Does a guy have to wear a suit to a wedding?

posted 3 years ago in Grooms/men
Post # 3
401 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: January 2014

Does the invitation say that the dress code is formal? If so, he should wear a dark suit or tuxedo. If the invitation doesn’t specify a dress code, I think the outfit you described would be fine. 

Post # 4
81 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

 Are you close with the bride and groom?  Maybe you could ask them if you are unsure but I know that’s simpler said than done.  Could you possibly by a jacket for the pants if a new suit is not in the budget?  


Post # 5
8282 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2012

I think he should definitely wear a suit if it’s a formal wedding. 

Post # 6
168 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: November 2013

If the wedding is formal, at minimum he should be wearing a jacket. If you don’t want to spend money on a suit, go out and buy a sport coat or blazer that would work with the pants he already has. (Don’t try to match the pants!!!!) You can find something cheap in the $50-75 range or even find something at a thrift store. Your best bet in terms of versatility (and with what you’ve already listed) would be a navy blue blazer. (You don’t have to get one with gold buttons.)

Post # 7
42117 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

If it’s a true formal wedding, and he doesn’t wear a dark suit or tuxedo, he wil stick out like a sore thumb.

Does he have family or friends from whom he could borrow a suit? If not, maybe it’s time to buy one. Every man should own a suit, even just to wear to weddings and funerals.

Post # 8
975 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2014 - Banff, Alberta

@atreyu547:  Unless it is super formal then no. Nice shirt with or without tie is fine. 


Post # 9
730 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2014 - South Bonson Pier & Community Centre

@atreyu547:  always suit, unless it is explicitly casual.

Post # 10
5160 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2013

@julies1949:  +1.  If you can afford it, it’s useful for a man to have one suit in his closet.

If you can’t afford to buy him a suit, I’d get him a sport coat to go with his slacks and shirt.  Most weddings these days are not truely formal (formal means dark suit or tux) even if they say that on the invite.  However, I’d say the “normal” expectation I’d have for men at a wedding would be in a suit.  You really can’t go wrong with a suit.

Post # 12
8677 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: December 2012

I think a nice shirt, slacks & tie would be appropriate. I’ve never been to a wedding where people came, by default in a suit.

Post # 14
9526 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

If he had a suit, I’d say to wear it. But. Given thAt he doesn’t own one, I think he’d be okay in the outfit you described. On the other hand, it would probably be good for him to own a jacket of some kind, so maybe an investment in a jacket could be used for more than just this wedding.

Post # 15
3249 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

@atreyu547:  Time does not indicate formality.  It does determine what clothes are appropriate – formal clothing for the day time is different than formal clothing for the evening.  Is there a dress code on the invitation?  What, specifically, does the dress code say?

If you can afford it, get a navy suit, since he should have one anyway.  If that’s a hardship, go thrifting for a navy blazer – they’re not too hard to find.

Wearing a shirt and tie with no vest is vastly more appropriate than wearing just a vest.  If he wears a shirt and tie, people will go “well, he’s young, he probably doesn’t have a jacket.”  If he wears a vest people will go “whippersnapper doesn’t have a clue.” 

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