Stunning Summer Wedding Colors for Men
It’s summertime, and romance is heavy in the air. Your inbox is overflowing with invitations to weddings of all sorts, and you’re trying to plan your way around them all. Or maybe you're the lucky groom-to-be, and you are trying to find the best colors for your summer wedding.
While it sometimes feels like men miss out in the event arena—with much less versatility in style than women—that isn’t true if you have a partner like Oliver Wicks on your side! Today, our expert team is diving deep into the best wedding colors for summer, no matter what your role in the proceedings, and how to choose summer wedding colors for men that will leave you looking stylish, masculine, and elegant the whole day.
- How Important is Color for a Wedding?
- What are the Most Popular Summer Wedding Colors?
- What Type of Colors Should Men Wear for a Summer Wedding?
- Wedding Clothing Etiquette
How Important is Color for a Wedding?
Ah, this is the million-dollar question. On paper, being worried about colors seems like the last thing a busy couple trying to plan their union should worry about, right? In practicality, a wedding is one of the largest expenses a couple will face and a very important celebration of a lifelong commitment.
While things can get a little frenzied during wedding planning, and you may be left scratching your head as to why they matter, it’s a day that the happy couple wants to remember fondly forever. And let’s be honest, attractive photos that look unified and fantastic are a key part of any wedding celebration. So, let’s take a closer look at what ‘wedding colors’ mean to the wedding party and their guests.
Work With Your Wedding Planner
We’re about to get into the details of wedding color, but alongside what you read today, note that wedding planners often create a palette of colors for the wedding theme. Before you even begin browsing for a suit, this can shortlist your options dramatically. It’s not just color either, this can also point you towards certain shades and tones, removing a lot of the guesswork.
Wedding Colors and You
First up, what are wedding colors? It’s typical in a modern Western wedding for the couple to pick a palette of complimentary colors to tie all the aspects of their wedding together thematically. This will be used from the bridesmaid dresses to the tablecloths to provide a cohesive feel to the wedding. Typically, this is most critical for the wedding party, and guests will often be asked to select their outfits on this basis.
Sometimes, this color theme is based on personal taste, but typically, seasonality and even what’s trending will feature in the decision too. For example, they could choose to use rustic summer wedding colors to tie into a country theme or want the Pantone color of the year to stay trendy.
Conforming to the chosen colors is an etiquette must if you're at the wedding party. The couple will usually give you guidance on this. For men, it could be as simple as matching your tie, cumberbund, and accessories to the wedding colors—or they may expect a full colorful suit. You’ll already be familiar with the matching gown colors that most bridesmaid parties use; this is the same idea.
For designated important guests, like proud fathers, it’s more usual to be asked to dress in a color that matches the wedding party. Still, you aren’t typically asked to dress identically to the groomsmen and bridesmaids. If this is you, don’t be the sour soul who refuses to buy into the wedding spirit—make an effort to match expectations.
Guests are often left to choose their own wardrobe, but it’s a very good idea to know the wedding colors anyway. Mostly so you can steer away from them unless otherwise asked! Imagine how odd it could look if you, the neighborhood silver fox, arrive in the same colors as the father of the bride or the groomsmen—people may wonder what your role in the ceremony is. Of course, some couples will ask you to match a specific color; if that’s your guidance, it’s good etiquette to follow, and don’t make a fuss about it.
Dressing for Summer
There’s another reason to consider which colors to wear to a summer wedding. It’s a happy event in a bold and bright season. The couple will still want a smart wedding (unless otherwise indicated), but dragging out your heaviest, darkest suit is going to look vastly out-of-place for the weather and make you look dour and dull.
You will also feel uncomfortable and hot and fail to enjoy yourself. Did you know that certain colors reflect light differently? Black, for example, absorbs the full light spectrum and heats you up, whereas white reflects it all. This is why some colors are recommended to keep you warmer or cooler, season dependent. Likewise, lighter and more breathable fabrics keep you intrinsically cooler.
So, as a rule of thumb, even if you’re a guest and haven’t been asked to wear the actual wedding colors, you’ll want to choose suitable fabrics and colors that reflect the warmer, brighter season and that will keep you cool and comfortable throughout the day.
What are the Most Popular Summer Wedding Colors?
There is no such thing as one ‘best wedding color for summer’. Instead, the best way forward is a subtle combination of celebrating the brighter, warmer, more relaxed season, balancing it with the chosen wedding colors, and adding some flair. Paler floral-inspired palettes will look best early in the season, while warmer, bolder hues look fantastic as you hit the summer/fall transition. Then, of course, there are trends in the wedding industry.
