Ally Kraemer: The right consultant makes dressing groomsmen easy

9 On Your Side reporter Ally Kraemer got engaged in November. She will be writing about her wedding planning experiences until her wedding in August. Expect to see the good, the bad and the bridezilla. (Just kidding!)

CINCINNATI -- After trying on dozens of bridesmaid dresses, I figured my fiance, Jake, was feeling left out.

I haven’t been taking him with me to look at flowers or design our invitations. He didn’t even get to pick the napkin colors.

I’m told it’s his wedding, too, so I let him get in on the action.

Tuxedo or suit?

From the start we knew we wanted the groomsmen in suits.

Tuxedos are so formal and stuffy. It’s about $150 to rent a tux, and you get it for only one night. Spend a little more and you will get suits that the guys can wear again and again.

Well, hopefully they wear it again. Every man needs a good wedding/funeral suit.

Choosing a suit

Ally Kraemer's fiance, Jake, originally wanted light gray suits for his groomsmen. (Provided)

Jake needed suit separates and we had trouble finding stores that carry them. We also wanted something affordable, knowing that all of the groomsmen were going to have to buy them, too.

We went to Macy’s at Kenwood Towne Centre and tried on several suits, trying to get the size and color right. And then we met menswear consultant Sissy Kotonis.

Sissy is a dream come true. Seriously, she was so incredible when it came to choosing the actual suit, getting Jake’s size right and recommending minor alterations. She went above and beyond to take care of us.  

Ally Kraemer and her fiance, Jake, opted for a navy suit from Macy's for their groomsmen. If Jake had it his way, they would all wear Ohio State shirts instead of dress shirts. (Provided)

If you go to Macy’s, ask for her.

Register at Macy’s

We went to pick suits and register for gifts in the same day. That ended up being a great decision.

When you register at Macy’s, you get a coupon book with discounts for suits, shirts, dresses, shoes, jewelry, etc. The deal on suits gave us an additional 25 percent off the sale price -- BIG savings.

Our registry is also connected to my Macy’s credit card, so for every suit or dress we buy for the wedding, we get 10 percent back in Macy’s Star Rewards.

We had eight suits to buy, so that added up quickly. I’ll probably use the Star Rewards to buy the china on our registry.

Corralling the groomsmen

Sissy said it was best to gather the groomsmen on one day and bring them all at once to get their sizes and suits. (Tip: Feed the groomsmen before you go.)

She created a group page for us in her book to keep track of their sizes and orders. This was incredibly helpful! If they didn’t have the right size in stock, she ordered and shipped it to us.

She couldn’t have made the process any easier. I feel like we should invite her to the wedding -- that’s how much we appreciate everything she did.

Guessing game

One of Jake’s groomsmen lives in Puebla, Mexico, and won’t be back in town until the week of the wedding, so he sent us his sizes.

I’ve never seen such odd measurements. He sent us things like “waist to foot is 101 centimeters” and “vertical thigh is 22 centimeters.” Even when we converted the measurements, they still didn’t make sense.

We’re going to guess on his sizes and hope they fit!

What’s next

I mentioned that I decided to register at Macy’s; taking that price gun and scanning away may sound like a dream come true, but it is actually hard work and super overwhelming.

We already have all the Crock-Pots and spatulas we could ever need. And telling your guests what you want seems so odd. Next week I’ll need your help figuring out how to register for things I actually need.

I’m always looking for advice! If you have some to share, email me at ally.kraemer@wcpo.com.

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