What Does The Father Of The Bride Wear?

Updated April 29, 2023

Choosing an attire for the bride’s father is nearly as overwhelming as choosing the bride’s wedding dress.

Yet, a father is, without doubt, a special guest who must look accordingly.

The bride’s father should consider numerous points when choosing the attire. These points include event formality, dress code, season, and venue location.

For example, an indoor winter wedding has completely different attire requirements than a summer wedding on a beach.

Matching father-daughter outfits always look sentimental and stylish. That sounds easier than it is in practice, though.

Apart from the suit, the bride’s father must also choose the right accessories. They complete the look, help coordinate the attire with the bride or groomsmen, and express your personality.

Finally, any look, and especially formal, only looks good when it fits correctly. The bride’s father must know the suit fit rules allow enough time for its alteration.

Follow the Dress Code

Every guest should follow the prescribed wedding dress code, with no exceptions. This should be your starting point in choosing the bride’s father’s attire. Thankfully, dress code rules don’t differ as much for men as they do for women.

Some points are worth noting, though. A white tie is the most formal dress code that requires men to wear a tailcoat suit with a lapel and white bow tie.

There’s no room for individual nuances. The shirt must be white, and the attire must fit perfectly. However, very rare occasions have this dress code. It’s always stated on the invitation.

The black-tie dress code is more common for weddings as it’s less glamorous yet still festive.

Typically, the black-tie dress code requires a tuxedo and minimum accessories – cufflinks and handkerchief are sufficient. There is a bit of room to showcase your individuality in terms of suit color or fabric.

The casual dress code gives you complete freedom of expressing yourself and experimenting. If the dress code isn’t stated in the invitation, casual is usually implied.

However, it would be best not to forget that a wedding is a one-in-a-lifetime event, and you should look presentable at least.

So you can’t go wrong with a shirt, suit trousers, and a waistcoat instead of a suit jacket.

Location & Season

The core purpose of clothes is to protect you from the environment, and looks come second. It would help if you considered the season and the expected weather to ensure you feel comfortable during the event.

For example, a wool suit may be too warm for a summer wedding, and a waistcoat may not be warm enough for winter.

Nowadays, you can find suits of any color and from any fabric. Suits of rich dark colors are best suitable for colder months, while light colors look best in spring or summer.

All it takes is a bit of search, and you’ll not only look astonishing but also feel so.

The location matters, too. Formal wear is excellent for indoor wedding venues but looks strange on a beach. This applies not only to your attire but also to shoes.

For an indoor event, you can choose shiny patent leather oxfords, whereas, for an outdoor event, loafers, derby, or brogues may be a better option.

Another point to consider for outdoor weddings is outerwear. When evening comes, and the air gets colder, you’ll likely want to wear a coat or jacket.

It must be appropriate for the occasion and go with the suit, the wind jacket you wear when running won’t do.

Match the Style

Finding out what others wear before choosing your attire is a smart move. Firstly, this will ensure you don’t end up looking like a white crow. Secondly, you can match your attire with the bride, groomsmen, or the groom’s father.

Matching outfits look beautiful in photos. No one will stand out too much if you match the attire with groomsmen. And if you match it with the bride, you’ll get perfect father and daughter pictures to look at for years to come.

Matching doesn’t equal choosing the same attire. For instance, you can select complimenting or identical color suits with the groomsmen but from a different fabric. Another option is to go for a full suit if the groomsmen are in waistcoats.

Coordinating with the bride is harder. If she’s wearing bright accessories, such as blue shoes, you can choose an attire of matching color. But if her look is totally white, you can at least match the style.

Stay Special

The bride’s father is no regular guest. So you’re nearly as important at this wedding as the couple themselves. No matter how good your relations with your daughter are. Without you, she wouldn’t be standing at the altar on that day.

That’s why your attire must be different from other guests, especially the groomsmen. The father of the bride has a unique role and shouldn’t fade on group pictures.

