What to wear to a wedding: the groom’s guide

She just said yes to the magical proposal and you are looking forward to a memorable wedding! The time has come to look for the attributes that are going to make this a dream wedding. As the bride usually takes charge of planning the wedding with some of your help, you have the great opportunity to have all the time to yourself and focus on your presence at the wedding. The most important decision for the groom is to choose the wedding suit along with the accessories.

Before starting: things to consider

How long before to start the planning the wedding suit?

The process of planning the outfit should start 2/3 months before the wedding. Keeping in mind where your inspirations lie, also depends on are you certain what to wear or you would be needing a style advisor or some self-research.  Your outfit timeline should always be made considering the time of making and adjustments, unless you are opting for a rental one.

If you are going to get the suit or tuxedo made at a busy place and during the wedding season, it is always better to keep in mind that you might not get an appointment at the date you want, so keep your options open and start early. We promise you will have fun choosing the perfect look and fit for yourself which your lovely bride or groom will appreciate with all their heart.

Rental or purchase?

Groom's suits bag packed at Atelier Lanieri
The experience of shopping completely personalised in the Lanieri Atelier.

Every groom to stumble upon this question as soon as the process of wedding picks start, don’t worry we are here to make that decision easy. Rental option for the suit or tuxedo for the wedding is more suitable when you are really on a very tight budget i.e somewhere near 250 – 300 Euro.

If you’re on a budget and you want a designer suit or tuxedo you can hire, but remember that you would not have it after the wedding and after spending a good amount of money we hope you would want to own that piece of clothing.

However, nothing says personal than a piece of clothing made just for you. And remember the wedding day just happens once in a lifetime, why not make it as special as possible. The reason why buying is better than hiring when it comes to wedding suit: if you’ve always wanted a tailor-made suit and you know you’ll use it again after the wedding. We really believe another life for a wedding suit after the ceremony could be the best reason to invest in made-to-measure.

How to reuse the groom’s suit

If you’re not that kind of man (just like the bride) who wants to wear his wedding suit, just once in a lifetime and then pack it up forever. So, choose the wedding suit considering that how you could re-wear the same suit even after the wedding.

Go for a color that is suitable also for the other formal events or formal office meetings like midnight blue or charcoal grey. This suit will be suitable for interviews, special dinners, professional events, ceremonies and business meetings. This suit should be simple to match with different shirts, ties and shoes.

When you are thinking about the fabric try to go for a 100% wool suit in a color that you prefer the most for your formal affairs, this way you will easily wear your all season wedding suit again. For the jacket of the suit try to opt for two side vents instead of one, which will be comfortable when you reuse it as a business suit.

While thinking about these options, remember if you want to get married in a tuxedo, it is an option which you cannot reuse after the wedding it is usually worn only on that special occasion.

What are the basic wedding etiquette for groom dressing

Custom-made blue dresses with contrasting gray waistcoats, white shirt, gray tie, white pochette and boutonnière
The three-piece suit is the most traditional choice for the groom for his wedding day.

The type of wedding: formal or informal, and the season or the venue, these details of the wedding help a lot in defining terms of the wedding outfit of the groom. As a type of the wedding attire, the groom-to-be has four classic choices: morning dress, tailcoat, tuxedo or a three-piece suit.

  • Morning dress is for very formal daytime weddings especially in the UK which comprises of a morning coat or half morning coat, waistcoat and trousers.
  • A tailcoat is an option which should be worn because your tradition strictly demands it. Morning coats are for the UK for the early day weddings. 
  • Tuxedo is a choice for who have planned an extremely formal wedding which would be happening after 18:00. The classic tuxedo with waistband and shawl or peaked lapels always accompanied by a silk bow tie. For more information, please read our tuxedo guide.
  • Above all, especially for a contemporary groom an option that finds its way between the style and the tradition is a fancy three-piece suit. A three-piece suit gives you a lot of choices when it comes to variations of colors and fabrics, according to the type of wedding or season.

