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Grooms: Wedding Tuxedo Rental Basics

Not sure you want to shell out the bucks for your very own tux? Read on for wedding tuxedo renting tips.

Photo: J. Wilkinson Company

Unless you're exchanging wedding vows on a beach in Kauai, your best Bermuda shorts won't work as wedding day attire. Most likely, you'll want to wear formal attire to greet your bride. If you're a regular on the black-tie benefit scene, you may already be a tuxedo owner. But otherwise, the question most groom's face is whether to rent or buy a tuxedo.

To Rent or to Buy?

Money is the main factor in your wedding formalwear decision. Renting will cost about 10% to 30% of the price of a new tuxedo, and tuxedo prices begin in the $300 to $500 range. If you attend three or four formal events per year, buying a tux may be worthwhile. Look at it as an investment -- you can wear it for years and it will never go out of style. But if you'd rather slather your body in hot tar than hit a black-tie benefit, go for the tux rental. It's definitely the easiest, cheapest option for you.

Rental Tips

Rental-minded types should keep the following tidbits in mind when choosing a groom's wedding ensemble:

  • Choose a formalwear store that updates its tuxedo inventory regularly. (If you see powder blue and ruffles, run.)
  • A good formalwear dealer will know how to measure you properly (inseam, waist, jacket size) and give you a tuxedo fitting in advance of the wedding.
  • The dealer should listen to you. If you're of the fashionable persuasion and want a dark blue, five-button mandarin collar tux, but the dealer's praising a silver tux with tails, you'll know you've come to the wrong shop. Politely say thanks but no thanks and look elsewhere.
  • The store should be able to supply you with all the tuxedo accessories you'll need: bow tie, cummerbund, cufflinks, suspenders, even shoes.
  • Finally, have all your groomsmen get their monkey suits at the same shop, so you'll match perfectly. (The store may even extend you a discount as a result). If they live in various parts of the country, ask them to get measured by a local tailor and send their measurements to your shop. Reserve their wedding tuxedos at least three months in advance.

-- Elise Proulx

See More: Tuxedos + Attire , Groom Style