Need to know what to wear to a wedding? A formal wedding is one of pure elegance and sophistication, and as such, requires guests to dress accordingly. There are a few details about the wedding that can make a difference in deciding your fashion for that specific event:
- Time of the wedding
- Wedding invitation details (I.e. Black Tie, White Tie, Formal, Semi-formal)
- How to Dress for a Formal Wedding in Daylight. Dressing for a formal day wedding is the most casual of the formal weddings, but still formal. Men can wear lighter suits, (grays and pinstripes) but should still wear a tie.
- How to Dress for a Formal Wedding at Night. This category is when the wedding invitation details really come in to play. If the invitation specified white tie or black tie attire, then see below for the proper attire required. Otherwise, the color palette should involve darker colors. Pastels are more appropriate for a day wedding, where as midnight blues, dark purples and the like are better worn to evening weddings. Men should wear dark full dress. Though this doesn’t necessarily mean a tuxedo, men should wear black pants, matching black tailcoat, white shirt, white vest and a tie (preferably black).
- How to Dress for a Black Tie Formal Wedding. To put it simply, if “Black Tie” is specified on an invitation, men need to wear a tuxedo. The tux can be single breasted or double breasted and the lapels can be peak, notch, or shawl collar. It's your choice. However, you must wear a formal shirt, a white dress shirt will not do. A pleated tux shirt is a must, and it is best to wear a fold down collar instead of a wing collared or you will fit in more with the waiters. You should wear cuff links and studs and can choose between a bow-tie and cummerbund set or a vest and tie set.
- How to Dress for a White Tie Formal Wedding. A wedding specified as a “White Tie” event is considered the most formal a wedding can get. This requires men to wear full dress, with white tie, vest and shirt. Specifically, a black tailcoat (or sometimes called swallow -tailcoat), silk socks, matching black trouser, white pique formal shirt (winged collar is preferred), white pique vest, and a white pique bow-tie. A regular tuxedo will not do. If you want to wear a hat, it must be a top hat and if you want to wear an overcoat, it must be a Chesterfield, an Inverness or a Guard‘s coat. The only exceptions to a full out tux is for military personnel (I.e. dress blues), ministers can wear formal clerical attire and those needing to wear formal state costumes (I.e. kilts).
- If you wear black, don’t look like you are going to a funeral.
- If you wear white, make it tasteful and try to leave full white to the bride.
- Couples can color-coordinate for formal weddings.
- Don’t cut corners. If the invitation says formal – it means formal.
- Formal weddings are not the time to express yourself through fashion – dress accordingly.
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