Rochester Bridal Show Tips


Bridal Shows can be a treasure trove of information for newly engaged couples. The nice part about them is you don’t need to drive all over town to meet with wedding professionals, it can be a, “one stop shopping” experience if you want.  That said, they can sometimes be overwhelming for the uninitiated.  Here are a few tips to help make your next bridal show a little easier.

  1. Bring adhesive address labels, if you have them, or print some up on your computer. This will save you a lot of time when you register for prizes at individual booths. Most exhibitors will want to know your wedding date, fiance’s name and a way to contact you if you’ve won, so add those things to the label as well.
  2. Have a calendar handy to schedule follow up appointments with vendors you’d like to talk with in more depth.
  3. Eat before you go – some shows feature light snacks but don’t count on having a lot to eat while you’re at the show. Eating before you go helps you concentrate on your wedding rather than your stomach.
  4. Bring a small bottle of water – gathering info and talking with wedding pros all afternoon can make you thirsty. Most places have a drinking fountain (or sometimes a bar to grab a beverage) but if you bring a little water you won’t have to hunt those things down.
  5. Colored Stickers – we’ve seen several brides do this and we think it helps save a little time.  Grab some inexpensive dot or star stickers at an office supply store and put the stickers on brochures or flyers you get  of things you like.  Realistically, after you’ve spoken with 50 vendors some things start to run together in your mind.  A sticker on the brochure helps you flag it for later when you want to investigate your options after the show.
  6. Notebook & Pen – Okay, you don’t have to be a court stenographer at the show, but if you want to jot some notes down or capture that great idea you saw, this is an easy way to do it.  The camera on your phone is a good way to visually capture things you want to remember too.
  7. Wear comfortable shoes – it’s easy to spend a two to four hours visiting with vendors, watching the fashion show, etc. Sore feet make most people cranky, so do yourself a favor and wear sensible shoes.
  8. Bring your finace (at least once) – We know it can be hard to convince a lot of guys to come to a bridal show on a Sunday (especially if there’s a game on), but having him there will help keep both of you on the same page as you move through the planning process, even if you have different ideas about various aspects of planning your big day.
  9. Create a temporary e-mail to be used while you are planning your wedding. That way you can delete it when you no longer are interested in receiving special offers or hearing from vendors. The amount of offers you receive at first may seem overwhelming, but take the time to read them or you may miss out on some very good deals.
  10. Walk down every aisle and collect any information you are interested in and take it home to look over again at your leisure. Most large bridal shows will provide you with a large shopping bag as long as you register when you enter.
  11. Ask lots of questions, that’s what the vendors are there for. They want to help you, so find out everything you need to know.

Finally, have fun and take advantage of all the knowledge in the room.  Even if you think you know what direction you want to go, most vendors have a good sense of what works and what doesn’t since they help couples with weddings most weekends of the year.  Tap into that knowledge and you’ll make your big day more fun with less stress.

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!

Engagement Ring Insurance – What You Need to Know

Have you ever wondered about insuring your engagement or wedding ring?  Today’s post comes to us from our friend and guest blogger, Rhett VanScoter of the VanScoter Insurance Agency in Greece, NY.


The majority of wedding engagements occur from Thanksgiving to Valentine’s Day.  This isn’t just some statistic that you read on the internet, I know this to be “fact” because my engagement fell in the window of loving bliss.  Jewelry stores love (pun intended) this time of year because this is when they do the most business.

I know when I went ring shopping, I’m sure the store clerk could see the hearts floating above my head and the bulls eye on my forehead.  Ring shopping for guys can be a stressful situation, not only are you trying to make a statement to your significant other on how much you love them and want to spend the rest of your lives together, but it also a statement to all of their friends and family.

When you tell people that you got engaged, the first thing they ask is to see the ring and the next is how did he propose?  So how much do you spend on a ring?  The so-called experts say 3 months salary.  When they talk about 3 months salary, they’re not talking about your take home pay after taxes, healthcare, retirement savings and other deductions, they’re talking about gross salary!  So it’s really more than 3 months salary.

That’s a lot of cash to be plunking down on a little rock.  When you make that big of an investment, you want to make sure that it’s covered.  I’m pretty sure that my head would physically explode if Christine’s engagement ring was stolen or the diamond fell out of the setting.

There are 3 options that you have to insure your 3 months salary that is walking around on your bride-to-be’s finger.

1.  If you have homeowners or renters insurance, your policy will usually provide coverage up to $2,500 if your ring is stolen.  Some policies may even go as high as $5,000.  This is the most basic of coverage.  If your engagement ring along with other jewelry is stolen, they are all going to be subject to the $2,500 or $5,000 limit.  You’ll also want to know if within that $2,500 or $5,000 limit if there is a per item limit.  Some insurance companies will only provide up to $500 or $1,000 per item limit.  Not only is the dollar amount limited, but most policies won’t provide coverage if the diamond falls out of the setting and is lost.  This happens more often than you think, it’s important to get your engagement ring cleaned and inspected by a jeweler regularly.

