A big-day stylist and event planner offer their take on an optimal timeline for this important wedding-related task.
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groom with groomsmen in classic black suits outside

Just like bridesmaids, groomsmen (and the groom, himself!) need to give proper thought to their big-day attire, since making sure a dapper tuxedo or suit is selected and tailored ahead of time is a key priority. However, actually determining when and how to pick up that suit can be tricky, since you need to factor in a few details, like lead time for alterations and departure schedules for destination events. To clue you into all those need-to-know details, we spoke to a big-day stylist and wedding planner. Below, you will find five helpful suggestions that will help you craft the best timeline.

Time the initial suit shopping process right.

Starting the suit and tuxedo shopping process on time facilitates on-schedule pick-up down the road. "Suits and tuxedos should usually be selected five months before the wedding after the bridesmaids have selected their own dresses," says Julie Sabatino, a bridal stylist and founder of The Stylish Bride.

Try on everything before you leave the store.

"If you are renting a piece, the vendor will typically determine when the suit or tuxedo may be picked up," explains Isabel Rokeach, an event planner at Michelle Leo Events, noting that these rental companies will start with your wedding date (or the date you depart for your big-day locale, should you opt for a destination wedding) and work backwards to ensure you have everything you need in a timely matter. However, always try everything on before you leave the store to ensure everything fits as it should and that every item you rented is included in your order, she says.

If you're buying a tuxedo, factor in alterations.

Are you or your groomsmen purchasing or custom-ordering suits or tuxedos, instead? If so, you need to pad your garments' creation-to-pick-up timeline with ample room for alterations, notes Rokeach. This requires gaining a clear understanding of the ordering process—and how long it will take for the un-altered ensemble to arrive in the store, she adds. Then, "speak with an alterations specialist and identify how much time is needed to make the final adjustments so everything fits like a glove," Rokeach continues. Once this timeframe has been identified, she suggests placing your order accordingly to receive everything ahead of the wedding (and avoid any rush fees); if you began the process at the recommended five-months-out point, aim for a pick-up date of one month before the wedding, which will allow for any last-minute tweaks if necessary.

After you pick up the suits, tag them with the groom and groomsmen's names.

If big-day suits are being purchased, the groom and his guys are likely handling the process separately and bringing their attire to the big day. But if you are renting and are responsible for picking up a batch order? Clearly identifying each man's respective suit upon pick-up is key. "You'll definitely want to put name tags (or at least sticky notes) on your suits," Rokeach notes. Ultimately, this helps avoid any confusion about which suit belongs to which groomsman.

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