How to Pin on a Boutonniere

How to Pin a Boutonniere in Rochester, NY

The day that you have been waiting for is here!  After your date arrives to pick you up (looking handsome in his tuxedo from Vittorio’s) and hands you your beautiful corsage, you must tackle his boutonniere. While this may seem intimidating, it can be done easily in a few simple steps.

  1. Before you pin it on, make sure that the flower is in the front with all of the greenery arranged behind it.
  2. Pin the flower on your date’s lapel or just outside the broadest part of the lapel on his left side, which is to your right.
  3. Place the head of the pin under the lapel and push the point through the coat, into the boutonniere and back through the coat.
  4. Make sure it hangs straight, and you are good to go!

Tuxedo Tips

Since a tuxedo isn’t something most people wear every day, here are a few tips to understand the right way to wear various items.

Tuxedo Tips from Vittorio Menswear & Tuxedo in Rochester NY

Cummerbund vs. Vest – it’s an either or proposition, never both.  If you do wear a cummerbund, be sure that the pleats or folds are facing up.  There are a few theories on the practical origins of this – one is that it was designed to catch the crumbs from dinner, the other is that it created a handy place to hold opera tickets.

Wing Collar Shirts – be sure the wings are positioned behind the bow-tie (not on top or in front of), much like a more conventional laydown collar you’d see on a dress shirt.

Shoes – Black shiny patent leather shoes are traditionally paired with a black tuxedo.  If you’re wearing other colors, the rule of thumb is to match the color or go darker with the shoe color – never lighter.

Buttons – On single breasted coats, often times the coat is open to display the vest color (if you’re wearing one).  If you do button it, it should be buttoned when you’re standing and open when sitting. Be sure to leave the bottom button unbuttoned on any single breasted coat.  Double breasted coats are less commonly seen, but are always buttoned.  If you have a single button model, it should always be buttoned as well.

Suspenders – formal pants don’t come with belt loops, so if you need assistance keeping things at the proper height, suspenders are the way to go.  Be sure to put the suspenders on when doing your fitting.  Otherwise you may find the bottom of your pants are too short for comfort with the suspenders holding your pants up at the proper height.

Flowers – a boutonniere should be worn on the left lapel and tilted slightly outward.

White Dinner Jacket – a cool but still elegant look, generally reserved for spring and summer events between Memorial Day and Labor Day.  An exception to this is if you are going on a cruise in a tropical climate.

As always, if you have questions about tuxedos, formal wear or the etiquette surrounding them, stop by for a visit or drop us a note, we’d be delighted to chat with you about your event.

How to be a Good Groomsman

How to Be Groomsman in Rochester NY

Congratulations, you’ve been picked to be a groomsman.  Maybe you’re a family member, friend or fraternity brother with the groom.  However you got on the list, make sure that you understand how to be a good groomsman.  It’s not like being an ordinary guest at a wedding where you check the box for your entrée and keep the bartender in business the whole night.

Because you’re part of the wedding, there are a whole lot of additional tasks and duties you’ll be expected to perform.

If you don’t think you are up for the challenge of being a groomsman or if you don’t think you can afford it, then do the groom a favor and graciously decline his offer to have you in his wedding party. He’ll appreciate your honesty and it’s way better than bailing out at the last minute when it’s difficult to find a substitute.

You’ll still have fun, but start with the mindset that you’re there to work, not to play. In the weeks leading up to the wedding, all the planning details start to come together. Whether it’s picking up guest favors, moving flower arrangements around, playing taxi driver for out of town guests, or simply holding an umbrella, now is your time to shine.

The Cost of Being a Groomsman

  • Gift for the Wedding: $50 – $100
  • Tuxedo Rental: $150-$250
  • Suit Purchase Instead of Tux: $300 – $400 plus alterations
  • Haircut: $20 – $30
  • Bachelor Party: At least $50/person for a small scale night, a lot more if you’re doing an epic Las Vegas extravaganza.
  • Travel Expenses if the wedding is out of town – $200 – $800 (double that if you’re going anywhere near New York City).