2.  You can list your engagement ring separately on your homeowners or renters insurance policy.  This is a better option than the first because you can insure the ring for the appraised value, so you won’t be stuck with the low limit of coverage built into the policy.  By listing your engagement ring separately on your policy you can also choose  a different deductible for your ring, you can even select $0 as your deductible for the ring.  Using this option to insure your ring will also provide you with broader coverage as well.  This would provide coverage if the diamond fell out of the setting and was lost or when you go swimming in the ocean on your honeymoon and the engagement ring falls off of your wife’s finger (true story, this happened to another couple at the same resort we went to for our honeymoon).

3.  The third option is to get a separate jewelry policy, just for your engagement ring.  This option is very similar in coverage options as #2.  The ring would be insured for the appraised value and would provide the broader coverage.  Most people would use this option if they didn’t have a homeowners or renters insurance policy.  Maybe you still live with your parents so you don’t have a need for either of those policies.  Or you could get a separate policy, so if you do end up having a claim related to your engagement ring, you won’t affect the rates related to your homeowners or renters insurance policy.

So after you empty out your bank account, make sure that ring is insured!  If you would like us to review your insurance to make sure you are properly covered and provide you with a no obligation quote, give us a call at 585-663-2004.

Rhett VanScoter is the owner of VanScoter Insurance Agency, LLC, located in Greece, NY.  He is an independent agent that represents multiple insurance companies providing auto, home, renters, condo, business insurance and much more.



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.

Signature Cocktails for Your Wedding Reception

Signature Cocktail for Wedding Reception in Rochester, NY

Signature Cocktail for Wedding Reception in Rochester, NY

It seems like only a few years ago that every bar in Rochester was simply a dispensing mechanism for gallon after gallon of Labatt’s Blue Light.  Not just here, but in a lot of places across the country refreshments became a lot more interesting with the resurgence of cocktail culture.

Maybe it’s the effect of the Mad Men series on AMC or good PR folks at the liquor companies, but either way mixed drinks are a lot more popular and our friends in the bartending trade kept up with all manner of, “craft cocktails” made with exotic ingredients and things you’ve never heard of.

At wedding receptions all around Rochester, many couples have chosen to create a signature cocktail that aligns with their likes and personality.  You can work with your venue or caterer to develop something unique that works for you.  Here are a few ideas to keep you thinking.

What do you like? Have you resolved never to drink tequila again after that spring break trip in college?  Most of us have drinks or liquor that we don’t care for that much so it stands to reason that you don’t want to build a signature cocktail around something you have to hold your nose to drink.

What are your Wedding Colors?  If you have deep aubergine purple bridesmaid dresses, perhaps something with a dash of pomegranate juice or cranberry will coordinate well.  If you choose an interesting garnish that coordinates with your colors you can make even a simple drink look elegant.

What’s the Location or Theme of Your Wedding?  Having an elegant reception at Belhurst Castle in Geneva?  How about a casual clam bake at Ontario Beach Park in Charlotte?  Each one might call for a different style signature cocktail.

Season?  A hot liquor drink that warms you down to your toes is great during the winter months.  In July it may make your guests spontaneously burst into flame.  Something more refreshing may be the order of the day at a summer or early fall wedding.

Ease of Making It  – When you’re serving 175 people, choosing a cocktail that doesn’t require five minutes of prep per drink is probably a good idea.   Pre-mixed batches are even better.  We were at a summer wedding last year and the wait staff had pre-mixed glasses that they were distributing at the beginning of the reception.  The unexpected bonus?  No lines at the bar right off the bat.

Cost Control – unless you have an unlimited liquor budget, some cost control ideas include adjusting the quality of the liquor.  No, you don’t need to use that stuff that comes in the plastic gallon jug but you also don’t need to use the Johnnie Walker Gold Label at $75 a bottle either.  Limiting the signature cocktail to one pour and then cash after that is another option

Resources – Absolut offers a great app for phones called Drinkspiration and also has a website with a drink builder.  You just click what base liquor you want and the type of drink such as sweet, fruity, spicy, etc. and it will give you some assorted options.  This is a good place to start to build your signature cocktail.

For those playing at home, the drink in the picture is a Cuba Libre.  There are a few ways to make it, but it’s basically a Rum and Coke with lime juice to lighten it up.  Whatever you decide, have a great time and make sure that anyone enjoying too many of your signature cocktails has a safe way to get back home or to their hotel.

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.