Suits v Tuxes – The new Cake v Pie

I’ve been drawn into an online drama that’s been ongoing between local formal wear provider, Anthony, owner of Tuxego in Latham, NY and the Albany Times Union. I guess if there’s going to be a controversy, I’m going to be involved somehow.

It all started with a comment that Anthony made with regards to how a groom looked at a wedding; his comment clearly took issue with getting advice from the photographer on formal wear. I don’t know if this really happened or not, and I don’t care.

Anthony has since been in contact with the bride and groom and has made amends with them regarding his comment. I do not disagree that the comment was inappropriate for the forum.

This all spiraled into a discussion on On The Edge, where the topic really focused around whether a photographer (or other wedding vendor) is qualified to give advice on formal wear. Another Times Union blogger decided to offer his own take on why he’s going with tuxes for his wedding.

I’m a firm believer in “do whatever you want to do.” You want the groom in a suit, put him in a suit; you want him in a tux, put him in a tux; you want him in a tuxedo t-shirt, buy him the damn tuxedo t-shirt.

Tip toeing back to Anthony’s original comment (because I know I’m on thin ice), I don’t think it’s wrong for a person who takes pride in providing formal wear for weddings to have an opinion about someone in a different line of work drawing business away from them (I still agree that the original comment was not appropriate for the given forum.).

I’m going to spin the story a different way. Let’s say you’re a bride and groom. You visit a cake shop and see all of the master creations the baker can make for your wedding. 5 tiers; fondant; edible pearls. Then you talk to the photographer, and they tell you, “cake is good, but pie really looks better in pictures; I’ve done a lot of weddings, and you gotta listen to me.” So you arrange to have a delicious pie at your wedding. The guests love it or don’t care. It is a pie, so it’s gonna look a certain way no matter how you cut it. Then a cake baker flips through the pictures, gets to a pie, and the jaw drops in laughter. Then the cake baker comes to find that the advice to go with pie came from the photographer.

If I’m the cake baker, privately, I’m going to rhetorically ask myself, “what f*ckin business does a photographer have recommending pie?” Especially since that reflects in my bottom line; I just lost a potential sale.

A similar analogy can be made for the food. What if the DJ tells you that McDonald’s food is good enough for the banquet? Don’t you think a chef who takes pride in doing banquets isn’t going to take offense to that?

So, at the end of the day, I really don’t know who was telling who what and why that particular bride and groom decided to do the suits instead of tuxes or the fictional pie instead of cake. There’s clearly much more to the story that we will never know about. Of course, none of it is important because the bride and groom are happy with the choice they made.

On the various forums, mostly facebook, Anthony has called me his advocate. In a sense it is true; as usually happens in Times Union blog comments, I saw things turn personal for Anthony, and, understanding his intentions but disagreeing with his tact, I wanted it all to stop. The farthest I will advocate for the situation is the above analogy. I cannot defend his choice to leave that original comment, even though I understand where he was coming from.

Now the real advocating: I worked with Anthony back in 2007 for my first wedding. He treated me and my family professionally and candidly and to this day remains a close family friend (and potentially may really be family through blood). He is one of the only area formal wear shops that has weathered the poor economy, and remains one of the only places in town (and he’s seen them all come and go). He clearly does the right thing for his customers, and wants to continue to do so. The guy made a mistake and has atoned for it.

Let’s all move on.


6 thoughts on “Suits v Tuxes – The new Cake v Pie

  • Darth

    My personal wedding experience is that all recommendations are welcome. Anyone with experience that could help is great. It is always appreciated, especially considering the stress involved with planning a wedding. HOWEVER, the final choice is left up to the bride & the groom – NO ONE ELSE. Not the photographer, not the baker, not the DJ, not the Tux rental guy, not the future mother-in-law, etc. NO ONE but the 2 people who the day matters to the most.

    Do you know how many people gave me crap about my choice in footwear? For those who don’t know – I decided to wear classic black & white Converse All Stars with my tuxedo, and get a pair for all of my groomsmen so we matched. A lot of people thought it was awesome. But there were enough that made negative comments about it that it aggravated me on my wedding day. When someone said “Sneakers, really?” I would reply “Yes, sneakers. It’s my wedding, so I decide what I want to wear. If you don’t like them, don’t look at my feet.”

    Who cares if a groom wants to wear a suit? I’ve been to weddings where the groom has worn a kilt, a medieval knight costume, and one where he wore his favorite Metallica t-shirt. So whatever. It’s his decision (or his future brides). Seriously – if you cannot be at a wedding to support them, don’t be there at all. And if you are a business with negative comments to make about their choices – keep them to yourself. It won’t really help your bottom line if you piss people off.

    That’s Darth 2 cents . . .

  • Anthony Commiso

    “Tutto Posto” a great article it was fair, just and candid. The person who was the kindest to me was the Bride a gracious lady and the groom a gentleman. They both felt the blog comments and most especially Kristi’s threas was out of control. In my opinion, Kristi seems to live for the controversy, perhaps that is the life’s blood of a blogger. Of the original comment I stated an opinion not as a formalwear specialist, just a comment. My competitor used it as an opportunity to draw my business name in, because they are still reeling from a national expose on stores like theirs that rent ancient merchandise, deceiving the consumer and giving rental formalwear a black eye instead of keeping it Black tie. Blogs prove one thing that everyone has an opinion and everyone loves to punish in the world today. thanks for a great article

  • Anthony Commiso

    Darth, I couldn’t agree more. I LOVE the sneaker idea and have had clients of mine do it and I thought it was great. I have a photo of one of them in my store. I’ve also had clients rent suits and it looked great. Still I’m for the timeless look of a tux and I did my job to share the differences and to help them make an informed decision. I like what one women said on K’s blog, similar to your line of thinking make it themed put your own essence into it if you’re going to depart from the classic or as you did add a flare to the classic. I still don’t deny my own conviction as the women said that a suit looks like a day at the office or a JP wedding. I just regret that this nice couple got a dour post from me. What is wrong with the whole thing is that people want to punish folks for their opinion. Two of the comments were from my competitors. One mentioning my business name that I nor anyone else had just to fuel the fire.
    Certain details are unknown to public that there is a back-story, the photogs that keep posting are not being genuine in advice there telling the couple what they want to see because they think it is hip right now, they think it allows themmmm, what, I don’t know. the issue is that folks become so enamored with their photographers that they would do anything they tell them. I always tell a bride and groom it is their canvass to paint but if I don’t offer my opinions or my experience than what good am I to the client?
    The foundation of this whole debate that everyone seems to want to lynch me for is, “If you can’t say something nice don’t say it at all.” Well it should start at the beginning of the process where if a photog can’t say something nice about another’s trade don’t say it at all. I don’t tell clients “oh you overpaid for photographs, I know 6 other guys and gals less expensive and they do as good or better work.” You know why I don’t say it, because it isn’t my place, The couple made their decision that was correct for them. Also if I am to be a true man of conviction than I should be able to say to a bride and groom after their wedding as well as advise them before. You only lose credibility when you vacillate or in Kristi’s case tell a fairy tale.

  • KB @ Home-Baked Happiness

    … And now I have a recommendation for tuxes, should I get married. Thanks. 🙂

    I don’t suppose it’s 100 percent horrible for a photog to say “hey, X will photograph better,” but if you’re basing the components of your wedding on what will photograph better and not what will look better/taste better/make you happier, then that’s just stupid. And you certainly can’t tell a professional in a given area that their product is inferior because it doesn’t photograph as well, in your opinion; that’s stupid, too.


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