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The Groom’s Guide to Dress Codes + Cheatsheet!

Fashion & Beauty

So you picked THE DRESS and have a whole vision of the style of your wedding day set. Then comes the time to figure out what the groom + groomsmen will wear. Ugh, right? You don’t want to be the one asking them to buy suits they will wear once, but also know that going to a rental tux place is not your guys’ idea of spending a Saturday afternoon together. Lucky for the men in your life, not only can you rent online with The Black Tux, but you can also get head to toe looks that fit them like a glove (no more ill-fitting dress pants!), with quality materials that make your old idea of renting tuxes a thing of the past. Hello 2018!

groom tux

Now that you have your men taken care of with where they will go for their wedding day looks, it’s time to talk about another topic that every guy should know: dress codes! You can easily set a dress code depending on the style of your wedding dress, with formal and romantic gowns (think dreamy ballgowns and sparkly mermaid numbers) that a black tie would be perfect for, to flowy and boho beach brides that a casual “no dress code” would be more fitting for. But how the heck can you tell the difference between casual and cocktail attire? Isn’t cocktail casual?

The Black Tux will break it down for us with a cheat sheet of dress code for the guys. Whether you’re part of the wedding party or will be a guest at a wedding this year, knowing what each dress code means will save you time from the rabbit hole of online research:

groom casual suit

1. Black Tie

This is one of the most formal dress codes a guy will receive to attend a wedding (juuuust behind white tie). If the invitation is for a black tie wedding, expect an ultra elegant soiree with a strict dress code. The good news is that it makes it easier for you to choose what you will wear, as the choice of colors is just black and white. Lucky you guys!

Groom black tux
Style pictured above: Shawl Collar Tuxedo

black tie wedding groom

Black tuxedo:
Black bow tie
White tuxedo shirt
Black patent leather shoes

Button studs
Pocket square

2. Black Tie Optional

The optional in black tie optional doesn’t let you off the hook as easy as it seems. Black Tie Optional still expects you to wear a tux but it gives guests the alternative to wear a dark suit in case they can’t wear a tux. This means you’re expected to the keep the formality of a black tie event whether you’re wearing a tux or not, meaning, dark colors only.

Black or midnight blue tuxedo
Black and white satin bow tie or necktie
White tuxedo shirt or dress shirt
Black patent leather shoes

Pocket square

3. Creative Black Tie

Think of what you’d wear to the Grammy’s to walk up to receive your award. A black tux is always a good idea, but you can be a little more adventurous with a dinner jacket or even with a super sleek suit to keep it all dressed up.

Blacktux Creative
Dinner jacket tuxedo
White tuxedo shirt or dress shirt
Pocket square
Patent leather shoes or velvet loafers

4. Cocktail Attire

Cocktail hour is my favorite. HA! Seriously, while cocktail hour attire isn’t as stiff as a black tie, it’s dressed up just enough so that it’s not casual. It’s like dressing up just a teeny bit more for an evening event right after work. This means a sharp suit and accessorizing a bit more than you would go to work. Show them your style!

Blacktux Cocktailattire
Style pictured: Navy Suit

Blacktux Cocktailcoll

Navy or blue suit
Solid color dress shirt
Pocket square
Black or brown leather shoes
Necktie or bow tie

Tie clip

5. Casual Attire

If you see casual attire on the invite, don’t assume it means flip-flops. You will often wear casual attire for beach, destination, as well as daytime weddings. You will never go wrong with a suit, but you can also play up your style with a blazer and dress pants.

Blacktux Casualattire

Style pictured: Light Grey Suit

Blacktux Casualcoll

Suit (anything but black)
Dress shirt (solids or patterns)
Necktie (optional but recommended)
Pocket Square
Brown suede shoes

Suede belt

6. No Dress Code

This is often not spelled out in the invitation, but you will understand the unspoken expectation based on the wedding destination, time of day, and season. It’s not quite “anything goes”, but it’s definitely not the occasion for a tux.

Blacktux Nodresscode
Charcoal or navy suit
White or solid color dress shirt
Patterned necktie, bow tie, or no tie,
White pocket square
Brown leather shoes

Head over to The Black Tux to learn more about how it works when it comes to ordering your (or your groom + groomsmen’s looks), and have your suit or tux delivered to your door, tailored and ready to go!

This post is sponsored by The Black Tux. All opinions are our own. Thanks for supporting for our sponsors!

What is #ourkindoflove Story? Enter to win $250!


For all lovebirds out there, WeddingWire wants to hear what makes your love story unique! There are no two love stories alike, and each one of them is as special and beautiful as the next. From long time beaus to soon-to-be spouses, besties to fur babies, we want to know what love means to you. And to sweeten the deal, Wedding Wire is giving away a chance to win one of five weekly prices of $250. Read below for the details!

engagement session idea

This social media campaign fittingly called #ourkindoflove is running through March 31st, and it’s all about celebrating the uniqueness of each love story. Have you and your beau gone through trying times or share a devoted passion for traveling? Do you make each other laugh or perhaps are high school sweethearts? Tell us about you and take a look at how to enter.

engagement session photo

Your commitment to one another goes deep and the love you share for one another can move mountains. Shout it from the web mountaintops why your love is unique – to share, visit the #ourkindoflove Wedding Wire’s social media campaign page to customize a photo that captures your kind of love and then upload it to Instagram with hashtag #ourkindoflove and tag @WeddingWire. Each share on Instagram will enter you for a chance to win one of five weekly prizes of $250!

modern same sex wedding

Fun right? If you’re getting married soon, the cute graphic overlay you will make with their tool is a fun engagement announcement on Insta (wink!).

Ready to enter and share? Here are the steps:

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engagement session  idea

Head over to this landing page on Wedding Wire to get started, we can’t wait to see your entries!

Wintery Vineyard Wedding Beneath a California Oak

Bohemian Weddings

When you have a couple as adorable as Lauren + Nick, you’re bound to be stricken with their boho style and innate charm. Their golden hour vineyard wedding is all of that and more with “I do’s” beneath a towering California oak. Totally idyllic on its own, the scene was enhanced further by a wild + unruly floral installation from Best Day Ever Floral Design. We’re starry-eyed over their reception styled by Two Roads Event Co., with mustard cloth napkins, color-blocked utensils, and gorgeous rattan thrones. Game over for any hopes of remaining chill when you see their drippy cakes as well! So without further ado, Lauren + Nick’s fab bohemian luxe nuptials.

boho wedding dress bride and groom portraits
Read more

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