So you’ve been invited to a wedding, or four, now what do you wear and how do you style your suit so you don’t look the same at all of them.
The first thing you need to consider is the dress code. Has one been specified on the invitation? If it hasn’t and you are unsure then it is best to ask the bride or groom what they would like guests to wear. If you are unsure about what the different dress codes mean, read our simple guide to dress codes.
In addition to taking into account the dress code (if specified), you also need to consider the wedding venue, the time of day and the season.
The wedding venue will have a big influence on what you should wear. It will also usually help set the dress code, for example you usually won’t be expected to wear black tie to a beach wedding.
A Church or Religious Wedding
You should dress more conservatively for a religious service in a church or place of worship. Steer clear of bright colours or bold patterns and keep things simple and respectful. A navy, grey or charcoal suit is perfectly appropriate. Keep your accessories stylish but subtle. Classic options such as a crisp white shirt will work well, or if you want a bit of colour try a pale blue or pastels. Your tie can also add a bit of colour and some of pattern, but keep it toned down, same with a pocket square. Wear a simple but elegant pair of cufflinks and stick to black or brown shoes in classic styles.
A Winery Wedding
Because of the backdrop and the potential to be outside more you can add a bit more colour to your outfit. While a navy, grey or charcoal suits are still your best options, you could choose to play up the location a bit more in your styling. How about wearing a burgundy or claret red tie, or bring in more of nature with blues and greens.
A Park Wedding
Park weddings are often a bit less formal, so you could try bolder colours and patterns. It’s probably best to steer clear of greens though as there will usually be a lot of greenery in the background of photos and you don’t want to blend in with the foliage.
A Beach Wedding
Beach weddings can be difficult to style for and really depend on any dress code set by the bride and groom. If formal attire is requested on the beach then you will probably have to go with a dark colours suit, however if it is a a semi-formal or smart casual dress code then you could opt for a suit or suit separates in a lighter colour, like a grey, beige or tan, in a lightweight fabric. Neutral and natural tones are a good choice, or tones from the environment (think the sea, the sky and the sand). Light blues, pastels and whites are good choices. It might be best to steer clear of bold bright colours for your shirt, tie and accessories as these could look garish in the sun and on the sand with all of the light and reflection. You want to compliment the environment, not compete with it.
A Hotel or Function Room Wedding
Weddings held at a hotel or a function centre are often a bit more formal than say a park or beach wedding. A classic suit colour is a good choice, think a charcoal, a light grey or a navy. While formal you can be a bit more adventurous as hotels and function centres will often be a bit more flamboyant and dramatic in their décor and styling. Depending on the dress code set you could add colour with your shirt, your tie, a pocket square. You could even wear statement dress shoes.
Time Of Day & Seasons
The time of day and the season are very important when considering what to wear to a wedding. Often the wedding ceremony will be held in the middle of the day or afternoon, there might be a cocktail hour in the late afternoon and then the reception will be in the evening, so you have to wear something that is appropriate and comfortable for both day-time and night-time which can be tricky.
If the dress code has been specified as white or black tie, morning suit or formal attire, then you are set in what you can wear regardless of the weather or time of day. However if the dress code is less formal then you can dress according to what is comfortable and appropriate. For example for a summers day park wedding you could wear a lighter coloured suit in a lightweight fabric such as linen with bright or pastel accessories, while for a winters day wedding on a winery you could wear a darker coloured suit in a heavier textured fabric with rich deep colours such as burgundy or plum.
Multiple Weddings, One Suit
If you have a number of weddings to attend you probably don’t want to go out and buy a new suit for each of them. So how can you wear the same suit but still look stylish and different at all of them, something that can be important if a number of different people you know are getting married and you will see the same guests over and over again.
If you are looking for a versatile suit that will work for a lot of wedding, that can easily be accessorised and that looks good at both day time or night time functions, then our recommendation is a charcoal suit. You can read our article on why we think a charcoal grey suit is the best option.
Once you have a suit, the easiest way to change the look and style of your outfit is to change up your shirt colour, tie and accessories. Not only will this help you have a different look for each wedding, but it will also help you either dress up or dress down your suit depending on the dress code. Read our guide on how to accessories your suit for ideas.
How To Wear A Charcoal Suit To Different Weddings
- For A Church Wedding – A crisp white shirt and subtle accessories like dark blues, greys and black work well with a charcoal suit and are elegant and conservative.
- For A Park Wedding – Bold colours like bright blues and pinks look great with charcoal grey and are a perfect option for a sunny outside wedding.
- For A Beach Wedding – Wear a light blue shirt with your charcoal suit, and if it’s a semi-formal or smart casual dress code drop the tie for a more relaxed look.
- For A Winery Wedding – Rich wine colours like burgundy, plum, maroon and claret look great with a dark charcoal grey. You could also add a coloured waistcoat or a patterned shirt for some more dimension and texture.
- For A Hotel Wedding – Often hotel and function room weddings can be a little more formal, so a dark charcoal grey suit is a great option. It is formal enough without being black. A tonal look is a great option here, as is a three piece suit.