The Ultimate Guide To Men’s Wedding Attire 

Gone are the days when dressing for a wedding simply meant reaching into your closet for your one trusty suit. With so many different venues and styles of weddings, these days, we understand that picking an outfit that is appropriate for the occasion can be overwhelming. 

Even for the grooms out there, with so much pressure to look your best for photos, there’s a good chance you have some style questions running through your head. 

Sound about right? Whether you’re a wedding guest or the groom, today we’re answering all your biggest style questions about men’s wedding attire so you’re always the best-dressed man in the room. 

Men's Wedding Attire Ideas

Before going any further, we have to do a shameless promotion for our brand JJ Suspenders. At JJ, we obsess over suspender style and quality, and a stylish wedding is one of the best places to rock suspenders. For more info on the do's and don'ts of wearing suspenders, check out our in depth suspenders style guide.

Onward! 

How To Decide What To Wear To A Wedding

While you’ll certainly attend a handful of weddings where a traditional suit and tie might be your best bet, modern weddings tend to allow for more self-expression. However, because of this, the “rules” and “guidelines” for dressing are more open to interpretation. For a lot of men, this can lead to confusion about what is and what is not appropriate attire at a wedding. 

In order to simplify this dilemma and give you the best shot of showing up at a wedding in the most appropriate outfit, we’re breaking this down into four areas of concern you’ll want to consider when picking your attire for both guests and groomsmen.  


The four areas to address when choosing your wedding attire include: 

  • Dress Code 
  • Venue
  • Season 
  • Theme 

Let’s start by looking at the dress code.  


Men’s Wedding Attire By Dress Code 

Considering the dress code is probably the easiest way to narrow down your attire. Having said that, the dress code might not be explicitly spelled out for you. 

The best way to determine the dress code is to consider the formality of the event, which can generally be broken into three main categories: black tie, cocktail, and casual. 

For a black-tie wedding, you will likely find that the invitation explicitly states black tie. In this case, stick to the rules and opt for a tuxedo, black bowtie, white tuxedo shirt, and black shoes. If the invitation states “black tie optional”, this is usually provided as an alternative for those who don’t have access to a tuxedo; however, if you do have access, it is recommended you stick with the tuxedo option. 

tuxedo wedding attire


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If there is no reference to the dress code on your invitation, this usually means you have some room to play. 

In most cases, we recommend sticking with the “cocktail” option since you’ll usually find this option is appropriate for most events. The cocktail option includes a black or navy suit, a dress shirt (color optional), a necktie or bowtie (again, color optional), and brown or black shoes. 

cocktail wedding attire

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Of course, if you’re attending a small, intimate, backyard wedding, a full suit might be too formal. Of course, though, this does not mean a pair of shorts and flip-flops are appropriate. Instead, you can opt for a pair of well-ironed suit pants, a dress shirt, dress shoes or possible loafers, and an optional blazer. 

Remember: Considering the dress code is just one of many considerations you’ll need to make when deciding what to wear. Once you’ve done this, it’s time to look to the venue for guidance. 


Men’s Wedding Attire by Venue 

While dress code is a great place to start when considering your wedding attire, there’s a strong likelihood you have a bit more room to play with your style once you’ve considered the venue. 

With the modern engaged couple getting more and more creative with their wedding venues, it would be impossible for us to list out every possible venue option; however, we can list out some of the more well-known ones.

For traditional church weddings, keep your look classic with a black or navy suit, solid-colored tie or bow tie, and subtle hints of self-expression (cuff links, suspenders, pocket squares). Your main goal here is to not be too flashy or bold while still looking and feeling your best.  

For winery or special event venues, you can have a bit more fun with color and pattern. Having said that, you still likely want to err on the side of caution and not go for anything that would distract from the bride or groom. 

