A Man's Guide to Weddings

All the tips, tricks and style you need to thrive during the wedding season.
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Apr 18, 2014 | By HB HQ

Welcome to wedding season—the time of the year to celebrate love, commitment, your Aunt Deirdre’s dance moves, an open bar, and one enormous cake. It’s our favorite time of the year.

Weddings mean good weather, good friends, and good parties. And wrapping that together, there's good style. It's the season to display your debonaire sartorial instincts—the jeans and t-shirt can stay the go-to in the daily, but the well-rounded man needs to know keep up with all the class, class, class.

We’ve put together a game plan for how to stay appropriately casual, or get formal with individual flare. It’s style strategy, broken down into three simple looks: Casual, Semi-Formal, and Formal.

We’ve done our diligence to keep down costs, so you can survive the season without surrendering the savings. And, in honor of tradition, we’ve included some Rules of Wedding Style. Seamus O'Toole. Bobby O’Shea: let’s get dressed.


Pant: Jack Donnelly ($98); Shirt: Lumina ($84); Belt: Jomers Sagamore ($17); Socks: Richer Poorer ($20); Shoes: Nisolo ($140); Watch: Timex Weekender ($84); Cologne: Fulton & Roark ($35); Sunglasses: Knockaround ($30).

Rules of Casual Wedding Style

Rule #15: In hot settings, wear light colors and light fabrics. Stick with cotton, poplin, seersucker—things that breathe. Colors also help hide sweat (it happens), and while the starched white shirt is a good look for the wedding party, it's not ideal for the casual guest.

Rule #47: Don’t outdress the groom. Beach weddings, casual outdoors, and your Cousin Lenny’s third tying of the knot don’t require black tie attire. This is the groom’s day, so let him keep the spotlight.

Rule #91: Stick with summer sunglasses. The reflective aviator look fits for security, not guests. Wear frames with an approachable vibe, because being approachable's always a perk at the reception.

Suit: Suit Supply ($400); Shirt: Lumina ($84); Tie: Bedford & Broome ($35); Pocket Square: Kiriko ($29); Sunglasses: Smith ($119); Cologne: Fulton & Roark ($35); Watch: Daniel Wellington ($229); Socks: Richer Poorer ($20); Shoes: Tretorn ($65); Flask: Izola ($20); Pomade: Imperial ($22).

Rules of Semi-Formal Wedding Style

Rule #15: Mix up textures and patterns. If the suit’s got a houndstooth weave, match with a plain shirt. Then, pair with a tie with texture, and you’ve reached the texture/pattern trifecta.

Rule #32: Sneakers are cool, if you can rock them right. Slim profile shoes (like SeaVees or Sperry’s) work best, and make sure they’re spotless. They look best with a tapered leg, so make sure your pants are properly fitted (see Rule #44).

Rule #73: Pocket squares matter. The teary lady next to you will appreciate it (bring two, keep one in your breast pocket), and they can add final flare to your look. The colors don’t have to match, but it should be in the same range as your tie, socks, and belt.

Suit: Suit Supply ($500); Shirt: Lumina ($84); Socks: Richer Poorer ($20); Shoes: Nisolo ($140); Belt: Leather Belt ($55); Watch: Daniel Wellington ($229); Cologne: Fulton & Roark ($35); Sunglasses: Randolph ($125); Tie: Pierrepont Hicks ($75); Pomade: Imperial ($22); Pocket Square: Kiriko ($29); Comb: Chicago Comb ($39).

Rules of Formal Wedding Style

Rule #44: Get a tailor. An ill-fitting suit will ruin your entire vibe, so make sure the suit fits. If you’re curious of a proper look, consult the oracle: Art of Manliness.

Rule #39: Make the knot match the collar. A full windsor’s too bulky for a slim fit shirt, but the four-in-hand, that’s real nice. The knot should match the collar and the tie width should match the jacket’s lapel width. Keep it all in sync, and the look will come together.

Rule #8: Nail your tie dimple. No one’ll notice, no one’ll compliment, but you’ll know—that dimple is perfectHere’s how.

Rule #76: Details make you distinct. Tasteful socks, a classy watch, and a contrasting tie all make you stick out. Play with what you’re given (within range).

Other Awesome Tips and Tricks

  • Drink lots of water.

  • Don’t forget sunscreen.

  • Pack a suit right.

  • Dance with grandma.

  • Stay up all night.

  • Dryclean and repeat.

To get all the above looks (and more!), check out our hand-picked, highly-curated, Wedding Shop. And then, never forget to give the best wedding gift: the unforgettable memory of your presence. 

Special thanks to Paper Antler for the wedding photos.

For more of their work—and for bookings—visit: Paper Antler.