It’s okay for you to look more sophisticated and formal than other men at the event, but don’t go overboard.

A great way to stand out without breaking the dress code is to choose a suit of unusual color or pattern.

I don’t mean neon green with pink flowers (unless the bride accepts it, of course). Instead, Burgundy, royal blue, or grey striped suits look elegant and far from boring.

Don’t Overshine the Groom

While the bride’s father is a special guest and must look accordingly, the couple must remain in the spotlight. Ask the groom what he’ll be wearing on this special day. You must compliment him but not outdress him, even if you’re capable.

If the groom wears a casual waistcoat without a tie, wearing a sophisticated three-piece suit means going overboard. If he’s wearing a full black suit with a white shirt, you may draw more attention wearing bright attire.


Accessories can ruin the whole attire or bring it to the next level. These small details are critical when you’re wearing a classic suit.

Suit accessories must match the event dress code, coordinate with the wedding color scheme, and be stylish.

A tie is the most noticeable and common suit accessory. The choice of a tie can change the style of an entire look.

A bow tie is perfect for a formal look and is the only right choice for a white tie dress code.

On the other hand, a bright paisley-print tie is a fun way to liven up casual bride father’s attire. Plus, the easiest way to match with the bride or groomsmen is by choosing the same color of ties.

A pocket square is yet another traditional suit accessory choice that can add a pop of color to otherwise formal attire.

However, don’t use a pocket square of the same color and fabric as your tie. This looks old-fashioned and unsophisticated. Instead, choose to complement color combinations, like blue and grey or orange and red.

The pocket square must be folded in a simple way. Otherwise, you risk looking overdone. This isn’t an origami contest.

Watch is one of the best men’s accessories of all time. It’s suitable for formal events and daily use, is practical, and can create a wow factor if needed.

The only rule here is that watch must follow the dress code. G-Shock watches are stylish but don’t go well with a tuxedo.

You can’t go wrong with stainless steel watches for a classic suit. However, opt for models with minimum design details. They shouldn’t draw all the attention.

Cufflinks are the men’s equivalent of women’s jewelry. This accessory is sophisticated and generally used for events with a formal dress code.

However, even a casual dress code wedding is a worthy occasion to showcase your best cufflinks.

Don’t match the belt and shoe color. That’s too old-fashioned. They must coordinate in terms of style but shouldn’t be from the same set.


Choose your bride’s father’s attire in advance to leave time for alterations. Even the simplest black suit can look astonishing if it fits like a glove.

On the opposite, an expensive designer suit may look terrible if it’s too tight or baggy.

Nearly all store-bought suits need alterations. The best option is to order a custom suit that fits all your measurements accurately. However, this option is costly and unnecessary if you’ll only wear it once in a lifetime.

When you go to suit shopping, pay attention to the jacket length. It must end at the middle of your palm when you’re standing straight.

The jacket collar shouldn’t flop away or bunch in the back. On the other hand, the sleeves shouldn’t be too short. If choosing between two evils, opt for long sleeves that are easier to fix.

When the suit buttons are closed, there should be no wrinkles in the stomach area. If you see an X-shaped fold, the back is likely straining, too.

Jacket shoulders shouldn’t dip, wrinkle, or flare. They should be perfectly straight, creating a constructed and clean look.

Choosing trousers is a bit easier. They shouldn’t be baggy, tight, or too short. The perfect length is about a half-inch above the edge of your heel.

Long trousers are relatively simple to alter. Ensure that you have enough space in the belt area, as weddings usually feature plenty of delicious food.

Consider Suit Rental

Good suits aren’t cheap. And unfortunately, not everyone can afford or is willing to spend a fortune on a single day. Thankfully, today, you can find a suit rental for relatively low prices.

But like with any other suit, a good fit is crucial. As you can’t alter a rented suit, you’ll have to spend quite some time searching for the one that fits.

Image credit: Unsplash

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