What Men Should Wear To Weddings As A Guest


Dressing for a wedding as a guest is often a hard subject especially for men. While ladies have endless options, men will mostly have to do with suits. Thankfully, suits have evolved with time and today, you can always find the right suit for any kind of wedding occasion.

Still, you don’t want to overdress and outdo the bride or groom. At the same time, you don’t want to underdress and create no impression. So, where does that leave you? To help you figure this out, we’ve created the guide below.

The Occasion

The theme of the wedding is important in deciding what to wear. If it’s a summer wedding, a beach wedding, a destination wedding, a church wedding or a small intimate affair, the type of wedding will determine the dress code.

Let’s face it, if the wedding is based on a beach at hot climates; you’re not going to want to wear full suit, shirt and tie to match. You’re going to want to go for something a bit more lightweight, such as brushed cotton or linen and really dress down the look as much as you can.

Find out in advance the type of wedding it is and the type of dress code they expect. There’s nothing worse than turning up to a wedding wearing something you shouldn’t be.



As a wedding guest, a suit is your go to piece of clothing. It’s the first thing you should consider, and it’s the most important part of the look. While at it, you should keep it simple but stylish, and then build the rest of your look around it. If you don’t get the suit right, the rest of your outfit takes a nosedive. That said, what are your options?

White Tie

This is an extremely formal and the fanciest dress code for a wedding. You are required to wear a tuxedo with tails, a white waistcoat, a bow tie and black shoes. You can even go ahead and wear white gloves.

Black Tie

This is usually meant for evening weddings, usually after 5:00pm. It is a notch lower from the White Tie; you are required to wear a tuxedo with a bow tie and black leather shoes. In some weddings, you might be expected to wear a white dinner jacket in summer.

Pro tip; If the dress code is indicated as black tie optional or formal, then this means that you can opt to wear a tuxedo or a dark suit and tie.

Cocktail Attire

A cocktail attire falls somewhere just below the formality of a black tie and a step up of a business suit. It calls for a dark suit, probably navy or charcoal and a tie. Sometimes, a broken suit may also do as long as you look chic. Some ceremonies may find dark jeans paired with a blazer acceptable but if you are not sure, keep off jeans.

Morning Suit

The dress code is synonymous with a traditional or royal wedding. The dress code is called for in weddings starting before 4:00pm. It requires a black or grey tailcoat, waist coat, striped trousers, collar shirt, black shoes and an optional hat.

Smart Casual

This simply calls for a flexible formal look. It is one of the most common dress codes. That said, it can stress you out as there are no laid down rules as to how you can pull off the look. There’s no need to panic though; think of it as a way of looking classy without all the rules of the other formal looks.


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Working week is here, let’s get it done 👊🏽 #meninsuits

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It can be as simple as combining a basic suit with a colourful formal shirt, stylish cufflinks and pocket square. While a tie is not necessary, you can put on a colourful one too. Finish off the look with loafers or brogues and you are good to go.


Casual outfit is for an informal wedding. While you won’t be expected to show up in jeans and a T-shirt, you can go as casual as chino trousers, dress or suit trousers with a button-down shirt and brown shoes. With the shoes, you can do brogues, boat shoes or loafers.

Wedding at the Beach

Beach weddings call you to dress down by default; comfort becomes your main goal especially if you are a little bit more on the sweaty side. While a beach environment is casual in every sense, you’ll want to look like you are attending a wedding and not taking a holiday stroll. This calls for attention to detail.

If the dress code is Beach formal, it may require a summer suit where a tie is optional. Linen trousers and a button down shirt will also do. The latter will also do for a Beach Casual or you can do a polo shirt. Keep off shorts unless they are indicated as an option. Alternatively, you can roll up your trousers into shorts if need be instead of showing up in shorts only to find out that you are the only one.

As for colours, keep them light and avoid white unless requested otherwise. Go with beige, pastel, and lighter shades of khaki or tan.

