors other than black.)
Level of Formality: Very formal evening wedding
Time of Day to Wear: For ceremonies beginning after 6pm
Dress Code: List “Black Tie” or “Black Tie Optional” on your wedding invitation.
Note: Ben states that guests should adhere to the Black Tie requirements on the invitation, but that a dark suit and tie is acceptable.
Highly Formal, referred to as White Tie or Full Dress.
A white bow tie and white wing collar shirt with matching white waistcoat, worn with a black or midnight blue tailcoat and matching trousers
Level of Formality: Highest level of formal attire for men
When to Wear: If you’re going for a very, very formal look.
Dress Code: Noted as “White Tie” on invitations
Note: When we say extremely formal, we really do mean it. This is the rarest worn formalwear for men, seen at traditional debutante balls, cotillions, and royal weddings. If wearing White Tie attire, keep in mind that your groom must have his ensemble tailored by an experienced professional to meet the exact measurement requirements for full dress.
If you’re wondering just what the men in your bridal party should wear, or if you’re on the fence about a certain style, be sure to drop by Savvi Formalwear at one of its two Knoxville locations today to chat with Ben and his assistants to get an experienced, educated opinion on the matter. Savvi can provide the proper attire for any type of event, whether casually formal or White Tie. They specialize in creating fabulous formal looks for the man in your life, and they take care of all the details for you to make sure he’s properly dressed and totally ready to wow guests on the most important day of your life.
Images courtesy of the Savvi Formalwear website and Facebook page.