We put a huge amount of time and thought into what certain important people will wear to the huge event that is a wedding – the mother of the bride, the bridesmaids, the best men – but what does the father of the bride wear to his daughter’s wedding?
It’s a big day for him too – he may have the very important tasks of walking his daughter down the aisle and delivering a speech, so he will certainly be front and center in all the photos!
Here, we discuss everything you need to consider when thinking about what the father of the bride should wear… this also works for the father of the groom too.
Does the Father of the Bride Wear the Same as the Groomsmen?
The father of the bride’s outfit will not be the same as the groomsmen’s but typically will be in keeping with what the groom and his groomsmen are wearing.
He doesn’t have to wear the same suit – the father of the bride has a different role and should stand out – but his outfit should complement their outfits. This can be in color, style, or accessories.
For example, the father of the bride and the father of the groom may wear accessories such as a tie that matches or compliments the ties of the rest of the wedding party.
At my wedding, there was no way that my dad would have been comfortable wearing a dark berry-colored suit like my partner and his best man did. So, instead, we got him a green tie that matched theirs. That way he was linked to them, but he stood out.
Discuss the Dress Code With Him
Once you have decided on your dress code, have a chat with your dad about his options. Talk to him about the formality of the wedding – are you going for black-tie, casual vibes, or something in between?
Set up an open line of communication about what to wear so that he can openly talk to you about his thoughts and ideas.
And what about a color scheme? Do you have a preferred color for your father’s suit? There are many options, so make sure you discuss with both dads about whether you’d like to see them in a classic black tuxedo – or perhaps a more informal gray or blue suit.
For a super casual wedding, talk about what kind of button-down shirts he can wear, whether he needs to wear a tie and a suit jacket or not, etc.
Include Him When Ordering the Groomsmen’s Attire
If you are buying several suits together for your groomsmen, then you could consider including the suits for both fathers in this order.
This still doesn’t mean they all need to be identical suits – but you may find you get a nice healthy discount with the more you order!
Heck, the groom could always invite his dad and future father-in-law along when he chooses his groomsmen’s suits. This could not only be a great bonding experience for you all, but it will also make them feel included AND you can make sure you’re happy with the options that the dads choose!
Dads Can Accessorize Too!
There are lots of ways that both fathers can accessorize their wedding outfits and inject their personalities if they wish. Again, they don’t necessarily have to match the groomsmen’s accessories.
Firstly the tie – perhaps it matches as we discussed above. But if he wants to stand out, perhaps it just matches in color but has a different heavy print.
Maybe the father of the bride/ groom would like to wear a bow tie – he should be allowed to wear one with pride – just make sure it matches the color theme!
A Pocket Square
Pocket squares are another way that the dads could stand out – there are lots of fun patterned options out there to choose from and a pop of color is always fun!
Perhaps the two fathers could wear matching pocket squares? That could be cute.
Remind both fathers that they may be pinning a boutonniere to their suit lapel so bear that in mind when making decisions about loud and bright pocket squares and ties. (For more info on who wears a boutonniere, see here).
If they want to inject more of their character or personal style into their attire they could choose a playful pair of socks to wear.
Belt and Shoes
Let him choose the belt and shoes that he is comfortable with – these do not have to be brand new, but if you are expecting the wedding party to be matchy-matchy then let them know in advance!
Coordinating With His Partner
The other option the father of the bride/ groom has is to coordinate his accessories with his partner’s outfit, rather than the groomsmen. This can be super cute to see your mom and dad in a matching color scheme for your special day.
I think the key thing is communication – ask both fathers in advance what they are planning to wear so there are no unwelcome surprises on the day itself.
Allow Enough Time
Figuring out what the father of the bride/ groom should wear to the wedding shouldn’t be a last-minute job – the earlier it can be sorted the better.
Make sure they leave enough time for proper measurements to be taken, ordering, and alterations – this alone can take several months.
Whether he purchases or rents his chosen suit, he should pick it up several days before the wedding day so that he can try it on and ensure it is perfect and no further alterations are needed.
Check-In on the Father of the Bride!
Top tip – Some fathers might be feeling a bit overwhelmed at the number of wedding-related tasks ahead of them. I know my father was terrified about doing a speech at all three of his daughter’s weddings – and I’m not sure he really enjoyed the attention on him walking us all down the aisle!
So make sure you check in on him in the weeks leading up to the wedding. You want to make sure he feels confident and also comfortable in his final decision on what to wear to the wedding.
It’s important to be understanding – so if he doesn’t like the shoes or the tie he’s been given to wear for example – be flexible and let him find something else that he feels more comfortable with.