Choosing the right ties or cravats for your wedding doesn't have to be a trial! There are a few things you can do to make the process as enjoyable as the rest of the wedding, so to help you along we've gathered some great advice about getting the best wedding ties, as some handy hints to remove one less stress from your planning.
- Ties or cravats?
- Bow ties and cummerbunds
- Matching colour schemes
- Hire or buy?
- Cleaning and caring for your ties
There are no particular rules about whether you should wear a tie or a cravat for your wedding - it's really down to personal choice though these days ties are more popular, while cravats are sometimes preferred for formal weddings. Perhaps cravats are different because they are not worn every day, making a change from regular ties. Cravats are usually more expensive though, which is worth bearing in mind if you are on a tight budget, especially if you have to buy ties for a number of people. You will also pay a fair amount more if you choose silk over polyester.
Wedding cravats are usually pre-tied, so you just fasten them round your neck with a neckstrap and adjust it for your neck size. Many cravats used for formal occasions, such as weddings, are worn with wing collar shirts, though normal shirts can also be used so don't be concerned if you can't find a wing collar shirt.
Don't forget that if you have pageboys or other children who require matching ties or cravats this can limit your options as not all ties and cravats come in matching boys sizes.
Some people prefer bow ties for their wedding. Bow ties can also be obtained in a wide range of colours and styles.
As with cravats, bow ties come either pre-tied or self-tie, though the range of pre-tied bow ties is far greater than self-tie. You may struggle to find your exact colours if you opt for the latter.
Many bow ties have matching cummerbunds, and often come in box sets which are ideal as they are perfectly matching items. Often, even if bow ties and cummerbunds are only available separately they may well be made from the same material, so any differences in colour are unnoticeable.
Apart from the standard plain colours, bow ties and cummerbunds are also available in various patterns and tartans, though these are usually more expensive. There is also usually a considerable difference in price between silk and polyester (which often has a silky or satin smooth finish anyway), so opt for polyester if you want to save a few pounds!
If your wedding's colour scheme is a "traditional" colour, for example scarlet red or ivory, you are more likely to find matching ties or cravats, as these colours are widely available. The more specialised the colour you pick, the more flexible you will need to be in your choice of ties, as it's unlikely your exact colour will be made by tie manufacturers. For example, there are numerous shades of green but only the two or three most popular shades are made as men's ties, so you may find you need to get the closest match, or have them made for you (a pricey option, especially for ties that will only be worn once).
Check out the returns policy if you're buying online - most good shops will allow you to return ties within a specified time if the colour isn't right, so you can easily order a couple of different coloured ties and return the ones that don't match. Just don’t return them after you’ve worn them at your wedding!
With many formal weddings, suits and other items are often hired from a wedding or clothing hire shop. This obviously saves a considerable amount of money, especially on suits, as they're unlikely to be worn again after the wedding. With ties however, this can be a little more difficult, as often the shops only offer a limited range of ties or cravats. As anyone who has worn a hire tie will know, they may also not be in new condition.
Unlike suits, there is often far less difference in price between hiring a cravat or tie and buying one brand new. Most ties and cravats worn for weddings can be used at other occasions as well. In fact, the most popular ties for weddings are plain coloured polyester satin or silk ties which are equally popular for daily wear, so at an average of £15 are extremely good value.
Once you've bought your ties or cravats, make sure they don't get creased or crumpled. Lay them out flat in their original packaging or hang ties on a tie rack if you have one. If you try them on, make sure you undo any knots completely and hang the tie up for a couple of days to let the creases clear away.
If on the wedding day something spills on a tie or cravat try to deal with it quickly to avoid permanent staining. Don't rub the spillage - dab it with a dry cloth to soak up as much as possible. If the stain’s something that can dissolve in water, like gravy or fruit juice, let it dry and then gently dab or rub it with the narrow end of the tie. Silk reacts differently from polyester, so this method may not work 100%, but it should help.
If you find you need to iron the tie for whatever reason, don't iron it directly - cover the tie with a cotton cloth and iron on a cool setting.
Although some tie instructions recommend dry-cleaning a tie, many people find this changes the shape and feel of the tie. Check with your dry cleaner how they clean ties to make sure your tie retains its original shape and texture.
We hope you have a brilliant day! If you have any questions about buying ties for your wedding, or would like to share your experiences and tips, please get in touch!
For step-by-step instructions on how to tie a wedding cravat, see this guide.
Found something missing or not clear on this guide? Please let us know so we can update it.
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