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A Bunch Of Dapper Brides Told Us About Rocking A Suit On Their Wedding Day

Beautiful, handsome, perfect.

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It's the expectation for a bride to "say yes to the dress" for her wedding day — but what if you feel more dashing in a suit n' tie? We asked a few dapper brides about their own experiences finding that perfect suit to feel both beautiful and handsome walking down the aisle.

"There is already enough stress and pressure involved with planning and hosting a wedding; the last thing anyone needs is to feel uncomfortable in their own clothes."

Jess Caragliano, 34

Describe your everyday style:

"Typically pretty laid-back — I work in the music industry, so it's completely acceptable for me to wear whatever I want at all times. I basically wear black denim jeans every day, often paired with Doc Martens and a vintage band tee. I have quite a collection of old Genesis shirts."

Did you always know you would suit up for the big day?

"Growing up, I would basically have a meltdown any time there was reason to dress up for any sort of special event or family gathering. It was always an awful, stressful experience, where I just didn't ever feel like myself. As a young teenager, I would occasionally get away with wearing combat boots with whatever dress my mom wanted me to wear — but even that compromise still never felt quite right. Prior to being part of a queer community, I honestly just thought my only 'dress-up' options included awkwardly wearing a dress or just being inappropriately underdressed.

When my brother got married, I wore the bridesmaid dress that I was 'supposed to' wear, and while I felt extremely uncomfortable, I didn't even think to ask them if I could wear a suit instead. Looking at his wedding photos, I barely recognized myself and felt embarrassed knowing that these pictures would live on in my family forever. That was probably a tipping point for me, and I knew I would wear suits moving forward —especially on my wedding day."

Tell us about finding the one, meaning your suit!

"I didn't have a particular vision heading into it, but as soon as I saw the Noose & Monkey blue velvet suit jacket online, I impulsively bought it and hoped it would fit. I did the same thing when I spotted the zebra YSL creepers. Both of those items are distinctly bolder than my usual style, but for some reason I felt compelled to create my wedding look around them. The jacket was clearly too big on me, so I contacted Bindle & Keep, who have a great reputation for making custom suits for queer women, and asked if they would tailor the jacket for me. Luckily, they agreed to do it, despite not typically tailoring suits that aren't made by them. Gender was a non-issue during the fitting, which was really refreshing.

I definitely had a pre-wedding pang of insecurity that the blue velvet jacket and zebra shoes were a ridiculous combo, but my amazing wife reminded me to just trust my gut, be myself, and own the look. So that's what I did!"

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If you could do it all again, would you change anything?

"My bow tie was a bit crooked all night."

How did your spouse feel about it?

"She was completely supportive — I think she probably would have been horrified if I didn't want to wear a suit! Plus, she wore an amazing custom gold lamé jumpsuit, so clearly she doesn't feel confined by what is considered 'traditional wedding style.'"

What would your advice be to anyone thinking about (and nervous about) donning dapper duds on their wedding day? Or even just to attend a wedding?

"There is already enough stress and pressure involved with planning and hosting a wedding; the last thing anyone needs is to feel uncomfortable in their own clothes. Wear whatever style is going to make you feel the most confident and the most like yourself, so you can project that positive energy among your friends and family.

Plus, it's important to remember that everyone in attendance loves you and just wants to see you happy, so there is no need to hide behind the clothes that you think people expect you to wear. As for attending someone else's wedding, the same spirit applies. I've certainly had frustrating encounters at other people's events where I've been mistaken for a 13-year-old boy or where I've been told I was in the wrong restroom — a suit and short hair can really throw some people off! Fortunately, in those instances no one was being hostile or purposefully offensive, so I was able to roll with it and move forward maintaining my personal confidence. Ultimately, I've found that it's far better to just be true to yourself even if that means making a few people uncomfortable along the way."

Sum up your emotions on the big day in three words?

"MY WIFE'S HOT!"

Adraea, 30

How would you describe your everyday style?

"Tomboy preppy, I guess. I like to be comfortable, but most of my clothes come from the men's section."

Did you always know you would suit up for the big day?

"I think so. I've never seen myself in a dress for my wedding. I figured I'd wear a ladies pants suit, but once we started planning, I decided I wanted the full dress-up."

Tell us about finding the one, meaning the suit!

"The suit I wore was actually my replacement suit! As a plus-size woman, I have the hardest time finding clothes that fit the way I like, so I knew for a suit I would have to go a tailored route. My original planned wedding suit was tailored by Crown Tailor out of Bangkok, Thailand, who I found after months of research. (They came to New York, and I went out there to get fitted and pick out fabric.) The suit arrived and some things were off. Crown agreed to make the alterations quickly. So I sent the suit back priority mail, and my suit disappeared! No kidding; it disappeared. Even with the tracking, no one knew where it went. So, with about 16 days till my wedding, I jumped onto Sumissura, a women's made-to-measure company that had tailored a blazer for me previously. They were good working with me and allowed me to pick measurements and customizations that gave the clothes a menswear look for my body.

So, the only emotionally stressful part was knowing that I couldn't just go to a store and find a suit to fit me once my original suit went missing. Overall, it worked out fine, and I would highly recommend either tailor."

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If you could do it all again, would you change anything?

"For that day, not really. I would've adjusted a few of the measurements, but overall, I think it turned out great. My wife prefers the suit I wore to the wedding rather than my original one. I keep looking at other ideas for what I'd like to wear when we renew our vows, but otherwise, I was really happy."

How did your spouse feel about it?

"She loved it! I think she just loves seeing me in a tie."

What would your advice be to anyone thinking about (and nervous about) donning dapper duds on their wedding day? Or even just to attend a wedding?

"If that's what you feel comfortable in, do it! There were times when I was getting dressed that I was nervous to let my mother see me like that. She had never seen me in a tie before then. Bu, I knew that it was my wedding and I had to be true to myself, and I'm very happy I did. Be you! You only get one life, and your wedding is your big day. And, if you want to wear it to someone else's wedding — do it too! Everyone has the right to feel comfortable in his/her own style."

Sum up your emotions on the big day in three words?

"This is me."

Crys Fitzgerald-Moore, 35

Describe your everyday style:

"I'm probably somewhere between normcore, street, and the Patagonia type. My favorite outfit is a pair of all-white Jordan low-tops, really worn-in Levi's, a black Uniqlo T-shirt, and a trucker hat embroidered with a wolf. I run and rock climb a lot, so I'm more often than not still wearing the wolf hat, but the rest of me is decked out in either climber-approved denim (aka Uniqlo) or Outlier. Outlier is great. They make really fancy high-end sportswear for men that is totally street but is good for a run or day at the gym."

Did you always know you suit up on your big day?

"Gender is a funny thing. Whenever someone asks me about a dress, or finds it interesting that I didn't wear a dress, I'm just befuddled and kind of stumped as to what to say. I imagine the reaction of an average dude-bro if you asked him how he felt about wearing or not wearing a dress. That's kinda how I feel about it. (I would also be about as attractive as the average dude in a dress). Its a confusing thing to wrap your brain around — biologically, I'm a woman and OK with that. Genderwise, however, I'm totally dude-bro."

Tell us about finding the one, meaning your suit!

"I had my suit custom-made at Bindle and Keep. I knew that something off the shelf wasn't going to work for me. Like most genderqueer folks, my shape doesn't fit traditional men's or women's clothing. Me specifically, I have very broad shoulders, but I also got me some birthin' hips. The folks at Bindle and Keep were awesome. It could have been the kind of experience that ended up not only awkward, but traumatic. Not once did they ever make me feel like I was a woman who wanted to wear a men's suit. They just were talented folks who knew their stuff and wanted to make the right suit for Crys."

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If you could do it all again, would you change anything?

"I would have gotten a better pocket square. That's about it. I was pretty on point."

How did your spouse feel about it?

"Stacey died."

What would your advice be to anyone who is thinking about (and nervous about) donning dapper duds on their wedding day? Or even just to attend a wedding?

"Weddings are a minefield of heteronormativity. Even with ours, we've had to deal with people's assumptions. I guess I'd say you don't owe anyone anything. The wedding will only last the briefest of moments, but what you remember and especially how you felt will stay with you. What people think of you, that day or any other day, will constantly change. What matters is how you feel about yourself. That's what will stick with you. Looking fly will always trump the haters in the long run."

Sum up your emotions on the big day in three words?

"Namu Dai Bosa. It's a sutra we chant at the monastery that to me, represents that every thing and every person is imbued with a deep, profound, and inalienable beauty. It's a form of gratitude, I suppose."

"I can't say getting married was something I ever thought about before falling in love with my wife, but once I did, wearing a dress never ever crossed my mind. It's just not my thing."

Lindsay, 30

Describe your everyday style:

"Extreme casual. T-shirts or button-ups and jeans or chinos. I will wear the same T-shirt until my wife declares I've overdone it. Colorful socks are awesome as well."

Did you always know you would suit up for the big day?

"I can't say getting married was something I ever thought about before falling in love with my wife, but once I did, wearing a dress never ever crossed my mind. It's just not my thing."

Tell us about finding the one, meaning your suit:

"I got the suit custom-tailored in Montreal because I am too small to fit into most men's formalwear. Unfortunately, it was a fairly frustrating experience. The tailor herself was cool about what I wanted, but when she sent the suit off to be pieced together, it was returned with an entirely different style. She claimed the older man that does this for her saw a female name and decided the cut was too masculine and didn't make sense. This led to a huge delay in receiving the suit. I only got it the morning of my wedding after an entire day of silence from the tailor because 'her phone had died.'"

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If you could do it all again, would you change anything?

"I would have taken the time to find someone who has worked with queer people and asked for a few references or pictures. This is, of course, tough to find, even in bigger cities sometimes."

How did your spouse feel about it?

"She loved it...but she'd say I looked amazing even if I was wearing mom jeans, so who knows."

What would your advice be to anyone thinking about (and nervous about) donning dapper duds on their wedding day? Or even just to attend a wedding?

"Go for it! When you feel good, you look good. People always look the best when they are comfortable and confident."

Sum up your emotions on the big day in three words?

"So much fun!"

"I truly feel when you love what you are wearing it'll make you smile brighter, laugh harder, and feel truly beautifully handsome on your big day."

Larae Harbour, 25

Describe your everyday style:

"My style is mostly like Jay Z with a splash of Michael Bublé. First and foremost it's the shoes — usually sneakers — and then I add a nice button-up and go from there. It's important for me to have a mix of comfort and style that allows me to go from day to evening wear with ease."

Did you always know you would suit up for the big day?

"Yep. I have never felt like Larae in a dress. Dresses just don't suit the image I have of myself."

Tell us about finding the one, meaning your suit!

"I had seen a navy suit I loved in a shop near my house, but it didn't fit me. A few days later I was in the mall looking for a blue suit, and came across a small suit store and walked in. To my surprise, the shopkeeper, an old white man, was super sweet and helpful and actually suggested this suit for me because of the fit and color. He had bought it for himself, but it didn't fit right. He was so excited when I fell in love with it. I was excited too! I had to get it only slightly altered to fit perfectly. Once I had the suit, I was ready to get my Jay Z on and use accessories to take it to the next level."

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If you could do it all again, would you change anything?

"Nope, I loved everything about my outfit! Still trying to figure out how I can wear it again. And again. And again."

How did your spouse feel about it?

"Kelly's words: 'You looked banging!' She thought that I looked so happy and confident and sexy in what I was wearing, which was very true. She loved the outfit from head to toe because it reflected me."

What would your advice be to anyone thinking about (and nervous about) donning dapper duds on their wedding day? Or even just to attend a wedding?

"If you think you'll feel more comfortable in a suit than a dress, then most likely you will! If you choose to be authentic to yourself I think it also provides your guests the space to explore what truly feels authentic to them. If you're worried about style or fit, trust that there are many options and people that can help you with tailoring for the right fit. I truly feel when you love what you are wearing it'll make you smile brighter, laugh harder, and feel truly beautifully handsome on your big day."

Sum up your emotions on the big day in three words?

"Oh, hot damn."

Rachael Heller, 25

Describe your everyday style:

"Book nerd meets tousled teenager meets grandpa. I'm usually wearing Clarks or wingtips, and most of my shirts have collars. I have a couple tattoos and piercings. I like my shirts tucked in and my hair slicked back. My hair does not always behave."

Did you always know you would suit up for the big day?

"Well, I didn't always know I'd get married. But my mom does tell stories about how, around the age of 3 or 4, I started refusing to wear dresses. So yes, I think it was a given that if a wedding occurred, a suit would be involved."

How did you find the one, and I mean the suit!

"I had my suit custom-made at Kipper Clothiers in San Francisco. It was my first suit and my first custom-clothing experience. As a female with the corresponding female body, I was a bit nervous going into the experience as to how my suit would fit and look. And after designing it, getting my measurements taken, and waiting for it to be made, it didn't fit right immediately. And that made me even more nervous (even though I went in knowing that is part of the process). But as promised, the team at Kipper journeyed downtown to their tailor with me to make sure it all worked out well. It ended up fitting perfectly, and I'm really happy with how it turned out.

And it's now one of my not-so-secret dreams to one day have a wardrobe made up of solely bespoke suits. A queer girl can dream, right?"

If you could do it all again, would you change anything?

"I had a hard time deciding between a jacket that matched the pants, or a jacket with a bit more character — plaid, perhaps. I still think that could have been fun, but looking back at the pictures, I can't say that I'm unhappy with how my suit turned out. And it gives me an excuse to get another jacket made."

How did your spouse feel about it?

"We surprised each other with our clothes, so she didn't see it until the day of our wedding. I'm happy to say that she loved it. In fact, our wedding took place on a typically cold San Francisco summer's day, and my wife, Sam (who was wearing a beautiful, but sleeveless dress), ended up wearing my suit jacket more than I did. She also especially liked that I had our initials and the date of our wedding embroidered on the inside lining."

What would your advice be to anyone who is thinking about (and nervous about) donning dapper duds on their wedding day? Or even to attend a wedding.

"Do it! For me, I always think that I look the best when I feel the most comfortable. And that means donning dapper duds for sure.

I realize that I am lucky to have had this experience where I did, to have access to a place like Kipper (run by queer people and open to anyone), and that I'm supported by my friends and family and have confidence in how I like to dress. I know that there are places that aren't filled with such a large majority of bighearted, open-minded, love-filled humans. With that being said, if you feel safe enough to do go dapper and have the hankering to do so, do it. People might surprise you. You might surprise you. Everyone is impressed by a lady in a suit."

Sum up your emotions on the big day in three words?

"Happy. Grateful. Dashing."

Karlyn, 27

How would you describe your everyday style?

"A visual of my personality. I do not wear what I am not. I steer toward confidence and comfort. Earth tones are my favorite. If there is a fedora or newspaper cap involved, then I'm set."

Did you always know you would, er, kilt up for the big day?

"I did. I didn't want to be in a men's suit or the typical women's suit. In my case, it was a kilt that I chose because of the location of our wedding — Scotland. Before knowing I would wear a kilt, it was difficult to find suits that were already tailored for a woman's body with a dapper flare. I was nearly going to have to find a designer to create a custom suit."

How did you go about finding the one, meaning your kilt?

"My kilt was made in Scotland. They did not have a woman's kilt that fit the style I wanted, so I took my measurements as they described on their website and sent an email to let them know it would be for a woman. I had to verify that the measurements made sense for a female while still keeping the male kilt style. Their sizes did not go down to my measurements, so I knew I would have to get it tailored to my form. Emotionally, I worried they would not be receptive to an American female wanting to wear a kilt; my focus was on the cultural position of thinking. They were very receptive and made it a very simple process while assuring me it would be completely appropriate."

If you could do it all again, would you change anything?

"None, I loved it all!"

How did your spouse feel about it?

"She encouraged me to wear what would make me feel most comfortable and like me what I wanted to say my vows in and the official 'I do.' She knew what it looked like off, but seeing her face for the first time with us both dressed in our wedding outfits will be forever engraved in a beautiful memory."

What would your advice be to anyone who is thinking about (and nervous about) donning dapper duds on their wedding day? Or even to attend a wedding.

"Be yourself. I learned this early on in life. If I had to put a label on it, I love a more tailored, masculine feel. I'm not trying to be someone I am not, or a gender that I am not. It is who I am and most confident/comfortable wearing. I want what I want. If I project that, then what is there to feel nervous about?"

Sum up your emotions on the big day in three words?

"Magically in love."

Melissa Martz, 31

Describe your everyday style:

"Nonchalant, I suppose. My fashion icon is unabashedly Ellen DeGeneres: the pants, the vests, the shirts, the blazers, the shoes, I really love it all. Stylish and impeccably comfortable. I have a hard time finding such items to fit me because I have a slim frame, but I recognize and greatly appreciate a classy wardrobe. I often find shopping for clothes that match my aesthetic and build quite difficult."

Did you always know you would suit up for your big day?

"I hadn't thought about it much as an adult prior to getting engaged, but growing up, my dream was to wear a dark, vivid purple wedding dress complete with a red velvet heart in the center. I remember my mom trying to talk me out of it, but I was convinced it would look fabulous. Since then, after asking my wife to marry me, I was nearly 100% confident that I would pass on a dress. I think wedding dresses are beautiful, but ultimately decided it didn't suit me, pardon the pun."

Tell us about finding the one, meaning your suit!

"I researched bespoke tailors in the D.C. area online, looking for one that had experience making clothes for women's bodies. I found one in McLean, Virigina — Sofio's — and sent an email to their office explaining that I wanted a three-piece pantsuit and button-down shirt for my wedding (and that I was a lady) and could they help me. Their office staff set up a brainstorming session for me with the master tailor.

I was very anxious about how my request would be received, halfway expecting 'Sorry not sorry, little girl, that's beyond my abilities.' Luckily Sofio was amazing and he grasped exactly what I was clumsily describing: fitted but not too fitted; none of that butterfly, flared look to the jacket that most women's suit jackets have; functional pockets in the pants for Chapstick, in the vest for my pocket watch that my wife had gotten me for our first Christmas together, and interior jacket pockets for who knows what (you can never have too many pockets). I wanted something masculine with a feminine aura, or possibly the other way around.

For me the experience was a complete relief. I had worried so much about being judged or not taken seriously or misunderstood, and instead his eyes lit up with excitement as I described what I wanted and he captured it perfectly, intent on creating something edgy yet tasteful and charming."

If you could do it all again, would you change anything?

"I might have gotten it a little more fitted. I was so concerned about it not being too tight that I think I exaggerated how loose-fitting I wanted it by a touch. It fit gorgeously regardless."

How did your spouse feel about it?

"Surprised! I had said I was going to wear jeans and a vest with a button-down shirt and a tie, and had arranged for the suit in secrecy with my best woman. So she had no idea I was going to be in a suit, much less one tailored from scratch. Her face, when she walked into the chapel and saw me, was adorably perplexed for a few moments. Almost like she didn't recognize me. Once she got down the aisle she was like, 'What... When... How...You look amazing.' I really felt stunning, something I hadn't felt previously."

What would your advice be to anyone who is thinking about (and nervous about) donning dapper duds on their wedding day? Or even to attend a wedding.

"For bespoke suits, research multiple places and make sure you're comfortable with the tailor. My first visit didn't cost me anything — it was merely a meeting of the minds. Thankfully it worked out for me, but I could have walked away if Sofio and Gigi weren't as awesome as they were. I wasn't able to find something off the rack that had all the visual and functional elements I wanted that actually fit me; other people might have an easier time finding something less labor-intensive, which I'm sure is a great option. Either way, being comfortable and feeling dapper while doing so is what's most important, to me at least. I had a friend in college who used to say, 'Dress well, test well,' and he would wear a suit and tie to take every exam. I never took him up on that advice then, but with my wedding suit, I discovered the confidence and strength you gain from dressing like a champ. If only all my clothes could be so lovely."

Sum up your emotions on the big day in three words?

"Would buy again."

Moira, 34

How would you describe your everyday style?

"'50s throwback, classic butch."

Did you always know you would suit up for your big day?

"Yeah, wearing a dress is never an option for me for any occasion."

Tell us about finding the one, meaning the suit!

"The suit I'm wearing in these photos is actually different than what I wore to my actual wedding. My wife and I eloped to Hawaii, so it was a crazy scramble to get our outfits for the ceremony. I ended up putting together a sweet ensemble made up of a white blazer from Zara, a patterned white-and-blue button-up shirt from Topman, white Levis 511's, and all-white classic high-top Vans. It was crazy trying to get all of that together in such a short amount of time. My wife proposed to me on Christmas Eve and we got married on New Year's Eve. Do you know how hard it is to find a white blazer in the middle of winter? Even in L.A., that shit is not in season. It was literally like a wedding scavenger hunt, so that part was a little stressful, but admittedly kind of fun."

If you could do it all again, would you change anything?

"If we end up having a proper ceremony with all of our family and friends, it would be cool to get a suit custom-made."

How did your spouse feel about it?

"She thought I looked very handsome and couldn't keep her hands off of me. I'd say thats a pretty good sign that I did OK."

What would your advice be to anyone who is thinking about (and nervous about) donning dapper duds on their wedding day? Or even to attend a wedding?

"Look, your wedding is for you and your spouse, and if you're going to feel your happiest, proudest, and hottest in a suit, then fucking go for it. If anyone is going to give you a hard time about that, then you should not be inviting them to your wedding. Period.

If you get invited to a wedding, and you're nervous about wearing a suit, just remember that your friend who is getting married is going to be too overwhelmed to care about what you're wearing; they just want you to show up in something nice. If they have close-minded family that has a problem with you, just pour yourself some extra champagne and be thankful that they're not your family."

Sum up your big day in three words?

"We killed it."

Did you don a suit for your big day? Share photos and tips in the comments below!

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