We aren’t too worried that the bride will walk up the aisle and go, “Wait, which one am I marrying again?” That being said, you want the groom to stand out for aesthetic purposes if nothing else. Sure, most people know he’s the guy who’s been shopping for men’s wedding bands for the last six months, but he still shouldn’t fade into the background.
You’ve probably already crossed “Have him wear a sign” and “Give him a giant neon top hat” off your list. If it sounds like it could have its own paragraph in The Game, it’s best to skip it. Just a good general rule for life, really.
You’ve dialed everything in at this point. You’ve got your dream his and hers wedding ring set, the venue is immaculate and your save-the-dates have the correctly sized calligraphy font. The last thing you need is a groom who ends up a human fly on the wall at his own wedding. Let’s fix that.
This is a simple and classic way to make the groom stand out. Go for a different color for his suit. Make sure you choose the suit carefully, though. Yes, you want the groom differentiated, but you also want him to stand out. If the groomsmen are in clean, navy suits and the groom is in a simple black suit, he won’t stand out as well. Sure, he’ll be differentiated, but we can do better.
As a general rule, you want him to be in something brighter and more noticeable than the groomsmen. If the groomsmen are in gray, put the groom in navy, for example. Really, what it boils down to is this: Don’t have the groom as the only one in a black suit.
Accessorize with Details
Another great way to ensure that your groom stands out is by accessorizing his outfit with details that separate him from his groomsmen. This could be anything from cufflinks and pocket squares in complementary colors to special lapel pins with sentimental value. He could also wear an eye-catching tie or bowtie with subtle patterns instead of plain fabric ties worn by the other men in his party. All of these small touches will draw attention to him and set him apart from everyone else at the ceremony and reception.
Do you want all the boys to be matching? No problem. Up the groom’s suit game. Maybe give him a different style of suit. Put the groomsmen in classic notch lapel suits and the groom in shawl lapels. Maybe the groomsmen have simple single-breasted jackets, and the groom pulls in a stylish double-breasted jacket.
Dress Them Down or Dress Him Up
A still simpler solution than the previous two: Take the groomsmen’s outfits down one level of formality. Maybe the groomsmen skip the jackets and just go shirt and tie. Alternatively, have the groom go up a level of formality. If he’s the only one in a waistcoat or vest, he’s going to stand out and look stylish as hell doing it.
A patterned shirt of some sort will work well here too. While you might argue that a patterned shirt would technically be dressing the groom down (and you’re probably right), a pattern of some sorts makes him stand out immediately. If you like, go for a more traditional pattern to keep a high level of formality.
Change the Tie
This one goes a long way with just a minor tweak. Maybe all the groomsmen wear white ties, and the groom wears a black or colored tie. Super easy way to stand out. Alternatively, put the groom in a different type of tie. Go classic necktie for the groomsmen and bow tie for the groom. Heck, throw him in a bolo tie if you like. That might not play as well outside of the Desert Southwest, but it’s your world.
A combination of those two works really well. Have the groomsmen in more conservative, simple neckties and throw the groom in a bright, fun bow tie to double down on making him stand out.
It’s the Little Things
You want the groom differentiated, but you don’t want him sticking out like a sore thumb. No problem. Go for a boutonniere! A simple flower pinned to the groom says he’s the guy to pay attention to.
If you’re going with the suspenders, put your groom in different-colored suspenders. Maybe have him the only one wearing (or not wearing) suspenders. It could even be a cool pocket watch (though likely you want to leave the monocle and top hat at home).
If you like, you can double down on the accessories. A nice setup of matching watch, shoes, belt and ring will help him stand out. The groomsmen will probably be wearing something similar, so go for a standout metal like gold for the groom and have the groomsmen in something a bit more subdued.
Obviously, a simple (and free) way to make the groom stand out is just placing him prominently. If you place the groom up there by himself, instead of followed immediately by his squad of groomsmen, he’ll be immediately established as the guy to watch. Trickle in your groomsmen after as you see fit, as long as he shows up first.
Really, the best way to make your groom stand out is probably with a combination of these options. Keep in mind that it doesn’t have to be anything major! Even just a bigger or different boutonniere than the rest of the groomsmen will do the trick. Mix and match how you see fit, and you’ll be guaranteed that he stands out!