How to choose the groom’s suit

Surely your style and your personal taste are very important when it comes to buying a suit, but to choose the right suit for your wedding you need to consider some factors such as season, time and place of the ceremony.

Choosing the fabric and the wedding suit according to the season

Autumn- winter

While the winter time is not the most popular time to get married in some countries, it is essential to know our options, isn’t it? A beautiful autumn wedding is something you can definitely see yourself in, there is a certain magic about fall colors which could compliment your wedding pictures.

When choosing the textile for your suit make sure to pick heavy materials in 100% wool, wool-silk or wool mohair blend. We all know that the dark colors dominate during autumn and winter. If you are opting for a tuxedo, it should always be black. But for a three-piece suit the colors blue, dark blue, midnight blue and charcoal grey are best in enhancing the personality of the groom.

Spring – summer

Middle of spring and summer are so wedding season, everyone is waiting for the rain of wedding invitations and plan their outfits. The groom being the star of the wedding needs all the style advice he can get. Let’s divide the summer attire for groom-to-be in three major categories: The fabric – wool and silk blends, Weight of the fabric – less than 250 g/m and Colours  – blue or grey.

According to the style

Classic

Made to measure gray suit, detail on peak lapel
A classic suit is known for its details, such as the peak lapels.

Three-piece suit in blue is the classic suit colour for most weddings, the blue has various variations in colour to choose from according to your personality. The options are solid blue, cobalt blue, dark blue or midnight blue –  in wool or blend (wool & cotton or wool & silk). Go for a three buttons suit, single vent, four buttons on the sleeve, with jetted pockets.

Contemporary

If the wedding is going to happen on the beach or you want to ditch the classic look and go for something more fresh search for lighter colours in a three-piece. Colours like off-white, light grey, beige or light blue.

Fabric for this kind of wedding suit can be either wool and silk blend which adds a little shine to your look, or cotton and linen blend which is more for casual, relaxed wedding vibe – but remember always a three-piece otherwise it is too informal standing next to the perfectly dressed bride.

The suit should be a three buttoned suit with double vents, three buttons on the sleeve, with jetted or flap pockets. If you like experimenting go for a double-breasted jacket.

According to the venue and the time

Exotic & beach ceremonies

The time and place of the wedding are very important when going on a hunt for the perfect groom attire. If the answer is somewhere exotic, the joyous occasion demands lightweight, breathable fabrics, so remember to give your dark wool suits or tuxedos a miss!

For a beach wedding, it’s obviously important to stay cool while still looking smart, but you need to have the right balance. Fabrics play a very important role here as you want to be comfortable for the wedding while looking somewhat formal. Men’s linen blend with cotton, or wool and silk blend for a suit for a smart texture that makes it a good choice for formal wear.

In the City

Gray tailored jacket with light gray vest and white clutch bag
Keeping the look smart as well as traditional is the perfect choice for a wedding in the city.

If you’re in the city and will likely be off somewhere in a church and a formal ceremony, so keep things smart and traditional in a dress suit with classic colours for the wedding at any time of the day.

Country Style

The country-themed weddings are becoming increasingly popular. While a typical navy or midnight blue suit would work just as well, the marginally more casual settings allow for a little more flexibility of colours.

The time of the wedding is just as important as the location, if it is in the evening, it may be a bit chillier, so you need to take this into consideration while planning what suit to buy and wool and silk in dark colours seem like the right choice.

And vice versa – if it is going to be held during the day, you will be facing the hottest hours of sunshine, so a lightweight suit is a must accompanied by accessories that make the look refreshed.

Choose the right jacket and trousers

Let’s get into more details of your wedding suit, after picking out the fabric and colour of your suit it is time to get it made. For the formal ceremonies go for the single-breasted suit jacket with three buttons.

