It's another Sunday family round-table; a check-in and chit-chat about the developments of my sister's wedding plans. Guest list: sorted. Venue: booked. Dress: under construction. All on track guys. At this moment the groom-to-be – BiL (Brother-in-law) – declares he won't be wearing a suit on the big day. He apparently decided this long before he proposed to my sister. Maybe even before he met her.
"I'd just like to be able to wear the wedding kit over and over again," the BiL reasons.
"Blazer, chinos and a new pair of R.M. Williams…should do me fine. That way I'll also be comfy if I decide to catch the train to the ceremony."
A new hero emerges
Having only ever attended weddings where the grooms have adhered to the traditional tuxedo or suit, it takes me a few moments to process the BiL's genius: I should have been consulting him for fashion advice more often.
Why should anyone suffer through their wedding day in an outfit they don't even like, and might never wear again in their life?
The BiL isn't the first groom to refuse a suit on his big day.
Get on the wagon
The past year has seen grooms take far more agency in owning their wedding day attire. Make no mistake, we're certainly not in t-shirt territory yet, and we can leave the hipster suspenders in the drawer for now (and forever and ever, amen). But if you're headed down the aisle in the coming months, there's never been a better time to consider exploring an alternative style approach via a range of blazers, shirts and pants that'll have you looking and feeling stylish as hell.
Blazing down the aisle
It's no secret that a smart blazer is the foundation of many gents' wardrobe. From textured to double breasted styles, a blazer is your starting point when curating any fresh wedding day look.
For spring and summer weddings, it's hard to go past M.J. Bale's slim fit Robertson's Sand Jacket. Its crisp tone and linen-cotton fabrication are will have you looking (and feeling) effortless from day to night. If you're after a more formal look – perhaps with a nod to the old school – consider an investment piece like the aptly named Husband's navy double-breasted wool jacket from Mr Porter. This piece cuts a mean silhouette and you'll end up wearing it more times than you can count.
Solid shirt game
Getting creative with your shirt-pant combo is the fun part. Here's the perfect opportunity to add a flourish of print or colour to your look.
If you feel inclined, ditch the starchy white shirt for a geo-print cotton winner from Ted Baker, which more than holds its own without a tie. If you're not quite up for prints, consider Venroy's linen classics that come in an array of colours. Browns are big at the moment and a great way to contrast a neutral blazer. Added bonus for being perfect for the humid air of an Aussie spring.
By the seat of your pants
There are few rules in the trouser realm except for ensuring (pretty please) that they fit you well. A groom in baggy pants is a sorry sight indeed.
A cross between a chino and a suit pant, Joe Black's Reign trouser in dark blue can be part of your wedding outfit on Saturday, and worn into the office on Monday. These gems have a sharp cut but a relaxed feel; pairing just as effortlessly with blazer as they do with a sports jacket. If you're keen to really turn up the style stakes, look at a pair of Z Zenga straight fit chinos. Roll them up once so they just skim the ankle, no higher less you look like a Geordie Shore extra.
Get your shoe
Take a leaf out of BiL's book and perhaps steer clear of the typical chunky black or – heaven forbid – square toe "groom shoes". Who really needs shoes laces on their wedding day?
If you don't already own them, a slick pair of R.M. Williams Chinchilla boots in cognac are a sound investment. It's hard to go past a hint of rugged charm plus a level of comfort that facilitates hours of tearing up the dance floor.
From your buck's night, to your big day, to your honeymoon, Tod's suede loafers in dark tan are another go-to. Paired back perfectly with blues and creams, few things say 'fashion-forward groom' quite like a good loafer.
Why should brides have all the fun when it comes to abandoning tradition?
If a suit isn't your jam, you can (you should) put together a killer look for your big day that truly reflects your personal style, regardless of your budget.
Check out the gallery above to see some of the best pieces to bust out on your big day.