Months before the wedding

  • Get fitted for your tuxedo (trust us, don’t wait until the last minute on this)
  • Help the groom and best man with their tasks
  • Attend early pre-wedding events like the engagement party, couples shower, etc.
  • Help the best man organize the bachelor party

Days before the wedding

  • Help set up and clean up after the bachelor party, rehearsal dinner and, of course, the wedding
  • Pick up your tuxedo on time and take care of any issues yourself
  • Work with (maybe conspire is a better term) the bridesmaids to plan to decorate the wedding car
  • Help decorate the ceremony venue (church, synagogue or hall where the wedding will take place)
  • Attend the rehearsal and the rehearsal dinner

Wedding Day – Ceremony

  • Get ready and follow the itinerary that the groom has given you – be on time for everything!
  • Be supportive – the groom needs you!
  • Greet and seat guests at the ceremony – see notes below
  • Escort the mother of the groom to her seat
  • Escort the mother of the bride to her seat
  • Escort a bridesmaid down the aisle
  • Attend the photography sessions before, during and after the wedding ceremony

Seating/Usher duties

In traditional Christian ceremonies, the bride’s family and their guests are seated on left, the groom’s on right. Jewish ceremonies are opposite. That said, we’ve seen plenty of situations where this convention is discarded in favor of mixed seating – especially if there’s not a roughly equal number of guests from each side.  When a couple arrives, take the woman’s arm and escort her to her seat; her escort will follow you. Always seat the oldest woman first if several guests arrive together.

Even if you were just at the rehearsal the night before, you should arrive at least 45 minutes early to review seating requirements and familiarize yourself about where the restrooms are, parking layout and directions to the reception site because guests arriving there for the first time will probably look to you for answers to those types of questions.

Reception and Beyond

  • Sit at the head table during the reception
  • Be introduced by the DJ and dance with a bridesmaid at the reception
  • Dance with guests who didn’t come with a date
  • At the end of the reception, help clean up and possibly attend to the gifts
  • Return your tuxedo
  • If there are out of town guests, you might help get them to the airport

A note about dancing – it can be hard to get regular guests out on the dance floor if it’s empty.  Being in the wedding party means it is part of your job to get the party started.  Even if you’re not a big fan of dancing in other situations, head out there and you’ll find that other people will begin to come out to the dance floor too.

All in all, it can be a great honor to be selected as a groomsman.  Have fun, but take your job seriously – if you do, it can take a lot of stress away from the couple getting married.   And who knows, you might even be next.

5 Myths About Formal Wear for Weddings


We meet with couples every week to discuss their big day.  In the process of doing that, we’ve found that there are a lot of misconceptions about tuxedos and formal wear for weddings.  Here are a few thoughts to debunk some of the myths.

Myth 1: Tuxedos cost too much

Tuxedos can be a surprisingly affordable option for your wedding party.  When you think about it in comparison with the $250 – $300 an average bridesmaid spends on a dress, shoes and accessories she may not wear again, it’s actually a pretty good value.

Myth 2: We have out of town guests so we have to go to a national chain. 

While it’s true the national chains do have a lot of locations, it’s really about working with a store that makes you feel comfortable and valued as a customer.  Vittorio Menswear & Tuxedo has a nationwide fitting network so no matter where your guests are coming from, they can get measured close to home.

Myth 3: We got our bridesmaid dresses at a national chain — their corporate partner is the only one that can match their colors, right?

We have swatch books from David’s Bridal and Alfred Angelo right in our store and we regularly find accessory colors that match or coordinate with dresses from all designers and national chains. Stop by and we can take a look together.

Myth 4: We’re going with suits, so we shouldn’t go to a tux shop.

At Vittorio Menswear & Tuxedo, we have wedding suits for rent and purchase. Let us show you how to have a nicely coordinated look for your wedding party with the less formal look of wedding suits.

