Bourbon and the Groom

Six small touches to make your groomsmen stand out – and their dressing room experience special!

Story Caroline Paulus
Photos Victor Sizemore

We’ve always been told that a wedding is the bride’s day. Months are spent shopping for dresses, picking the perfect shoes and jewelry to match, and choosing flowers to coordinate. But the ladies are only half the equation, and we believe the gentlemen should have a few little things that make their day special too. We’ve got ideas on suits, accessories, and of course, Bourbons that will keep every groomsman looking their best, and make for great gifts along the way!

1. Crisp, Clean Tuxedos (That Come in More Than Basic Black)

“First Look” photos (taken of the couples’ reaction as they sneak a peek of each other for the first time on their wedding day) have started to become popular as couples want to remember this special moment. It’s usually used to capture the groom’s reaction as he gets the first look at his bride in her dress – but the bride’s reaction to the groom in his tuxedo should be just as touching!

This Italian wool Bonobos tuxedo not only comes in multiple fits, but also in a variety of colors to keep things interesting. Navy, charcoal, and ivory solids blend effortlessly with your bride’s and bridesmaids’ dresses, while a black grossgrain lapel and side seam stripe maintain the classic elegance a tuxedo brings to a black tie wedding.

Rather than spend $200 renting a tuxedo for the wedding weekend that may not have a perfect fit or the accessories you want, this tuxedo is available here for $625. A piece like this will stay with you for all your big days to come, and is well worth the up front cost.

2. A Freshly Knotted Bow Tie

A bow tie is what sets the suit you wear for a wedding apart from the suit you wear to the office. Tying a traditional tie may come easy to most, but a bow tie isn’t much harder, and can be easily learned!

While solids are traditional with a tuxedo, this is a chance to add a color or pattern to a suit – to match the girls bouquets, shoes, or dresses, to set the best man or groom apart from the rest of the party. This formal navy silk tie from Bonobos can be found here.

For ideas on both classic and unique bow ties that will set your wedding party apart, click here.

3. A Floral Accent to Match the Season

Every wedding has a traditional bouquet toss for the single ladies, but don’t forget flowers for the guys! A boutonnière is another marker of a special occasion, and the gentlemen in the bridal party may choose to save them as a keepsake.

The cream roses shown here are the perfect accent for any formalwear, but mixing traditional blooms with seasonal wildflowers can add pops of color that fit any suit.

Including trendy greenery such as succulents and air plants in with floral pieces is another great way to keep your guys looking masculine and current. Careful though – don’t overindulge on the Weller 12, because you don’t want those pins sticking anything but the flowers.

4. Cufflinks that Tell a Story

Cufflinks with the groomsmen’s initials, the Greek letters from a shared college fraternity, or (for the groom) the date of the wedding make the perfect wedding party gifts.

They’re another spot for each of the wedding party to show their individuality, and small enough to be subtle. Don’t be afraid to mix and match designs within the groomsmen – choose one color with multiple designs, or vice versa.

For Bourbon lovers, try these Glencairn or Bourbon Barrel cufflinks, found here.

5. Shoes that Step Outside the Box

They say that shoes make the man – so don’t let your groomsmen wear boring ones! Black dress shoes don’t have to be stiff and unoriginal. These patent leather Ferragamo loafers keep in line with the formality of the tuxedo, but add a trendier touch than traditional leather. Their grossgrain ribbon stripe echoes the accents on the tuxedo pants and jacket and gives texture to the sleekness of the shoe.

Shop this pair here, or hunt down more traditional balmorals with stitching or leather working that will set them apart.

6. Finally Opening that Special Bottle

No matter what you’re wearing, the most important part of the groomsman dressing room experience is who you spend it with. If you’ve been sitting on a bottle of Pappy Van Winkle for a few years, or managed to get your hands on Blade and Bow 22-Year, now is the time to open it.

The true value of a bottle is in the shared experience of drinking it with your nearest and dearest on the most important day of your life. Calm your nerves, warm up cold feet, and toast your future with a bottle you’ve been saving for a special occasion.

Caroline Paulus
Caroline Paulus is the Senior Editor for The Bourbon Review. She lives and writes in Lexington, Kentucky. Follow her on Instagram @misswhiskeyhistorian to keep up with her latest in bourbon news - and a few old finds, too.