There are some rules of thumb for men to consider when deciding what to wear to a wedding. Appropriate dress will vary depending on where the wedding is held, what time of day it occurs, and whether or not the couple decides on a formal or informal reception.
For a morning or informal daytime wedding, a dress shirt and slacks with a sport jacket is acceptable. For a semi-formal daytime reception, upgrade to light or dark colored suit. If the invitation says formal, but it will be held before 6 p.m. wear a dark suit – not a tuxedo.
Evening weddings require a tie at the very least. If it is a casual reception, you can still wear a blazer and slacks, but anything formal is going to mean a dark suit. An invitation to a black-tie affair usually means that at least some of the guests will be wearing tuxedos; if this is not an option for you, make sure you dress as formally as possible in a dark suit and tie.
A tuxedo is mandatory for an ultra formal evening. If the invitation specifies ‘white-tie’ you will need a white shirt, vest, tie and cummerbund. Otherwise, the standard black tuxedo with a white shirt and black bow tie is expected. Colored tuxedos are never appropriate. If the wedding is in a trendier city such as New York or Los Angeles, you might be invited to a ‘Creative Black Tie’ wedding in which case a black shirt may be worn and the bow tie omitted. The same hold true for ‘Texas Formal’.
Never wear a tuxedo during the daytime unless,of course, you re in the wedding party. Endeavor to have a tux available for very formal evening weddings. If you are in doubt as to the proper attire, a dark conservative suit and tie will almost always be appropriate. Remember, you won’t want to stand out in the crowd, or distract from the wedding party.
Whatever the occasion, if you have the proper attire you will not have to worry. Brush up your dancing skills and prepare to enjoy yourself; that is what weddings are all about!