What Should Men Wear To A Spring Wedding?
Spring is by far one of the most popular seasons for organising weddings and is often neck-and-neck with the fall. Spring is, in many ways, the opposite of autumn.
For those of us who live in temperate climates, it’s a welcome relief from the deep freeze of winter. The world is thawing and everything is coming back to life. The sun stays out longer and you can finally go outside without tensing your muscles for warmth.
It’s a season known for rebirth, renewal, and fertility. Therefore, it’s no wonder that people want to get married between March and June!
That being said, springtime weddings pose a unique set of sartorial challenges for men. Nevertheless, it’s a season that is full of opportunities to sartorially express yourself in a fun and colorful way!
Formal Vs Informal Spring Weddings
As with any season, the wedding’s level of formality is dictated by the bride and groom’s sensibilities as people. Some folks are more traditional, while some are more laid back. Either of these styles are fine, there’s no right or wrong answer.
You do, however, want to be sure that what you wear syncs with that vision, whether you’re in the wedding or not. For context, we’ll be using the term “formal” for things like tuxedos. Technically speaking, black tie is a semi-formal dress code.
Although white tie is traditionally formal, it’s particularly rare in this day and age.
Formal Daytime Spring Wedding: Morning Dress
Formal weddings that begin before 6pm or sunset require morning dress. Although rarer in the USA, it’s very common in Britain and is very dashing indeed!
Morning dress consists of the following:
- Morning coat in black or grey
- Striped black or solid grey trousers
- White, ecru, or light blue French cuff shirt
- Waistcoat in buff, dove grey, of Robin’s egg blue
- Silk necktie
- Well-polished black shoes (not patent leather)
Traditionally, morning dress can be as dark as black and any shade of grey. For springtime, we’d recommend that you opt for something lighter in color as it’ll be better suited for the season. You will also have the option to choose a waistcoat in a different color, too.
Furthermore, morning dress doesn’t necessarily require a regular necktie. Indeed, you can really go out and where a traditional Ascot tie. Nevertheless, be sure that it’s an Ascot and don’t accidentally wear a cravat instead.
Morning Dress Further Reading
If you want to learn more about morning dress and formal wedding attire, we suggest the following guides:
Formal Evening Spring Weddings: Tuxedo
For a formal evening wedding, your option is black tie. Here’s a brief overview of what goes into a tuxedo:
- Black or midnight blue dinner jacket with matching trousers
- White French cuff shirt
- Black self-tie bow tie
- Black patent oxfords or opera pumps
- Single-breasted waistcoat (optional)
- Black cummerbund (optional, not worn with waistcoat)
- White braces
As mentioned above, the tuxedo is regarded as semi-formal wear. It’s traditionally worn after 6pm or sunset (whichever is earlier) and was once regarded as more relaxed than clothing worn during the day. Indeed, that’s quite ironic by today’s standards!
If you choose to have a formal wedding in the evening, the default outfit is a tuxedo. Since it’s effectively a uniform that follows a set of rules according to the black tie dress code, it’s quite easy to organise.
Early spring tends to be somewhat chilly. Therefore, you could also consider adding a waistcoat or a simple cummerbund, which is a great way of adding a pop of color. Similarly, why not consider a midnight blue or white dinner jacket to stand out as the groom?
Unlike morning dress, however, we would refrain from renting a tuxedo. Similarly, they can be relatively cheap nowadays and buying one really makes all the difference. We’ve recommended a few brands below if you need some guidance.
If you’re concerned that the dress code is too severe, you can relax things for guests by opting for either the creative black tie or black tie optional dress codes.
Black Tie Further Reading
Want to learn more about wearing a tuxedo? Check out some of our related resources below:
Alternatively, feel free to leave us a comment below and we’ll get back to you.
Informal Daytime Spring Wedding: Light Suit
For a less formal daytime ceremony, a light-colored suit or odd jacket and trousers are ideal. Stick to wool, as it’s breathable for warmer days but will insulate you as the temperatures decline towards the end of the reception. As for fabric weight, a nine-ounce wool is a perfect all-season weight that will serve you well on a spring day.
As for suit colors, you may want to try:
- Light grey (this color is incredibly popular)
- Slate blue
- Cadet blue
Wedding suits do not necessarily have to be the same as your business suits. In fact, we encourage that you go for something different! Indeed, it’s a great opportunity to try something new that you don’t usually wear. You’ll also be able to keep the suit for future special occasions.
therefore, you may want to consider the following details as a way to have some fun with your suit while still looking dapper:
- Peak lapels
- Double-breasted coat
- Adding a waistcoat
- Wear bolder patterns than those to which you’re accustomed
- One-button single-breasted jackets
- Ticket pockets
- Suspenders or side fastening tabs on trousers
Any of these details will keep you well within the confines of classic suiting. The beauty is that they’re underutilized in our everyday lives, so taking advantage of their mere existence makes for an extremely stylish presentation.
As it happens, it can sometimes be difficult to acquire suits with such unique details off the rack. If your budget permits, you may want to consider buying made-to-measure or bespoke.
Nowadays you can even buy a made-to-measure suit online, so you don’t necessarily even have to leave the house.
In fact, we’ll cover where we recommend buying suits for weddings below.
Daytime Shoes For Spring Weddings
With regard to shoe style, you want to wear what’s commonly referred to as a dress shoe. What we mean by this is that the shoe you’re wearing has a dress sole and heel, preferably made from leather. The Beckett Simonon shoes below are a perfect example of a spring dress shoe.
Given the relatively informal nature of wearing a light-colored suit in the daytime in a non-business setting, your options for shoes open up immensely. You don’t have to stick to traditional oxfords just because you’re wearing a suit. Brogues would be lovely in any style from longwings to semi-brogues, and even an Italian-inspired tassel loafer can work if you style everything else just right.
As for color, choose any shade of brown from a light tan to a medium tobacco color. Black shoes will look fine with these suits, but browns will be much richer and earthier, thus paying homage to the time of year in a way that black shoes can’t.
If you need any inspiration, check out our guide to the best dress shoes to buy online. Similarly, consider dress boots as a great option for spring!
Informal Evening Spring Wedding: Darker Suit
Evening suits can be the same as their daytime counterparts in terms of aesthetic details like lapels and button stances. The main difference is that evening suits should be darker in color. Some classic options are:
- Navy blue
- Medium grey
- Deep tan
As for footwear, your options are similar to those mentioned for daytime suits. For the evening, though, black shoes become less stark and thus more appropriate. Indeed, if you choose to wear a black suit, you must wear black shoes. However, it’s a wedding and not a funeral. Therefore, we’d suggest nothing darker than charcoal.
Spring Wedding Colors & How To Work Them Into Your Outfit
If you’re a guest at a wedding, it’s good to be cognizant of wedding colors so that you don’t overuse them. Unless we’re talking about incredibly common colors like blue or khaki, it can be odd to overly incorporate wedding colors into your ensemble if you’re not in the wedding. You don’t want to be mistaken for an usher!
If you are in the wedding, however, there’s a good chance that wedding colors will be involved in what you wear.
Spring is a colorful season, and the typical wedding color schemes reflect that. Pantone (the global leader in, well, color) releases new colors every year for these sorts of things, often with delightfully pretentious names like “Greenery,” “Mimosa,” and “Sand Dollar.”
But we digress.
For spring weddings, these colors are often variations of:
While your suit typically functions as a somewhat neutral backdrop, your accessories can mimic these colors in a fun, organized way. Once you and your fiancé decide what your wedding colors will be, you can start playing around with how you incorporate them into your outfit.
Let’s take an easy example and assume that the wedding colors are khaki, medium blue, and muted yellow. How can you flesh out an outfit with these colors in a stylish way?
If we think about the most basic outfit we can -suit, shirt, tie, pocket square, socks, and shoes- we can begin to incorporate these colors strategically.
Selecting a khaki suit takes care of khaki. A white shirt (an always-appropriate neutral color) with a medium blue tie on it takes care of medium blue.
A yellow pocket square with blue dots combined with yellow and blue hosiery keeps your color family together without being matchy-matchy. It’ll also coordinate beautifully with tobacco-colored shoes.
If you need a primer on how color works and how to make it work for you, check out our guide to color coordination.
