Source: Photo by Beck Rocchi, via Nouba.
Warm weather weddings offer up a host of opportunities for the groom to show off their well-groomed credentials, but they can also be a minefield when deciding on a style for the big day. Following on from our previous guide to wedding suits we have our definitive guide to men's summer wedding attire.
The term ‘warm weather wedding' covers a lot of possibilities, it could be a wedding in July in Ireland (if you're lucky!), or a destination wedding such as a summer wedding in the south of France or a beach wedding in Antigua, to name just a few. But when considering men's summer wedding outfits, what you should think about first and foremost is the theme and style of the wedding. For example, take a wedding in a Chateau in the south of France. This could be a grand ballroom affair with a very formal style (think Black Tie) or it could have a garden party style (think braces and bow tie) calling for a much less formal approach.
Whatever the style of the wedding we have some great options for you to consider and a host of other style tips to keep you cool on the big day.
Men's formal summer wedding attire
Summer Black Tie Wedding
Our most formal warm weather option shares most of its traits with the Classic Black Tie dress code, that we detailed in our groom's guide to wedding suits, with the most noticeable difference being the jacket which in this case can be white or ivory. Think Daniel Craig in Spectre or Ryan Gosling at the 2017 Golden Globes (pictured in Gucci).
The same general rules apply, just like with classic black tie it is suitable for evening functions (after 6 pm), worn with polished patent leather shoes and jackets should be 1 or 2 buttons. Waistcoats are replaced with cummerbunds or you can do away with the cummerbund and go for a set of braces.
Having an evening ceremony has the benefit of generally being cooler and your guests may appreciate this, especially if formal wear is to be worn, rather than sweltering in the heat of the day.
Style tip: Double-breasted jackets are available, but we advise against them as the overlapping of the jacket would add unnecessary fabric for the hot weather.
Lightweight wedding suits
Source: Left - Chris Spira Photography, Middle - Modern Gentleman Magazine, Right - Erich McVey.
A truly great option for a warm weather. We love this option because it gives you so much freedom while maintaining a polished and smart look. When we say light suits we're talking about colour, fabric and structure.
Style tip: Light greys, pale blues or creams are perfect colours for hot weather, stay away from dark colours which absorb the heat. Look for natural lightweight fabrics like linen, cotton or ultra-fine wool and jackets that are unlined, or half lined. This will help greatly in keeping you cool on the big day.
Coloured Blazers and Chinos
Source: Left - Polly Alexandre, Middle - Kat Braman via Southern Weddings, Right - Absolute Bespoke.
Coloured blazers and chinos are a superb option to replace traditional summer wedding suits and for showing off your personal style credentials. You'll have almost unlimited options which allows you to choose a combination that complements the bride's style as well as the wedding location and theme. Again, light colours and fabrics work best for hot weather. Greys and creams are classic choices, but pastel colours or stripes are fun and work perfectly, especially in warmer climates. Set the look off with a patterned bow tie on a block-coloured shirt.
Style tip: The cut and fit of the blazer and the chinos are paramount. Take the extra time to get these taken in, let out or shortened/lengthened as needed.
Men's casual summer wedding attire
Source: Left - Vis Photography via Ruffled Blog, Middle - Dorothy Gautreaux via Style Me Pretty, Right - Sarah Yates via Green Wedding Shoes.
If you're going for a more relaxed affair, consider ditching the jackets altogether. Smart trousers paired with a waistcoat can be the perfect look and gives you many options to choose from. Cream and grey are classics, paired with a white shirt and a coloured tie (think pale colours).
An important point to remember here is the size and fit. I'm quite a tall guy and I have what tailors refer to as a long back. This means finding a waistcoat that fits me well is difficult, so I generally stay away from them. A poorly fitting waistcoat, either too loose or too short, can leave you looking boxy or with your shirt poking out at the bottom like an upside-down muffin (not a good look). So make sure you try a few on and talk to the tailor before committing to this look.
Style tip: For a more rustic look, pair your waistcoat with a nice check shirt.
Braces and Bowtie
Source: Madison Baltodano via Weddings Costa Rica.
This look is ideal for a country garden party style wedding. Braces, patterned shirt, and bow tie give you a relaxed and stylish look. Without the extra fabric of jackets or waistcoats, you and your groomsmen will cool and comfortable. Grey flannel trousers with a white shirt gives you a classic and timeless look or you could opt for a check or paisley shirt for a bit more flair.
Style tip: If you're wearing braces then you're not wearing a belt, period. You can also use the braces to distinguish the groom, using a different colour for the groomsmen.
Source: Left - Blonde & Coin, Middle Pinterest - Right - Jose Villa via Once Wed.
Shorts are the perfect men's wedding outfit for the beach or a seaside wedding. We're talking about tailored shorts, not your comfy board shorts that you lived in on your last getaway to the Canary Islands. Done right this can be a great casual look but it's hard to pull off well. The shorts should be tailored, just above the knee ideally paired with a white shirt and a summer suit jacket. Not a look for the faint of heart but can be quite elegant if pulled off correctly.
Style tip: This look is suited to the more youthful groom and best left to those with a lithe and healthy physique.
Keeping cool on your wedding day
In warm weather, it's going to happen, but there are a few things you can do to keep it under control so you're looking (and smelling) your best for your summer wedding. First and foremost is antiperspirant - use it and use it right. Most antiperspirants are designed to be applied just before you go to bed, not in the morning. The reason is so it has time to be absorbed into the underarms. Roll-ons and creams are better than spray on and make sure you're using these for at least a week prior to the big day.
Also, looking through wedding photos online (Pinterest is great for this when trying to find inspiration for your wedding day attire) you'll notice a lot of grooms and groomsmen in warm weather roll up their sleeves. This can give a relaxed but still smart look and works best with a slim fit, tailored shirt. To do this right, have one person roll up all the sleeves for the groom and groomsmen to give a consistent look.
Another option is to get underarm sweat pads (yes, there a real thing). You'll find them in most major pharmacies and there are specialist men's brands. This might seem over the top, but a lot of things are going to conspire to make you perspire on the big day. Warm weather, nerves, speeches, circling photographers, the new in-laws, your own relatives, all these things will work against you staying fresh and dry, so why take any chances?
Style tip: If it's going to be a scorcher of a day, I would advise buying 2 of the same shirts so you can change half way through the day to keep you looking fresh and photo ready.
The big day is not the time to end up looking like a lobster, trust me there will be plenty of photographic evidence. Get plenty of good sunscreen (SPF50) and use it, we recommend an aerosol spray for your face, it is easy to apply, dries quickly and doesn't leave you looking shiny. Reapply every 2 hours if you're going to be outside. No amount of post-production editing from your photographer/videographer will be able to help. Have one of the groomsmen put together an emergency backpack with all the necessities (this goes for any wedding, warm weather or not).
We'd recommend buying rather than hiring all of the above options, with the exception of black tie, and especially if you are having a destination wedding. Destination weddings can cause headaches when hiring as it's likely you'll need an extended rental period, may need additional insurance as the suits are leaving the country and returning the suits can be a hassle if your groomsmen will all be arriving home at different times. To find out more, check out our article on the decision to hire or buy your wedding suits.
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