How to Dress Dad: Fab Father of the Bride Suits

Father of the Bride SuitsPhoto: Bella DC/Clapp Studios

Have you dreamt about being walked down the aisle since you were a little girl?

Whether it’s your dad, step-dad, uncle, or any other father figure accompanying you, one thing is for sure:

This will be a magical, memorable part of your wedding day.

After all, it’s the first glimpse your spouse-to-be (and your guests) will get of you in your gorgeous dress!

And while all eyes will surely be on you, he will be right by your side. The two of you will be captured in photos and in videos forever — and you’ll both want to look your best!

Dressing him for the trip down the aisle can be loads of fun. But there are a few things to keep in mind when helping him select his father of the bride attire.

Here’s how to dress him so he looks absolutely fab on your wedding day!

Dad is Not a Groomsman

The father of the bride has a special role in a wedding, but he is not a member of the bridal party and should not dress like one.

Dad’s look needs to stand out — but just a bit. There’s no need for him to wear the same suits as the groomsmen, but his suit should coordinate. This is the case for the groom’s father as well.

It’s kind of like when they do a team challenge on Project Runway. As Nina Garcia always says, the looks don’t need to be matchy-matchy, but they do need to be cohesive.

Here’s what you need to remember:

Dads should dress with the same level of formality as the bridal party. 

If you’re having a formal affair, he should wear a black suit, a dark grey suit, or a navy blue suit. If you’re having a laid back summer wedding on the beach, he can go casual in pants, sandals, and a button-down shirt.

His suit doesn’t need to be the same color as the groomsmen’s suits, but it should be in the same color family. If the bridal party is wearing light-colored suits, dad should too!

And there’s no need for the father of the bride and the father of the groom to match. 

In fact, they shouldn’t.

Let each dad have his own unique look, as long as it coordinates with the bridal party’s color scheme.

Looking for the perfect bridesmaid dresses?

To Tux or Not to Tux

If the groom and groomsmen are wearing tuxedos, dad needs one too. And even though most tuxedos tend to have the same vibe, there are ways to make him stand out from the groom and groomsmen.

Choose a tux for Dad that has slightly different lapels or trims. Have him wear a different type of shirt, a bow tie, or add a vest.

The formality of your wedding day should dictate what everyone wears, including your father. But if he isn’t the most fashionable guy you’ve ever known, you may need to have a conversation about the dress code.

He may think that his favorite black suit is appropriate for any occasion. But that’s not the case if you’re getting married on the beach and your groomsmen are wearing beige linen suits …

Help Dad Find the Right Look

Father and bride walking down the aisle

Photo: Bella Mobile/Cameron Flaisch

As much as you love your dad, with all of his quirks and goofy jokes, your wedding day is not the time to let him choose his own outfit.

Steer him away from wearing his favorite suit that he wears to the office every week. This is a big event, and he should look as polished and as put together as he possibly can. Your wedding day is NOT the day for repeat outfits!

When it comes time to choose a suit or a tux, give him some guidance to help him select a modern fit. 

That doesn’t mean you need to dress him in super skinny trousers and a tight-fitting jacket. But you also don't want him to wear loose, wide-leg suit pants or an oversized jackets.

Accessories make a big difference too. Pocket squares, patterned ties, and the right socks can make or break his entire look. Help him make smart fashion choices!

The shoes he wears might be the most important accessory of all. He doesn’t need to wear the same shoes as the best man and groomsmen, but he should wear shoes in the same color family. If the groomsmen are wearing brown shoes, so should Dad.

When in doubt, follow this rule of thumb:

Dad should be dressed a notch above the other guests at the wedding. But he shouldn’t look any fancier than the groomsmen, and he definitely shouldn’t outdress the groom!

Send Dad Shopping With the Groomsmen

Rental shops have a ton of variety, so we love the idea of sending Dad shopping with the groomsmen when they go to pick out their wedding attire.

Dad should wait until the groom and groomsmen decide on their looks before he chooses his own. If he prefers to buy rather than rent, hitting the rental shop with them will at least give him the chance to see what the other guys will be wearing.

If he does decide to rent a suit or a tux, he may want to buy his own shirt, tie, and accessories to differentiate himself from the bridal party.

Encourage your dad to make some individual fashion choices that show his personal style. And don’t be afraid to step in and help him customize his wedding day look.

And for the girls, head to Bella Bridesmaids!

Make Dad Feel Comfortable and Confident!

Father and bride at altar

Photo: Bella Little Rock/Lela & Lyla Photography

It can be tricky dressing your dad for your wedding day. 

You need to find that balance between dressing him in what you want him to wear and letting him walk down the aisle in what he wants to wear.

Just like marriage, finding a wedding outfit for your dad is all about compromise!

Don’t put him in a skinny, contemporary suit if he’s not comfortable wearing one. We get that you want your wedding party and the key players to look super fashion-forward. But forcing your dad to wear something totally opposite of his style isn’t the way to do it.

If he prefers a classic fit suit, let him wear one. Where you can impose your fashion sense is by making sure it’s tailored to perfection.

If Dad doesn’t want to wear a pink tie or rock a pair of crab-print socks for your beach wedding, don’t make him. Guide him in his choices by presenting him with options, but ultimately, let him make his fashion decisions for himself.

Your wedding day is a big moment for your dad. Whatever he wears, you want him to feel good, be comfortable, and exude confidence so he can enjoy every moment of the celebration!

Conclusion

The father of the bride and the father of the groom will be major players in your wedding day. And one way you can make them feel important is by outfitting them in wedding attire that makes them stand out from the crowd.

Let Dad know how formal your event will be so he knows if he needs a chic black tuxedo or a casual linen suit.

Send your father shopping with the groom and groomsmen. Not only will it be a way for him to see what the other guys are wearing, but it will be a bonding experience.

Assist him in creating the perfect look by helping him choose his suit, tie, and other accessories.

Walking you down the aisle might be a big moment for you, but it will also be a big moment for Dad! 

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