Typical Venues For Spring Weddings
If you’re attending springtime nuptials, it’s likely that you’ll end up at venues such as:
- Country Clubs
- Outdoor Green Spaces
Being spring, it’s likely that some portion of the wedding, if not all of it, will be outside. To that end, you should be aware of a few potential snags that could come up:
Rain: The common wisdom is that rain on a wedding day is good luck for the couple. We argue that this is the greatest case of sour grapes since Aesop’s famous fable. Nobody wants to get rained on while they’re exchanging vows, and guests don’t fare well in it either.
If there’s a chance that it will rain, bring an umbrella. Similarly, wear appropriately water-resistant shoes. While we love Beckett Simonon mentioned above, you’d be better off with shoes like Allen Edmonds, which are crafted with water-resistant Goodyear welts rather than Blake stitching.
Mud: An obvious byproduct of rain. Keep an extra cotton handkerchief on you in case you need to wipe some gunk off of your shoes.
Temperature Changes / Unpredictability: Spring is a bit capricious when it comes to temperatures. Days can be insanely hot (don’t forget, May and early June are still technically spring), and the thermostat can swing dramatically downwards once the sun sets.
If the wedding is going to be on a date where it could be 75 degrees during the day and 55 at night, your best bet is to layer. Specifically, this is the time to add a vest to that tuxedo or suit you’re thinking about getting.
While it’s not really sartorial advice, a liquid overcoat never hurt anyone, at least until the following day’s hangover.
Party & Guests Spring Wedding Suits
If you’re not a groom, what follows are some more targeted tips on what to wear to a spring wedding.
As the groom’s main man (“best man,” if you will), you are likely either his brother or his best friend. You hold the rings, organized the bachelor party, and will make a speech at the reception.
What should you wear? Your position in the wedding party hierarchy may afford you some influence over what you (and, by extension), the groomsmen, wear.
As a rule, you should complement the groom. This means wearing an ensemble of similar formality and color, but not exactly the same thing that the groom is wearing. An exception to this would be if you’re all wearing tuxedos, in which case it’s perfectly appropriate to dress identically.
You should not overshadow the groom. If he’s wearing solids, avoid patterns. If he’s wearing a patterned suit, wear a solid or less-boldly-patterned suit. Similarly, your accessory colors will likely be dictated by the wedding colors, which we’ll cover below.
Finally, the best man may be asked by the groom to help in arranging the attire for both of you as well as the groomsmen. As he’ll likely be under the enormous pressure of handling the logistics and other considerations, your help will be invaluable.
Below, you’ll also find a breakdown on where to buy suits for weddings just before we talk about the accessories.
If you are a groomsman reading this, your job from a clothing perspective is to do what you’re told. Your role is to support your buddy as he goes through the wonderful, emotional, and stressful experience of getting married. You standing there with him as he recites his vows and dons a wedding band for the first time is immeasurably important.
Looking the part for that, however, is largely going to be up to the groom, and possibly the best man to a lesser extent. The chances are that you will may wear the same outfit or something very similar.
Usually, the groom will choose one of two options:
- Grooms, groomsmen, and best man all wear identical outfits: Formal weddings typically follow this rule by all wearing tuxedos or morning dress.
- Groomsmen and best man wear identical attire, groom wears something slightly different: Although usually associated with informal weddings, some formal weddings may do this, too. It can be as slight as the groom wearing the same suit that’s darker or he also has a waistcoat.
Accessory colors (socks, ties, pocket squares, cufflinks, etc.) will typically be dictated by the wedding color scheme. Occasionally, you may be supplied with these or you’ll be expected to find them yourself.
Father Of The Bride Or Groom
Being the father of a bride or groom is a lovely experience. You’re beaming with pride and you get to sit back and enjoy watching one of your children take a huge life step. As far as what you wear is concerned, there are a couple of ways to go.
If it’s a formal celebration, follow the dress code with a tuxedo or morning coat according to the time of day and instructions.
Meanwhile, we suggest wearing a suit for an informal wedding. However, leave the business suit on the hanger and instead don something a little different. It’s a celebration, after all!
As the father, you have the prerogative and privilege of more freedom with what you wear. If the bride and groom don’t mind, don’t feel like you have to follow the color scheme as long as your attire is festive.
