Thursday, May 16, 2013

Your Groom deserves to Look Great on Your Wedding Day Too!

Tux rentals are the norm these days, and in most cases it’s rightfully so. Places like Men’s Wearhouse and Savvi formal wear have perfected the art of getting a group of men all into the same outfit during the same time with little effort needed on the guy’s part – and if you live with or grew up with a man you know that’s a feat ;)

It shouldn’t be surprising that Jason and I were convinced we would also be going down this route when we first started wedding planning. Not only did it sound like the easiest route, but many tux rental companies spend lots of money advertising “specials,” and “deals” to help convince you that this is the most budget-friendly option as well.

But the more research Jason and I did the more we couldn’t help but feel that maybe (while remaining budget-conscious) we wanted to go a different route. The idea of tuxes just felt stuffy, and I was less than impressed with the way run of the mill tuxedos (and especially the vests included) looked on my shorter, broad-shouldered fiancée…

One afternoon in September, two of my girlfriends and I filled empty Arizona Tea bottles with prosecco and orange juice, and waltzed our way into one of Georgia’s many bridal shows held at a local convention center. I came guarded, knowing that this bridal show was more for the laughs and free cake than actually signing my name on any dotted lines. I threw entry cards into a few honeymoon sweepstake boxes and we made a bee-line to the back of the room where all 3 of us could see the big cake table calling our names. But before we could make it to said cake table, we were stopped by a barrage of very enthusiastic, and insistent, men in suits representing one of the many tuxedo rental companies present for the show. While being friendly, these men made it clear that we weren’t making it to the cake until we saw what they had to offer…

Yes, this tux company pulled out all the gimmicky stops and managed to include a giant money booth in their display. I for one was not interested, but after a little nudging, my amazing friend Aimee decided to give the money booth a whirl.

The guys were surprisingly helpful in trying to motion different techniques to her through the walls of how to collect the most money, etc. And by the end of it I was truly impressed at her skills – managing to collect $123 all in single dollar bills, that’s skills people!

A few weekends later, Jason and I waltzed into the tux rental store to bring in our savings sheet and see how great of a deal we had scored. After a long explanation of all that the rental would get us, and an elaborate walk-through of our “massive savings” we were presented with a number. Let’s just say that somehow all of those “massive savings” seemed to disappear once the final total was handed to us.

Even though we were already disheartened, it was our first trip to a tux store for our wedding, so for kicks I allowed the salesman to put Jason in their idea of a “modern cut” tux (which was my 1 request in regards to the guy’s attire) and was, again, less than impressed.

Me being the stubborn deal-finder that I am quickly told the man in the store that we weren’t ready to sign our name to anything, but would happily call back a little closer to our wedding date to get the process started…we never called.

Fast forward to three weekends ago and this time Jason and I decided to go to one of our tried and true stores, Men’s Wearhouse. Jason has rented at least 3 tuxedos through them for other weddings, and has always enjoyed the customer service he receives when shopping there. While I was hoping for a better experience, I still came armed with a firm budget and expectations to present to the lucky salesman who walked our way.

We immediately were surprised at how relaxed, understanding and accommodating the staff was to our needs. After walking in and talking for a while we realized two things that made their sales approach stand out:

  1.       While Men’s Wearhouse rents tuxedos for events, they obviously make a large percentage of their profits on suit sales – which leads them to a more flexible sales approach
  2.       They are also one of the few stores that LOUDLY advertises their buy 1 get 1 free sales (along with whatever special they’re running at the time) – and from our own experience, they are MORE than happy to help you find what you want, put something on hold, and then have you come back when a special is running so that you can really get the best deal for the item you’re interested in

We went into the store thinking that we would more than likely buy Jason’s suit (have it tailored to fit him perfectly, and be able to be super picky about what we wanted) and then find a tux that the groomsmen could rent (to help them save some money). But our salesman offered us an even better option!

In 4 days, the store’s next Buy 1 Get 1 free special began (running for 4 months). If we wanted to pick out a suit we loved for Jason, we could then use that special to get his suit, and all of the groomsmen their own suits for half price! We could also use the special and apply it to the dress shirts and ties for the big day. This means when you crunch the numbers, that all of our groomsmen are buying $350 designer suits (plus the dress shirt and tie) for almost the same as it would cost them to rent a tuxedo for one day!

Men’s Wearhouse Tuxedo Rental
Buying components during B1G1 Free special
Dress Shirt
None provided
Optional; up to $30
$240 - $270

I know that this option isn’t realistic for all couples. That $15 - $45 difference in renting and buying can break some people’s monthly budgets at our age, but for all the men involved in our wedding it made sense. They are all young professionals/students who will benefit from having a suit they look sharp in (and this was something we cleared with each of them before going forward with our plan). We also don’t have to scramble down from Rome, GA to get all of our tuxes returned in a specific time frame which the guys will appreciate that morning after the wedding.

Just to top it all off, because of all the rentals and purchases Jason has had to make through Men’s Wearhouse so far, they gave him a $50 gift certificate to use for any future purchase (which we will gladly be using for his tie, dress shirt and/or shoes however the remaining expenses add up).

If buying a suit is a viable option for you and your groom, I highly recommend it. Every man feels on top of the world in a tailored suit, and this will be a really sentimental thing for Jason to have in his closet for years to come. So do your research, be open to a few options, and give yourself to find an awesome deal like we did! Then your groom can feel as great on your big day as you do J

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