How to Choose a Tie for Groomsmen: A Step-by-Step Guide

Find out everything you need to know about choosing groomsmen ties for your special day.

By Deanna deBara

groomsmen ties
Photo by Photo DH

Asking your groomsmen to be at your wedding is one of the first items on the groom’s wedding checklist. But, once you’ve asked your groomsmen to be in the wedding party, the next hurdle is figuring out what they’re going to wear while you say you are “I do’s”—and that includes their groomsmen ties.

There are a huge variety of mens ties for weddings; there are ties of different colors, patterns, and materials. There are ties of different shapes and styles—like traditional ties, bow ties, or even more unexpected styles, like an ascot.

It's a lot to think about. So how, exactly, do you go about choosing a tie? What things do you need to consider when evaluating wedding ties? And, with so many ties out there, how do you narrow down your options and find the right tie for your groomsmen?

1. Figure Out the Type of Tie You Want the Groomsmen to Wear…

First things first. Before you jump into the nitty gritty of ties for weddings (and, more specifically, ties for groomsmen)—like color, pattern, and material—you need to figure out what type of tie you want your groomsmen to wear when they walk down the aisle.

When you think of a wedding tie, chances are, the first thing that pops into your mind is a traditional necktie—a look that will work for just about any wedding party and event.

But if a traditional necktie doesn't feel like the right fit for your groomsmen, not to worry! Going traditional is far from the only neckwear option for your wedding party. So, if you opt out of the traditional necktie look, it's time to start thinking about alternative options—and narrow down the type of tie that you’d like them to wear.

For example, you could go with a bowtie (which is great for more casual looks), an ascot (which is more formal, and can work with a tuxedo and/or at black-tie wedding events), or a bolo—or “shoelace”—tie, a type of skinny tie that works well if you’re going for more of a country or western look. If you want to keep things more laid back, you could even opt out of ties altogether—and instead, have your groomsmen wear matching pocket squares or an accessory on their jacket's lapel (like a boutonniere).

There are no right or wrongs when it comes to wedding ties. But before making your selection, keep in mind what your overall wedding style will be. And you also want to make sure that, whatever tie you choose, it matches with the rest of their groomsmen accessories (like their socks, suspenders, pocket squares, or anything else they might be wearing).

Bottom line? There are a ton of different tie categories out there—so, before you attempt to choose a tie for your groomsmen, you want to narrow down which category of neckwear is going to be the right fit for your wedding day.

2. ...And If You Want Them to Match

Once you've decided what type of tie you want your groomsmen to wear, the next decision you’ll want to make when choosing a tie for groomsmen is whether you want everyone’s tie to match.

Traditionally, the groom, best man, and groomsmen would all wear the same wedding attire—including the same tie. If you want to keep things traditional, all your groomsmen should wear a matching tie—generally, a tie in one of the colors of your wedding color palette.

That being said, there's no rule book that says you have to keep things traditional with your groomsmen attire. Mismatching bridesmaid's dresses have become a serious trend in recent years—and there’s no reason that you can’t embrace that same mismatching philosophy on the groom’s side.

If you do decide to have your groomsmen wear different ties, the key to making them look “purposely mismatched”—instead of looking like each groomsman just wore whatever tie he felt like wearing that day—is to tie the look together (pun intended!) and create visual consistency with at least one feature.

So, for example, if you want all your groomsmen to wear a different type of tie, you should have them all wear a tie that’s the same color. Or, if you want them to wear different colors, they should all wear the same type of tie. That way, when you look at the groomsmen as a whole, they’ll look like they “go” together—even if they aren’t wearing the same matching tie.

You also want to make sure the groomsmen's ties match well with the grooms ties; you can either have the groomsmen wear the same exact tie at the groom—or, if you don't want to match ties exactly, again, choose one element that creates a sense of visual cohesion (for example, going with the same style, like a slim tie; wearing a tie in the same material, like a linen tie or silk tie; or going with the ties in a similar pattern, like polka dots, plaid, or paisley ties).

How to Choose a Tie for Groomsmen | Zola Photo Credit // Ripperton Films

3. Choose the Colors and/or Patterns for the Tie

Speaking of colors, another element of choosing ties for your groomsmen is choosing the colors and/or patterns for the tie.

When it comes to colors, if you want to keep things traditional, solid ties in classic colors, like black or gray, are a great option. Or, if from a visual perspective, you want to make it clear that your groomsmen are a part of your wedding party, you can go with a solid color tie that matches your wedding colors.

Solid ties are a great, classic look—but they're certainly not your only option for ties for groomsmen. If you want to add a bit more visual interest to your groomsmen's wedding attire, consider a patterned tie (just make sure that it’s not too loud and doesn’t steal attention from you and your partner). When it comes to patterns, there is a huge variety to choose from; if you want to go for a more classic, subtle look, try a striped tie or a smaller print—while if you want something a bit more fun and unexpected, have fun with more eye-catching patterns, like a floral tie or a bold graphic print.

4. Have Your Groomsmen Try on the Tie With the Wedding Attire

Once you’ve chosen your groomsmen’s ties, you want to have them try on the ties with the rest of their wedding attire to make sure that it all comes together—and you want to do it well before your wedding day.

Having your groomsmen try on their entire wedding outfit—ties included—before the big day will allow you to look everything over and make sure that it’s in line with your vision. And if it’s not? No worries! That’s why you want to do the try-on in advance—because if there’s something you don’t like, you have plenty of time to go back to square one and choose a different tie.

Doing a try on also gives your groomsmen time to get used to their tie—and, if necessary, learn how to tie it (for example, not everyone knows how to get the perfect knot on an extra long tie or tie a bow tie correctly!).

5. Buy or Rent a Few Extras

Generally, once you’ve chosen a tie for your groomsmen, they’re the ones that are responsible for buying (or renting) their neckwear. But, if you want to play it safe and make sure that every groomsman walks down the aisle in the tie you chose for them, it doesn’t hurt to buy (or rent) a few extra. That way, if something happens (for example, if a groomsman flies in for the wedding and his luggage gets lost, or if a groomsman spills a beverage on his tie and stains it right before he’s supposed to walk down the aisle), you have a few backups at the ready.

What Tie Fits Best For Different Wedding Themes?

Every wedding is different—and you should choose whatever groomsmen ties feel like the best fit for your wedding and wedding party.

That being said, there are certain types of ties that tend to work well with certain types of weddings.

Here are a few groomsmen ties you may want to consider for different wedding themes:

  • Black tie for a black-tie event. As the name suggests, the most appropriate tie for a black tie even is...a black tie. Go for a traditional length and shape—or, if you want your groomsmen to feel more trendy, go for a black tie in a more contemporary cut, like a skinny tie.
  • Linen tie for a beach wedding. Beach weddings are casual and breezy. And if you could capture that vibe in a fabric, it would be linen—making linen ties the perfect option for groomsmen at an oceanfront wedding event.
  • Patterned tie for a casual wedding. If you're throwing a more laid-back event, you can have more fun with your wedding attire—so consider having your groomsmen wear patterned ties with eye-catching prints and colors for your big day.

Choose the Tie That’s Right for You and Your Groomsmen

When it comes to choosing a tie for your groomsmen, there’s no “one size fits all” approach. Ultimately, you have to choose the tie that feels right for you, your groomsmen, and your wedding. And, now that you know the things to consider when making that decision, all that’s left to do is get out there and get choosing.

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