The most popular summer wedding colors for 2023 are
- Emerald green
- Dusty rose
- Sage green
- Bold and soft yellows
- Bright navy (fantastic news for men)
- Dusty blue
So, you will see palettes like sage green and peach, gray and dusty pink, or mint and pink early in the season, transitioning to richer ideas like white and emerald green, red, white and blue, bold blue and orange, or blush and gold at midsummer. Meanwhile, a late summer wedding could lean into rustic earth tones with pops of yellow, wine, and sage green or champagne and chocolate.
As a rule of thumb, you’ll note that soft and seasonal colors trend early in summer, bright and bold at midsummer, and rich but colorful as the season finishes. But the couple’s personal tastes will always play a factor, too. Now, let’s look at some enduring summer season colors for men.
Navy and Other Blues
Practical, versatile, and already in most stylish wardrobes, navy is ideal for your suit (especially in the evenings). Soften it up early in the season with a pastel shirt and deeper pastel accessories, embolden it at the peak of the season with a bright tie, and keep it warm and deep as the summer finishes. Day events and early-season weddings are the perfect opportunities to experiment with softer blue suits. Blue is a can’t-go-wrong summer wedding choice, so keep it on your radar.
Blush and Champagne
A common term for not-quite pastel pink and darker-than-ivory brownish hues, champagne is a fallback for weddings everywhere. Most men won’t want a blush suit, and champagne is a bit close to white, but these two, and their dusty rose cousin, are great for shirts and accessories in summer.
Greens and Reds
Greens were once a forbidden wedding color, but they’re just too alluring to skip. From an elegant forest green suit for an evening summer wedding to a bold emerald green tie and pocket square, there’s a lot of versatility for men here.
Burgundy or maroon can be a great suiting choice late in the season and evenings, while rubies and dustier reds make great colors for summer-round accessories.
Fuschia, primrose, rose, violet… They aren’t just for flowers! With the world blooming outside, there’s a perfect opportunity to echo that in your ensemble. Keep the very bright colors for accessories, however, so you don’t outshine the couple.
Peach and Orange
We often steer away from this bold color for daily wear, but they work great at weddings. A peach shirt, for example, can pep up a gray suit for the sunnier weather, while a bold orange tie could be just the thing to lift a duller navy and make it summer appropriate. Not sure how to pick the right summer tie? Try our guide.
What Type of Colors Should Men Wear for a Summer Wedding?
As you can see, the best summer wedding colors vary a lot, and personal taste will add even more variability to the mix. The same late summer wedding colors that would look magnificent may be too bright and over the top for a wedding in the first blush of summer. So, your two primary drivers—as a man looking to choose a summer wedding color—should be the guidance you receive from the couple and what’s appropriate to the weather and time of the event.
Choosing a Suit for Summer Weddings
Start, as always, with your suit itself. A summer wedding could be the perfect time to get a little experimental and crack out a soft pastel suit, but make sure you aren’t clashing with the wedding party. Unless you’re very bold and self-confident, there’s nothing wrong with sticking with cooler, paler neutrals in a light suit material—you can add some extra color through accessories.
The earlier in the day the wedding starts, the paler your suit colors can be. Here, something like our pale gray pick and pick suit would be perfect. Bolder souls might look to our cobalt linen suit to make a splash and stay seasonal. A Southern-style wedding in a vineyard practically calls for a classic seersucker suit.
However, the above suits may look a little too light and breezy for a formal evening wedding. Here, you may lean into something like our mid-gray suits for a nice balance of seasonality and formality. Pair them up with brown leather for a season-appropriate switch. With the right accessories, a light, bright navy, or intense blue, could even work. If the wedding itself is less formal, you could play with that and try a denim-like look in breezy linen.
At the end of summer, a rich burgundy could bring some joyful class, and a pale camel in linen could add some classic neutrality, though it would be a bit heavy color-wise for early summer. And summer could be a great time to play with some patterns, as long as they aren’t too overwhelming.
You likely get the idea. Charcoals, navies and black are always classic options, but you have a ton of flexibility if you want to do things differently and work with more color..
Remember the Oliver Wicks motto when choosing your suit—the suit that fits you—and ensure that your experiments with color don’t let you leave the house looking sloppy. If you’re uncertain of how your wedding suit should fit, we have a series of handy fitting videos to help you get the perfect look every time, and they’re free! All you need to do is create an account on the site (no purchase necessary), and you’ll have access to these and many more helpful tips and tricks.
