What To Wear As A Wedding Guest


When you have been invited to share in a couple’s wedding day, your primary sartorial goal is to ensure that your attire contributes to, but does not overshadow, the ensembles of the couple and the wedding party. Ideally, you can achieve this goal while also emphasizing your own personal style.

In this guide, you will learn what to wear as part of men’s wedding guest attire. We will share essential considerations when selecting your ensemble, provide information on the basic elements of each dress code you are likely to encounter, and offer examples of every outfit.

Armed with this information, you will be prepared to enjoy any wedding secure in the knowledge that you are properly attired.

Want to know what to wear as a groomsman?

Essential Wedding Guest Sartorial Etiquette

Follow These Guidelines When Dressing as a Guest at Any Wedding

Germany 1930s - Evening wedding party arrives in white tie while previous formal morning wear party is leavingGermany 1930s - Evening wedding party arrives in white tie while previous formal morning wear party is leaving
When the big day arrives, be sure that you are dressed correctly!

When you are preparing your clothing and accessories for any wedding, be sure to keep this information in mind while crafting your ensemble. These basic tenets will ensure that you are correctly dressed so that you will not inadvertently draw undue attention.

Never Overshadow the Marrying Couple

Eb wearing the right hat at his wedding receptionEb wearing the right hat at his wedding reception
Never upstage, intentionally or unintentionally, the marrying couple.

Whether the wedding you are attending has two brides, two grooms, or a bride and groom, you never want to dress in any way that might draw undue attention to you and effectively overshadow the happy couple. The wedding is their special day, and on that occasion, they and their wedding party deserve to be the center of attention. Therefore, avoid any clothing or accessories that could appear obtrusive.

bold stripesbold stripes

No flashy colors or patterns

Overly loud or bold suits, jackets, trousers, or shirts, whether because of their color, pattern, or cut, will naturally draw attention to you. Unless the wedding invitation specifically invites a more dynamic range of sartorial styles, plan to wear more sedate colors, like whites, blues, and grays, and solid colors or basic patterns, like stripes, checks, or grids.

Do Not Default to Monochrome EnsemblesDo Not Default to Monochrome Ensembles

No Monochromatic Ensembles

Although trendy in the 2010s, the monochromatic look has become increasingly dated in dressy affairs, often appearing overwrought and fussy: the black suit with a black shirt and black tie is particularly notorious. This drastically matched look is also very noticeable and will draw attention to you, meaning that you are drawing that attention away from the marrying couple and the wedding party.

Raphael wearing a top hatRaphael wearing a top hat

No Obtrusive Accessories

Items like top hats, fanciful boutonnieres, ascots, gloves, and the like are increasingly associated with members of the wedding party at nuptials or the groom himself, being intended essentially to mark the wearer as playing a special role in the proceedings. Therefore, avoid wearing accessories that are out of the ordinary unless specifically invited to do so by the marrying couple.

Master the etiquette of any party

Cover the Basics of Classic Menswear

Unless a wedding is extremely casual, you will never be remiss in ensuring that your wedding guest ensemble consists of the following basic elements.


A well-fitting suit has timeless versatility!A well-fitting suit has timeless versatility!

Suit or Jacket and Trousers

Tasteful suits in sedate colors like brown, gray, or blue are ideal for almost any contemporary wedding; navy and charcoal are especially versatile options in a lighter or heavier weight of wool to suit the seasons. A peak lapel or a notched lapel is acceptable, with the former being considered more formal. A similar look can be achieved by pairing a jacket in one of those colors with trousers that are either gray, like flannels, or off-white, like chinos. Even if the jacket should prove to be somewhat on the formal side, you can always take it off.


Raphael wearing a white shirt.Raphael wearing a white shirt.

Dress Shirt

A cotton shirt with a collar that features a button front and is long-sleeved will never be remiss at a wedding and is far more appropriate than short-sleeved garments like a polo shirt. In most cases, a white shirt will be the most versatile, but light blue is also an option if desired.