For instance, you can wear a brighter-colored suit than you typically do. It’s an opportunity to express yourself so don’t hesitate to sport a bow tie and colorful pocket square for a change! After all, you likely invested a fair bit into the event yourself!
Wedding guests have more leeway in terms of what they can wear than the wedding party. Here’s how you know what to wear:
- Does the invitation indicate a dress code? If it does, respect the dress code to the best of your abilities. Otherwise, wear a suit.
- Consider time of day and season. Generally speaking, daytime weddings require lighter colors, whereas nighttime weddings require darker ones. During the springtime, the color palette tends to be lighter.
You’ll obviously be more comfortable in spring and summer in lighter fabrics like lightweight wool, cotton, or linen, so keep the local climate in mind when you’re deciding what to wear.
- You don’t have to adhere to a color scheme. As mentioned above, the vast majority of weddings have color themes (“wedding colors”) that are decided by the couple in the beginning planning stages. It influences everything from flower arrangements to napkin colors. It often has a say in what grooms and groomsmen wear too.
In some cases, guests will be asked to follow the color scheme. If so, a pocket square or tie will suffice. We recommend that you keep it subtle so to avoid being confused with the groomsmen or even the groom himself!
Where To Buy Spring Wedding Suits
Whether you’re the groom, best man, or somebody involved in organising the wedding, it’s handy to know that there are brands with services that cater to weddings. In fact, even if you’re a guest, the following information can be useful if you’re just looking to buy a suit for the occasion.
Buying suits for the groomsmen can add unnecessary stress to the event. Fortunately, some brands can logistically help as well as occasionally offer discounts or deals for buying several suits ahead of an event.
For instance, Indochino and Black Lapel are made-to-measure suit brands that offer deals for weddings. Additionally, you can enjoy a 10% discount from Indochino with our exclusive code “BESPOKEUNIT” or $25 off your order from Black Lapel with “FTOBESPOKEUNIT“.
However, it’s best to be organised. Made-to-measure suits take time to make and you may need alterations afterwards. Both Indochino and Black Lapel will cover most alteration costs but it’s best to prepare it in advance.
What’s great about opting for made-to-measure suits is that the above brands are as cheap as designer suits. Yet, they will be made to fit everybody and you can customise them individually with various fabric, lapels, cuffs, and other options. Most customisation options are also included in the base price!
Therefore, you won’t have to worry about the available stock! That said, check out our guide to the best online suit brands, which also includes fantastic ready-to-wear options, too.
Finally, if you want shirts for everyone, you may be better checking out our guide to the best dress shirt brands. Many of them have attractive multi-buy deals!
Spring Wedding Suit Accessories
If you decide to opt for a formal dress code, bear in mind that you traditionally shouldn’t go wild on accessories. Nevertheless, if you’re the groom, it’s your wedding so you can do what you want!
Still, consider reading our guides on morning dress and black tie if you care about following tradition. Otherwise, you’ll have lots of freedom with an informal wedding. Cufflinks and pocket squares are all fair game. You can also consider wearing an Albert chain and pocket watch if you’re wearing a waistcoat.
A classic wedding accessory is a boutonnière, a floral bouquet that’s worn on the lapel. It’s usually just worn by the groom and his entourage but some can be distributed among guests as well.
Boutonnières offer the opportunity to add some color while also embodying the season’s atmosphere. It can also be useful for identifying key members of the wedding. Consider opting for seasonal flowers with rich colors, which are abundant during spring!
Alternatively, you can easily pick up an assortment of cheaper synthetic lapel flowers for a similar effect. These can be cheaply bought in bulk from some suppliers and freely distributed among guests.
Speaking of which, if you’re a guest, feel free to bring along a lapel flower yourself. However, refrain from wearing a boutonnière unless it was given to you by the groom or best man.
Springtime is a great time for a wedding, whether you’re the groom or a guest. To recap, here’s a quick hit list of our top tips for spring weddings:
- Embrace colors in addition to neutrals.
- If you’re going formal, stick to the chosen formal attire.
- Layer so you can adjust to changing temperatures from day to night.
- Bring an umbrella in case of rain.
Now that you’ve read about men’s spring wedding attire, check out some of our related guides: