Weddings can be extremely stressful events whether you’re the groom that’s walking down the aisle and about to get married, or you’ve just been invited as a guest.
While weddings can be expensive on both sides – though generally a lot more expensive for the groom than the guest – it isn’t always the money that gets men worked up when it comes to weddings.
In many cases, it’s choosing the right suit for a wedding that gives guys that sinking feeling in their stomach.
However, picking suits for a wedding doesn’t have to be a complicated process and there’s no need to lose sleep over it. After all, you’ve got months to plan what you’re going to wear to a wedding.
You already know you’re going to be wearing a suit unless you’re going to a wedding in a barn or on a beach, so you’ve already got most of the work done.
Use this guide to help pick the right suits for a wedding no matter what role you have in it.
For the Groom
Getting married is exciting, but a little terrifying for a lot of guys, so the last thing you want to be worried about is your suit. You don’t have to go nuts planning what you wear as the groom since most of the attention won’t be on you – it will be on the bride – but that doesn’t mean you can show up in your Led Zeppelin t-shirt and a pair of old Levi’s.
If you’re having a formal wedding, you really don’t have a lot of say in what you’re going to wear as the groom. That’s because groom suits for a wedding that’s going to be exceptionally formal are almost exclusively black tuxedos.
While you might be able to get away with a color like charcoal, or even white if you’re having a summer wedding, you’re pretty much going to be in a tuxedo.
That’s okay – the pictures will look good and you’ll have a tux for when you and your partner need to attend fancy events.
A groom that’s having a spring or summer wedding that isn’t formal should go with a more laid back suit that showcases his personality. That doesn’t mean that you want to be really casual though.
In most cases, you’ll look your best in a blue or gray suit, though you won’t want to go too dark in the spring or summer if you’ll be outside. High blue and slate gray are very good choices for men getting married this time of year.
Fall and winter generally means suits for a wedding that are of a heavier material and darker in color. In fact, fall and winter weddings are the perfect time to bring out a wool suit in a dark color like navy blue, charcoal or even black. Just because your event isn’t too formal doesn’t mean you can’t wear a black suit, especially if you’re the groom.
Look for quality suits that will help you stand out from the crowd by makers like Brioni, Canali and Jack Victor.
What About the Groomsmen?
If you’re going to be a groomsmen and the wedding party hasn’t told you what you should wear, chances are they want you to show off some individual style instead of wearing a monkey brown suit to match your fellow groomsmen. That’s your chance to get creative – as long as you aren’t going to a black tie event.
In the spring and summer, you’re going to be incredibly hot in a black or navy suit, so push that thought out of your head now. Instead, you’re going to want to go with something light and breezy, like a colored linen suit.
You might also want to choose a suit in a cotton plaid if you want to be extra-stylish and have a suit you can wear pretty much year round.
One note of warning here – make sure you know what color the groom is wearing so you can avoid it. You don’t want to look like you’re matching.
Weddings that take place in colder weather generally require a different suit for the groomsmen than they would wear in the spring. That means heavier weight and a darker color.
For groomsmen, you really can’t go wrong with a good charcoal suit or a charcoal blue. Black might be too formal and what the groom is wearing, so steer clear of that.
When it comes to brands, you want something that will be fashionable for years to come and that you can wear to work or out on the town at night. Think of designers like Hickey Freeman, John Varvatos and Hugo Boss.
Attending a Wedding?
Sometimes picking out suits for a wedding when you’re just a guest is the hardest thing of all. After all, suits for a wedding for guests can be almost anything and you may or may not know what the wedding is even going to look like! Don’t fear though – we’ve got you covered.
The best suits for a wedding in the spring and summer are ones that allow you to breathe easily without sweating through them. For wedding guests, spring and summer weddings are a perfect time to pick up a linen suit in cream or off-white.
You might not think this is formal enough, but if you’re attending an outdoor wedding like a beach or mountain wedding, you’ll be dressed just fine. Designers like Zanella and Ravazzolo make ideal items for this sort of informal wedding.
In fact, in the summer, you might even be able to get away with a pair of slacks, dress shirt and a sports jacket if you know that the wedding isn’t a formal affair. Just don’t risk it if you’re not sure since sticking with a suit – even a lightweight linen or cotton one in a light color – is a safe move.
Guest suits for a wedding in the fall or winter can feel a little bit tricky since you can’t wear that linen anymore, but you may not want to wear a dark suit like black or navy blue.
That’s why many wedding guests should consider unique styles like a soft plaid, particularly one made of wool, or a suit with a check pattern. Textured wool suits are also ideal for fall and winter weddings.
Not only will you manage to stay warm in your suit, but there’s little chance of you matching the groom or groomsmen, either. You might be the best dressed guy at the wedding though.
Wedding suits for guests are made by pretty much every maker out there, but what you really want is something that you’ll get a lot of use out of later.
For men who work in a corporate environment or need to wear a more traditional suit each day, Brioni, Jack Victor and Canali are all excellent choices. Hugo Boss is an ideal brand for men who want something they can wear for work and play.
Younger men who want fashionable cuts should consider John Varvatos and Hickey Freeman.