Patterned neckties that can blend visually with any interesting outfit. Patterned neckties by Fort BelvederePatterned neckties that can blend visually with any interesting outfit. Patterned neckties by Fort Belvedere


Some kind of neckwear is almost always appropriate for a wedding. While bow ties could be too whimsical and ascots should only be worn if demanded by the dress code, a necktie is a subtle accessory that is suited to the widest array of dress codes. Similar to the jacket, it can also always be taken off if necessary. For more formal dress codes, the type of neckwear, such as a black bow tie for Black Tie, will be included prescribed.


All-black leather dress shoes.All-black leather dress shoes.

Leather Dress Shoes

Historically, leather dress shoes, usually oxfords or derbies in dark brown for daytime events and black for evening events, were de rigeur for weddings. While we generally believe that continuing to observe this convention is best, you can, if desired, potentially wear dress sneakers at weddings, provided that they are unassuming and have simple, elegant lines. Avoid any shoes that are more casual, especially trainers or other footwear that is obviously intended for athletic events.

Always Follow the Stated Dress Code

Three male figures, two wearing white tie and one wearing black tie, greet a woman wearing a yellow coat at a social eventThree male figures, two wearing white tie and one wearing black tie, greet a woman wearing a yellow coat at a social event

For most weddings, the couple will designate a dress code. This information will usually appear on the wedding invitation or, sometimes, on the wedding website. If a wedding has a stated dress code, always follow it: ignoring a dress code is extremely rude and will cause you to stand out obtrusively among the wedding party and the other guests.

Photo of Raphael in madras shortsPhoto of Raphael in madras shorts

Do Not Underdress

Appearing underdressed at a wedding, especially a wedding with a more formal dress code, is a common faux pas that communicates disregard for the couple and their wishes. While it may seem like what you choose to wear doesn’t matter, failing to dress yourself according to the desired level of formality could be perceived as a slight at your hosts and will, at the very least, cause you to be extremely noticeable around the other guests who dressed correctly.

Preston shrugs wearing a casual baseball capPreston shrugs wearing a casual baseball cap

What if I just can’t follow the

Dress Code?

Some dress codes, especially more formal dress codes, can require a sizable investment in time or capital to achieve the correct look. If you are unable or unwilling to fulfill this request, you should not plan to attend the wedding: fortunately, however, you can achieve most dress codes’ formalities without breaking the bank.

Photo of a white tie ensemblePhoto of a white tie ensemble

Do Not Overdress

You may assume that any couple would be glad to have a dapper gentleman dressed to the nines at their wedding, but the fact of the matter is, dressing to a degree more elevated than the stated dress code is almost as obstructive as underdressing. The marrying couple might even take your overdressing as an insult indicating that you felt the couple was in error when they selected their desired dress code.

There are also practical concerns to consider. If the groom is wearing a business suit and you are wearing a morning suit, your elevated appearance will distract from the groom and create confusion among everyone present; just as only the bride should wear white at a wedding, only the groom should be dressed according to the loftiest dress code present.

Ensure You Have Sufficient Time to Prepare

Consumers nowadays lack the knowledge of what can and cannot be tailored.Consumers nowadays lack the knowledge of what can and cannot be tailored.

As soon as you decide that you are going to attend a wedding, start thinking about your ensemble. Give yourself at least a month, and possibly longer, to ensure that all of your items are available, in good repair, and properly fitted. Alterations may be required to ensure a good fit, and you do not want to feel rushed as the time for the wedding draws near.

Make Sure You Understand These 10 Essential Guidelines for Fit

Flipflops are marketed to be suitable for all-day wearFlipflops are marketed to be suitable for all-day wear

There are some things you

Shouldn’t Wear

Unless specific provision for them has been made in the invitation, never wear sandals, flip flops, shorts, tee shirts, or casual jeans at a wedding: they do not convey the basic decorum typical of nuptials.

Changing Clothes Between the Ceremony and Reception

White Tie ensemble can be difficult to manage alone.White Tie ensemble can be difficult to manage alone.
It could take some time to change from one outfit to another on the day of the wedding!

Nuptial celebrations can either feature a wedding ceremony and reception held in close proximity to each other or with a lapse of time in between: for instance, a wedding ceremony held in the early afternoon followed by a reception in the evening.

In the former situation, there is likely no expectation nor opportunity for you to change your clothes. In the latter, however, you may be expected to wear a different outfit to the reception than wedding.

When You Are Expected to Change When You Don’t Have to Change
Do plan to change your attire if the wedding invitation specifically identifies one dress code for the ceremony and a different one for the reception; in such circumstances, the hosts will have left sufficient time for you to change between the events. If a new dress code is not specified, you may change your attire if desired, but only if there is sufficient time in which to do so. Do not plan to change clothes if doing so would make you feel rushed or make you late for an event.

How to Pick a Versatile Outfit for the Wedding and the Reception

To ensure that your look is suitable for both the ceremony and the reception in the event that you are unable to change clothes, base your outfit around the expected formality of the more formal event. It is always better to be overdressed at a wedding than underdressed.

Photo of Raphael in Count Dracula costumePhoto of Raphael in Count Dracula costume

Special considerations for

Novel Nuptials

Extremely casual weddings, those with an unusual theme, or those in which guests have been asked to dress up in costumes usually have different expectations from conventional weddings. In these circumstances, go with the flow as indicated by your hosts and the wedding party and do not be a stickler for traditional rules: do not expect an unconventional wedding to follow conventional rules.

General Formality Guidelines for Wedding Guest Attire

Time of Day

Photo of a couple with a man in a seersucker jacketPhoto of a couple with a man in a seersucker jacket

As indicated by the distinction between daywear and eveningwear, events that take place during the daytime will, in most circumstances, be slightly less formal than events taking place at night: the exception to this rule is any daytime event with an explicitly formal dress code, such as morning wear.

In all other circumstances, however, you can generally wear more casual variations on attire for daytime events that still fall within the stated dress code. For example, at a wedding with a business formal dress code, if the ceremony takes place during the day, you could wear a medium-blue suit with brown shoes. For a wedding of the same formality taking place at night, however, a navy suit with black shoes would be more appropriate.


Raphael in Charleston wearing seersuckerRaphael in Charleston wearing seersucker

In general, weddings that take place in the cooler months of autumn or winter tend to be more formal than weddings taking place in the warm or hot months of spring and summer. This is because the color palettes typical of warm months tend to be lighter and brighter, inviting a generally more casual dressing style.

These conventions are especially true for any event taking place out of doors, for which you will be allowed greater leeway in your clothing choice to ensure your comfort.

Keep in mind, however, that these distinctions of relative formality always exist within the confines of the stated dress code: the time and season of a wedding do not grant you permission to dress according to a standard contrary to the dress code.


Four men wear Black Tie ensembles in front of a barFour men wear Black Tie ensembles in front of a bar

Where you celebrate a wedding or reception will impact how formal you are expected to be. Just like you would dress differently at a fine restaurant than you would at a diner, so too will the attire expected at a fancy hotel or country club usually vary from what is worn at a brewery or converted barn. As always, follow the guidelines laid out in your invitation and use common sense.

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Roman Catholic Church, built in 1900.Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Roman Catholic Church, built in 1900.

A Special Consideration for Places of Worship

Places of worship usually, but do not always, have a higher expected level of formality than most secular spaces. This distinction reflects the additional solemnity that religious rites impart on a location and the reverence due to them.

Be mindful that in certain faith traditions, you may be expected to observe particular customs, such as removing your shoes or keeping your head covered. Your hosts will make this fact clear in your invitation, and if you plan to attend the wedding, plan also to adhere to these instructions.

