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Common questions about parties and weddings | Oscar Jacobson | Wedding FAQ

25 frequently questions about weddings

25 frequently asked questions about weddings

The Gentlemanual lists the 25 most frequently asked questions regarding what to wear for parties and weddings – and answers them.

25 questions

1. Do you have to have a dress code at a wedding?

No, a dress code is not required at a wedding, but it is common for the bride and groom to establish a dress code in order to both set the tone for the upcoming event and to help the guests reach a common mood on the big day.

25 questions

2. What is the biggest sartorial mistake you can make at a wedding?

Mistakes usually happen without intention, but if the bride and groom have specified a dress code on the invitation, it would be disrespectful and impudent to ignore it. In other words: follow it, no matter how much you dislike it.

3. What does the dress code ”summer pretty” mean?

The instruction "summer pretty" on an invitation is a very vague type of non-accepted dress code that, depending on the bride and groom and their choice of location for the wedding, can mean basically any types of clothes. As the host, in this case the bride and groom, it may be smart to stick to the codes of white tie, black tie, suit or blazer.

4. How do I know if the wedding I'm going to has a dress code?

The dress code is usually written at the bottom of a written invitation. If the invitation doesn't state a dress code and if you are unsure of what to wear, ask the bride and groom or a possible wedding planner, how the bride and groom are planning to dress, and then try to match them in terms of formality.

25 questions

5. I'm going to a wedding, but the bride and groom hasn't stated a dress code. Doesn't this mean white tie or come as you are?

No, it's not quite as easy (or difficult) as that. Lack of dress code on the invitation used to mean evening dress, ie white tie or traditional dress, but those days are long gone. Instead, come dressed as you wish in order to celebrate the bride and the groom and don't forget to show them respect with the clothes you wear. Are you unsure? Feel free to ask them what they are planning to wear.

6. Why do you have dress codes at weddings?

To set the tone for the upcoming event and to unite the guests on the big day.

7. My girlfriend and I will be guests at a wedding this summer. The dress code is Business formal, but I love black tie and intend to have it since it's a wedding. My girlfriend says it's not okay. Who is right?

It is rare for brides and grooms to appreciate guests who both "steal the show" and defy the dress code. In other words, your girlfriend is right; wear a suit and not a tuxedo.

8. Do you have to wear a flower in the buttonhole of your jacket lapel when you go to a wedding?

Definitely not. Sometimes, however, the groom wears a flower there. The flower is usually called a corsage and may match the bridal bouquet.

25 questions

9. What do you think about black tie weddings where the ceremony takes place at 3:30 PM and you're not expected to wear a tuxedo until 5 PM?

For practical reasons, it is much easier to wear the same clothes to church and to the party. Consider your and your guests comfortability rather than unnecessary changes in outfits.

10. Wearing socks with shoes at warm summer weddings? What's your opinion?

Assume that you should always wear thin dark socks with high shafts. If the dress code is liberally vague "summer pretty" and the location the Swedish or Greek archipelago, a pair of summer-tanned ankles could possibly be exposed in a pair of well-kept loafers with the linen suit.

11. Does a wedding suit have to be made of dark wool or does linen or cotton also work?

Linen and cotton could be a nice fit for a summer wedding, especially if the wedding takes place outside the city and in a more or less rural environment.

12. When do you wear a double-breasted suit and when do you wear a single-breasted suit to a wedding?

There are no such rules for this whatsoever, it's just a matter of taste and what you prefer to wear.

25 questions

13. Is it okay to wear a pair of fancy suede sneakers to a wedding where the dress code is business formal?

If it's a case of a wedding where there is no dress code, in the middle of summer, in the country side and your sneakers are more of the dressed kind, then yes, it could work. Otherwise, no.

14. Do you have to dress according to the dress code or is it okay to dress more formal? I mean wear black tie if the invitation says business formal?

No, stick to the dress code. To overdress because you think it looks better on you, or for some other strange reason, is not okay and chances are you wind up annoying both the bride and groom and the guests. Don't forget the difference between business casual and business formal, which is a sort of exception to this rule.

15. Is it wrong to wear a suit if the dress code at a wedding is business casual?

Not at all, in fact it's the opposite. The dress code business causal used to mean that the guest was expected to wear a dark suit and it still does in conservative circles. To be safe, interpret the dress code business casual as to mean a dark blazer, a pair of light-coloured trousers, a dress shirt and leather shoes.

16. What does the dress code business casual mean at a wedding?

See no. 15.

25 questions

17. I've gotten an invitation to a wedding where the dress code is black tie. I don't own a tuxedo. What's smarter – buying or renting one?

Buying is both smarter and a better look.

18. I'm going to a summer wedding. What kind of shoes should I wear to my suit?

Start from the dress code and choose shoes accordingly.

19. How should I think when choosing a tie?

Try to match the suit and the shirt when it comes to both colour and structure.

20. I'm going to three weddings abroad this summer. They have the following dress codes: cocktail attire, elegant dress and black tie. How am I supposed to dress?

Regarding cocktail and elegant, it is wisest to ask the bride and groom how they will dress, but aim for a dark suit, white shirt, tie and a pair of black oxford shoes. Black tie means tuxedo.

21. What really is the difference between a light and dark-coloured suit at a wedding and what should you aim for?

Well, aside from the colours themselves there is the degree of formality that these two nuances express. In general, it's the darker, the more formal, but fabric also has a say in the matter. Above all, aim for the type of garment that the dress code is intended for.

25 questions

22. Which is more correct: single or double cuff links for the dark suit?

Both are equally correct, but the double cuff is many times more formal and elegant, not least if the cufflinks are carefully chosen.

23. What do you think about linen shirts at weddings?

It can look great together with a blazer or a linen suit at a summer wedding.

24. Is it okay to wear a white tuxedo jacket at a wedding? If so, where and when?

It could look great if the wedding is held at a very warm place. Maybe around the Mediterranean or even further south.

25. What's the smartest way to pack your suit or tuxedo ahead of a wedding weekend?

Keep the jacket and the trousers on their hangers and hang everything inside a suit cover or garment carrier. Behåll kavajen och byxorna på sin galge och häng in allt i ett kostymfodral eller resegarderob som det också heter. These can usually be folded in half, which is practical if you need to place the suit on, for example, the luggage rack on board an airplane.