For outdoor weddings in the mountains or the woods, a suit is still your best bet, but you can likely get away with more eccentric, patterned ties and perhaps even some bolder color options, like a dark hunter green suit.  

outdoor wedding outfit

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For beach weddings, tan or khaki suits tend to be the standard, but any light color will do the trick. In addition, you might be able to get away with lighter fabrics, like cotton and linen, and no suit jacket/tie. 

beach wedding outfit


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As you can see, there is a lot of variety to consider when looking at the venue, which is why it is often a good idea to research the venue ahead of time and ask other guests what they are wearing. If this isn’t available to you or you still have doubts, stick with clear-cut rules laid out by the “dress code” portion of the event whether it is explicitly stated or not. Doing so will guarantee you dress appropriately. 


Men’s Wedding Attire By Season 

Relatively straightforward, if you know how to dress for the season in your everyday life, you shouldn’t have too much difficulty here. Let’s quickly review to ensure we’re all on the same page. 

For Spring weddings, consider lighter shaded suits, like grey. You can also choose to accessorize with signature spring-inspired shades like pastels. Accessories can include suspenders, bow ties, neckties, and cufflinks. 

For Summer weddings, again, lighter colors are likely your best bet. While temperatures might make suit-wearing uncomfortable, unless you’re attending an explicitly stated casual wedding, dealing with the heat may be necessary. Having said that, you can feel free to skip the socks and go for cropped suit pants for a more trendy option. 

Summer Wedding Attire

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For Fall weddings, again, color comes into play (opt for deep jewel tones like maroon, hunter green, gold, and royal blue). You can also seek out texture and even add some pattern to your look with a subtle plaid. Layering for unpredictable temperatures is also encouraged. 

For Winter weddings, keep with your standard suit, but if you want to add some winter flair, you can seek out rich velvets and thicker fabrics. 

Winter Wedding Outfit

Bottom line: When picking your wedding attire based on season, color, fabric weight, and layering are the three main components you’ll want to consider. 


Men’s Wedding Attire by Theme 

And lastly, you’ll always want to take a look at the theme when considering your wedding attire. Keep in mind, though, if the theme doesn’t feel obvious then there’s a good chance there isn’t an explicit theme and you don’t have to worry too much here (i.e. use the three guidelines mentioned above). 

Some popular examples of wedding themes include rustic/vintage, country, holiday, garden party, Old Hollywood, nautical, and even Halloween. 

Having said that, unless we’re talking about a Halloween theme, we don’t recommend taking the theme too seriously. Even if a couple is having a country-inspired wedding, this likely doesn’t mean they expect everyone to show up in cowboy boots. Of course, though, if you have boots and you know that the bride and groom are going all out with their theme, join in on the fun!

 

To sum it up  

At the end of the day, when it comes to figuring out how to dress for a wedding, we always recommend being cautious about being too bold with your style options. When you remain classic with your look, you can’t go wrong. 

Of course, though, if you know the bride and groom well and you feel comfortable adding some personality, go for it! Just always remember this is someone’s big day and even if you do have the most amazing sense of style, you are not the star of the show. 

Suspenders, colored ties and bowties, cufflinks, and pocket squares are some of the easiest ways to add subtle personality to your look. 


Wedding Attire For Men: Best Tips 

So you’ve used the tips from above and you’ve got your outfit ready to go…  Does that mean you’re done with preparing for the big day? Absolutely not. 

In order to ensure you look your best from start to finish, we have some important tips and tricks to keep in mind: 

1. Dry cleaning is your best friend 

We know that buying a new suit for every wedding you attend might not be possible, which is why it’s so important to stay on top of your dry cleaning. While it’s easy enough to come home from a wedding, hang up your suit, and not think about dry cleaning until your next big event, too often, this leaves you scrambling to ensure your suit is ready to go on the day of the wedding. 

Each time you wear a suit, check for any stains or smells. When necessary, dry clean right away to ensure you’re not stuck with a less-than-ideal suit on the day of the wedding.

 

2. Invest in a classic black suit 

Speaking of only having one suit… If this is you, we highly recommend investing in a classic black suit. Not only does this option work for all seasons and themes, but you can always switch out accessories and add a different color dress shirt to give the suit a new feel each time you wear it. 

3. Layer layer layer 

We mentioned layering above in the case of fall weddings where temperatures are less reliable; however, layering is a good idea, no matter what the temperature. 

