I’m pretty sure my anti-bride’s guide to wedding planning suggested that the groom is responsible for picking out the tuxedo/garb/costumes for the dudes in the wedding party.

So I was a bit surprised when Fiancé tapped me on the shoulder on Monday and requested my presence at his appointment with Men’s Wearhouse.

Not knowing a tail from a double breasted jacket, I agreed to accompany Fiancé to at least dissuade him from walking out with a Zoot Suit or something Asian inspired.  Not to offend any grooms who have chosen to go either of those routes for their own weddings;  Fiancé’s  short Irish stature is simply suited towards something a little more traditional.

We were fortunate to be the only patrons at Men’s Wearhouse at 8pm on a Monday night. Men’s Wearhouse was our choice of provider as the men in our wedding party are not all geographically located close to our venue; with multiple locations in the Northeast, our friends can easily stop in at a store that is convenient for them to get fitted and pick up their tuxes prior to the wedding.

Stephon, our consultant, greeted us enthusiastically and asked what we were looking for.  We greeted Stephon back with blank stares.

It was clear we were going to need remedial tuxedo training.

With extreme patience, Stephon clarified the differences between lapel styles, explained that men of Fiance’s build should avoid jackets with more than two buttons, and threw together a few ensembles using our chosen wedding colors of burgundy, black, and silver. Fiance, to his credit, only looked mildly disappointed that Men’s Wearhouse didn’t carry anything in cheetah print or Indiana Jones inspired.

After playing dress-up with a man who traditionally likes to throw on old hooded sweatshirts and cargo pants, we finally decided on a classy one-button jacket, a black shirt, and platinum Tuscany vest and matching tie. We high-fived each other, feeling good about checking another to-do off the list, until Stephon politely reminded us that we still needed to make a selection for the groomsmen. We responded with the same blank stares we had greeted him earlier with.

“Can’t they just wear the same thing?” I asked.

Apparently, the groom is supposed to be slightly different from the rest of the men in the party. We were a little bit disappointed to learn that since we liked our particular selection so much, but Stephon suggested we could get away with a little bit of cloning as long as there were subtle differences in their accessories, such as the pocket squares and boutonnieres.

“Or differences in our fedoras,” Fiance suggested.

Marriage is all about compromise. I’m just thrilled he won’t be standing at the altar with a bullwhip.

Vests or cummerbunds? Tophats and tails? Share your tuxedo stories here!