Can My Groom Wear a Tux to Our 'Cocktail Attire' Wedding?

Phil Anema of Christian Oth Studio

Wedding dress codes are complicated for everyone, including the bride and groom. You know not to shop for super-formal ball gowns for your beach wedding, and there are some groom looks that are more appropriate for a daytime celebration than an evening in a ballroom. But cocktail attire? That's a gray area that's often open to interpretation (and input from the type of venue and season you've chosen). So even if your wedding is cocktail attire, is it okay for the groom to wear a tux? Our experts weigh in.

While tuxedos are usually reserved for black tie events, if your wedding dress code is "cocktail attire" but will run on the dressier side, your groom should be able to pull off a tux. You have a few options for keeping his look from appearing as though he's dressed for a different event entirely.

The first option is to have the groomsmen wear suits that are the same color as the groom's tuxedo (most likely black). By having them dress down slightly while still matching, he'll stand out as the man of the hour, whereas an entire wedding party in formalwear could make guests feel underdressed.

Another choice is to have him wear a non-traditional tuxedo. Navy blue tuxes are all the rage, and look sharp with black lapels and a black bowtie. He could wear a full navy blue tux, or black pants with a navy tuxedo jacket. Tuxedos also come in charcoal gray, which are a modern option that's a little more casual.

And of course, remember that it's your wedding! If the two of you want to dress a little more formal (and it fits with your theme and your venue), by all means, go for it! No one will fault a bride or groom for wanting to dress up on their wedding day.

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