Image by Luke Going Photography via Carmen and Garvin’s Elegant Winter Solstice Wedding

Let’s be honest, one of the most important things about a wedding are the photographs. No one wants to look at their wedding pictures and grimace because the bridal dress and groom’s suit don’t match! Sure, the dress may be beyond compare and the groom looks like a Greek god, but if they look horrible together, or bog down the vibe of the wedding, it could be a disaster.

Today, we’re going to go over the 3 steps to pairing bridal dresses with wedding suits, and then we’ll go over some tips and tricks that can have a big impact on the day.

3 Steps to Matching Bridal Dresses with Suits

Maybe it isn’t as easy as 1-2-3, but with these steps in mind you’re going to avoid many of the common pitfalls, especially for the DIY weddings without professional planners.

Step #1: Choose Your Wedding Theme

The most popular route is to simply match the bride and groom’s attire with the season. So if it’s a fall wedding, you match the autumn leaves outside with their wild orange and yellow earthy tones. Or, if it’s a summer wedding, you go with bright hues or perhaps pastels and regional flower colors.

Image by Thorson Photography via Michelle and Piero’s Vintage Country Wedding

While modern themes can range from the rock star and Gaelic-style weddings, to caves and forest settings or roller rinks, this first step is common between all themes and styles. It’s like picking the wallpaper theme before furnishing a room. The groom has never and will never be the star of the wedding. A suit simply cannot stand up to a wedding dress, and that’s why the theme is the first to be chosen and then..

Step #2: Choose the Bridal Dress

With the theme and its corresponding colors nailed down, it’s time to do some wedding dress shopping. This is one area where most grooms won’t be involved so it’s best to let the bride sort this out before you begin to choose the groom’s attire. There are so many different styles with near limitless coloring options. The important thing to remember is that each “dominant” color can be broken down into shades so you don’t have to choose a deep pink dress just because it’s a spring wedding.

Step #3: Pick a Complementary Suit

Okay, so you’ve got the theme and bridal dress picked out. The hard part is out of the way. Now, once the style of suit has been chosen, find a small component to match to the dress. This could be anything really. Here are four pretty straightforward options:

  • Undershirt/cuffs
  • Flower on boutonniere
  • Ties/bowties
  • Vests

To make matching easier, many bespoke tailors offer stylishly colored tuxedos/suits sporting unique stripes or patterns that have the color you need inlayed within them. The idea here is that you don’t want the bride and groom’s attires to match too closely, because they’ll end up completely overwhelming the wedding (not to mention the photos). Subtle choices make the biggest difference.

Tip #4: Let Class and Decorum Be Your Guide

To simplify things, just go with time-tested traditional looks. When fashion isn’t the best guide and it leads you into nothing but a headache, follow conventional wedding etiquette and then use the finer details to personalize things.

Image by Nectarine Photography via A Cheeky Little Wedding – Part 2

Tip #5: Consider Evening/Sunset Outdoor Weddings

This can be tricky when it comes to photographs, but with the sun a little dimmer and not straight up overhead, colors are toned down, and by default the mood is less formal.

Tip #6: Semiformal Attire Works Wonders

To really streamline and look amazing, choose to walk the fine line between conventional formality and the semiformal look. Semiformal works anywhere and at any time. Both the bride and groom can choose a look they’re comfortable and gorgeous in without going overboard. Another plus is that this leaves room to splurge more on the reception, the photographer and the general wedding environment.

In Summary

Let’s sum it up just to make sure you’ve got everything. Again, here are the three simple steps to matching the bride’s wedding dress with the groom’s suit.

1. Choose the theme and color palette first.
2. Choose the best complementary bridal dress.
3. Choose a component of the groom’s suit that matches her dress. It doesn’t have to be outrageous. Subtle works best.

Ms Gingham says: There’s so many style and combination options that any wedding can really be quite personalised now. These are some great starting tips from Martin!

Martin says: I’m co-founder of Montagio Custom Tailoring, we’ve tailor made 1000’s of mens suits for weddings and helped many a groom get the perfect custom designed look they were after. I’m also the author of our blog.