Myth 5: We have to wait to set up our tuxes or wedding suits.

Some couples think they have to wait to set up their tuxes until a month or two before the wedding.  The truth is, as soon as you have the date and venues finalized, you can start setting up your tuxes.  You can reserve first and make your selections later.  This allows your groomsmen to get a start with the fitting process in plenty of time.  That means less stress and worry for you the week before your big day.

About the Author: Matthew McDermott is the President of Vittorio Menswear & Tuxedo in Rochester, New York.

Stay Cool Tips for Summer Weddings

One of the nice things about living in the Rochester area is that we have four great seasons.  Most of the time the temperatures aren’t too extreme, but this summer seems like it’s been a scorcher so far.  Good if you sell air conditioners, not so good if you have to dress up for a wedding.  Here are a few planning tips to make things a little more bearable.

Summer Wedding Tips

Hot Summer in Rochester, NY

1. The time of your ceremony and reception.  Okay, date and time decisions are one of the first things to check off the list when you’re planning a wedding but we all know that 2pm outdoors in the baking sun won’t be fun for a lot of guests. If you haven’t firmed up the date and you’re set on an August wedding, keep in mind that mornings and evenings are generally cooler so shifting events to those times may help.

2. Take it inside.  While a garden event can be a lot of fun in milder weather, an inside ceremony and reception gives you more possibilities to control for temperature or (heaven forbid), rain.  Also, scope out the venue by asking other couples who’ve had summer weddings there about the a/c. Cram 200 guests into a small room with weak air conditioning and everyone will be ready for a shower before the first dance.

3. How about a hand fan as a favor? There are a number of companies online that provide general wedding themed hand fans or even personalized ones with the bride and groom’s name on them.   Some do double duty with the program for the ceremony printed on them.

4. Sunglasses for your guests. Buying in bulk, you can get a quantity of inexpensive sunglasses for your guests during an outdoor ceremony or reception.  You reduce the ‘squint factor’ by a lot and your guests won’t be disappointed if they forgot their own.  Another fancier, albeit more expensive alternative is to grab nicer sunglasses as a gift for your groomsmen or bridesmaids.  Most couples do something for their attendants, so it may as well be something useful instead of those cute porcelain figurines you found.

5. Under the big top.  There are tents, an then there are *tents* – the one you bought at the big box store for your backyard party is not what we mean.  Many local venues and the party rental places like Spatola’s have great tents for summer events.  Some even feature ice cold air conditioning to keep things comfy on a summer day.  There’s really two factors here – the overall temperature and humidity and just keeping people out of the baking sun.  A quality tent rental company can help you do both.

6. SPF 9000?  It doesn’t really go that high, but some of us with fair complexions sometimes wish it did.  Consider having a supply of sunscreen available for your guests if there’s a significant outdoor component to things. A nice extra gesture is to include a few varieties for kids or those with sensitive skin so nobody walks away looking like a lobster.

7. H2O is everyone’s friend.  Have a bucket of small water bottles or a water cooler with cups available for your guests to grab while they’re waiting for things to start.  Having to call 911 because your guest passed out mid-ceremony makes for a great story five years from now, but not in the moment it happens.

8. Think about your dress/formal wear selections. There are lots of great options for summer weddings that won’t overheat your bridesmaids or groomsmen.  For guys, check out some of the tropical wool wedding suits in lighter colors.  They can be a great look and a nice choice for a summer or destination wedding in a warm climate.

9. Makeup.  While your guys may not be wearing makeup, think about your makeup choices for the bride and bridesmaids. Stay away from any liquid eyeliners, foundations or blushes. Instead, pick the powdered or crayon versions to ensure that your makeup stays put from start to finish. Consider applying a primer to help everything stay put. Above all else, top off your look with waterproof mascara. A few tears or sweat droplets are all it takes to make you look like a linebacker for the Buffalo Bills.

