Looking to add a personal touch when it comes to the big day. From personalized cufflinks to groomsmen gift ideas, we asked celebrated wedding event planner Emily Burton for her tips on how to make your wedding memorable.
While you might think the grooms’ attire consists of one choice – tuxedo or suit – there are actually way more details that inject personality and creativity into your outfit. And when you incorporate personalized details, you end up with a look as one-of-a-kind as the couple getting hitched.
Whether it’s a pastel tie with the groom’s initials or a pair of steel cufflinks engraved with the wedding date, these small details add to the story that you’re starting when you say ‘I do’.
We asked wedding event designer Emily Burton for her advice on how to take your wedding from normal to custom with something as simple as the suit accessories you wear.
When it comes to your wedding suit accessories, 3 types of personalization work best: laser engraving, debossing and heat pressing.
Laser engraving uses a laser beam to vaporize the metal of the object being personalized. It’s an extremely fast method and creates clear text with sharp precision.
Using a laser to engrave is also safer for the metal than other types of engraving because no actual tool touches the surface of your jewelry.
“The sky’s the limit when it comes to personalized messages on wedding suit accessories. Engraving the date of the wedding to a tie clip or having the couple’s initials added to his watch make the small accents extra special.
And don’t forget the groomsmen too! Custom cufflinks with their initials engraved or a pair of suspenders with a personal text make excellent groomsmen gifts.”
Not sure what to write? Check out engraving tips and ideas here.
The process involves pushing the chosen design into the leather to make an imprint. Debossing leather does not harm the back of the material and is considered safer than embossing for high-quality leather goods.
What is the difference between embossing and debossing?
Both embossing and debossing are perfect for customizing leather products, and they both use a metal piece that is heated and pressed into the material.
The main difference is that with embossing, the design is pressed from underneath. With debossing, the design is achieved by pressing from the front.
Embossing can hold a bit more detail than debossing but alters the front and back of the product.
“Debossing can be used for way more than just the invitations and other decorations.
It’s an easy way to make all the groomsmen’s gifts extra special, too. Having each groomsman’s initials debossed on a leather belt or wallet is a nice way to thank him for joining you on your wedding day. And it’s a great way to make sure all their belts match!
And if you’re looking for a subtle gift for the groom... a leather wallet, debossed with your monogram, is a keepsake he’ll actually keep.”
A heat press is a machine that imprints a custom design on a piece of fabric – such as a tie, cravat, bow tie or pocket square – using a combination of heat and pressure for a specific time.
There are 2 types of heat transfer printing: vinyl heat transfer and digital print heat transfer.
Vinyl Heat Transfer Process – Here, a machine cuts out letters in colored vinyl and a heat press machine transfers each onto the fabric.
Digital Heat Transfer Process – With this process, the letters are digitally printed on heat transfer paper using special ink. Using a heat press machine, the design or letters are then transferred from the paper to the object being printed on.
Regardless of the type of transfer, it's the heat press machine that provides the heat and pressure to transfer the personalized message. And, it’s safe to wash… although your silk cravat may not be.
Can you heat press on silk? Many wedding suit accessories are made of silk. And with the right temperature, even your silk pocket square or cravat can become a custom accessory with a heat press.
“You’re only limited by the actual space. You don’t want to have all the lyrics to your favorite song printed on your tie. Instead, add the date you proposed or even the coordinates of your wedding to a carefully folded pocket square.
The best way to get a custom tie without paying the bespoke price is to have yours printed with your initials or shared monogram.
Whatever you choose, make sure it’s something that both of you will appreciate and remember for years to come.”
Found throughout Roman and Greek history, modern-day monograms are designs comprised of 2 or more initials. The typical order of the initials is first name, middle, and surname (last name) and is created without dots or periods.
While no longer used on coins, adding a monogram to a pocket square, tie or cravat or having your initials engraved on a pair of cufflinks is the perfect way to make a wedding gift that much more thoughtful and unique. And a way to make the suit accessories or jewelry the groom wears on his big day that much more personal.
Single-Letter Monograms Single-letter monograms use the initial of the surname or, less commonly, the first initial of the first name.
Three-Letter Monograms Three-letter monograms are the most popular for wedding gifts and accessories for the groom’s suit. The order of the initials depends on the letter sizes and marital status of the wearer.
For single men and women, there are 2 commonly-used monograms:
For most weddings, monograms include both names of the bride and groom.
“A lot of my clients turn their monogram into a family crest that they use throughout their lives… on towels, sheets and even etched on glassware. For the wedding, monograms are found everywhere from invitations to custom decorations.”
Whose initials go first in a wedding monogram? Traditionally, if the bride takes the groom's family name, her first initial comes first, then their shared surname and finally his first name initial.
Three-Letter Monograms for Weddings Just like monograms for single guys, there are 2 types of three-letter monograms for weddings and married couples:
Emily suggests, “You can add a monogram to just about anything, from the groom’s suit accessories to the napkins at the reception. But just because you can doesn’t mean you should.
Remember that a little personalization goes a long way. Take your suit accessories for example. Yes, you could monogram your initials on your tie, your pocket square, cufflinks and tie bar… but do you really want every piece you wear to argue for attention?
Go for 1 or 2 personalized pieces – like his wedding cufflinks and pocket square. Both of these are small enough that the initials won’t scream for attention, but he’ll know that each is something special.”
Whether you’re shopping for the groom or looking for groomsmen gifts, nothing is as special as a personal touch.
“Create something cherished and worn for a lifetime. It could be a small pair of cufflinks with the happy couple’s new monogram or a tie with the couple’s shared last name.
Finding a unique groomsmen gift doesn't have to be difficult either.
I’ve had a lot of wedding couples give ‘Weekend Care Packages’ as groomsmen gifts. These include items like a shaving set with an engraved razor, a deck of playing cards and a monogrammed bottle opener.
It doesn’t have to be the same gift for every person in your wedding party, either.
If one of your groomsmen is a pocket square connoisseur, then create a custom one with his initials. If your best man could use a wallet, then have a classic bifold wallet debossed with his name.
And if the bride-to-be is shopping for a wedding gift for her groom, don’t forget that you can personalize an accessory with more than just a monogram. Think of where you first met, the place where you first kissed or even the date when he proposed. All of these are wonderful memories and may just fit the character limit on your customized gift.”
“In my area of the USA, it’s popular to have the backs of watches engraved with a couple’s wedding date and initials. I’ve also worked with a lot of grooms who have the inner pocket of their suit jackets embroidered with a personal message.”
When buying gifts for your groomsmen, consider the following questions:
“While there’s no catch-all rule for groomsmen gifts, a good standard is to give a gift that costs 20-30% of what your groomsmen spent to be at your wedding.
Purchase something that lets them know how much it means to you that they’ve been a part of your lives and carved out time to celebrate with you.”
The wedding gift you give should be just as memorable as the actual ceremony. Adding a monogram to a wedding gift is a great way to commemorate the event for the groom.
“Before you order, check with the bride or a close family friend to see if she is keeping her surname. This will guide you in how to set up the initials in the monogram.”
Remember that once something has been personalized, it can’t be returned.
Yes. Monograms are not solely for wedding gifts… even single guys appreciate having their initials on their cufflinks or carefully placed on their favorite bow tie.
For men's gifts, we suggest using the initials of his first, middle and last name, in that order. It’s a format that looks good on everything from watches to ties and is easily recognised as his initials.
Our character limits are as follows: