What Does the Father of the Bride or Groom Wear?

Hint: Everyone's look should be complementary.

Bride and Her Father


A lot of thought goes into what the mother of the bride and groom should wear, but what about the dads? What should the father of the bride or groom wear to a wedding? After all, it is a huge event in his life, so if there was ever a time to help dad plan an outfit, this is certainly it.

In order to bring attention to the fathers of the evening, we tapped the experts at Men's Wearhouse to find out exactly what they should consider when planning their wedding day attire. Read on for insight into what the father of the bride and groom should wear, and how to ensure everyone's look is coordinated.

What Does the Father of the Bride and Groom Wear?

The father of the bride and groom's outfit should generally fall in line with what the groom and the groomsmen are wearing. This isn't to say that all dads need to be a carbon copy of the groomsmen, but they should complement their attire in some way. "A great start is determining what the groom and groomsmen will be wearing, so the father of the bride looks in sync with the rest of the group," advises Men's Wearhouse. "You want the father of the bride to feel comfortable in what they’re wearing and it should feel connected to what the groom is wearing in terms of fabric or formality."

For example, if all the groomsmen are wearing light-colored suits, dad should opt for a lighter-hued suit, too. Or if the groom and wedding party are wearing tuxedos, the father of the bride or groom should also wear a tuxedo.

In no case should the father of the bride (or groom) overshadow the groom. If the groom is wearing upscale beach attire, dad should follow suit and reach for his best Tommy Bahama button-down.

Father of the Bride and Groom Attire Tips

As soon as there's a dress code established, all dads should be immediately consulted in order to decide on the best style of suit or tuxedo. And once an ensemble has been decided on, there are a few attire tips to consider before placing a final order for formalwear.

Collaboration Is Key

The couple should chat with each dad and let them know their attire preferences for each father. The dads might have their own ideas, but chances are they'll appreciate any guidance and want to go along with the overall wedding vision. "The father of the bride can absolutely choose his own attire but should confer with the to-be-weds to make sure it aligns with their aesthetic," adds Men's Wearhouse. "Often, the couple will help the father choose his wedding look to ensure he, and they, are happy with what he will wear."

Order All Looks at Once

Oftentimes, suit stores will offer a discount when renting or buying several suits for members of the wedding party. Thus, couples should definitely consider adding the father of the bride and groom's attire into the groomsmen's order for a potential discount. Additionally, the groom always has the option of inviting his father and/or future father-in-law along when he goes shopping for his suit and his groomsmen's looks. "This is also a fun event for the wedding party and inviting the father of the bride will make him feel included!" notes Men's Wearhouse.

Men's Wearhouse advises ordering wedding party suits three months prior to the wedding if renting, while custom suits require about four weeks.

Don't Forget the Accessories

"The easiest and most subtle way to inject some extra personality is with accessories," says Men's Wearhouse. "Think of it as the extra ten percent. Whether a lapel pin or boutonniere that might have meaning to the wearer, a pocket square in a fun pattern, or even playful socks, there are numerous ways to inject some fun and character into a formal look without sacrificing the respectful presentation to the ceremony. Just be sure the accessory does not overpower the suit or tuxedo."

It's also important to note that the father of the bride and the father of the groom don't necessarily have to match the groomsmen's accessories. Dad can wear a tie, bow tie, and/or pocket square that complements what the groomsmen are wearing, or he can choose to coordinate his accessories with his partner's attire. "The father of the bride should feel free to experiment with accessories," continues Men's Wearhouse. "If he is a bow tie wearer, he should choose a bow tie that goes with the overall color scheme. If he has a favorite pair of dress shoes, see if he can incorporate those into his look. If he favors three-piece suits, allow him the freedom to wear a vest."

As for the belt and shoes, dad doesn't need to match the groomsmen, but particularly detail-oriented brides might opt to set a single color for the fathers and the groomsmen to stick to (i.e. black or brown).

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