10. Early Pictures Before Everyone Melts into a Puddle.  Scheduling picture taking early allows you to get people when they look their best.  Once the party starts it’s usually off with the coats for the guys and you want everyone’s best foot forward for the main tangible thing you’ll have to remember your day with.

11. Light and Cool Menu Selections. Put some thought into your menu choices – offering your guests lighter fare, seasonal fruits and things like shaved ice or ice cream can be a great way to keep the everyone’s heat index under control.

12. Spritzing Stations. These are specialized misters that atomize water droplets and cool things off.  They don’t throw off enough water to soak you like the log flume ride at Seabreeze, but provide just enough to keep people cool when they walk through the area where you have them set up.

Our wedding research shows that nearly 40% off all weddings happen during the months of June, July and August and with a little preparation there will be a little less perspiration (okay, maybe not but at least your guests will have a great time).



TGIF – Scheduling a Friday Wedding

Friday Wedding

Setting the date is one of the first things couples do when planning their wedding.  While you may have some thoughts on the season you want to get married, for most couples the actual date is dependent on availability and scheduling at the ceremony and reception locations.  Rochester loves tradition, but here are a few reasons why you might consider a Friday night ceremony:

Discounts and Availability – Hands down, Saturday is the most popular day of the week to get married.  In fact, the most recent industry statistics that we see show that about two thirds of all weddings happen on a Saturday.  When you’re competing with all those other couples for venues and catering and all the other items that go into planning a traditional wedding, it’s not likely that you’ll get rock bottom pricing or your first choice on dates.

On a Friday night, there are far fewer events planned and you’re more likely to be able to schedule something on the weekend you want and pay less overall than the couple getting married at the same place the next day.  Sometimes it’s just less total cost but it can also be added amenities or upgrades at no additional charge that you wouldn’t have available to you for a Saturday event.  You also may have a better shot at your first choice for a venue or service providers without having to book 18 – 24 months out.

Timing Between Ceremony and Reception – Many churches or other faith communities have Saturday evening services and if you’re planning a Saturday wedding you may need to be out fairly early to accommodate their service schedule.  If you have to be out by 3:30 but your reception doesn’t start until 6:30, you and your guests may have to hang out for a couple of hours in-between.   A Friday evening event allows a much smoother transition from one to the other without the big gap in the middle. A later event also means you don’t have to be up at the crack of dawn to start to get ready on your big day.

Ambiance of an Evening Wedding – Imagine a moon-lit terrace, dancing under the stars or the possibilities that come with having a candle light ceremony for your wedding. Elegant evening gowns for your bridesmaids and perhaps a black tie theme for your gentleman can make for an affair to remember for your guests.  Not to be forgotten in the summer months is the fact that it’s cooler in the evening so your guests are likely to be more comfortable dressed up than in the heat of the afternoon.

Time with Out of Town Guests – For a traditional Saturday afternoon wedding, guests have to rush out Sunday morning to get back home in time for work or school.  A Friday night wedding can allow you some additional time to spend with them before they go.

Downsides – It may be less convenient for out of town guests who may need to take extra vacation time to make it into town in time for a Friday wedding.  On the other hand, they may like the idea of a long weekend and being able to catch up with friends and family.  A Friday night wedding is a bit easier to manage for in-town guests.  Your guest count may end up being a little smaller if many/most of your guests are from out of town though.

Of course, whatever day of the week you get married, we’d be delighted to have our tuxedos or wedding suits be invited to your wedding.  Give us a call or stop in to chat, we’d be happy to share our experiences with you and help you find just the right look.

Wedding Dress Preservation in Rochester, NY

Why have your wedding dress preserved?  Your gown is an everlasting memory of your wedding day and many brides would like to have the option to have a daughter or niece use that dress in their wedding.  Vittorio Menswear & Tuxedo has partnered with the leading specialty cleaning company in the industry, Wedding Gown Preservation Company to provide this service to our customers.