It’s summertime, so unless the event is late in the evening, you’ll likely want to skip the heavy classic wool suit. You’ll be too hot and look too staid. This is an event and season that’s calling out for cool cottons, lazy linens, and light, breezy fabrics like seersucker.
Just to be clear though, we’re ruling out heavy wool, not wool altogether. We carry wool fabrics in various weights, some are winter-specific, but others are lighter, all-seasonal and suitable for summer still.
With a cool, breezy summer suit in the bag, you can have fun with seasonal colors and accessories. A summer wedding is a great excuse to forgo the classic white shirt (although you will never go wrong with that) and go for pale pastels like soft blush, baby blue, or lavender. Choose a light, seasonal tie and pocket square, and use it to tie your overall outfit into the joyous occasion and warm season with some pops of bolder color.
Should I Wear a Full Suit?
When in doubt, the answer is yes. Suit separates (like a blazer and crisp, clean pants) can look great at morning and afternoon weddings in summer, but only if the wedding dress code is less formal. Whether black-tie or full formal, a suit should be your default out of respect for the couple. And unless the invitation or the couple specifically state otherwise, suit separates should be the least formal you get—no shirts and pants unless you’re invited that way!
Let’s circle back to black-tie and wedding dress codes for a minute. Black-tie is the only wedding dress code where a tuxedo is mandatory for important guests and strongly encouraged. In summer, you may get away with something a little different (as a guest), like a navy tux or tropical dinner jacket, but it’s always worth checking the couple’s expectations. Otherwise, a suit is likely to be the best option in summer, even for a full formal.
Are There Forbidden Wedding Colors for Men?
While people will be more forgiving of outfit gaffes with male than female guests, you still don’t want to be that person.
It should go without saying that white and white-adjacent colors are off the menu entirely unless you’re the groom and there’s no bride or the bride is happy to share the spotlight. The only exception to that is the ivory dinner jacket in the ‘tropical black tie’ ensemble. As a man, you might get away with an ivory suit at an informal beach-type wedding or during the day, but it’s still not the best choice to make.
Black has become a much-debated wedding color choice. At more modern weddings, it’s now acceptable for female attendees to crack out the ‘little black dress,’ as long as it is light-hearted, an appropriate length, and non-funerary. And black remains a staple for men in black tie and formal wedding setups. But it’s summer, and black will look horrifically out of place otherwise, especially during the daytime. Think out of the box for this one, gents, and leave the black for elsewhere. If you have to use an existing suit, opt for navy and dress it up with some summer accessories.
Other than that? There are a few colors that are off-limits for men. Basically, don’t be a peacock. Keep the ultra-bright colors and the flash accessories for a time when you’re the star, and let the happy couple enjoy their day in the spotlight. Celebrate the season with appropriate wedding colors for summer, but don’t go over the top.
Wedding Clothing Etiquette
On that note, let’s dabble in some other men’s summer wedding dos and don'ts.
First up, remember the dress code. For the two most formal wedding dress codes, you’ll want to err more traditional. If it’s semi-formal or below, you have a lot more freedom to experiment and relax. We’ve mentioned that a good jacket is a must for most circumstances. Your only real exception to that would be a very informal setup, like a beach wedding, or when you’ve specifically been asked not to wear suits. In general, expect to add at least a blazer to your look, even if you shed it part way into the event.
If you’re wearing a suit, add a tie. In general, save bow ties for tuxedos and tuxedos for black-tie. Of course, a quirky couple may not mind you breaking that rule for some fun, but run it past them first. An open neck can be appropriate for informal weddings.
And as for accessories, keep them classic and neat. A wedding is still a major event, so while the summer season lets you have fun, stick to metal or leather watch bands, elegant cufflinks (if called for), and subtle statement jewelry. Match your leathers through the outfit. If you’re using a pocket square, typically, it’s your choice of color, but keep that and your tie in the same color spectrum for elegance.
We’re sure you now feel much more empowered to make a season-appropriate summer wedding color choice, whether you’re planning your own celebration or attending someone else’s. Oliver Wicks is proud to offer our stunning custom suits in various fabrics and colors, so don’t be shy to choose the perfect combination. And our expert team can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org at any time to discuss your needs.
A wedding is a special celebration, whether you're a groom or a guest, and it’s always great to bring the bright hopefulness of summer into your wedding attire, so don’t be afraid to have fun.