Knowing how to dress for a wedding is of utmost importance. Unfortunately, there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to dressing for weddings as the season and type of wedding require different attire.
In this article we will cover everything that you need to know about what to wear to a gay wedding.
How To Decide What The Grooms Should Wear
On June 26th, 2015, gay marriage became legal in the United States. It’s also legal throughout the United Kingdom, with the exception of Northern Ireland.
While there’s still a long way to go, this has been a necessary, wonderful leap forward in terms of equality.
It also leaves many a groom scratching his head and asking, “Well, what do we wear?” This is understandable. The newness of “gay weddings” legality takes precedent and, to an extent, throws it out the window.
In this guide, we’ll be discussing different ways same-sex grooms can dress for their weddings. We’ll discuss three thematic options for selecting what you’ll wear on the big day:
- Matching Perfectly
- Variations On A Theme
- Wearing Different Outfits Altogether
We hope you find it valuable and we welcome any questions you have in the comments.
*Editor’s Note:* Though this article is aimed at men, the advice contained herein can also be used for women who prefer to wear menswear to their weddings.
Gay Versus Straight Weddings: Differences & Similarities
First, let’s go over the differences and similarities between the average straight wedding and the average gay wedding:
- Two grooms getting wed instead of a bride and groom
- Two groom figurines as cake toppers instead of bride and groom figurines as cake toppers
- Fighting with parents over planning minutiae
- Still very expensive
- You have to invite great Aunt Sheila even though you haven’t seen her in 15 years and she keeps calling your husband your “friend”
- Your one vegan friend is like, “Is there gonna be a vegan option for dinner?”
- Extreme nerves over making a commitment to spending the rest of your life with one person
- Creating seating arrangements still literally the worst thing ever
As you can see, the similarities far outnumber the negligible differences.
General Rule: There Are No Rules
Okay, this is perhaps a bit of false advertising. You still have to follow dress code rules for whatever formality level you select, but the point is that, like straight weddings, this is your day and you do what you want.
Again, while it’s perfectly normal for a gay wedding to have a traditional feel in terms of religiosity and ceremony, “traditional” is perhaps not a great word to use to describe this expansion of the institution.
This is only because of the newness of its legality, not a backhanded way of saying that gay marriage is somehow “less than” or even terribly different from straight marriage.
With that said, the “rules” around weddings should be taken more as guidelines than as rules. This holds true for any wedding, but gay weddings in particular, in our estimation.
Now, let’s explore some concrete options that same-sex grooms have at their disposal.
Option 1: Wear The Same Outfits
One option that some men choose is to simply wear the same outfit. This can be:
- Matching tuxedos
- Matching suits
- Matching trouser/vest or other “odd” combinations
- Matching shorts and Hawaiian shirts (if you’re super casual)
The benefit of this method is that it’s easy. Once a decision is made, you just buy two of the same thing. Even if you have different body types, this method can work well. It’s also easy to buy off-the-rack or made-to-measure suits that match, at least if you go shopping together.
The drawback of this method is that it doesn’t account for each groom’s coloring, assuming that it’s different. While one of you may look great in a grey suit, it may wash the other out. Be cognizant of this when making your decision.
Option 2: Variations On A Theme
For our second option, we take a common groom – groomsmen aesthetic relationship and apply it to two grooms. Varying a theme can happen in terms of color, style, and more.
Some examples are:
- Matching suits, but one as a three-piece
- Suits in the same color family, such as dark grey and light grey
- Same suit, different color shirts and ties
- Different suits, matching ties
- One groom in a solid suit, the other in a patterned one
- Same suits, one groom wears a tie, the other a bow tie or no tie
We’re partial to the variation on a theme method. It shows thought and skill in terms of maintaining a theme while maintaining the individuality of each groom.
Option 3: Totally Different
As with any couple, you’re probably different in many ways. Our third option reflects those differences.
Still, dressing differently from each other should only be taken so far. It’s very important to have some kind of continuity, most importantly with your formality level. You don’t want one guy in a tuxedo while the other is in khakis and a blue blazer. Some examples of it working well are:
- Two completely different suits with matching boutonnieres
- Odd jacket & trouser combinations in different colorways but in similar patterns
Another way to add a bit of continuity when you’re on different playing fields is to keep your wedding colors in mind. When you start playing around with making your accessories the same as your wedding colors, your looks become more thematic and thus more tied together.
Groomsmen, Best Man, Father Of The Groom, & Guests
The rules for groomsmen, guests, and fathers of the grooms are just the same as they are for any wedding: respect the wishes of the two people getting married.
If they throw a black tie affair, wear a tuxedo. If they throw a backyard barbecue at which they happen to get married, wear the shorts and casual shirts they’d expect.
One note for male guests: while there are no rules on this, try to avoid dressing in something too similar to the grooms’ outfits.
This is somewhat related to not out-dressing a bride. While this can be difficult if the grooms are wearing standard business suits, we want to steal as little thunder as possible from the happy couple.
It’s a brave new world in terms of matrimony, and we couldn’t be happier about it.
No matter how you choose to dress on your big day, make sure that it’s reflective of you and your partner as people. Part of your wedding day is to declare your love for each other to the world, and looking like your best self is the only way to do it.
You can also learn about what to wear to a wedding based on the season by visiting our wedding attire guides below: