Groom's Guide: What to Wear (and What Not to Wear) When the Heat Is On, part II

By Tessa Woolf July 21, 2011

We're back with part two of our sartorial advice for grooms and groomsmen at summer weddings by Matt Serrao of Mood Events and Production. Earlier, Serrao gave us the scoop on stylish suits and shoes--now he shares the skinny on flip-flops, ties, and sunglasses. Read on for the 411 on what to wear--and what NOT to wear--when the heat is on!

SLPC B&G: Are flip-flops ever a "do" or always a "don't" for grooms and groomsmen at summer weddings?

MS: ALWAYS A DON’T. Period. There’s absolutely no reason why anyone in your wedding party should be wearing flip-flops, including the girls. I have a great "dressy" pair of leather flip-flops that I love to wear (I am from Hawaii after all, and where I come from we call them 'slippers.'). But just because they’re dressy flip-flops does not mean they’re appropriate for a wedding.

Guys, if brides and bridesmaids are going through the pain of wearing high heels, then you can wear shoes! And this entails wearing your shoes for the entire evening--don’t take them off to dance. Find a pair that is comfortable (see my earlier post about shoes), and don’t even think about Crocs as an alternative to flip-flops!

SLPC B&G: To wear a tie, or to not wear a tie---that is the question. What is your answer?

MSAlways, always, always wear a tie. As I said before, your wedding is (probably) not on a beach.  I know we (guys, I’m talking to you so pay attention) dream of looking all debonair with our shirt unbuttoned, chiseled chest showing, and a 3 o’clock shadow emerging... (While I’m on the topic of a 3 o’clock shadow, as much as guys think gals like that gruff look, they don’t. Gals want to kiss a well-shaven man--especially on their wedding day. My suggestion is either have your facial hair fully grown in, or shave it all off.  The 3 o’clock shadow just looks like you forgot to take care of your appearance. Now, where was I? Oh right!)... Looking debonair involves a tie! Think of James Bond, Bing Crosby, the male actors in Mad Men--all classic examples of guys rocking a tie.

It may be summer and it may be hot, but if James Bond can fight international villains, perform martial arts, fly through the air, and dodge bullets in a tux, then you can definitely wear a tie throughout the course of your wedding. Depending on your style, you can choose either a bow tie or a necktie. One more thing: You’re a big boy now, learn how to tie it yourself. No clip-ons allowed!

SLPC B&G: Final question: Is it OK for grooms and groomsmen to wear sunglasses during outdoor ceremonies and receptions?

MSBecause I don’t want to confuse anyone, I will be really precise in my answer to this question. Read carefully: If you are posing in front of a camera, sure, go ahead and wear your sunglasses. Wedding pictures with people in sunglasses have been taken with every combination under the sun: bride and groom, groomsmen, bridesmaids, groom and best man... Whatever the combination, if you have to snap a photo in shades, then do it and get it over with.

On a side note, if you’re going to take pictures with sunglasses, may I suggest trying something different from your everyday Ray Bans? How about Lady Gaga-esque shades? Geek chic is in--how about a pair of thick black-rimmed glasses? Or even an eye patch? Whatever you want--go crazy.

But, DO NOT wear your sunglasses during the reception and definitely not during the ceremony. (Brides, this applies to you, too!) Your photographer was hired to take pictures of your amazing day. They are there to capture your emotion, much of which will be shown in your eyes. So don’t cover them up. By wearing sunglasses, you’re basically hiding from the camera and your guests. Got it?

To summarize: Yes to posed pictures with sunglasses, no to everything else with sunglasses. If the temptation is too hard to resist, just leave your shades in the car. To quote one of my business partners, Alfreda, “Uck, you're at a wedding, not in an action movie!”

Hear, hear!!

So grooms and groomsmen, what did we learn about groomal fashion today from Matt? Never wear shorts, flip-flops or sunglasses (exceptions are noted) to a summer wedding; always wear a tie and a suit (as long as it's not white); cotton is less leg-rubby than linen; and I have a weakness for grooms dressed in seersucker...

A big thank you to Matt Serrao from Mood Events and Production for sharing your fashion tips and style advice, and making the wedding world more stylish one well-dressed groom at a time!