Wednesday, May 28, 2008

The tuxedo is worse than the dress.

Well! We haven't talked about the wedding in awhile, huh? Let's remedy that now, shall we? It's almost the end of May, and at the beginning of the month I laid out a list of things that I wanted to get done this month. And it wasn't much. But it isn't all done.

So let's start with the stuff that IS done, just to make me feel better. First, the rehearsal dinner. Not that we actually DID anything about that other than make a decision, but the decision we made doesn't have to be dealt with for a few more months, so I think we're good. Anyway, first of all, we decided to have only the wedding party, their significant others, and our parents at the rehearsal dinner despite the fact that the latest trend is to have all out of town guests--because 90% of our guests will be from out of town, so planning a rehearsal dinner for them would essentially be like planning a second wedding.

Anyway, so we calculate that there will be 16-18 people at our rehearsal dinner, which, given that we didn't include the rehearsal dinner in our budget estimate, is still a fair amount of money when you consider per-person costs. If we went to a nice dinner at a somewhat upscale restaurant like we'd been considering, once you factor in tip and alcohol and dessert, costs could easily surpass $1,000 for the night and keep on going. Plus, we kept going around and around in circles about what restaurant to go to--there was one that we liked, but it's loud and crowded on Friday nights, and there was something about it that wasn't quite right.

And then my sister made the perfect, and obvious, suggestion of our favorite little hole in the wall Thai place. That's the restaurant we've been to together more than any other, and we love it. And it's inexpensive, and it's never crowded, even on weekend nights. And the food is delicious and everybody loves Thai. As soon as she said it, we were like, OH. DUH. And now we're envisioning a family style dinner with platters of pad Thai, coconut curry, and crispy duck, plus yummy fried appetizers and pitchers of Thai iced tea. It's going to be PERFECT. And low-key and fun and not outrageously expensive. I'm so glad we've figured that out.

Next, starting the invitations. They haven't actually been put together, but they're all designed and all the supplies have arrived and we've figured out the wording for the invitation itself, the RSVP card, and the info card, in both German and English. We've picked out fonts and I've put everything together in In Design (and huge thanks to Michelle for telling me to use In Design instead of Illustrator, and for telling me how to use it. Screw "it takes a village to raise a child"--it takes a blogosphere to plan a wedding). So on an upcoming weekend, my sister and I are going to get together and start printing, and cutting, and taping. It's going to be great. Or terrible. It's still unclear.

Now, for the things we haven't done. I haven't picked a ribbon. But I'm okay with that. I just need to get myself to a craft or fabric store and choose one. It will not take very long. And I don't need the ribbon yet anyway, because we decided not to use it on the invitations after all.

So the last thing on the list? The tuxedo styles? That is what is seriously driving me crazy. Originally I had planned to just go to Men's Wearhouse, have Torsten try on a few different styles to see what suited him best, and then have that done. But then I called them over the weekend and spoke with a guy who condescendingly informed me that no, they don't actually have the tuxedos in stock--all we'll be doing is looking at a book. NOT HELPFUL. I've LOOKED at their catalog online, and I'm sorry, but staring at a bunch of tuxes on models is not giving me the clearest picture of what will look best on Torsten. So I figured (but luckily did not say out loud) that Men's Wearhouse could go screw themselves and we'd find another store.

Except, ha ha, apparently there ARE no other stores. After Hours, the only other big chain that used to do tuxedo rentals, has now been absorbed into Men's Wearhouse as MWTux. And everything I read online complains about MWTux, and how they were rude, or messed up the order, or things didn't come in on time, or didn't fit, and how it was a huge, stressful hassle right up until the day of the wedding. But there are very few reviews of any other tuxedo rental places, and the reviews that do exist are mixed at best.

For literally every other vendor we've found so far, I have done research until I found someone whose prices fit with our budget, whose reviews were unanimously positive, and who clicked with us in person and understood what we were looking for. And there does not seem to be any such vendor when it comes to tuxedo rentals. So I don't know what to do. I'm thinking of taking Torsten to Macy's or somewhere to try on a tux just to find out what looks best, then ordering a similar style from MWTux and hoping they don't mess it up? Or just finding a random local tux rental place, crossing my fingers, and hoping for the best? Or is there some other solution to this issue that I am overlooking? What would you do?

49 comments:

d e v a n said...

Yikes. Sorry about the tux! I'd probably go somewhere too and let him try one on to get an idea.
The rehearsal dinner sounds great!

nancypearlwannabe said...

Hmm. I have no idea about tuxes! But I know Thai food, and now I am very hungry.

Janssen said...

Mmmmm, Thai food. My favorite.

We went to a little no-name tux shop, he tried a few on and we picked the ones we liked best. And then we picked them up a day or two before the wedding. No hassle, no stress, not a lot of money.

playintherain said...

And the boys say we're the ones that make it tough! haha. The rehearsal dinner sounds great, I'm sure it's going to be exactly what you guys want!

Manager Mom said...

Cool idea - I love Thai food. But the backwater town I live in took SIX YEARS before we got a Thai restaurant. I am lighting candles that we might get a Vietnamese place sometime, but I am not holding my breath.

dreamgrrl said...

the whole suit/tux thing is the worst! I think its easy because your dress is just you, but you have to coordinate guys and different opinions and yada yada. Its frustrating but you'll get through it! Don't worry

The Tomball Three said...

We did our tuxes at Mens Warehouse and it was great. You DO have to pick from a book, which was weird, but it worked out for us. If you go to our blog and re-look at the wedding pics, our guys and Conrad are wearing the style on the front cover of the MWH catalog. They were very nice!

The only problem was that Conrad's dad's jacket was WAY short. It was like 3/4 sleeves- so they fixed it right there. They happened to have another jacket there ...

I think MWH will be fine for you!

Jummy said...

Sorry to hear the tux issue isn't working out as planned. I think your Macy's then Men's Wearhouse option will work.

And I've been craving Thai food since yesterday...this entry makes the need to eat Thai at lunch even more urgent!

SLynnRo said...

We used Men's Warehouse and had no problems. But there was only like one style of tux there I could even stand. And boy did we debate about tuxes. Aaron actually likes cummerbunds (who likes those?) and I wanted the vest and tie tux. I won, obviously, but it was a battle. Anyway, I am a satisfied MW customer for what it's worth.

Flibberty said...

We ordered the tuxes for our wedding from Men's Wearhouse, and they were actually quite pleasant here in the burbs of Chicago. However, the true test will come on August 1st when we actually need the darned things. Fingers crossed on that one.

P.S. The one we went to had a few tuxes for trying on.

Pickles & Dimes said...

We used After Hours and only one tux needed some alterations, which they did on the spot when the guy came to pick his up. I was very happy with them, especially since all the online reviews I had read were bad. I thought they were awesome.

S said...

What about buying a tux from Macy's? They can alter it for a perfect fit and I'd venture to say it wouldn't be that much more expensive than a rental. Plus, then he'd have a tux for special occasions! Just a thought. We got our tuxes from a family owned shop and they keep all of their items on site! Maybe there is a hidden gem in DC like this too.
Are you really planning of cutting your own invitations? Is there more than one cut? If so I would recommend taking them to Kinkos or Staples to have them cut. 5 minutes, 5 bucks, finished! Love the rehearsal dinner idea.

Kat said...

The tux thing is the most bizarre thing I have ever heard. Having paid for many a tux for proms, weddings and college thingys with my boys, they have ALWAYS gone somewhere and tried on the tux and have been measured to get the right size. Check into some bridal stores and see if they also do tuxes. Here is Texas we have Al's Formal Wear, which is a chain but I don't know if they are everywhere, but I know for certain that when they were in my niece's wedding they got fitted at a bridal shop. Hope that helps.

L Sass said...

I would definitely at least look into buying a tux. If you hit a great sale, it could be a worthwhile investment.

If not, I think going to Macy's and trying is a really good idea. If you work with a good sales consultant, you can probably pick up the "key words" that will help you pick the right style tux for the wedding!

pseudostoops said...

I agree that if you anticipate having other occasions to wear a tux to, buying one isn't a terrible idea- John bought his tux for our wedding and has made up the cost in saved rental fees for all the fancy things we've been to since- but we've been on sort of a weird streak of formal weddings recently. Otherwise, I'd recommend calling around to a couple other MW locations to see if they have samples to try on (some do, some don't)- we used MW for the groomsmen's tuxes and they were fine. (not great, but fine)

lspoon said...

Dude tux drama, I know all about it.

We went to get my husband's rented and paid a deposit and went back the next week with my husband's mom and the store was NO LONGER THERE!

Luckily I got my money back b/c there were other stores in neighboring towns but they didn't feel the need to mention to us that they were going to be closing that location and switching our order so I didn't feel the need to continue to use them.

We went with S&K and all of the rumors we heard about them were completely untrue! :)

Kristen said...

We used After Hours tuxedos because there were locations throughout the country and not all of the groomsmen were local. Decent price and they looked good in the pictures. Tuxs aren't the most stylish thing in the world, but they work.

Sizzle said...

What's up with the tux monopoly!? Weird and annoying. :(

Ms. Karen said...

Perfect choice for the food. Yum. I know what I want for lunch today (won't happen, but I know what I want).

Ribbons... make sure you get the exact one you want, and go in plenty of time. We had to special order the stuff for Spawn's wedding (it was twenty-five dollars a foot... Not kidding). Sometimes colors go "out of season" and can be a challenge to get. Like you wanted to have something else to store.

We have a place called The Tux Shop and I found one in NJ (I'm not sure if it's the same company, but whatever). We've always had good service with them.

Here's the link, just in case (I know, New Jersey, but that's closer than Seattle, right?)

http://www.thetuxshopnj.com/

Alice said...

tuxes are such a weird, stressful part of the wedding.. weird, because WTF why should that be a stressful bit AT ALL? and yet is always seems to be. both weddings i've been involved with in the past year had tux mixups, so MAKE SURE everyone picks up their tuxes and tries them on a day early, if possible.

the thai restaurant sounds WONDERFUL. what a great idea. i'm glad you found a perfect place!

lifeintheleftlane said...

I feel your pain with tuxedo drama. Half of the wedding party is in Atlanta and the other half is in NY, so we need to find a place with stores in both locations. Sigh...

Mmm...Thai food is so yummy! What a great and fun idea for a rehearsal dinner! :)

Becky said...

I don't know if you have something like this or not (although really, if we have on in Duluth you should have one in DC), but we went with a little local shop that keeps all their tuxes in the store. So not only do you get to try on different styles and stuff, but there is also no chance of them ordering the wrong size or having it come in wrong or whatever - they just go to the back and get the right one!

I agree that it's difficult to tell what's going to look best from a book. I thought I really liked the look of 2-button tuxes, but when my fiance and the dads tried them on they were way too boxy and baggy in the back (apparently a beer belly will do that). So they got the one-button ones and they look great!

poodlegoose said...

Oh, dear. . . this tux talk sounds like a nightmare. I'm going with suits, however, because. . . well, just because. But you're making me a little anxious because my wedding is 31 Oct, and I haven't done a damn thing about it in like 2 months. Buh! Better get on the ball :) Glad you found a nice place to do your rehearsal dinner. Living in a podunk town can definitely have its disadvantages.

emmaelizabeth said...

that really sucks to hear about the tux thing. but at least you read the reviews for a heads up. so good luck on that.

and yay for finding a rehearsal dinner place :) the last rehearsal dinner I was at, the couple did a bbq at their house and it was fabulous. so that kept things on the cheaper side for them. but it sounds like this Thai restaurant is the perfect fit for you :)

getdone said...

yum! thai food is one of my many weaknesses.

Shamelessly Sassy said...

I would call some other department stores about the tuxes. Most of them have a tux book or whatever, but don' t advertise it around prom tom. And the Thai food...yummy! We ended up just doing black suits, and they looked just as nice as tuxes.

Christina said...

I really like the idea of your rehersal dinner. It is great that it is "your" place. Like you I like people to have fun in an informal setting.

a little bird said...

the dinner sounds wonderful : ) when is the wedding date?

Lara said...

We got Rob's tux at Men's Wearhouse, but didn't really agonize over it. I just assumed he'd look great! Then again, he initially wanted tails and a top hat, but I refused to allow it. Heh. I told him all he needed was a monacle and a cane and i'd be marrying Mr. Peanut.

Your rehearsal dinner sounsd perfect!

Michelle & the City said...

i'm glad everything worked out with the invites, glad to help (the little that i actually did) :)

and i would go to a local place for the tuxedos, they would probably be more careful and take more time and consideration for their customers. sometimes that gets lost with the big chains.

Banana said...

I'm glad your invitations are coming together - In Design is definitely the best for a card layout. Also, if you are planning to cut the invitations yourself I would suggest that you go to a Kinkos or other such copy store and have them do it. It's very cheap ($3.00 for a one inch stack, or something similar), it will save you loads of time and it will probably look cleaner and more unified.

Oh the wedding Tux - often a problem. The staff at MW is often rude and unhelpful, they only have tuxes (for the most part, no suits) and you can't see anything in person. The one thing they do have in store is samples of the fabric, so that will help some. For the most part all of the Tuxes are VERY similar with just a minor detail differentiating one from the other - so you can't go too wrong with whatever you choose. I think it's a great idea to try some styles on at Macy's so you can visualize what it will look like. Good luck!

Swistle said...

The Thai idea sounds awesome. My brother and his then-fiancee (I mean, now she's his wife---not, "it didn't work out") did something similar. We basically took over the entire restaurant except for about three tables in a corner. It was lovely, with passing of platters and lots of free moving-around-the-restaurant. It really felt better than a more formal place--and it was a small inexpensive place (family-run) so it was WAYYYYYY less expensive.

bren j. said...

Leave it to the groom to steal the show! :) I have zero suggestions about the tux. Mr. J. just wore a suit.

I'm glad you figured out your rehearsal dinner. Thai food sounds tasty and adventurous and relaxed all at once. We had our rehearsal dinner two nights before our wedding and it was one of the best planning decisions we made.

Saly said...

Our rehersal was similar-- wedding party/spouses and parents only. It still cost us like, $400.

It's a shame they don't have sample tuxes. We have a place called Tuxedo Junction here, and they've always done a pretty good job.

Nilsa S. said...

We made the same decision as you - only the wedding party, their spouses and our immediate families. It was actually a very easy decision. Small and intimate. Yeah!

And tuxedos? I feel your pain! We went to an actual Men's Warehouse. Where the sales lady was coy. And about as helpful as a cab driver who could take me down the street to MWTux. So, we walked out. I'm so not looking forward to the day when we actually have to choose a tux. Keep me updated on your search!

nicoleantoinette said...

When I get engaged (if?) I'm going to re-read all of these posts for advice, haha.

Oh, and clearly I have zero advice.

Penny said...

Hmm. I suppose it's out of the question just to BUY a tuxedo - not in the budget?

And you can't find another chain somewhere?

I guess it's no where but MW. Order early; check the return policies. Cross your fingers.

Wee, everything's falling into place!

Leaf, probably... said...

So I take it tuxedos aren't the same as wedding dresses- you can see his but he can't see yours?

sarah said...

What about Moores? http://www.menswearhouse.com/aboutus/store_locator_map.jsp?bmForm=form_find_store&bmFormID=1212013797323&bmUID=1212013797323&bmIsForm=true&bmPrevTemplate=%2Faboutus%2Fstore_locator_map.jsp&bmHidden=searchQuantifier&searchQuantifier=OR&bmHidden=transaction&transaction=search&bmHidden=country&country=us&bmHidden=template&template=map_search&bmHidden=Search1&Search1=1&bmHidden=Search2&Search2=1&bmHidden=Search5&Search5=1&bmHidden=proxIconId&proxIconId=400&bmHidden=origLabelType&origLabelType=0&bmHidden=name&name=Your+Starting+Location&bmText=address&address=&bmSingle=stateProvince&stateProvince=DC&bmSingle=radius&radius=10&bmText=city&city=Washington&bmText=postalCode&postalCode=&bmImage=submit.x&bmImage=submit.y&bmImage=submit&bmFields=bmForm%2CbmFormID%2CbmUID%2CbmIsForm%2CbmPrevTemplate%2CbmHidden%2CbmText%2CbmSingle%2CbmImage&bmHash=0f2062193bfd2e8244925338072b55c92726502f&submit.x=102&submit.y=7

(eek I hope that works)

Larissa said...

I love that you chose your favorite little Thai place. That's way more meaningful than some random, no-character restaurant.

shay said...

We ordered from a book. AND I never even thought of all the things that could go wrong! How clueless was I?!

It was all fine if it makes you feel anybetter.

I had friends who's hubby's and groomsmen bought nice suits. That's always an option too, especially if you could use a nice suit:)

kristens81 said...

I know nothing about Tuxs and nothing about planning a wedding.

Gosh what good am I?

Just remember after all this trouble you are going to have a wonderful amazing time and future with an amazing man.

Hiya, I'm Kristie. said...

The only expierence with tuxs I had was with my son. This may seem tacky, but you might buy one on Ebay and have it altered. That's what I did and it worked beautifully. Derick got a $200 tux for something like $40 with alterations. Good luck!

kilax said...

My in-laws wanted to invite all of the out-of-town guests to our rehearsal dinner as well. And they did. Because they paid for it. (We paid for the rest of the entire wedding on our own) I wanted something intimate, but what the eff ever now. The Thai idea sounds really fun.

Have you posted an image of your invite somewhere on your blog?

When my husband tried on tuxes, they had a few jackets and pants and stuff, and we were able to visualize it. BUT I TOTALLY know what you are talking about when you say these wedding sales people are A$$holes. The people we got the bridesmaids dresses from sure were.

sid said...

I'd elope.

Aurora said...

Glad you sorted this out. You seem so businesslike and sensible, even in the midst of craziness. The Thai dinner sounds fabulous!

And now, please excuse my ignorance. What is so special about a tux? Isn't it just a really nice suit plus cummerbund? Is the cummerbund tailored or something?

Emblita said...

Yummy thai food..... mmmmm

As for tuxedo's I do wish I had sage advice but we just went to a bridal rental place here in Iceland... which had tuxes too- Klaus tried on a couple and we decided. It was gorgeous and very easy. If all else fails I guess you guys can just pop over here to rent a tux :รพ
http://flickr.com/photos/emblita/2383357616/in/set-72157604379223224/

the frog princess said...

Yay Thai food!

As for the Tux, I can't believe that you can't find SOME decent tux place in the DC Metro area!

As to those "mixed" reviews, I would take them all with a grain of salt. Remember, the term "Bridezilla" was invented for a reason... some people will complain about *anything*.

I would simply go check out a few of the local places and see what sort of vibe you get from them. Trust your instincts. It will be fine!

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