A couple often spends months (and sometimes more) planning their wedding, including figuring out the people they want to present for their special day. So if you make the cut, the last thing you want is to make a fashion faux pas at the ceremony and reception. The result could be offending your hosts and putting unwanted attention on yourself. There’s no need to worry because we asked some top wedding planners to share their biggest dos and don’ts when it comes to wedding guest attire.
Do follow the dress code. The couple will choose a dress code to fit with their wedding’s style and theme, so be sure to adhere to it when choosing your attire. The invitation should be a guideline and a clue as to what to expect at the wedding and what others will wear, says Mary Angelini of Key Moment Films. For example, if the dress code indicates black tie, you should wear a tuxedo, while opting for a suit and tie for semi-formal or cocktail attire.
Don’t wear white. Do not wear an all-white outfit unless you know the wedding party (including the couple) is not wearing it—and even then, it can be risky. “Wearing white on the wedding day will always be seen as competing with the couple for attention,” says Wendy Kidd, owner of Each & Every Detail.
Do look up the venue. The wedding’s location can give you some guidance on what to expect from the event, especially if the invite was vague. The level of the venue’s formality can help you determine how formal your ensemble should be.
Don’t forget to check the wedding website. If the invitation doesn’t include much detail on attire, you should visit the couple’s wedding website. It will likely include information on the theme, weather, color preferences, and more.
Do dress for the occasion. Showing up in a tuxedo when your friends are getting married on the beach will make for an uncomfortable day for you and an uncomfortable vibe on their wedding day as your attire takes center stage, explains Nora Sheils of Bridal Bliss.
Don’t go too crazy with color. While you might think showing up in an orange tux will be hysterical, anything that takes the spotlight off the newlyweds is a no-no. You’re better off choosing a neutral suit or tux and then adding a pop of color with your tie or pocket square.
Do consider the season. You want to look and feel your best, which means considering the weather when choosing your attire. If it's summertime in Atlanta, you can rest assured wearing a heavy black wool suit won't be very comfortable, notes Sheils. Fortunately, Generation Tux’s suits and tuxedos are made of Super 130s and Super 140s Merino Wool, keeping you cool from day to night.
Don’t be too revealing. Of course, you want to be respectful of not only the happy couple but also their other guests—especially if the families have specific cultural or religious beliefs. “The key to choosing modest wedding attire is to strike a balance between dressing appropriately for the occasion while also expressing your personal style,” says Angelini. “By choosing stylish, comfortable, and modest clothing, you can show respect while also feeling confident and comfortable in your own skin.”
Do get your attire tailored. A badly fitted suit or tuxedo will not only look bad but you’ll also feel uncomfortable during the entire event. You want to be able to dance, mix, and mingle with ease. Generation Tux’s innovative algorithm can find your perfect fit with just a few simple questions that you answer online.
Don’t spend too much. Trust us, the couple getting married doesn’t want you to go into debt dressing for their wedding. If you have a few weddings in a year, the costs can really add up, especially if there’s travel involved. Sheils suggests renting your outfits, sharing outfits with other friends, buying a classic dress or suit, and accessorizing with jewelry, shoes, wraps, jackets, etc. Remember, you can wear the same outfit twice!See Men’s Wedding Dress Codes
Don’t Be Afraid To Ask
Don’t be afraid to ask questions. If you’re not sure about a particular dress code or what is expected of you as a wedding guest, there is nothing wrong with reaching out to the couple or a member of the wedding party for clarification. In fact, they would rather you ask sooner than later!
Do wear the right shoes. Unless this is a beach wedding and the couple specifically directs their guests to wear flip-flops or sandals, you should wear comfortable but appropriate shoes. Think dress shoes or loafers.
Don’t wear jeans. Even if the invitation states casual, you should never wear jeans to a wedding, says Mark Lynch of Sonas. Jeans are not wedding guest attire and can also make you feel not as put together. Slacks are a much better option.
Do express your personality. Just because you have a dress code to follow doesn’t mean you can’t show off your own unique style. Whether you’re in a suit or tuxedo, you can customize your look through accessories, including your tie, pocket square, and even socks.
Don’t wear anything wrinkled or stained. While this may seem like a no-brainer, it's important to ensure your clothing is clean, ironed, and free from wrinkles and stains. This shows respect for the couple's special day and ensures you look your best and feel confident, notes Angelini.
Do feel free to shine. Weddings are a fantastic place to show off your fashion skills, explains Kidd. While you do not want to outshine the newlyweds, you can absolutely show out and be one of the best-dressed guests at the event. If you know the event's colors, you can even coordinate with the event!
Now that you know what to do (and not to do), it’s time to put together your wedding guest attire. Start browsing through our selection of suits and tuxedos, ties, socks, shoes, and other accessories to find your perfect look.See Men’s Suits & Tuxedos