Common Wedding Dress Codes

Determine Exactly What You Are Expected to Wear

1940 US - Wedding Outfits for Formal Day & Evening as well as Informal Day & Evening - by current standards everything is formal1940 US - Wedding Outfits for Formal Day & Evening as well as Informal Day & Evening - by current standards everything is formal
Even historically, weddings could feature a variety of dress codes.

No Dress Code or Come-As-You-Are

This extremely casual dress code affords you the most implied leeway when it comes to what to wear to a wedding. In effect, the hosting couple is explicitly stating that they want you to wear whatever makes you feel comfortable and best able to enjoy the festivities. 

In practice, however, “no dress” does not allow you to wear whatever you want: your hosts probably do not intend for you to arrive in a Superman costume or in a wedding gown. Practically speaking, there is still an implied standard of dress. To determine that standard of dress, read our guide on What to Wear to a Wedding with No Dress Code. 

Attending a wedding with no dress code?


Preston and Raphael in Charlie Chaplin and Indiana Jones costumePreston and Raphael in Charlie Chaplin and Indiana Jones costume
Although rare, you could be invited to attend a costume-themed wedding.

Technically speaking, this “dress code” is actually a dressing convention. It invites you to prepare a unique ensemble that reflects the stated theme of the wedding, with less of an emphasis on conventional wedding attire or formality. This theme could be fairly sedate, such as “1920s Gatsby Gala,” or more involved, such as “Disney Characters.” In general, thematic dressing places a strong emphasis on creativity and having fun, so embrace the theme if you plan to attend such a wedding. 

Destination, Beach, or Tropical

Gentleman Illustration from thje 1930s with various dinner jacketsGentleman Illustration from thje 1930s with various dinner jackets
Resort Attire can encompass a wide swath of dress codes.

These descriptors technically indicate a type of wedding and not a formality. Such weddings, like a beach wedding, could feature clothing as casual as Bermuda shorts and tank tops or as formal as an ivory dinner jacket worn as part of a Black Tie. Therefore, be mindful of the likely formality of the event and be sure to read our guide to Resort Attire.

Smart Casual or Dressy Casual

The most casual dress code you are likely to encounter at a wedding, this standard of dress emphasizes simple lines and the comfort of the wearer. It is not, however, an invitation to show up in a hoodie and stained gym shorts.

Instead, pair plush, plain garments, like a cardigan or simple blazer, with comfortable trousers like chinos or possibly corduroys and a light-toned shirt with comfortable shoes: loafers are an excellent option. You could also skip the jacket, but we recommend wearing a more structured shirt with a collar, like a long-sleeved polo shirt or a henley. Knitwear, like a pullover or a turtleneck, could also be an option.

Learn more about the Smart Casual dress code

Business Casual

A range of several outfits ranging from most formal to most casualA range of several outfits ranging from most formal to most casual
Adding some variety to the lineup, you can see how a business casual outfit can be made either smarter or more relaxed, depending on how you mix and match items.

Traditionally, the Business Casual Dress Code would never be offered as an option during a wedding, as it is a work, and not a social, dress code. The general popularity of this dress code, however, has led to its increasing adoption in social situations and it is possible that you might find it mentioned on a wedding invitation.

One of the most diverse dress codes, the potential options for Business Casual are so far-ranging that it is sometimes summarized with the flippant rule that “Business Casual means no three-piece suit and also no jeans, but anything in between.”

Photo of Raphael wearing a mottled green flat capPhoto of Raphael wearing a mottled green flat cap

“The perfect business casual outfit is a combination of elements that are casual and formal, combined to produce a dressy but casual whole….”

Raphael Schneider

For those who prefer a definition, the perfect business casual outfit is a combination of elements that are casual and formal, combined to produce a dressy but casual whole. It consists of a seasonally appropriate sports jacket or blazer with slacks, chinos, or khaki pants. It includes a collared shirt that can be worn open or with an optional casual knit tie or bow tie. It is usually paired with more casual footwear, such as loafers or loafer-style shoes, monk straps, derbies, and over-the-calf socks.