The classic style with peak lapel would look perfect for your wedding environment. The edges of the peak lapel point upwards towards your shoulder area. Definitely to be worn when in a formal environment. If you are going for a too casual look you can opt for notch lapels, but make sure to run it by your bride-to-be.

Finally the pockets on your wedding suit jacket, we suggest the jetted pockets. A jetted pocket is a slit in the facing of the jacket, with the pouch hanging inside. On the other hand, for informal suit jacket, you can opt for flap pockets.

For trousers, the length must sit perfectly on your ankle. For the wedding suit the length of the trousers in little longer than usual. The trousers should be without cuffs because the ones with cuff are considered as too informal.

You can go for belt loops for casual weddings but for more formal setting it is advisable to have well fit trousers without belt loops. Pleated trousers may seem informal and do not really say wedding, the trousers would look better with no pleats.

Waistcoat or no waistcoat? Three-piece suit or two-piece?

Detail of a waistcoat under a Lanieri groom suit
For a three-piece suit, a waistcoat in contrast colour is an absolute essential.

Unless you’re going to wear a tuxedo at your wedding, waistcoat is essential! The three-piece suit with waistcoat has obvious merits. A groom is expected to be wearing something formal for the ceremony and two-piece suit does not do the justice for the star of the party.

The waistcoat can be either 3 buttons or 4 depending on your choice. If you like the formal and sober groom’s look get a waistcoat that is tone on tone with your suit. The more polished look can also be achieved with an ivory, cream or a colour that compliments your suit. If you want to add a touch of ornamental elegance to your look ask for Mother of pearl button on your waistcoat.

What are the most suitable colours?

Blue wedding suit

Blue tailored suit for groom with Lanieri contrast ivory waistcoat
The blue wedding suit: the perfect balance between traditional and versatile.

Blue is really the most common option when it comes to weddings. Blue especially in the shades of midnight blue, cobalt blue or solid blue, is said to be a charming colour, which gives an enduring impression of impressive formality to the men who wear it.

The blue colour finds a balance between the formality of ceremonies at the wedding and formality of rituals. This fact that colour is associated with highly respected services like navy, thereby, so it holds an equal craze amongst both young and old generations.

A three-piece is a great choice and always looks smart, a blue suit allows you to mix and match it with different styles or coloured waistcoats, perhaps a tone on tone waistcoat or maybe ivory waistcoat to match with the bride.

Grey wedding suit

Custom gray suit for wedding with light waistcoat
The gray wedding suit: a good option for a formal touch.

A classic grey suit is a good option if you would be wearing a morning dress or just morning coat to your wedding. A charcoal grey suit is the second best option after blue for the formal weddings.

Light grey and its nuances in a lightweight fabric are making a trend for the casual destination wedding past few years, as it gives a very relaxed feeling but the colour might overshadow the bride. So be very careful while choosing the right shade for you and her.

Black wedding suit

Man wearing custom Lanieri black suit for wedding
The black wedding suit: the alternative only for the weddings with black tie dress code.

Black is a high-formality colour, but because of its associations with tuxedos and evening wear it may not actually be appropriate for a wedding setting. Wedding is a celebration, it is not some very strict formal event.

In most countries the black suit is put aside for funerals and black is not considered for weddings. If you like the dark grace of the colour black you can always go darkest on blue like midnight blue.

Mismatched wedding suit

Well, when it comes to the wedding the mismatched suit is a straight no-no. It does not matter the wedding is happening on the beach or in the church of the city, in all ways it is a somewhat formal affair.

A mismatched or broken suit is just too casual for a wedding. The groom needs to be sharply dressed for this special day and a three-piece, well made and perfectly fit suit is the right choice here.

Other variations

Prince of Wales or brown are some other sophisticated options for grooms looking for a bold look. For very summer weddings, off-white and light grey in a lightweight fabric are a creative choice.

How to choose a shirt for your wedding day suit

Cuff detail for cufflinks on white tailored shirt for groom
A wedding shirt can not be without cuffs that are made for cufflinks.

A man’s dress shirt is most important during a presentation. The shirt can play a supporting role by enhancing the suit or it can stand alone and be the centrepiece of the outfit. A made to measure is something you should not compromise on your wedding day. It will make sure you are comfortable and look your best in your wedding suit.

The colour and the fabric both should be kept in consideration when picking up the dress shirt for your wedding suit. White is the best option, as it makes the colour of the suit pop out and gives you a clean and crisp look matching the white dress of the bride.

For spring/summer weddings where the fabric can be lightweight something like 100% cotton poplin fabric plain or with very fine stripes in white of course.

For the weddings happening on the beach cotton and linen both are very good choices, linen shirts give you that very relaxed beach look whereas a cotton and linen blend can also enhance your suit and turn it into a summer suit.

For the autumn-winter weddings, the fabric should be a little heavy such as dobby, it will usually be a bit more wrinkle resistant, perfect when paired with a woollen suit.

The collar of your wedding shirt should most preferably be cutaway or straight pointed with double cuffs.

Accessories for the wedding suit

Which shoes to choose?

The basic features of your shoes should be black, leather and lace-up. When it comes to the soles, if possible, go for leather rather than rubber. You may think there isn’t a difference, but believe us, it’s a little thing that will make your shoe look more sophisticated.

A black shoe is considered preferable when wanting to create a formal look. Regardless of whether you’re wearing a suit, tuxedo or morning dress, if your formal wear is dark in colour (excluding midnight blue) you should wear black shoes. For navy blue suits, a medium-to-dark brown should be worn.

Other colour varieties are also available if you’re working this casual look, from burgundies to deep greens. Just because is you want to break some traditional rules!

The type of shoe can be either Oxford or Derby. Make sure you give your shoes a good polish for the wedding.

Pocket square? Pocket square or boutonnière?

Man wears wedding jacket, boutonniere and pocket square Lanieri
We recommend wearing both the pocket square and the boutonniere for a real elegant effect.

We advise to wear both boutonniere and pocket square. First off, both are very essential part of the groom’s traditional attire and are a great way to add personality to what you’re wearing, helping you to stand out.

Pocket squares are a favourite among men wanting to add a pop of colour to their suits. It is important you choose your pocket square according to the wedding’s overall style. For example, a bright pattern would look out of place on formal evening wedding.

Your pocket square choice will depend on your suit colour, your wedding’s colour scheme (if any) and your personal choice! We would recommend a crisp white pocket square in cotton or silk for a black tie wedding or for a beach wedding go for a linen pocket square.

As for boutonniere, make sure they are real, fresh and compliment the type of wedding you are having.

Which tie?

Man wears silver silk tie with blue tailored suit for ceremony
A seven-fold tie is always the best choice, especially when it is made with the silk fabric.

There are a variety of different styles for the modern groom to complete the wedding look with a perfect wedding tie. The best colour options are blue, cream and ivory in silk. If you want to add the touch of luxury finesse, you can always go for a seven-fold tie.

The long and laborious process of creating a seven-fold tie means every piece is a work of art in itself. The groom deserves a little pampering of this kind after all he too is the main lead of the party. On the other hand, if you have decided to wear a tuxedo that day, you will need to give a bow tie, possibly black.

Which belt?

No belt. If you have the correct trousers then, by all means, go without a belt in any case, because it detracts from the perfectly polished and well-fitted image you’re trying to project. When you have made-to-measure trousers you don’t need a belt as the trousers fit you perfectly.

Your options for the wedding day attire are either waistcoat or cummerbund. Either of these options cover the belt area of trousers and make your look very formal.

Cufflinks?

Yes, cufflinks are the accessory that completes your wedding look. The shirt should be with French cuffs, no buttons on the cuffs so that you can fasten them with cufflinks. For the big day opt for some decorative cufflinks, like gold or silver that compliment with your suit.

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