What Does the Father of the Bride Wear?

Everything a dad needs to know

Updated 04/29/19

Photo by Joshua Kissi

A lot of thought goes into what the mother of the bride should wear, but what about dad? What should the father of the bride wear to his daughter's wedding? It's a huge event in his life: His little girl is getting married and chances are he'll be front and center giving her away. If ever there were a time to help dad plan an outfit, this is it. Find out exactly what the father of the bride (and the father of the groom, for that matter) should consider when planning their wedding attire!

What Does the Father of the Bride Wear to the Wedding?

The father of the bride's outfit should generally fall in line with what the groom and the groomsmen are wearing. This isn't to say that the father of the groom needs to be a carbon copy of the groomsmen, but he should complement them in terms of color and 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 bridal party are wearing tuxedos, the father of the groom should also wear a tuxedo.

If, on the other hand, the wedding is a more casual affair, the father of the groom should keep it casual too—in no case should he overshadow the groom! To that end, if the groom is wearing upscale beach attire, dad should follow suit and reach for his best Tommy Bahama button-down.

Include the Father of the Bride When Ordering the Groomsmen's Attire

Oftentimes, suit stores will offer a discount when you're renting or buying several suits for members of the bridal party. You can definitely include suits for the groom's father and bride's father in that order, which gives everyone a welcome discount. The groom always has the option of inviting his father and/or future father-in-law along when he goes to choose his suit and his groomsmen's suits. The dads can pick out their own, and the bride and groom can be there to offer some helpful guidance.

Talk to the Fathers About Attire Early On

As soon as you've set a dress code and have a vision for the groomsmen's attire, the couple should chat with each of their dads! Let them know what you're planning and what you'd ideally like for each of them to wear. The dads might have their own ideas, but chances are they'll appreciate the guidance and want to go along with the vision.

What About the Father of the Bride's Accessories?

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 wife's dress. Ideally her dress is in the same color family already, so everything will blend together perfectly in photos. Let him choose what he likes!

If, however, you foresee a sartorial disaster—like your dad's planning to don a bright green tie and the groomsmen are sporting a burnt orange—speak up sooner rather than later, and gently nudge your dad in a better direction.

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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