When it comes down to the shoes, you have several options; you can wear flip flops, slides, or go barefoot if you are allowed. Other appropriate ones may include boat shoes, loafers, or sneakers.

Winter/ Summer Wedding

The above dress codes apply for both summer and winter weddings. The only difference between what you wear for either is material. During winter, the temperatures may keep changing and you may find yourself freezing cold if you don’t plan ahead.

For a winter wedding, your best bet is choosing heavier suit materials. You would want to keep off cotton and linen and instead go for tweed, wool, flannel or corduroy.

For additional warmth, opt for full lining, double-breast or a three-piece option. You will also need an overcoat and it’s likely that you spend a good amount of time in it. Choose brown, black or charcoal, colours which are perfect over any suit.

A summer wedding will do with lightweight fabrics such as cotton, linen, cashmere, Velvet, and silk.

Choosing a Shirt

The shirt that you choose should be determined by the kind of wedding ceremony or the dress code. For a formal one, whites, pale pink, pastels or light blue go with most suits. That said, they don’t have to be plain or boring; go for good quality, textured  materials like herringbone or twill and keep off plains ones like poplin and poly.

For a casual ceremony, you can play with some colour and patterns but still, keep them subtle. If you are confused about what to wear, you will never go wrong with good quality whites.

Do you Need Cufflinks?


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Besides fastening your cuffs, cufflink add a decorative detail to your look. While they are common with white and black tie outfits, there is no limit to what other outfits you can pair them with. If you don’t wear cufflinks to work, a wedding is the perfect opportunity to try them.

What about Pocket Square?

A pocket square gives your outfit an interesting finishing touch. Whether you choose to match or synchronize it with your tie, shirt or suit or take a different route altogether is up to you. Being a small piece of your look, it gives you plenty of room to experiment with.

Choosing a Tie

For some weddings, a tie is not necessary but for those that require one, you would like one that’s a notch higher than your work tie but still keep it modest. For a grey suit, you can pair it up with a pale or paisley tie while brighter and bolder ones would look great on a navy suit. Casual dress codes would allow more colours, patterns and even checks as long as you don’t clash tones or choose daring colours that draw unnecessary attention.

Tips For a Perfect Suit Experience

Having the right outfit laid out is not enough to give you the perfect look if you don’t observe some suit etiquette during acquisition, fitting and wearing of your suit. Some commonly ignored but very important rules when it comes to wearing suits include:

  • Ensure that your suit fits; if you buy it ready-made, you can have it altered such that it doesn’t scrunch onto your body or loosely hang.
  • The stitching on the vents and pockets is meant to be removed immediately you bring your suit home.
  • Match your belt to your shoes and any other leather that you are wearing e.g. your watch.
  • Always leave the bottom button of your coat unfastened and ensure you unbutton your suit whenever you are getting seated.
  • Your shirt cuffs should reach your wrist and be half an inch longer than your coat sleeves.
  • Don’t use excess accessories; if you already have a tie and a pocket square, adding other things such as a lapel pin, scarf, and tie bar is overdoing it.
  • Bulging pockets do nothing to flatter your look; that said, keep your wallet, car keys, phone and other things off your trousers’ pockets.
  • When buying a shirt, ensure that you can button it all the way without chocking; you shouldn’t leave the button at the top open.

The Take Away

When someone invites you to their wedding as a guest, the best you can do is at least make an effort to look good. This doesn’t imply being the centre of attention though; all the attention should be channelled towards the bride and groom.

That said, if a dress code is called for, try your best to adhere to it. If it is not, you can find out from the couple what they expect in terms of dressing or use clues such as the location, season, and time of the day to figure out.

Should you find yourself left to your own devices; a suit will never let you down. Go for a dark suit, maybe charcoal or navy blue and tie; you are better off taking off the coat and tie than coming without to find out that you needed them. At all costs, stay clear of the overly casual clothes like shorts, t-shirts, sandals and jeans

Another great resource bringing up the ideas of what to wear to a wedding