Layering especially comes in handy for weddings that transition into the evening. For any late-night dancing or celebrations, you’ll likely appreciate being able to remove layers, while still ensuring you looked appropriate and pulled together throughout the day. 

4. Consider accessories carefully 

While we’ve already mentioned how useful accessories can be for adding personality and style to your look, don’t forget that accessories can also have practical uses. For instance, belts and suspenders can help ensure your pants stay right where they’re supposed to be (read our guide specifically on wearing suspenders at weddings). There are even accessories available to help ensure your shirt stays perfectly tucked in throughout the day/night. 

Also, don’t forget, you’ll likely be wearing your dress shoes for multiple hours. Nobody wants to have pinching toes and sore feet for a whole evening. Always get shoes that are comfortable and fit properly, while still keeping style in mind. 

5. Fit matters 

And lastly, with fit on the brain, one of the most important tips we can provide for men’s wedding attire is this: Get your suit fitted properly. There’s nothing that will ruin a look faster than a poorly fitted suit. Whether too big or too small, you don’t want to be this guy. 

Get your suit fitted and custom-tailored to fit your body. Trust us, while it might be an investment now, it will pay off when you always have a reliable suit waiting for you. 


What will you be wearing to your next wedding? 

As you can see here, “rules” for what to wear to a wedding are starting to shift, but that doesn’t mean we’ve completely let go of all guidelines. 

For most, striking the balance between personal style and tradition will bring you the best results. 

Just remember: What you wear and how you present yourself is not only a reflection on you, it is also a sign of respect to the couple you are celebrating. Keep those two very important points in mind, and we don’t think you’ll have any trouble picking the perfect attire for your next wedding. 

 

The Ultimate Guide To Picking Your Groomsmen

No matter how involved with the wedding planning process you are, there’s one task that no man can avoid when helping to plan the big day—picking groomsmen.  

While it might seem like you can simply pick out your best mates and call it a day, there are a few considerations you’ll want to make when selecting your groomsmen. 

Not sure how to go about the process? From choosing the right men to what you should expect of your groomsmen, this ultimate guide answers all your biggest questions (be sure to check out our men's wedding attire guide after you pick your groomsmen)


Picking Your Groomsmen 

Depending on the size of your circle of friends and family, picking your groomsmen can either feel like the easiest task or impossible. 

If you land on the impossible end of the spectrum, we’re here to help. 


How many groomsmen should I have?


First things first, you have to know how many groomsmen you’re going to have before you can decide on who will stand with you. 

Oftentimes, how many groomsmen you have depends on your partner. If you have a bride who is deadset on having 6 bridesmaids, you better believe you’ll likely have to come up with six yourself to keep things equal on both sides (equal bridesmaids and groomsmen tends to look best for pictures). 

However, if you and your partner are attempting to come up with a number together, here are a couple of other factors that you can consider to help:


  • How many guests you’re inviting to the wedding
  • How intimate your wedding is going to be
  • How many personalities you want to deal with on your wedding day 

 

Wedding Size: You’ve probably been to large weddings (200+ guests) and seen some small wedding parties, and you’ve probably been to smaller wedding that have large wedding parties. This is not a set in stone rule, but if you’re struggling, in general, the more guests you’re inviting, the larger your wedding party. Think about it: If you’re only inviting 100 guests and you have 10 people in your wedding party, that’s 10% of your guests that are standing in your wedding. On the other hand, if you have 300 guests and 10 people in your wedding party, this ratio makes more sense.   


Intimacy: When it comes to your big day, all brides and grooms have different expectations. For some, they want an intimate gathering with friends and family. For others, they want to throw the party of the year. If you land on the extreme of either end, this can help in determining wedding party size. For instance, intimate weddings will likely only include family in the wedding party and perhaps a best friend or two. On the other hand, those who want the big party atmosphere might include multiple friends and family in the wedding party to help bring energy to the big day. Consider the overall feeling you want your wedding day to have, and this can help you determine big vs. small wedding party. 


Personalities: Lastly, and probably most importantly, it’s important to remember that the bigger your wedding party, the more personalties you’re going to have to deal with. For some, if you have friends from different circles who don’t get along, this can be a lot to deal with, especially on your wedding day when you want to enjoy yourself. Of course if you have a close group of friends who are already friends and/or are laid-back, a big fun group might be perfect for you.  


So which is best? Small and intimate or big and over-the-top?


When it comes to small and intimate, benefits include: fewer personalties to deal with, easier communication between close friends, and a more intimate feeling on the big day. Some negatives of a smaller wedding that you might want to consider include: possibility of offending friends/family by not including them, less people to rely on/help with the wedding, and less people to enjoy the day with (i.e. getting ready, pictures, limo rides, etc.). 

If you’re thinking you want to go big with your wedding party, the biggest thing to consider is the number of personalities you’ll have to deal with. The more personalities to deal with means the more opportunity for drama. On the upside, though, if you’re a social couple and you like being surrounded by friends, you might have more fun with a larger wedding party. 

Having said all of this, at the end of the day, deciding how many groomsmen you have is a completely personal decision. You can go small and intimate or big and over-the-top. Whatever the case, we suggest going with the wedding party size that will suit you and your partner best.


How should I pick my groomsmen?

 

Once you have your number, follow these steps to picking your groomsmen.

Start with siblings

When considering your groomsmen, start by taking a look at your family members. For most, having your brother(s) as a part of your wedding party is the easiest way to add numbers without offending anyone (i.e. most friends will understand if you pick your brother over them).

You can also consider cousins, step-brothers, older nephews, or even your partner’s siblings if you’re close. 

 

What if I have multiple brothers?

Here’s where things can get tricky. Maybe you have one brother you’re closer with, or maybe you have 3+ brothers, but you also have friends that you would like to include in your party. 

If you have multiple brothers, but you don’t necessarily want to include them all in your wedding party, make an agreement on which brother will serve in what wedding. This way, all your brothers stand up in one wedding, but not necessarily all of them. 

 

Can my sister be a “groomsman”?

Yes! Absolutely. There’s no rule saying your sister can’t stand by you at your wedding. 

While she may not necessarily partake in all your groomsmen activities and she might prefer wearing a bridesmaid dress over a suit, if you want your sister standing with you on your big day, don’t be afraid to step outside what is conventional. 

 

Pick your best friends 

If picking your siblings doesn’t get you to the correct number of groomsmen, or you’ve opted to not include all of your siblings, you can start adding in your friends. 

How you go about this will largely depend on how many spots you have available and what your circle of friends is like. 

The easiest way to keep this clean and not offend anyone is to stick within one circle of friends. So, for instance, instead of asking your childhood best friend, your coworker, a friend you play football with, and your neighbour, stick within one circle of friends (i.e. the friends you spend the most quality time with and who know you best). 

 

Can I have a female “best man”?

Just as it’s totally cool to have your sister in your wedding party, it’s also totally cool to have a female “best man.” This can be your sister, but it also can be a friend. Remember, it’s your wedding and there are no set rules. 


Consider reliability/personalities 

If you’re still having difficulty narrowing down your groomsmen, the next best thing to look at is reliability and personality.  

For instance, if you have two friends who are equally important to you, but Jimmy is notorious for dropping the ball on important commitments, while Billy is a stickler for detail, it might be best to pick Billy over Jimmy. Sure, Jimmy might be upset, but if you’re at this point, there needs to be something to help you break the tie—reliability tends to be a good one. 

In addition, you also might want to consider personalities, and how personalities amongst the group will mesh. 

Perhaps you have two friends who don’t get along, or maybe you have a friend that your brother is not a fan of. While most adults should be able to pull it together for a wedding, if you’re still struggling with who to choose at this point, looking at your friends’ personalities will help you narrow it down. 


How to ask your chosen groomsmen

Now that you’ve chosen your groomsmen, it’s time to ask them. Here are three ideas to help inspire you when asking your chosen groomsmen to be part of your big day. 


Just ask

Some of you might like to keep things straight-to-the-point and simple when asking your groomsmen, and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. 

