Everyone dresses up for a wedding (most of them anyway), and with all your friends and family wearing their best suits, it can be challenging for a groom to set himself apart from the pack.
Firstly, remember this is your day. Depending on the dress code of your wedding, take things up a gear. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to wear a suit again - so why not go for something high calibre like a tuxedo, white tie or even morning dress; let’s break these all down first, then we’ll get into the more traditional suit option and how to mix that up.
White tie is as formal as it gets, and has a timeless air to it - consisting of a black tailcoat and trousers, with a white shirt, white bow tie and white waistcoat. For a deeper read on white tie and other dress codes, check out our guide to decoding dress codes.
A tuxedo is a step down from white tie, and is worn for black tie events. This black suit has satin lapels and braiding on the trousers, with a white shirt, black bow tie, and a waistcoat or cummerbund. We’ve broken down all the details (and rules) of the tuxedo here.
Morning dress is deeply British and very elegant. Generally worn for daytime weddings (and the races) it features a black morning coat that curves from the waist down to the thigh at the back - known as a cutaway front. It is always single-breasted, and is worn with a white shirt, a high-cut waistcoat and a tie. Trousers are generally dark grey striped. The waistcoat can be the same colour as the morning coat, or a lighter shade of grey, blue or tan. You can also have a morning coat and trousers in the same fabric - usually grey - which is known as a morning suit.
Of course, a classic suit is still a great wedding option, and something you’ll probably feel more comfortable in due to its familiarity. It also gives you a bit more aesthetic freedom - the key here is to make it memorable with fresh colour choices, considered accessories, and a mix-and-match approach to your groomsmen.
Most attendees wearing a suit will be in black or dark grey; the most versatile suit colours, these tend to be the go-to option of most men’s wardrobes. With that in mind, set your own suit apart by exploring colour and texture. A pale grey or tan suit looks fresh and crisp at a daytime summer wedding. Similarly blue, brown and even dark green can look elegant and modern - not to mention they’re a refreshing change from classic black. Checks and tartans can also be a fresh choice for the modern groom.
Shirts, waistcoats, pocket squares and ties are your opportunity to inject dashes of colour and print - show your personality! Take into consideration the location of the ceremony and reception, and what other members of the wedding party will be wearing - you want your look to be complementary yet still stand out.
Don’t ignore the accessories either, elements like a tie clip and lapel flower (boutonniere) add a great special finishing touch. It’s a particularly touching look if your boutonniere matches your partner’s outfit on the day.
Now of course, it won’t just be you standing at the altar on your big day - unless you’re a lone wolf you’ll probably have a pack of groomsmen too. How do you stand out from them when you’re all wearing suits that (presumably) match the theme of the wedding?
Dressing your groomsmen in suits of a different colour to your own helps differentiate your position on the day. For cohesion, have your own waistcoat can match theirs. If your groomsmen are all wearing ties, go for a bow tie for yourself or, if you’re strictly a tie guy, make sure yours is a different colour.
If your wedding is in a warm climate or during summer, it can be a fresh, relaxed look to have your groomsmen in shirts and waistcoats only (or even just suspenders) while you don a jacket to look more formal.
Waistcoats are a great way to set yourself apart as the groom, and they look more dressy than a simple two piece suit. If you’re a waistcoat fan and want all your groomsmen wearing them, then opt for a different colour for yourself.
While a white or pale blue shirt is classic and easy, opting for a patterned option is another way to show your personal flare and give your look that something extra in a sea of suits.
Want to stand out in a different kind of way? If you’re a low key guy, or wanting a more casual take on the classic groom look, a pair of well cut chinos and a tailored blazer is a great way to look smart and stylish whilst still staying true to your down-to-earth self. A patterned shirt adds a point of interest - wear it with a complementary (or contrasting!) tie, or ditch the tie all together for a relaxed spin. For your groomsmen, they can take things down a notch too - a simple collared shirt with a pair of chinos in a different colour to your own keeps the group dynamic casual but ensures the focus is still on you. With these kind of outfits a matching belt and shoe combo ensures you still look put together.
Regardless of how formal you decide to do things for your wedding day, the most important thing to keep in mind is that this is your day; make an effort, and let your personality and style be visible - have fun!