Dress code etiquette at weddings can be tricky, especially if there was no dress code outlined in the wedding invitation. However, if you were invited to an evening wedding, and you are unsure of how to dress, here is a guide on what you should wear to this event.
The hour of the wedding also indicates the dress code on its own, thus DSCENE Bridal Editor compiles a few must-read tips for an evening wedding. However we are focusing this time on men’s wedding attire.
Evening weddings, by standard, are formal and usually a black-tie event. This means a dark tuxedo and a bow tie are the minimum requirements in wedding guest attire for men. There can be some variations and stylistic options you can choose from, depending on your own preferences, as well as how well you think it would suit the tone of the wedding itself – which is an important consideration to factor in.
Although not as formal as a white-tie wedding, you should still uphold the formality that is expected in black-tie weddings. So regardless of whether you like or dislike wearing tuxedos or bow ties, you must wear these to an evening wedding – unless, of course, you have already asked the bride and groom and they have agreed that a much different attire is appropriate. Not so rarely, the wedding couple may express the desired dress-code. It is only polite to follow the same, not to say obligatory.
Firstly, the tuxedo. Evening weddings typically call for a dark tuxedo, which could be either black or a midnight blue, or any other shade as long as it is dark and not bright or light. A tuxedo is a classic piece of clothing that is sleek and also stylish, so if you don’t already own one, you should go ahead and invest in one. At best ask a friend to borrow you one. They’re versatile and suitable for a range of events and occasions, and perfect for an evening wedding. A tuxedo can bring out many wears on multiple occasions.
The Best Shirt to Complete The Tuxedo
Underneath the tuxedo is the shirt. Whilst there are a range of shirts for men, opt for a crisp white shirt for a timeless combo of the tux and shirt. It is also convenient that you more likely than not already have a white shirt in your wardrobe. A waistcoat is optional, but it can add more elegance to your outfit if that’s the look you’re after- or, if you would rather something more polished, a cummerbund would be fitting too.
For shoes, dress shoes like oxfords are a good choice, otherwise any patent leather shoes, dark-coloured, are suitable footwear for this type of wedding. Pair this with black dress socks to complete the look.
A Relaxed Suit
If the invitation does not specifically state a black-tie outfit. You may play with a different suit options. For an evening wedding darker options are always welcomed. But a relaxed striped suit in black or grey is far less official yet still on the desired elegant side. You may also opt for a non traditional white shirt, and drop the bow-tie. Play it by the ear or talk with the wedding couple, evening weddings often turn into parties so the dress code may be pretty loose. Bear in mind weddings have massively changed over the years, especially since the end of the pandemic.
Additionally, you may want to add a white pocket square if you wish, but this is less commonly seen in black-tie wedding guest attire. If you choose to wear a cummerbund, suspenders are also an extra that is non-obligatory but can be used to add a bit of personality to your look. For an even more dashing style, cufflinks can balance a bit of the monochromatic tuxedo.
If you are struggling with colours, stick to the basics – black. Black tuxedo, black bow tie, black waistcoat or cummerbund, and black shoes. Do not, however, wear a boutonniere as this is conventionally reserved for the groom and groomsmen.
Finally, and most importantly we have to mention this one again-If you are still in doubt, it is probably best to contact the betrothed couple to enquire more about the dress code and their wedding guest attire expectations since after all, it is their wedding.