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Tying a bow-tie can be a mind boggling task. Then add the pocket square and we’re all walking around lost! Luckily, James from James White Photography has made this short but very informative and very easy to follow tutorial vid so you can walk out of the house with pride, knowing you’ve nailed the bow-tie!

About James White Photography: Hey! We are James and Daniela, husband and wife team here at James White Photography, located on the gorgeous Central Coast of NSW! Eccentric, funny, and one of a kind are some of the words most often used to describe us. Between the two of us (James does photography and Daniela does your videography), we focus solely on making you feel comfortable. It’s all about the banter and laughter. If we can achieve this, the stunning, tear inducing photos just come naturally…That’s just how we roll.

Pascal & Richard

When it comes to The Suit Issue, we’re not sure we could think of a wedding that ticked every box more than this one, where every single member of the wedding party dinner wore their own black-tie suit! It’s one of these weddings where not only do you want to pull up a chair, but you also secretly wish you knew the newlyweds well enough to walk beside them. Pascal and Richard wanted a formal vibe to their day, so they worked to custom tailor their own version of a tuxedo, outfitted their favourite people in matching attire and chose a very hot (and humid!) Sydney day to do it all in spectacular style! They invited Gemma Clarke Photography along for the ride and today we’re sharing their beautiful story with you.

The pair met in SA. “We met at the Edinburgh Castle Hotel in Adelaide, 12th Jan 2007. “The only gay pub in the village” remark Pascal and Richard. Their story culminating in a day that as they dreamt of “The atmosphere was vibrant with lots of pink & white flowers filling the space, ” tell the grooms. “We included an array of candles to further enhance the room. We chose live music to get our guests up and dancing.”

The grooms and their groomsmen, alongside groomswomen, wore custom made tuxedos from Brent Wilson paired with Christian Louboutin shoes and accessories from Thomas Sabo and Tiffany & Co.

They share “We wore a velvet black tuxedo jacket with black pants and a tuxedo shirt. We asked to have the sleeves cut short as it was summer and wanted to be cool once jackets were off – and finished with pink velvet bowties.”

Pascal and Richard were married on a beautiful summer’s day at The Rose Garden & Pavillion, Royal Botanic Garden Sydney. They explain “We chose the Rose Garden as we wanted the Royal Botanic Garden to really shine. We chose clear Tiffany Chairs so that we didn’t take away from the Garden. ”

The grooms walked down the aisle to “Photography” by Ed Sheeran played live by The 128’s.

Tami Sussman officiated proceedings, the grooms noting “One of our closest friends Chris Turner gave a reading, the only rule we gave her was that it must not be longer than 3 minutes as she’s a world-renowned speaker and academic in the Astrology community.”

“We made sure that Richard’s parents were mentioned as they’d just celebrated their 42nd anniversary. We also wrote our own vows to each other” tell the grooms.

Pascal and Richard were thrilled with their chosen photographer. “Gemma was fantastic, we originally didn’t rate photos high on our priority list but then after visiting Gemma, we decided to put these memories higher up the list. She made us feel relaxed, gave us the confidence to do things we typically wouldn’t do (PDA) and we would highly recommend her as a photographer to others.”

Wandering around Sydney for photos was one of the newlyweds favourite parts of the day if only for the story it resulted in! They share “As it was a hot and muggy day when we were walking back to the Park Hyatt having photo’s taken along the way we spotted some guests at a bar having some drinks so we wandered over and skulled their pints! They then were nearly kicked out of the venue for supplying drinks to people not in the venue!”

The newlyweds celebrated with their guests at a sit-down reception at Park Hyatt Sydney. “We wanted the best locations possible as the majority of our guests were travelling from interstate this gave them the best experience possible to really remember their weekend away.”

Pascal and Richard worked with floral designer Best Buds who created floral details of pink and white roses, alongside beautiful lush hydrangea blooms.

The first dance romantic! The grooms chose “500 Miles a version by Sleeping at last which was performed live by our band The 128’s. This song was a slowed down version of the original by the Proclaimers.”

Congratulations to you both Pascal and Richard! Thank you for sharing the stories of your day with us. Thanks also to Gemma Clarke Photography for sharing today’s beauty of a wedding!

Credits

This post features the following wedding vendors. If you've been featured below, we'd love to get to know you. Click here to join Polka Dot Bride.

  • Hair & Makeup Artist
  • Craig McPhail
  • Hairstylist
  • Violetta Igorevna
Photo by Jason Corroto. Via Crystal & Don's Tropical Black Tie Bali Wedding at Royal Pita Maha

Photo by Jason Corroto. Via Crystal & Don’s Tropical Black Tie Bali Wedding at Royal Pita Maha

It’s suits month at Polka Dot Groom and boy, do we have some ground to cover. There are so many options when it comes to suiting up that it can be difficult to know where to start. I’ve been lucky enough to chat to a wealth of talented stylists, tailors and purveyors of fine suits in the last few years and I’ve picked up a handy treasure trove of suit advice as a result.

But where to begin? Let’s start with the mistakes, after all, the last thing we want is to make a fashion faux pas when you’re standing in front of all your family and friends.

Suit mistakes

Carl Nave from Carl Nave Individually Tailored – a Melbourne business which specialises in tailored suits, once told me there are two areas to keep an eye on to avoid making rookie suit errors: shoulders and sleeves.