Wedding Gown Preservation Logo

Professional preservation involves the following:

Stain Removal – We are able to remove approximately 95% of all stains – including tar, blood, perspiration, grass, mud, grease, and food, being the most common, as well as any sugar stains from cake icing, wine and other beverages.

Cleaning – We have several different processes that are used for cleaning. Each gown is evaluated upon its arrival and the best cleaning process for that particular gown is used. All of our processes are safe, gentle and environmentally safe.

Repairs – Wedding Gown Preservation Company prides itself on having a highly trained staff that can handle most repairs for a nominal fee. Please note on your paperwork if you would like a call with a repair quote.

Archival Storage Chest – Your gown is fitted on an acid-free bust form and packed in an acid-neutral preservation chest. The inner case features a window for viewing your dress and the outer case is a continuous surface to avoid light/uv damage.  Please note shoulder pads and bust pads must be removed as they could cause damage to the gown over time. They will be wrapped in tissue paper and packed underneath your gown.

What about Do it Yourself options?   Occasionally we see DIY kits available, usually through infomercials, that allow you to vacuum seal your dress in plastic.  Yes, they are less expensive.  The downside of these methods is that there is generally some level of moisture or staining present in your dress or veil after your wedding day.  Sealing it in a plastic bag without proper cleaning and preservation methods is almost a guarantee that damage will occur over time.

Depending on the value of your wedding gown and accessories you include, proper preservation will generally run in the $200 – $300 range.  Not inexpensive, but in the context of preserving memories of your wedding day, gown preservation can be a very affordable investment.  Ask us for more details.


How to Get a Marriage License in Rochester, NY

Marriage licenses are issued by the Town or City Clerk on behalf of New York State.  The cost is generally $40 and here are some details on the process.  To be safe, you should call or stop in to verify requirements based on your specific situation before making wedding or travel plans in case you need extra time to produce required documentation or obtain certified translations if your documents are in another language.


  • Blood tests are no longer required.
  • To obtain a marriage license, you must bring a certified birth certificate with a raised seal and a current government issued photo identification.
  • If you are divorced, you must provide a copy of your most recent divorce decree.  If you have been divorced more than once, you must provide the date(s) of earlier divorce(s).
  • If a marriage ended due to death, a “certified death certificate” is required.
  • Once issued, the marriage license cannot be used for 24 hours and must be used within sixty days.
  • Witnesses must be at least 18 years of age.

Town/City Hall Phone Numbers:

City of Rochester – 30 Church Street, Room 100, Rochester, NY 14614  – 585-428-6617

Town Of Brighton – 2300 Elmwood Avenue, Rochester, NY 14618 – 585-784-5240

Town Of Chili – 3333 Chili Avenue, Rochester, NY 14624  – 585-889-6122

Town Of Clarkson – 3710 Lake Road, Clarkson, NY 14430 – 585-637-1130

East Rochester – 120 West Commercial Street, East Rochester, NY 14445 – 585-586-3553

Town Of Gates – 1605 Buffalo Road, Gates, NY 14624 – 585-247-6100 ext. 201 (Clerk’s Office)

Town Of Greece – 1 Vince Tofany Boulevard, Rochester, NY 14612 – 585-225-2000

Town Of Irondequoit – 1280 Titus Avenue, Rochester, NY 14617 – 585-336-6045 (Clerk’s Office)

Town Of Henrietta – 475 Calkins Road, Rochester, NY 14467 – 585-334-7700

Town of Mendon – 16 West Main Street, Honeoye Falls, NY 14472 – 585-624-6060

Town Of Ogden – 409 South Union Street, Spencerport, NY 14559 – 585-617-6111 (Clerk’s Office)

Town Of Parma – 1300 Hilton Parma Corners Road, Hilton, NY 14468 – 585-392-9461

Town Of Penfield – 3100 Atlantic Avenue, Penfield, NY 14526 – 585-340-8629 (Clerk’s Office)

Town Of Perinton – 1350 Turk Hill Road, Fairport, NY 14450 – 585-223-0770

Town Of Pittsford – 11 South Main Street, Pittsford, NY 14534 – 585-248-6210 (Clerk’s Office)

Town Of Riga – 6460 East Buffalo Road, Churchville, NY 14428 – 585-293-3880 ext. 121 or 122 (Clerk’s Office)

Town Of Rush – 5977 East Henrietta Road, Rush, NY 14543 – 585-533-1312

Town Of Sweden -18 State Street, Brockport, NY 14420 – 585-637-2144

Town Of Webster – 1000 Ridge Road, Webster, NY 14580 – 585-872-7056 (Clerk’s Office)

Town Of Wheatland – 22 Main Street, Scottsville, NY 14546 – 585-889-1553, Option 8 (Clerk’s Office)

What to Look for in a Formalwear Shop

Maybe the invitation came in the mail for that swanky black-tie work function for a big customer.  Or, maybe you and your fiancé are starting to plan your wedding.  Either way, tuxedos and formalwear usually play a role in those events and the next question becomes – where do I go?

Sometimes the easy answer is the chain store in the mall — after all, they advertise on television and send plenty of coupons every week for their products – buy one, get seven free and things like that.  How about that place where you got your prom tux?  What about the nice independent shop owned by the guy you know from the gym?  Here are a few things to keep in mind as you make that decision.

Does the store have the kind of selection to match my tastes and is it actually in the store or from a catalog?

Shops like Vittorio Menswear & Tuxedo carry a broad selection of tuxedos right in their store where you can try them on and see how they look on you.  Many chain stores rely on a few items on mannequins and a catalog to choose from.  No offense to the models in the catalogs, but sometimes you just need to see it on to decide whether it works for you or not.

Does the store have a broad range of color choices if I’m trying to match a particular color scheme or dress selection?

Make sure the store you select has a range of colors for accessories like vests and ties that will match the colors you need.  At our store, we have swatches from the major dress retailer collections to match up with our accessories – you can see whether the color you have in mind matches or coordinates with that great dress find.

Does the store have their inventory here in town or does it need to be shipped in from a distribution center somewhere?

Big centralized distribution centers make a lot of sense for chain stores but the downside for customers is that you generally can’t try on the merchandise to see how it looks. The other potential problem is if your tuxedo is coming in a few days before your event, there’s less margin for error if there’s a problem with sizing. Vittorio Menswear & Tuxedo stocks thousands of pieces right here in Rochester.  If you need something at the last minute or sizing needs to be adjusted chances are good we can do it.

If we have out of town guests, how to they get the measurements?

Many people assume that if they have out of town guests or groomsmen that need to be fitted that they automatically need to choose the chain store with locations in various cities.  The truth is, there may or may not be a chain store location near your guests.  You should ask how this works with any retailer you are considering.  Vittorio Menswear & Tuxedo has a Nationwide Fitting Network to help with those measurements – just let us know where your guests are located and we’ll get them hooked up with a member of our network.

Is the total cost of the package I want within my budget?

Always an important consideration, but make sure that you’re comparing the total cost – damage waivers, upcharges for accessories and things like rush or late return fees can greatly increase your costs. Vittorio Menswear & Tuxedo has updated our pricing to make it more transparent.  We offer package pricing and don’t charge rush fees or damage deposits which can make the final cost a lot higher than what you were initially considering.

What if there are last minute changes?

Again, shops with local inventory have a lot more flexibility for last minute requests, changes and fine tuning on sizing.  One large chain store has a $40 fee for changes within a week of the event date.  If you have a bridal party of ten (which isn’t that uncommon these days), that’s an extra $400 just in late fees. Ouch!


Matthew McDermott is the President of Vittorio Menswear & Tuxedo in Rochester, NY. He lives in the Highland Park Neighborhood with his wife and three boys.