Buying the right ties for your wedding can be a bit of a pain. You may have a colour theme in mind but often finding the right type, colour and style of wedding tie can be difficult. Here’s a few things to consider as well as some tips on buying the right ties.
Ties or Cravats?
There are, generally, no set rules here. Cravats tend to be favoured for the formal approach, and can be a welcome change – particularly if you wear a tie during your normal working day. Cravats can be pre-tied or untied, although the pre-tied format tends to be more popular, for obvious reasons. you can wear a cravat with a regular collared shirt, although a wing collar shirt will look better and is more traditional.
Remember that your page boy and younger male attendants will need to wear matching neckwear, hence you should check that your chosen design is available in their size too?
Bow Ties & Cummerbunds?
Although uncommon, it’s quite acceptable to wear a bow tie instead of a traditional tie or cravat. Bow ties can be pre-tied or self-tie with the pre-tied option offering the widest choice of colours and styles.
Many bow ties are available with matching cummerbunds, and often come in box sets which is ideal. Apart from the standard plain colours, bow ties and cummerbunds are also available in various patterns and tartans, though these are usually slightly more expensive than their plain counterparts. There is also usually considerable difference in price between silk and polyester, so opt for polyester if you want to save a few pounds!
Matching Colour Schemes
If your wedding’s colour scheme is a standard colour, for example scarlet red or ivory, you are more likely to find closely matching ties or cravats, as these colours are usually widely available.
The more specialised your colour scheme is, the more likely you will need to be flexible 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 2 or 3 most popular shades are usually made as men’s ties, so you may find you need to either get the closest match, or have them made for you.
Check out the returns policy if you’re buying online – most good shops will allow you to return the ties within a specified time if the colour isn’t right, so you can easily order a couple of similar ties and return the ones that don’t match.
These matching tie and handkerchief sets from Marks and Spencer come in two styles – a traditional tie or luxurious cravat – and a choice of 3 colours – perfect for creating a smart and coordinated look with the wedding party.
Hire or Buy?
With many formal weddings, suits and other items are often hired from a wedding or clothing hire shop. This obviously can save a considerable amount of money, especially on suits as they’re unlikely to be worn again after the wedding, and you don’t have to have them cleaned!
With ties however, this can be a little more difficult, as often the hire shops only have a limited range of ties or cravats and these may 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, and 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 bought for daily wear, so at an average of £10 – £15 they are extremely good value.
These scrunchy style wedding cravats from Swagger & Swoon are great value and are available in a range of colours and alternative styles. They come pre-tied with neck strap and easy fastening clip and at just £17.99 won’t break the bank.
Cleaning and Caring for your Ties
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 lines from the knot clear away.
If on the wedding day something spills on a tie or cravat, try to deal with it quickly to avoid any permanent stains. Don’t rub the spillage on the tie – just dab it with a dry cloth to soak up as much of the spillage as possible. If it’s something that can usually 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 and polyester may react differently however, so this method may not work 100%, but it should at least help a bit.
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 feel of the tie and may even press the tie flat, so check with the dry cleaner how they do the ties to make sure your tie retains its original shape and texture.