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A bride with her dad on her wedding day. They're arm in arm, talking and smiling naturally together. She holds a bouquet of flowers and a bridesmaid walks in the background. Photography credit Lasting Impressions by Lucy

Wedding style guide for fathers

Top image: Lasting Impressions by Lucy

When there is a wedding on the horizon, it’s easy to only focus on the happy couple’s style choices, but the fathers of the wedding party need to look stylish too. Here, Jack Jahan from Ramsdens Jewellery shares his tips for choosing outfits and accessories for the big day.

Getting ready for your child’s wedding is exciting, but it can also be stressful. There are lots of decisions to make and of course you want to look the part as the father of the bride or groom. So, if you’re feeling a little lost and want to make the most of this special occasion, we’ve brought you a guide on how to choose and style the perfect outfit, whatever the theme, location or season of the wedding. While it used to be common for men in the bridal party to hire matching suits, this isn’t always the case nowadays – so if you need a little help, read on!

Follow the wedding dress code

It might seem obvious, but you should start your outfit search by working out what the dress code of your child’s wedding is, as this will tell you how formal your attire needs to be. There are levels of formality when dressing for an event like a wedding, and it can be confusing. To help you decipher your wedding invitation, here are the most common types of dress code for weddings.

  • Semi-formal: Go for a suit, but feel free to be more adventurous with your accessories and colours.
  • Casual: Outdoor or beach weddings are often more laid back, with trousers and a collared shirt being the appropriate attire. You can add a tie, but it’s normally not essential.
  • Black tie: Wear a tuxedo or a formal suit.
  • White tie: This is the most formal type of attire. It requires men to wear jackets with tails (normally as part of a tuxedo), a white shirt, and a white tie.

It’s more likely no dress code will be given on the invitations, in which case you should just ask your son or daughter what they’d like you to wear!

Photographer credit: York Place Studios, London & UK wide

Colour coordinate

Sometimes the simplest style tips are the most effective, and colour-coordination is one of those. Look at the palette being selected for the wedding — there will be a colour scheme for the couple’s outfits, their bridal or groom parties, the décor, and even the invitations and cake. Most people choose a colour scheme that runs throughout their whole wedding, such as blues and greens, or autumnal colours like gold and burgundy. 

You can either go for full colour-coordination, with a dark green suit to match a leafy palette, or you can opt for a neutrally toned outfit with accessories that pick up on the event’s colours. This might be a grey or black suit, with a tie or pocket square the same colour as the wedding flowers. Or you might pair a neutral suit with a shirt that matches the clothes of the other wedding party members.

Add your personal style

It can be difficult to work your own personal style into a formal outfit, especially if you don’t wear much formal attire in your day-to-day life. However, by using accessories, you can really bring individuality to your wedding ensemble, and your child will love that you have brought your own character to the day.

Things like glasses, bow ties, hats, bright pocket squares and coordinating socks can all make your outfit pop, and make it more ‘you’. So, experiment with pairing your suit or jacket with fun accessories, and see what you like. Some new frames for glasses, or a new hat, can really make a big difference to the overall effect.

Choose the right accessories

Your accessories can really make your wedding outfit stand out, so it’s important to pick the right ones. Leave yourself enough time prior to the event to choose cufflinks, jewellery, ties, and even socks that match your suit or jacket.

A pair of cufflinks is a classic choice that will elevate your ensemble, and a pair of diamond cufflinks can really make your suit look polished and thought out. You might also try choosing a silver or gold watch, or finding a watch with a strap that matches the leather of your dress shoes. Don’t be afraid to add pendants, signet rings and even bracelets too, as classic jewellery items will not only look great on the big day, but be beautiful reminders of the occasion for years to come.

Dress for the weather – and be prepared!

It’s important to make sure that you not only look comfortable, but also feel comfortable throughout the day, and part of this is dressing for the weather. Take a note of what time of year the wedding is planned for, and how much time you’ll spend outside — if the wedding is outdoors in the countryside, you’ll need to consider the forecast more than you would for an entirely indoor event.

In the summer months, you’ll want to stick with light fabrics such as cotton and linen, that will be breathable in the heat. But in colder climates, you’ll need to choose thicker garments, such as a suit with a lining. Layers are also extremely useful on chilly days, as you can add a cardigan over your shirt, or a stylish coat over your suit, if it gets cold.

Choosing what to wear for your child’s wedding can feel overwhelming, as this is a big day for all the family. However, by using these tips, you can put together an ensemble that will make you look and feel the part, whether you’re walking your child down the aisle or posing for photos.

Claire Gould

Claire spends her days writing - either in beautiful calligraphy or online. She lives on the edge of the English Lake District only minutes away from the beach, where she loves to escape and unwind. Claire's calligraphy can be found at www.byMoonandTide.com. Claire launched the English Wedding Blog in November 2009 - it's been a top 10 UK wedding blog ever since, with a regional focus we hope you LOVE.

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