When a Postponed Wedding Just Means More Time to Perfect the Fit

The night that Tom Hanks shared his coronavirus diagnosis—also the night it was announced that both the NBA season and international flights would be suspended—it was unlikely that many people were thinking about the save-the-dates posted on their fridges. But for those of us whose names appeared on those cards, a once-in-a-lifetime global pandemic caused a different kind of anxiety. My wedding was supposed to be May 30, and in grieving its loss I’ve found relief in a surprising place: obsessing over old celebrity wedding-fit pics.

It started when I discovered that with my new wedding date—May 1, 2021—I’ll share an anniversary with Elvis and Priscilla Presley. Check out The King in a black paisley tux and a crown of slicked-back hair. It got me thinking: Should I use all the time I now have before my wedding to get something similarly elaborate made?

The options are truly infinite, as these photos show. Should I go with a tuxedo or a suit? A double-breasted jacket or a single-breasted one? Notch, shawl, or peak lapels? I might regret wearing an of-the-moment getup—or maybe there is something joyous about celebrating the very specific now.

Celebrities are best known for wild outfits, but their wedding looks often reflect the kind of timelessness that won’t date your nuptial photos. Hanks looks to have unearthed a new level of joy in a black tux stuffed elegantly with a white pocket square. Stevie Wonder vibrates with happiness wearing a wide gum-baring smile and a black-and-white peak-lapel tux.

Then there are guys who embraced the unmistakable nowness of their wedding moment. Gaze in awe at the absolutely dynamite powder blue tux on Ron Howard, or Sting looking regal in a cropped jacket glimmering with golden hardware. These of-their-time outfits radiate nostalgic charm.

While timely and timeless are equally valid options, I can feel myself succumbing to the tractor beam of simplicity. Sure, there’s something fun and celebratory about unabashedly marking your wedding date with an of-the-moment getup (a floppy Marni suit and a Supreme tee, maybe?), but ultimately it’s the classic looks here that make the wedding-day-fit bull’s-eye look massive.

It’s a bummer that my wedding got delayed. But I’m taking solace in the fact that while the crisis might dictate what year I get married in, nobody but me will decide what I wear.

TOM HANKS & RITA WILSON
Los Angeles, 1988
White tie—more formal than black—calls for tails and a top hat. Or you can just wear a white tie, like Tom.

Ron Galella

JOHN LENNON & YOKO ONO
Gibraltar, 1969
Lennon wanted to wear all white but made it work with what he had: corduroys and a white jacket.

Trinity Mirror / Mirrorpix / Alamy Stock Photo

MICK JAGGER & BIANCA PÉREZ-MORA MACÍAS
St. Tropez, 1971
Breaking all the rules is as relevant in 2020 as it was in 1971, when Mick and company invented breaking all the rules.

Express / Getty Images

STING & TRUDIE STYLER
Wiltshire, England, 1992
Nautical formal is just one of the many ways to be brash with your wedding fit.

Alpha-Globe Photos

RON HOWARD & CHERYL ALLEY
Burbank, 1975
Bold ruffles and a giant bow tie will always look good with a smile.

Phil Roach/Alamy

STEVIE WONDER & SYREETA WRIGHT
Detroit, 1970
Isn’t she lovely? Yes, and that very ’70s suit still looks just as fly.

Bettmann Archive / Getty Images

Cam Wolf is a style writer for GQ.

A version of this story originally appears in the June/July 2020 issue with the title “When a Postponed Wedding Just Means More Time to Perfect the Fit”.

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