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Dressing Dads for Your Wedding Day

Wedding days are once-in-a-lifetime experiences, and as such, the bride and groom, bridal party, and immediate families spend a lot of time deciding on what to wear to the big event.  Special wedding garments like a white wedding gown and veil or a tuxedo are usually worn by the bride and groom, but what should the dads wear? Dads deserve to wear something special, too.

There seems to be differing opinions when it comes to what dads should wear to their children’s weddings but the one rule that seems to be universally agreed upon is that the fathers, stepfathers, and even grandfathers of the bride and groom, should dress to match the formality of the event. For example, for an evening formal or semi-formal wedding where the groomsmen are wearing tuxedos, the dads should wear tuxedos. For a morning wedding where the groom and groomsmen are wearing a morning suit, the fathers should wear a morning suit.  If the groomsmen are wearing dark suits, then the dads should wear the same.  Dads are such a special part of the couple’s lives they should be dressed equally as nice as the rest of the bridal party.

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Photo by Wayne E. Chinnock

According to online forums and chat rooms, some brides prefer to have the dads wear exactly what the groomsmen are wearing but many brides get creative in order to make the dads stand out.  Here are some ways to differentiate the dads from the rest of the groomsmen and the groom:

  • Different shades of color: Have the groom, groomsmen, and dads all wear accessories in different shades of one color.
  • Stripes/Solid Colors: If selecting a black shadow stripe tuxedo or suit for the groom or groomsmen, have the dads wear solid black or vice versa.
  • Style: Have the dads wear a double-breasted version of the single-breasted tux or suit the groomsmen are wearing or vice versa.
  • Choose one type of accessory for the groomsmen and another for the dads.  For example, if the groom and groomsmen are wearing long ties, put the dads in a traditional bow tie.
  • Have different boutonnieres made for the dads, groom, and groomsmen.
  • Traditional wedding attire for dads: Dads of Scottish or Celtic heritage may opt to wear a kilt to the wedding while Filipino fathers might wear a Barong Tagalog, an embroidered shirt worn for weddings and formal occasions. It is also quite appropriate for active or retired military fathers to wear a uniform.
Rhode Island Tuxedos Rhode Island wedding tuxedo Rhode Island wedding tuxedo Rhode Island tuxedos

Morning Suit

Single Breasted Tuxedo

Scottish Kilt


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Engaging Moments
Image by:
Krista Handfield Photography
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Image by:
Oggi Photography

Dressing dads for weddings doesn’t have to be confusing.  The formality of the wedding and cultural traditions should determine the style of dress for dads but you can work with your groom, groomsmen, and fathers to achieve a look that is cohesive and comfortable for all.

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Keyhole Backs
The Right Style Gown
Bridal Gown Coverups
Add Color to your Gown
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Groom's Fashions:
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Beyond the Boutonniere
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Groom's Accessories
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Sunless Tanning
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Misc Articles:
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Bridal Purses
Rehearsal Dinner Dress
Wedding Bands
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