“If the shoulders are too tight, or too broad, the rest of the suit is not going to fit well,” Carl says. “The length of jacket is crucial in achieving the right proportions from width to length. Cropped jackets are uncouth, your jacket should always cover your back side and crotch, adversely you don’t want the jacket to be too long either, you’ll look like you’re wearing your dad’s jacket and the whole thing will swallow you up. Sleeve lengths are paramount to executing the perfect look.”

Pocket squares

If you’ve never worn a pocket square, you’re probably asking yourself: why on earth do I need to wear one? Fair call. And when you factor in how much of a pain they can be to fold and keep at the right height in your jacket pocket (speaking from personal experience there), you could be forgiven for doing away with them altogether.

But there is method to the madness when it comes to the little square fellas – they can take your look from ‘guy in a suit’ to ‘groom in a suit’ in a heartbeat.

Stylist Sally McKinnon, who runs Styled By Sally told me pocket squares add personality to your suit. “Whether it’s a simple white pocket square folded in a square or a satin paisley, a well-chosen pocket square will complete the outfit,” Sally says. “Pocket squares can help to differentiate a suit from the everyday to a special occasion. It allows the groom to stand out from his groomsmen or for the wedding party to stand out from the wedding guests. It also allows the wedding party to have some fun with colours, prints and patterns.”

Image by Splendid Photos & Video via Amanda & Brendan’s Elegant Sydney Wedding at The Grounds of Alexandria 

Colours

This can be one of the hardest things to nail down as a groom. Maybe you’ve decided you don’t want a black suit or perhaps you’re thinking about some bright colours to match the flowers of the brides and bridesmaids. But where on earth do you start with colour matching? Aussie model Sam Wines told me three basic colour options which are perfect to get you started.

  • Complimentary Colours: Try orange and blue or yellow and violet. “These colours are directly opposite each other on the colour wheel and when combined, will be completely contrasting, making both colours pop.”
  • Analogous Colours:Try violet and blue. “These are colours directly adjacent to one another on the colour wheel. It is softer and offers less contrast to that of the triad or complimentary colour schemes and is always a safe bet.”
  • Triad Colours: Try red, yellow and blue. “This is probably the most useful of the three for a groomsman, or anyone in a suit for that matter, as it allows you to balance the tie with the shirt and suit or any other element of the look.”

Image by Nina Maree via Rachael & Jake’s Autumn Farm Wedding With Dusk Pink & Marsala

Image by Glass Slipper Photography via Danielle & Leon’s Chic Winery Wedding at Zonzo Estate

Black and white

Of course, colours aren’t for everyone and there’s nothing wrong with keeping it black and white when it comes to your fashion choices on the big day. Let’s face it, by keeping It simple you remove any uncertainty about colour selection.

Oscar Hunt Tailors General Manager Chris Edwards told me a classic black dinner suit with a crisp white shirt, black bow tie and a white pocket square is a difficult thing to go past. “That’s a classic look. Even though it’s been done a million times in the past, it’s still such a great look. Personally, it’s pretty hard to go past that.”

Ultimately, the classic black suit and white shirt is a win-win for any groom – it takes the stress out of colour-matching, provides you with a look which will stand the test of time, and most importantly, you’ll look sharp as a tack at the end of that aisle.

Image by Alex Stevens via Talia & Peter’s Wedding at The Farm Yarra Valley 

Tailor or not tailored

To tailor or not to tailor? That is the question. We know getting a tailored suit can cost a few extra pennies but the difference in the final product can be worth it. I’ve said previously that I’m an advocate for a tailored suit, and over the past few years I’ve spoken to a bunch of stylists and tailors who often agree.

Mauricio Rios – Wedding Manager at InStitchu – custom, tailored menswear – told me wedding suits should be a reflection of you, and often the only way to achieve this is through tailoring. “Your wedding suit should be unlike any other outfit you own,” Mauricio says. “Custom, tailored suiting is all about achieving the perfect fit and expressing who you are through the garments you wear. It (tailoring) enables grooms to create their dream wedding suit that they have pictured in their mind. It will fit like a glove and be uniquely your design – from the fabric, to the buttons, to the lapel, to the cuff, to the collar, to monogramming and so much more – the sky is the limit.”

And what about the dollarydoos? Mauricio says tailoring isn’t as pricey as it used to be. “Historically, custom, tailored suiting was expensive and priced a lot of people out of even considering it as an option, but we’re changing all that with custom, tailored wedding suits starting from $399 and shirts from $89, driven by the belief that every man should be able to afford a custom, tailored suit without breaking the bank or compromising on quality.”

“Contrastingly, when you buy off the rack, you’re essentially buying someone else’s design, made in bulk, to standard measurement patterns. Chances are you will have to pay extra for alterations if you don’t fit standard sizing too.”

Photo by Morgan Roberts Photography. Image via Naomi & Bon's Gorgeous Australian Country Wedding

Photo by Morgan Roberts Photography. Image via Naomi & Bon’s Gorgeous Australian Country Wedding

So there you have it, a handful of suit tips to get you started on your journey to the perfect wedding suit.

Ms Zebra Says: There’s nothing better than a well dressed – and well suited man! This is especially the case for one of the most important days. Thanks Mr Houndstooth for sharing this invaluable suiting know-how!

About Mr Houndstooth: I am a happily married man. I enjoy a fine whisky, a new suit and swashbuckling around town with my beautiful bride. Looking back on my wedding day always makes me smile, even though it began to rain just as I said ‘I do’.