What To Wear To A Spring Wedding: Guide For Grooms & Guests

What To Wear To A Spring Wedding: Guide For Grooms & Guests 2018-05-23T19:23:28+00:00

Family-Photo-Wedding

In this article, we’ll be discussing the various aspects that go into selecting attire for a spring wedding. For general information on weddings, see our wedding home page.

If you’ve found yourself on this page in error, we have more wedding information based on seasons: fall, summer, and winter.

If you already know whether the wedding is formal or informal and whether the ceremony is day or night, click any of the links below to jump straight to that section:

What Should Men Wear To A Spring Wedding?

Couple-Holding-Each-Other-At-WeddingIf spring had gone to high school with autumn, they would have tied in the superlatives race for “Most Popular Season For Weddings.”

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. It’s no wonder that people want to get married between March and June.

Springtime weddings pose a unique set of sartorial challenges for men.

Formal Versus 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.

Formal Daytime Weddings: Morning Suit

Spring-Formal-Daytime-Wedding-Attire

Formal weddings that begin before 6pm, regardless of season, require morning dress. Springtime is no different. Morning dress is:

  • 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)

As we’re talking about springtime weddings, we advise that anytime you have a color option, go with something lighter in color. This applies mostly to coat and trouser selection.

Formal Evening Weddings: Tuxedo

Spring-Formal-Evening-Wedding-Attire

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

Informal Daytime: Lighter Suit

Spring-Informal-Daytime-Wedding-Attire

For a less formal daytime ceremony, a light-colored suit or odd jacket and trousers are called for. 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.

Bride-And-Groom-Kissing

As for suit colors, you may want to try:

  • Light grey (this color is incredibly popular)
  • Slate blue
  • Cadet blue
  • Tan

Wedding suits do not necessarily have to be the same as your business suits. 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

Couple-At-Spring-WeddingAny 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.

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.

Top and bottom of brown dress shoes

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.

Informal Evening: Darker Suit

Spring-Informal-Evening-Wedding-Attire

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
  • Black
  • Deep tan

As for footwear, your options are similar to those mentioned for daytime suits. For 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.

Spring Wedding Colors & How To Work Them Into Your Outfit

Disclaimer: 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 abuot incredibly common colors like blue or khaki, it can be odd and even downright creepy to 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:

Spring-Wedding-Color-Blocks

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.

Kissing-Couple-Spring-Wedding

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 those tobacco-colored shoes you’re wearing.

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

Couple-Eating-At-Reception

If you’re attending springtime nuptials, it’s likely that you’ll end up at venues such as:

  • Gardens
  • 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.

There is a perfectly good chance that it may rain. Have an umbrella handy, waterproof your shoes, and consider bringing galoshes if the weather calls for a downpour.

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, well, a bit mood-swingy 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.

Attendants, Fathers Of The Bride & Groom, & Guests At Springtime Weddings

If you’re not a groom, what follows are some more targeted tips on what to wear to a spring wedding.

Best Man

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.

Your accessory colors will likely be dictated by the wedding colors.

Groomsmen

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. Know that you will likely be wearing the same thing as him, or at least something so similar that guests will clearly be able to see the variation on a theme.

Most people go in one of two directions:

  • Grooms, groomsmen, and best man all wear identical ensembles. This is typical for formal weddings wherein the men wear tuxedos or, more rarely, morning coats.
  • Groomsmen and best man wear identical ensembles, groom wears something slightly different. This is one of the most popular methods by which to dress a wedding party. A simple example is to have the groomsmen in dark grey suits while the groom wears a light grey one. Another one would be the same navy suit for everyone, but the groom adds a vest.

Accessory colors (socks, ties, pocket squares, cufflinks, etc.) will typically be dictated by the wedding color scheme.

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.

For a formal wedding, you should wear a tuxedo or morning coat, depending on the time of day. 

For an informal wedding, you should wear a suit. The biggest qualifier here is that you should not wear a suit like you’re going to work. Wear a suit like you’re headed to a party, because you are!

As a father of a bride or groom, you are not necessarily beholden to wearing colors in the wedding’s scheme as the attendants typically are. You certainly can if you like (we suggest checking with your kid and future child-in-law), but the important thing is to be festive.

Wear a brighter-colored suit than you typically do. Have you been looking for an excuse to put on a bow tie? Now’s the time. Don’t be afraid of a flashy pocket square, and feel free to don the fanciest shoes you own.

You probably paid for a lot of what you’re about to enjoy, so you can dress however you please. Just have fun with it.

Guests

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, adhere to that dress code. If it doesn’t, wear a suit.
  • Consider time of day and season. Generally speaking, daytime weddings require lighter colors, whereas nighttime weddings require darker ones. Spring and summer also have lighter color palettes, whereas autumn and winter lend themselves to darker colors in general.

You’ll obviously be more comfortable in spring and summer in lighter fabrics like lightweight wool, cotton, or linen, so keep that 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.

It has nothing to do with what you choose to wear. In fact, it’s advisable to not intentionally wear the couple’s wedding colors, as this would be a bit off-putting and kind of creepy.

In Conclusion

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 tried-and-true formal attire
  • Layer so you can adjust to changing temperatures from day to night
  • Bring an umbrella in case of rain

Should you have any questions about suits outside of weddings, head to our suit home page to be directed to any information about a suit that you could possibly want.

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