Your style of suit will depend on both the theme and location of the wedding, which ultimately determines its formality. The primary consideration when selecting your outfit is to consider colour and then fabric – other factors are secondary and are really up to the discretion of the bride & groom. If you are opting to hold your wedding in a church, a tuxedo or a conservative suit (navy is the most versatile choice) made of superfine Merino wool is de rigeur. However, weddings held outside institutions have move leeway. Garden weddings work best with suits that complement their settings, more earthy colours (in solid or patterns) and cloths in wool and wool blended with other natural fibres like cotton and linen. Beach weddings demand lightweight fabrics and warm colours (if opting for a dark jacket consider wearing a pair of trousers in a brighter tone and vice-versa). The cocktail wedding is a modern invention and hence is subject to interpretation.
The terms tailored suit and non-tailored suit can often be confusing. It is better to think about them as "custom" and "off the rack" respectively. A custom suit is a suit that is made specifically for the client. This involves a fitter capturing a series of personal measurements for the cutter who then drafts up a pattern (the blueprint of suit), and who then gives it to a tailor to construct the suit. Often a custom suit will involve at least two fittings. The first fitting is to capture the client's details and preferences; the second to make any adjustments to the suit if required.
An "off-the-rack" suit, by contrast, is a suit you can buy in-store immediately. Unlike a custom suit, no pattern has been drafted just for the client. The suit is cut to a standard shape and are designed to be altered by the client to achieve their desired fit.
Suits are expensive for several reasons—the most important ones being construction and fabric. Unlike simpler garments like a t-shirt, jacket or jeans, a tailored jacket is comprised of multiple layers of fabric, each of them playing a distinct role in creating shape and comfortable fit. Each of these layers interacts with each other in unique ways and vary according to the weight of the cloth, the type of construction, as well as the wearer's body. Consequently, there is a certain degree of expertise required.
The second reason suits are expensive is fabric. A good quality suit will be woven from high-quality natural fibres such as superfine wool, linen and cotton. These fabrics are designed to maintain their good looks throughout the day without sacrificing performance. Natural fibres are breathable, offer flexibility, and conform to the shape of the wearer to produce a more individual shape.
Yes and no. Tailored or made to measure suits can be more expensive than off-the-rack high-street suits due to the labour involved in fitting a made to measure suit. However there are other factors which might make an off-the-rack high street suit more expensive. This includes but is not limited to cloth quality, quality of construction, cloth exclusivity, design exclusivity etc.
At a minimum, you should budget $599 for an off the rack suit plus an additional $200 for alterations (assuming the suit is made of natural fibres, has a half-canvas construction (a layer of fibres between the suit outer and interlining that allows it to conform to your body shape)). For a custom 'made-to-measure' suit, you should budget at least $900.
For an off-the-rack suit, the typical lead time for alterations is 1-2 weeks. A made-to-measure suit typically takes 4-12 weeks to make (depending on the number of fittings and the specifications of the client)
If buying an off the rack suit, an alterations tailor can adjust the suit to fit you within a 1-2 week window (assuming that the amount of weight loss or put is not dramatic). A made-to-measure suit can be adjusted by an alterations tailor as well.
Wool is a natural fibre sourced from sheep. It is breathable, thermoregulating and has a natural spring meaning that it will hold its shape well. Wool of a superfine grade has a natural lustre that makes it appropriate for more formal suiting.
Cotton is a natural fibre sourced from the cotton plant. It is incredibly durable, breathable and non-irritating. It is most often used in casual suiting.
Linen is a natural fibre sourced from the flax plant. It is one of the oldest known textiles (first sourced along the riverbanks of the Nile) and is extremely durable, breathable, highly absorbent and dries quickly. These qualities make it a favourite for lightweight spring/summer suiting.
Mohair is a luxurious fibre sourced shorn from the fleece of the Angora goat. Like wool, mohair is durable with a natural spring that gives it resilience and helps it gives it shape. At comparable levels of fineness, mohair's sheen and lustre are superior to wool's. It is typically reserved for formal tailoring and can be blended with wool to bolster its durability.
Silk is a natural fibre sourced from the cocoon of the silkworm. When refined, it's most outstanding quality is its luxurious lustre which makes it ideal for accessories such as ties and pocket squares. It is also occasionally blended with other fibres to add a polished appearance.
A blended cloth is a cloth made of a blend of fibres. Blended fabrics combine the benefits of different fibres.