As far as ring customization is concerned, the possibilities are endless—from gleaming emeralds and rubies to bands shaped like floral bouquets—but if you’re new to wearing rocks, James recommends starting simple. “I love black diamonds,” he says, “because they have this gorgeous shimmer and shine when they interact with light, but they feel more muted and subdued than most gemstones for every day.”

Keep the dress code simple and clear.

“Barnyard” and “rustic” aren’t next to each other in the dictionary, and they don’t belong anywhere near each other on an invite. There’s a special place in hell reserved for couples who think it’s cute to append a dress code of their own design to the RSVP. Do yourself and your guests a favor: don’t. —AG

If the invite says “black-tie optional,” it isn’t.

In this case, the dress code is about as optional as a colorectal screening: You can ignore it, but you may regret that decision later. —AG

Don’t be afraid to break from tradition—especially at a queer wedding.

A groom in black and a bride in ivory is de rigueur for straight weddings. But at a queer wedding, there’s no need to adhere to heteronormative color assignments. A pair in black, a pair in ivory, elements of both or another color altogether—the conservatives are seething either way! Mix it up a little. —Raymond Ang

A tuxedo should either be blue or black.

You know those pastel-hued suits endemic to the Kentucky Derby? Avoid ’em at all costs. You’re not Rick Ross, and this isn’t Roc Nation’s pre-Grammys brunch. It’s called black-tie for a reason. Any other color will make you look like the least famous guy at the VMAs. (If you are Rick Ross, you can do whatever the hell you want.) —AG

When it comes to tuxedo lapels, notch is bad, shawl is better, and peak is best.

There’s a time and place for lapels so shrunken they’d make Thom Browne blush. That time is not your wedding day—unless of course, you’re wearing Thom Browne. (The only thing worse than a notch? A wimpy peak.) —AG

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Ariel Davis

Embrace the boutonniere.

The more delicate the better, and make sure it’s a fresh flower. —SH

Your bow tie should be black, silky, and about 30 percent floppier than you think.

A black-tie bash is your best chance to harness the retro cool of Newman at the Oscars. Don’t bungle it by knotting up a feeble, floral-printed monstrosity. —AG

Don’t even think about wearing a clip-on tie.

You are a grown-up and Google exists. —Gerald Ortiz

Wear something wild to the rehearsal dinner.

The rehearsal dinner is your time to get sleazy, outfit-wise. Get all the flexing out of your system before wearing something classier for your actual nuptials. Bolo ties. Shantung silk dinner jackets. Those sick Comme des Garçons derbies you’ve been saving for a special occasion. It’s all fair game (just not all at once). —SH

Don’t forget to remove all the stitches on your suit’s vents and sleeves.

The most obvious rule of all, but it still needs to be said. —NJ

Knock out wrinkles.

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Elise Taylor, a senior Vogue writer who has covered dozens of the world’s most stylish weddings, has seen more wedding photos than one could possibly count. Her biggest menswear faux pas? Wrinkled suits. “When I’m reviewing a lot of pictures of guests and sometimes even grooms, it’s quite obvious to me when they haven’t pressed their suits,” she says. Most hotel rooms and even Airbnbs have irons, and many hotels offer laundry or pressing services via the front desk. (Just be very careful when ironing your suit: Keep the iron on low heat and cover the fabric with a thin cloth or towel, or you might ruin it.) Alternatively, ask around the hotel block—or just text your wedding-pals group chat to see if someone else has a steamer you can borrow. As Taylor notes, “That’s something that women very much know to do when traveling” for a wedding.

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