This dress code affords many options when it comes to accessories, so do not be afraid to get creative in your selections, especially in regards to color, pattern, and texture.

Because Business Casual offers so much leeway, it can easily be adapted to fit the mood, vibe, and expectations of almost any wedding and can be a very creative dressing option when properly employed.

A fashion illustration of a man in a white 1930s suitA fashion illustration of a man in a white 1930s suit

Can you wear Business Casual

With a Suit?

A light-colored single-breasted suit or combinational outfit is also not out of the question, provided that you enliven the look with fun accessories. A whimsical pocket square, bold socks, and perhaps even a small but colorful boutonniere will keep the ensemble sufficiently fun and frolicsome as part of the Smart Casual dress code, even if you will probably end up taking off your jacket sometime during the festivities.

Learn more about Business Casual

Business Attire, Business Formal, or Cocktail Attire

Due to the popularity of Business Formal as a dress code for business events, it is sometimes adopted as a social dress code. In fact, a social, evening-time variation on Business Attire already exists, and it is known as Cocktail Attire, reflecting the mid-century propensity for the well-dressed to enjoy cocktails in the liminal space after work before officially dressing for dinner: the cocktail dress is closely associated with this level of formality.

At this level, expect to wear a single-breasted or double-breasted suit in a dark shade of gray or blue, such as charcoal or navy; a dark brown suit may be suitable for weddings that take place outdoors or during the daytime. Your shirt will almost always be solid white or possibly light blue, with subtle patterns and textures being acceptable in more casual environments. Black oxfords or derbies should be worn in the evening, with dark brown shoes being an option during the day. Accessories should be elegant and have just a little “pop,” such as an unexpected pattern, rich color, or bold texture to set you apart.

Find the Perfect Collar Jewelry for Your Next Big Event!

Collar clips from the Fort Belvedere collections.Collar clips from the Fort Belvedere collections.

Bold and Beautiful

Collar Clips

Fort Belvedere has these collar bars in 3 sizes to fit perfectly according to use.Fort Belvedere has these collar bars in 3 sizes to fit perfectly according to use.

Understated Elegance

Collar Bars

collar pincollar pin

Effortless Cool

Collar Pins

Collar jewelry, such as a collar pin or a collar bar, is an ideal option for adding unexpected visual interest and a unique flash of metallic luster.

A toast to Cocktail Attire!


Semi-Formal attire, historically, referred to a dressed-down version of formal attire, but now the term refers to a wider range of potential formality that straddles the divide between formal evening attire and daytime attire. At its most basic level, this dress code refers to an elevated, dignified style of dress that is more formal than regular daytime attire, especially for a semi-formal wedding.

Need more help understanding “Semif-Formal?”

Black Tie Optional

Polka dots can be worn with a black tie optional or any lower dress codes on the formality scale.Polka dots can be worn with a black tie optional or any lower dress codes on the formality scale.
Preston’s ensemble is typical of the formal dignity of Black Tie Optional.

At its most basic level, Black-Tie Optional is an evening dress code that extends to you the option to wear Black Tie. You are free to partake of this option or follow a modified dress code that will help you approximate the feel, if not the exact components, of a Black-Tie ensemble. Black-Tie Optional events are designed to communicate a judgment-free acknowledgment that not all men necessarily own or can afford a conventional Black-Tie ensemble.

As you might suspect, Black Tie Optional attire is intended to be reminiscent of Black Tie garb but with fewer specialized elements. Expect to wear a dark single-breasted or double-breasted suit, usually dark gray or dark blue that is ideally solid, although very subtle patterns or textures may be acceptable. Your shirt should ideally be white, but light blue is acceptable if necessary. Likewise, black oxfords with a plain toe are preferred, but black oxfords or derbies with conservative detailing can work as well. Avoid shoes of any other color if possible, but if necessary, you could wear very dark brown oxfords with no or minimal detailing.

Eagle Claw Cufflinks - handmade by master jeweler - Fort BelvedereEagle Claw Cufflinks - handmade by master jeweler - Fort Belvedere

Black Tie Optional


As part of this dress code, accessories should be tasteful and sedate, with rich, dark-toned boutonnieres, pocket squares, and neckties, and, if desired, tasteful, discreet jewelry, such as cufflinks.

Learn the essentials of Black Tie Optional

Black Tie

Photo as Raphael pops bottle of champagne Black TiePhoto as Raphael pops bottle of champagne Black Tie
Despite its prescribed conventions, the Black Tie dress code affords several opportunities for personalization.

Black Tie is the most common example of formal evening attire worn today. It consists of a formal dinner ensemble, referred to as a tuxedo or tux, a dinner suit, or a smoking ensemble, depending on your geographic location. As an example of formal attire, the rules for Black Tie are fairly strictly and explicitly stated, so this dress code is actually fairly simple to wear, provided that you correctly source all of the elements: because almost every element is prescribed, you have relatively few decisions to make yourself. 

A Black Tie ensemble consists of a dinner jacket, which is not the same thing as a day suit jacket and is black or midnight blue, a pair of formal evening trousers, an evening shirt with a wing or turndown collar that takes studs, a black bow tie, a waist covering, either a cummerbund or an evening waistcoat, silk evening socks, and formal black shoes, usually plain-toed oxfords.

Photo of three men in Black TiePhoto of three men in Black Tie

Black Tie is worn at Which

Time of Day?

In most of the world, a Black-Tie wedding only takes place after 5 pm so you are only likely to encounter this dress code for receptions or the occasional evening wedding. In North America, however, Black Tie tuxedos are commonly worn during wedding ceremonies and receptions regardless of the time of day at which they take place.

Black Tie Guide LogoBlack Tie Guide Logo
Master Every Aspect of Black Tie with our Comprehensive Black Tie Guide

Morning Attire

Raphael wears a pair of Fort Belvedere gloves for his morning ensembleRaphael wears a pair of Fort Belvedere gloves for his morning ensemble
Raphael takes a stroll in his morning wear ensemble.

Morning Attire is the most formal example of daytime attire. While increasingly rare for weddings in the Americas, it is not uncommonly worn by wedding parties in the United Kingdom, the European Continent, and parts of Asia and Africa. Unless you are attending a state, society, or noble wedding, however, it is unlikely that you will be expected to wear morning attire as a guest.

Morning attire consists of a cutaway swallowtail coat, black-striped or gray formal day trousers, a waistcoat in a neutral color, traditionally buff or dove gray, a formal day shirt with a wing or turndown collar, formal neckwear, traditionally an ascot or “wedding tie,” and formal black-capped or plain-toe oxfords.

Gentlemen-at-Royal-Ascot-in-Morning-Coats with Balmoral Boots and Button BootsGentlemen-at-Royal-Ascot-in-Morning-Coats with Balmoral Boots and Button Boots

A Morning Attire Variation: The Morning Suit

In Great Britain and some parts of the Commonwealth, the term “morning suit” is employed for a less formal iteration of morning dress. This suit differs from formal morning dress only in that the cutaway, trousers and waistcoat are constructed from the same light or mid-gray material.

In the accompanying image, the second gentleman from the right is wearing a morning suit.

Stresemann Stroller Suit with grey waistcoat and cashmere stripe trousersStresemann Stroller Suit with grey waistcoat and cashmere stripe trousers

What is the


The Stroller ensemble, also referred to as Black Lounge Attire, was a semi-formal iteration of morning dress popular before World War II. It consists of all of the elements of morning dress, but with a black or charcoal suit-like jacket, the shirt always has a turndown collar, and a conventional necktie is usually worn. While relatively rare today, the stroller is sometimes worn as a wedding ensemble for Continental weddings, especially in Germanic countries.

