As a bride-to-be with a half-planned wedding carefully following the CDC's recommendations during the COVID-19 pandemic, it's nearly impossible not to dread the inevitable: I might need to cancel my wedding. My future husband Joey and I have set our date for May 22, 2021, but with every month that goes by, we put off submitting yet another down payment to a vendor and shake off the honeymoon questions people ask us. Where are we going? Where is anyone going right now?! For so many reasons, we may have to postpone our wedding for the safety of our guests and the world at large. In no way, shape, or form do I want my wedding to play a part in the spread of a deadly, heartbreaking virus that has harmed so many.
As you might imagine, dudes often don't even realise that being the groom requires more than showing up in a pair of boxers.
But as many wedding planning sites and bridal consultants will tell you, you can't wait until the week before your wedding to find the right suit for the groom. (Of course, wedding dresses are a whole different story, depending on what type of bride you are and what vision you have.) But about a month ago, I realised that Joey had never even thought about what he might wear to greet me at the end of the aisle. As a fashion editor, that kind of worried me. Shouldn't we have some sort of option planned just in case a vaccine rolls out in time and we can go through with this wedding? Also, I should probably be more optimistic about my May 2021 wedding date, putting more trust in our nation's scientist and research companies. Good vibes only, right?
After some night sweats and battles with insomnia over our wedding, I decided to explore our options when it came to setting up a virtual styling appointment for Joey. With all the reports of bridal brands offering wedding dress consultations via Zoom, I figured there had to be some sort of digital experience for men seeking tuxedos. The Tie Bar, a company that specialises in providing accessories from pocket squares to suit shirts, had recently launched a virtual styling program for customers, and we were excited to try it out. Joey and I were connected with a personal stylist named Onyx who discussed each one of our wedding events with us — rehearsal dinner, ceremony, reception, and next-day brunch — asking Joey questions about his personal taste and preferred fit throughout the session, which lasted about 30 to 45 minutes.
As you might imagine, dudes often don't even realise that being the groom requires more than showing up in a pair of boxers, so those 30 minutes were eye-opening for Joey. He learned that certain colours are right for certain backdrops; that maybe a velvet jacket with a satin lapel won't quite fit in on the beach, where we plan to tie the knot. After Onyx detailed the outfit accoutrements Joey would need for our special day — socks, multiple shirts (since things could get sweaty out there in the sun), shoes, and a pocket square — he connected us with tux rental companies. We settled on Generation Tux, because Joey had worn a suit from the brand for a previous wedding as a groomsman and he liked the fit. Plus, he loved a lot of the suit and tux colour offerings.
Finding "the suit" is just a small part of the whole equation . . . but in this moment it signified something sure; something that doesn't have to be measured or solved.
Next up, we met with the Gen Tux team. This process was pretty seamless too, since Gen Tux is used to sending out styles for at-home fittings and discussing measurements online — it's the process the company was founded on and has been perfecting for years. Now especially, the Gen Tux team is super attentive to clients worried about what they may or may not end up needing. In one session alone, Gen Tux became our sounding board for all our wedding style worries, especially since Joey was about to buy a tux that he may not end up using — at least not next year. After Joey settled on suit separates he wanted to try, the Gen Tux team analysed his style profile and sent us a sample with a pre-paid return label for an at-home fitting. Joey also chose a few other material swatches he wanted to compare, just in case the "sharkskin" shade he selected was darker or lighter than he imagined once he saw it in person.
Something happened when Joey tried on his suit the day it arrived, and I like to think the above photo encapsulates the moment perfectly. Joey hadn't put on any semblance of something tailored in over four months. He had forgotten what he looked like in a suit, or how getting dressed could make him feel. I forgot how he looked in a suit (says the smitten bride-to-be). Putting on the clothes he might wear on our wedding day didn't just put us at ease — because now at least he had an idea for something other than boxers — it also brought us back to the idea that we are partners. We're partners in wedding planning, partners at home, and partners trying to smartly and safely navigate this new world of doing things virtually. Finding "the suit" is just a small part of the whole equation — an equation that looks a lot more complicated in these trying times — but in this moment it signified something sure; something that doesn't have to be measured or solved. But just for the record, he's a 42 regular.