More and more, we’re seeing elaborate ways of asking your chosen groomsmen, but if you don’t think your groomsmen will appreciate the gesture and/or it’s not your style, there’s no shame in simply asking without the big show. 

The only rule here—no emails or texts, ask in-person. When in-person is impossible because of distance, a phone call is your next best option. 

 

Give a gift

If you want to take it up a notch, there’s no shortage of groomsmen gifts out there. Some of our favorites include: 

  • Personalized beer mugs/whiskey flasks 
  • Something to wear on the big day (socks, suspenders, cuff links)
  • A groomsmen “proposal box” (i.e. a collection of items and a note asking the question)
  • Bottle of booze with a custom label 
  • Cigars 
  • Sporting equipment 

The main thing to consider when getting a gift to ask your groomsmen is the customization. If you’re going to go out of your way to get a gift, customizing with a name or adding something that asks “will you be my groomsmen” makes the gift feel special. 


An event, a video, a song 

And lastly, if you really want to step it up when asking your groomsmen, you can bring all of them together for an event (i.e. sports, concert, camping), you can record a silly video that proposes the question, or you can even write a song if you’re musically inclined. 


For the last two options, you’ll likely want to keep it light and on the more humorous side. You can find plenty of examples on Youtube if you need inspiration. 


 

What should you expect of your groomsmen? 

With every wedding and every friendship group, there will be different expectations set for groomsmen. Having said that, if you’ve never been a part of a wedding party or you need a refresher, here are some general guidelines of what you should expect from your groomsmen:

  • Generally, most groomsmen don’t have too many responsibilities to attend to before the wedding day. Instead, most responsibilities will fall on the wedding day. 
  • Planning some sort of bachelor party or small gathering may be required of the best man. 
  • Groomsmen should be responsible for looking presentable on the big day. This includes getting a hair cut, shave, and/or beard trim before the wedding day. 
  • The best man may be responsible for holding onto the rings before the ceremony. 
  • Groomsmen may be expected to be ushers for the ceremony, showing guests to their seats. 
  • Designated groomsmen may be expected to give a short speech at the reception; however, forcing your friends to do this might not be best. Instead, try asking which of your groomsmen is comfortable with public speaking. 

In general, simply relying on your groomsmen to be there for moral support on your wedding day is the most important task they’ll complete. We recommend not asking too much or placing too many responsibilities on your groomsmen. This can lead to tension, and ultimately, might impact your relationship leading up to the wedding. 


How to set your groomsmen up with attire

Traditionally, groomsmen are expected to pay for their attire. 

With that in mind, it’s important (and considerate) to consider cost when choosing your suits. Remember, if you have a large group, you’re likely dealing with different budgets, and asking some of your friends to spend large sums of money might be a sore spot.

To ease some of the burden here, gifting suit accessories is always an appreciated gesture. For instance, buying all your groomsmen their ties, or keeping it classy with matching suspenders. 

Whatever the case, while you’ll certainly want to ensure you pick a high-quality suit that matches the formality of your event, it’s always considerate to factor in budget. 


How should I thank my groomsman after the wedding?  

And lastly, now that the wedding is complete, you’ll want to thank your groomsmen for standing up with you. To do this, you can keep it simple or go for something more elaborate. As always, though, being courteous and extending some form of appreciation is highly recommended

Here are some ideas to spark your inspiration: 

  • Keep it simple with a hand-written note and personalized card (i.e. a photo of your group of groomsmen, for instance). 
  • Speaking of a photo, you can also choose to have one of your photos printed and professionally framed.
  • Plan a boy’s night out after the wedding to celebrate (dinner, sporting event, game night at home, pub crawl, etc). 

Beyond that, you can take a look at any of the gift ideas for asking your groomsmen (above) and use those as thank you gifts as well. You certainly don’t have to go all out and get multiple gifts both for asking and thanking, but the little touches will go a long way here.  


Bottom line

Your wedding day is an important event in your life, and deciding who is going to stand by your side to celebrate is worth taking the time to consider. We hope some of the tips from above make your decision that much easier. 

Cheers to a stellar wedding party, a beautiful wedding day, and most importantly, a happy marriage!





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