Free advice for Grooms

Here at Tickled Pink, we have some 25 years experience helping  grooms and their menswear party choose the perfect outfits for  their wedding day. So here’s a few words of friendly advice…

Choosing Your Mens’ Outfitter

First off, talk to friends about their experiences – that will go a long way in helping choose your outfitter.  For your wedding, quality, service and reliability and perfect fit are paramount, and although price is important, it is not everything. Make sure you are aware of any extra charges, such as insurance, delivery charges, the size of security deposit requested and exactly what is included in the hire package. For example, if you are restricted to certain jacket styles or waistcoat patterns as part of a deal, you need to know.

Ask to try on outfits for colour and styles to suit you and (just as important) suit the wishes of your bride-to-be.  Trying on is also vital to get your perfect size – an ill-fitting suit in wedding photographs will haunt you forever. If the outfitter simply takes your measurements, they may be hiring in suits themselves from a large hirewear agency and a less-than-perfect fit is possible. In some department store situations, you may be served by general sales staff rather than someone dedicated to menswear.  Tickled Pink has over 25 years menswear experience to draw upon, and we have our own stock with over 500 suits available to select and try on for  a good fit. What you try on is what you wear on the big day.

Who Chooses the Style and Colours?

Good question! Usually the bride and groom together, often bringing with them colour swatches from the bridesmaids’ dresses or even reception decorations. Occasionally friends and relatives play a part in the process, but too many different perspectives can lead to confusion. Once the suit choice is decided, individual members of the party will need to call for an appointment and attend for their fitting.

Is it OK for the Groom to Wear Something Different?

Mostly, the groom wears the same as everyone else. Sometimes he will have a different waistcoat or neckwear – the only rule is there are no rules. The groom and best man could have a variation, even adding the two fathers to the list. At Tickled Pink we keep all records on our in-house computerised system so party members only need to remember the groom’s surname (his nickname won’t do!). It is not unknown for a groom’s pal to call him on his mobile to ask “Hey mate, I’m at Tickled Pink Mens Hire. What’s your real name?!”

Menswear Etiquette
The old-fashioned values are still considered the best. Monty Moss who recently died aged 90 was fourth generation Moss Bros and he always insisted men show half an inch of cuff, that there should be no gap between at the bottom of the waistcoat to reveal  the shirt, and that ties should never be tucked into the waistband. “Top hats should be worn and not carried and gloves should be carried but not worn.” declared Monty.  Unless of course you were about to leap onto your horse. In that case the bottoms of your tails should be hitched up using the buttons at the back  (often not noticed) and loops underneath (often not there nowadays). The split in the tails allowed the coat to fall either side of the saddle. All very Mister d’Arcy.

Who Pays for the Hire Outfits?

It’s becoming more common for each member of the party to pay for their own outfit, although sometimes the bride and groom pay for everything, and sometimes parents chip in too.

When Are Payments Due?

An initial non-refundable payment is made on ordering, and the balance is due shortly before the wedding.  A cheque needs a week to clear before collection.  Hire shops take a security bond to ensure all garments are returned, and on time.  This is a crucial discipline, because the suits could be scheduled to be cleaned and ready for another wedding only days later. One member of the mens’ party – someone known to be totally reliable – needs to take charge of returning the suits. This includes checking the pockets. One hapless groom left his wedding ring in his jacket inside pocket. We arranged for his mother to ring the honeymoon hotel in the Caribbean with the good news.  Let’s hope he was forgiven. Another left his speech in the suit pocket. It included the hopeful line-(pause here for applause).We have even had a groom’s suit locked in his car boot at the airport, while he was away honeymooning.

Suppose Someone Wanted to Buy Their Outfit?

It’s not a problem for hire shops that carry their own stock. Clients sometimes like the idea of a new outfit, and may be planning to attend other formal events, future weddings or Royal Ascot. Have you noticed most royals at their big occasion weddings turn up in their own tails, looking pretty good but rarely matching other royals. I wonder what the Duke of Edinburgh would say if told what colour waistcoat and tie to wear ! Most of Tickled Pink’s suppliers  provide an emergency next day delivery service. The retail value of a  full formal outfit – suit, shirt, waistcoat, neckwear and shoes can be over £700, so hiring is excellent value.

In line with the national trend some grooms prefer to wear a standard suit. Tickled Pink offers a choice of lounge suits to hire and  some sharp cut Italian style suits, very reasonably priced at around £100 to buy.

What To Do If children Are Included in the Party?

Most outfitters include sizes for children from toddlers upwards, although some shops won’t entertain them because of potential damage to the suits sliding on the dance floor and tantrums in the fitting room. It’s best to check with a phone call or email to the couple or the outfitters  if you are unsure. Youngsters often steal the show, but can be difficult trying on clothes, and patience is needed (our staff injury report book includes the  note “Finger bitten by child”). But they generally come good on the day. Sometimes it’s with a cash bribe from grandpa. One ten year old lad, son of a single mother, gave away his mum and followed it with a brilliant speech. It turns out he had been secretly handed a tenner in advance from BOTH grandads.

It is usual to ask parents to bring children in for a second fitting, as they will have grown. Most shops do not provide hire shoes for children as they inevitably get  scuffed.

Suppose Someone Changes Shape?

Men can change shape in the run-up to a wedding. Some grooms get into shape for the photographs and spend time in the gym or go on a diet. Sometimes guys put weight on, but hope to lose it again and fail. It is important to keep in touch with the hire shop rather than leave it until the wedding day and then complain to friends “That shop has sent everything two sizes too small”. One groom who made  that kind of accusation came in after the wedding and apologised. “My wife… my wife, told me to come in say sorry for being such a prat.” he told our girls. He got a hug, and was told “It’s OK you’re not the first…” Looks like the basis of a happy marriage.

Can Shops Supply Special Sizes?

In line with the national trend, tall men are getting taller and waistlines are increasing, so most menswear suppliers provide larger or taller sizes. At Tickled Pink, our biggest jacket is a 56 inch chest, but our suppliers go up to 60 inches. One waistcoat was specially made to size 70 inches chest. We do our very best.

What About Collection Days?

Collection day for a Saturday or Sunday wedding is usually a Thursday, giving clients time to try on well beforehand. Many weddings have moved  to a Friday or mid-week in order to book their favourite place or to save on cost.  If size changes are needed, it is crucial to get in touch with your hire shop a.s.a.p.

What are the Arrangements for Overseas Weddings?

Most shops charge a lower hire rate for the extra weeks the garments are away. Independent retailers with their own stock such as Tickled Pink, will usually be happy to supply waistcoats only, or outfits without the jackets. Some stores will only supply complete outfits, and charge accordingly, so it’s worth checking. A quarter of  weddings for UK residents now take place abroad. These figures are starting to show up as estimates in the annual statistics on UK weddings, so it once appeared marriage was declining in popularity. Wrong . It’s as popular as it was 15 years ago.  The number of wedding among the over-65s is increasing.

Any Further Queries?

We’re delighted to help. Call on 01302 842234 extn 26, or email  Tickled Pink is located in Hatfield on the A18 seven miles east of near Doncaster Yorkshire, UK DN7 6SB and is the winner of eight customer service awards.

Note: It is important to call or email to make your appointment before visiting mens hire at Tickled Pink as we are a very busy shop and Saturdays get booked up well ahead. We love to see you, but please call in advance. [/read]