Style Blog/Style Tips

Three Tips on How to Style Fathers of the Bride and Groom

Published on October 14, 2018 Updated May 12, 2021

By Courtney Baldwin
Wedding tuxedos and suits for men. Wedding tips for the father of the bride.
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As a bride-to-be or groom-to-be, planning what you will wear as well as the attendants for your wedding is certainly one of the highlights of the wedding planning process.  But in all of this wardrobe planning, it is important to also remember the fathers of the bride and groom! Wedding day style for dads should not be forgotten. In addition to likely pitching in with some of the expense of the big day, dads have some very visible moments in the wedding including assisting the groom to get ready, walking the bride down the aisle, the father-daughter dance, toasts, and family portraits – which will become some of the most precious and most photographed events of the day, trust us. What better way to honor your father than to ensure he looks his best on your wedding day!

1. Suiting 

It is most common that the dads will wear suiting that is similar in color and formality to the groom and/or the groomsmen, but certainly not a rule.  If the groom is wearing a suit, it would appropriate for the fathers of the bride and groom to also wear suits.  Similarly, if the groom is wearing a tuxedo it would be appropriate for the dads to also wear tuxedos.  The level of formality of the event is usually dictated by the wedding venue, theme, and time of day that the ceremony will take place.  From there, the couple’s attire will usually set the level of formality for the wedding party attire.  In some occasions, the couple will decide that they want to be more formal than wedding party and the groom will wear a tuxedo while the groomsmen will wear suits.  In this instance, dads can either wear tuxedos to be in line with the groom or suits to complement the groomsmen. 

Suit color is another way to have the dads’ attire align with or distinguish from the groom and groomsmen look.  To create uniformity between the fathers and groomsmen, style them in the same color suit or tuxedo as the groomsmen. This will make it easy for coordinating suiting purchases and in the wedding photography the groom will clearly distinguish himself as the man of the hour in a different suit color than the groomsmen and fathers. Alternatively, the fathers can be styled in a color just their own, different from the groom or groomsmen. This is particularly common when the wedding suit color selected for the groom, groomsmen, or bridesmen is a bright, trendy shade like a bright blue or light gray. Oftentimes, fathers don’t feel comfortable in these bold colors and prefer to wear darker shades like navy and charcoal gray. Not only will the fathers of the bride/groom be more comfortable in a muted, complimentary tone this will also create a cohesive look for your wedding photos.

Oftentimes, fathers don’t feel comfortable in bold colors and prefer to wear darker shades like navy and charcoal gray.

2. Accessories

If you want to keep suiting uniform between the groom, groomsmen, bridesmen, and fathers, consider distinguishing the dads’ looks with unique wedding accessory choices.  A simple change in neck-tie or boutonniere is a great way to distinguish the fathers of the bride/groom from the other gents.  A common accessory for fathers, in particular the father of the bride, is a neutral color neck-tie (i.e. white, ivory, silver) that complements the bride’s gown.  Finally, a change in boutonniere style, flower type, or color is creative way to make dad standout without switching up the entire look.

3. Fit 

Outside of determining tuxedo vs. suit, the color of either, and the accessory choices, it is also important that you ensure that your dad has a great fit for his suiting. Fit is KEY for men’s suiting! Being in a great fitting suit alone will make your dad standout in a crowd. Sometimes older gentlemen prefer a more generous fit than some of the more contemporary slim fit suiting but even with that, it is important to nail a great fit. Key issues to avoid are suit jackets that are too long in the sleeves and pants that have extra fabric collecting around the ankles. Encourage dad to take his wedding suit or tuxedo to a local tailor to ensure a great fit! Read our Guide to a Great Fitting Suit for more help. 

No matter how you decide to distinguish the fathers of the bride and groom on your wedding day, be sure to put a little effort in to thinking about what makes best sense for your wedding and your dads! There is really no right or wrong answer. You will be glad you took to the time to consider their wedding style and we are sure that they will be honored to wear the looks that you’ve so lovingly selected.

Courtney Baldwin
Courtney Baldwin

Courtney Arrington-Baldwin is the co-author of GROOMS: A Professional Stylist’s Guide to Wedding Planning for Every Budget. She has a seasoned background i...

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