White Tie

Photo of seven men in White TiePhoto of seven men in White Tie
White Tie is the most formal evening dress code.

The most formal example of formal wedding attire for evenings, White Tie, is increasingly uncommon as a wedding dress code, usually appearing only in society, state, royal, or noble nuptials. If you are invited to a wedding with this dress code, ensure that you follow exactly all of its conventions and requirements if you plan to attend. A White Tie wedding is a supremely dignified event, and as a guest, you have an obligation to maintain that high standard of decorum. 

White Tie requires a formal evening dress suit consisting of an evening tailcoat, formal evening trousers, a marcella pique bib-front evening shirt that takes studs, a full dress white formal evening waistcoat, a white marcella pique bow tie, silk evening socks, and plain-toed patent leather shoes or opera pumps.


What is appropriate attire for men at a wedding?

If a stated dress code is given, follow the dress code’s conventions. If no dress code is stated, most men should opt for a suit and tie, with the color and fabric depending on the season and time of the day. For daytime weddings, lighter colors and fabrics are suitable, while evening events call for darker suits.

Are there any colors I should avoid wearing to a wedding?

It’s traditional to avoid wearing white, as it may compete with the bridal attire. Also, overly bright colors like neon might be considered too flashy. Stick to classic hues such as navy, grey, or muted tones.

Is it acceptable to wear a tuxedo?

A tuxedo is appropriate if the invitation specifies a black-tie dress code. Otherwise, it may be too formal. Check the invitation or with the hosts if you’re unsure. In most cases, follow the conventional rules of Black Tie: for instance, wear a black or midnight blue tuxedo, not a blue tuxedo.

Are jeans acceptable at a wedding?

Jeans are typically too casual for a wedding. Unless the invitation specifically states a casual dress code or a denim-friendly theme, it’s best to choose slacks or dress pants.

What kind of shoes should I wear?

A: Leather dress shoes, such as oxfords or derbies, are the most suitable choice. The color should complement your suit, with dark brown being the most versatile option for daytime events and black for evening.

Should I accessorize my outfit?

Accessories can enhance your outfit. Consider a pocket square, cufflinks, or a watch. Just ensure that your accessories are not too loud and fit the formality level of the event.

How do I know if the wedding is formal or casual?

The wedding invitation often indicates the desired dress code. You can also infer the formality from the venue and time of day; evening or upscale venues tend to be more formal. If in doubt, ask the couple or other guests.

Can I wear patterns or stripes?

Subtle patterns and stripes can be appropriate, particularly in a more casual setting. Ensure they’re not too bold and that they complement the rest of your attire.

How early should I start planning my outfit?

It’s wise to plan at least a month in advance, particularly if you need tailoring or want to rent your attire. This gives you plenty of time to prepare and ensure everything fits perfectly.

What should I wear for an outdoor summer wedding?

For a summer wedding outdoors, consider a lightweight linen or seersucker suit in a light color, provided that it is in keeping with the stated dress code. Remember to add sunglasses and a hat for sun protection if it’s a daytime event.

What if the wedding has a specific theme?

Adhere to the theme while still maintaining some formality. For example, for a beach-themed wedding, a light-colored blazer, linen shirt, and dress shorts might be appropriate. However, always confirm with the hosts if you’re uncertain about the theme requirements.


Add a Personal Touch with Classic Accessories

Visit the Fort Belvedere shop for a variety of menswear accessories!Visit the Fort Belvedere shop for a variety of menswear accessories!
Accessories are an ideal way to add personality to your wedding-guest look.

At every formality level, the most versatile way to make your wedding guest ensemble your own, adding a touch of personality and the unique, is with accessories. These little touches set you apart without drawing undue attention to yourself and emphasize the celebratory mood of any nuptials.


Some beautiful ties at Rudolf BeaufaysSome beautiful ties at Rudolf Beaufays
Neckties are one of the most versatile neckwear options.

If you are emphasizing a Classic appearance in your wedding guest look, you will almost certainly be wearing neckwear of some kind. At more casual events, bold options, including colorful day bowties and neckties with fun patterns like broad paisley, geometric, or even florals, are options. For more formal evenings, restrict the color palette and design to reflect the more sedate and dignified nature of the event, and for the most formal evening events, limit yourself to an appropriate formal evening bowtie. You can still make the bowtie your own, however, by selecting a unique bow type that suits your face.

Pocket Square

Using different material in you pocket square can make a differenceUsing different material in you pocket square can make a difference
Is it possible to have too many pocket squares? We don’t think so!

Breast pockets look bare without a pocket square, so consider wearing one any time you wear a jacket. They help to break up the front of a jacket and add unexpected visual interest that is not overwhelming. For more casual weddings cultivating a fun and frolicsome atmosphere, bold, colorful pocket squares are perfectly acceptable, but to maintain a refined air, in at the most formal of affair, nothing compares to a crisp white linen pocket square.


Raphael keeps his boutonnieres in this lovely Fort Belvedere gift box.Raphael keeps his boutonnieres in this lovely Fort Belvedere gift box.
Raphael keeps his boutonnieres in this lovely Fort Belvedere gift box.

Flowers are commonly associated with weddings, so what could be more fitting than an elegant bloom in your lapel? Because members of the wedding party often wear boutonnieres as favors or a means of identification, do not wear an extremely intricate, colorful, or oversized boutonniere as a guest. Opt instead for a smaller flower in a color that harmonizes with your ensemble. Carnations, spray roses, orchids, camellias, and petals of similar scale are suitable options, often in unobtrusive light colors like white, pink, lilac, baby blue, or pale yellow.

Orange boutonniere and silk pocket squareOrange boutonniere and silk pocket square

Be Aware of

Visual Balance

When assembling an outfit, especially as a wedding guest who does not want to draw excessive attention, always consider the visual weight of your boutonniere and your pocket square. If both items are prominent due to color, pattern, or size, the look can appear overly heavy. Therefore, consider offsetting an especially noticeable pocket square with a sedate boutonniere and vice versa, or consider only wearing one.


Few items are better suited to imparting visual interest without becoming distracting than socks, as they appear on your often more plain lower half and are partially covered by your trousers. An unexpected pop of bright color could be the perfect finishing touch for a fun casual wedding. Even more formal weddings allow for creativity in the form of jewel-toned evening socks, and nothing compares to the rarefied elegance of genuine silk evening socks.

Evening socks don’t have to be boring! Check out these jewel tones!

Illustration of a White Tie Dinner partyIllustration of a White Tie Dinner party

Do not forget to consider overall


The more formal the wedding is, the more attentive you need to be when selecting the type, color, pattern, material, and overall feel of your accessories. At a very casual wedding, almost anything goes, but for more formal affairs, the appropriateness of accessories can be much more limited. Be sure that you suit your selection to the occasion.


Raphael and Teresa on their wedding day.Raphael and Teresa on their wedding day.
Raphael and Teresa on their wedding day.

Weddings are a celebratory event intended to commemorate the happy couple and their love in the presence of friends and family. Therefore, always strive to cultivate a joyous and exultant mood when planning a wedding guest ensemble while keeping the desires of your hosts in mind: they wish to cultivate a particular look and feel at their wedding, and, as a guest, you have an important role in that process. Follow the stated dress code, avoid making a spectacle of yourself, and have fun, and you will be the ideal wedding guest, honoring the marrying couple, their wedding party, and all of your fellow guests.

What are some outfits you’ve worn to a wedding? Let us know in the comments!


Source link

Scroll to Top