Who says you need to wear a three-piece suit on your wedding day?
These days, there are no “wedding rules.” You can get married at a church or on a beach, host a micro wedding, or even livestream a virtual event. What you wear for your nuptials is up to you, too—and some grooms like to wear a casual wedding suit.
A casual wedding suit should reflect your personality, the wedding location, and vibe. Colors and fabrics can help dress down a suit and evoke a more casual aesthetic. Two-piece wedding suits are popular for grooms who want a less formal look, and suit jackets can be taken off throughout the night—or ditched altogether. Use accessories, like suspenders and shoes, to personalize your suit.
If you consider yourself a casual groom, check out these more laid-back wedding suit ideas for grooms.
Before you make a purchase, you want to make sure that your wedding attire matches the formality of your big day. Is your wedding taking place during the day or at night? In the summer or in the winter? A casual wedding suit only works if your nuptials are casual; sadly you can’t rock sneakers if your dress code is black-tie. Venues that are more laid-back, like barns or backyards, allow for informal dress. Be sure that your partner and wedding party are also all adhering to a casual dress code.
Black is considered a formal suit color, so if casual is your MO, stick to lighter tones. Grey, blue, and tan are all classic options for groom’s suits. For a spring or summer wedding, light grey and pale blue evoke a laid-back vibe and are great for outdoor weddings. If you’re getting hitched in the fall or winter, you can still wear a casual suit; navy, dark grey, and even burgundy are considered less formal than a black tuxedo.
Patterns, like plaids and pinstripes, are another way to dress down a wedding suit. That’s not to say all patterns are informal, but use the same judgment as you would with a dress shirt: A Hawaiian print is not as formal as a striped shirt. You can also wear a solid color two-piece suit and pair it with a patterned dress shirt, which gives an extra pop of personality without going overboard. Floral shirts are great for the summer, and plaids are ideal for a fall wedding. If you do wear a patterned dress shirt, be sure it complements the suit.
Another way to play with colors and patterns is with a “mismatched suit.” This means a patterned jacket with solid colored pants, for example, or dark jeans with a fitted navy blazer. It’s a bolder look, but looks creative when done right.
Fabrics help determine how formal or casual a wedding suit is. Casual summer wedding suits are typically made of lighter fabrics like cotton and linen, and often don’t require a tie. Fall and winter call for fabrics like wool and tweed. While wool may sound like a formal suit material, you can ensure it’s more casual through styling techniques like no tie and desert boots.
A two-piece wedding suit is a popular option for grooms who want to look sharp but still casual. Single-breasted jackets are a bit more informal than double-breasted jackets, but color, fabric and how you style the outfit will affect formality, too. The great thing about two-piece suits is that the jacket can be taken off after the ceremony, creating an even more lax look for dinner and dancing. While a tie is traditionally part of the suit, you don’t need to wear one. Beach weddings are a great example of how no-tie looks suit the environment.
A popular look for casual grooms is a dress shirt and pants without a jacket. Others will rock a vest and a tie without a jacket. This look suits rustic venues, like laid-back wineries, and is best for warmer months.
If you want to spice things up, throw on suspenders and a bow tie. It should also be said that you don’t technically need to wear suit pants; if the environment permits, a pair of nice khakis or jeans can work just fine.
A vintage suit is another way to add personality and turn traditional wedding outfits on their head. Vintage suits often come in fabrics that you can’t find off-the-rack. If you’re a fan of retro fashions or want to wear a family member’s suit, have the garment tailored to fit your shape.
You can also go the custom suit route and have an outfit made just for you. Work with a tailor to select the best fabric and style for your casual wedding. While custom suits are pricier than off-the-rack options, they fit like a glove.
An easy way to make your suit look more casual is through footwear. Pairing stylish sneakers with your suit conveys a laid-back aesthetic and also makes it easy to dance the night away. Hats and caps—but not baseball caps!—are also a fun way to make a suit look more casual. Like we mentioned, suspenders are a fantastic accessory for casual grooms. Pocket squares and boutonnieres are also ways to add colour and texture.
It’s up to you if you want to wear a tie or bow tie. Some casual grooms wear their dress shirt without any neckwear, while others sport a fun bow tie for a hint of personality. Again, make choices that reflect you.
Casual suits are perfect for laid-back weddings. If your natural style is more informal and your wedding venue suits the look, don’t feel pressure to dress up in a way that’s not you. Find a color, fabric, and style that suits your wedding. You’ll look happier in wedding photos where you’re dressed like yourself.