- Wedding: October 2014 - UK
@Lyny123: Tweed would be nice, however I think he might be limited on where he can wear it again and it might look a bit informal.
A classic-cut navy or charcoal suit will always look good – looking back over a history of family wedding photos, most of the grooms in my family wore just plain suits and look really smart – and if you get a plain fabric (i.e. no pinstripes, no checks) it will look less like a business suit. That’s what my FH is considering.
I know there was a bit of backlash when this was originally posted to the OP, but I actually found it really helpful (and funny – it’s kinda tongue-in-cheek), and my FH agreed it was all pretty accurate (he’s a bit of a suit nerd – he spent ages looking up the traditions and protocols of the morning suit before he decided whether or not he was going to wear one. This is what I get for marrying an academic).
The idea of plain fabric for the suit being more formal and less business-like is interesting, I thought, but things like the shape of the lapels and the number of buttons can really make a difference as well – and the style of tie!
Depending on how much money you’ve got (I’m assuming you’re in the UK because you mentioned top-and-tails which isn’t really a US thing – if not, sorry!), one way of jazzing it up would be to maybe looking into the Moss Bros. Bespoke service:
It’s cheaper than tailor-made, but has a bit of that prestige (good answer to a FMIL who wants top-and-tails), and it would mean you could talk to the people there to work to find the exact style of suit you want, and pick the fabric you want – and jazzing up the lining would really personalise it.
ETA: Also, I second what the PP said about wool – a good quality wool suit doesn’t necessarily need to be heavy (my FH has dreams of a wool suit, he’s hoping the use the wedding as an excuse to get one!), although historically they could be. I can ask my FH for some links to helpful suit resources if you like and want to research it more.
RE: the vintage element of it – if you’re looking for a waistcoat, would he consider wearing braces rather than a belt? They’ll be hidden by the waistcoat and jacket for the formal ceremony part, but then might look pretty quirky and rustic-vintage afterwards.
I hope that helps!