We’re entering June, which means wedding season is in full swing. And even if you’re not the lucky groom, a wedding is one of those rare opportunities to drink on the house, show off those questionable dancing skills, and more importantly, dress up to the nines. So leave the office get-up for the cube, skip the rental tux from Joe’s One-Size Fit’s-All Formal and step into something a little more fitting for the special occasion—whether it takes place in a beautiful church, a cool city rooftop, a sleek modern wedding hall or the white sand beaches of some exotic island with a name you can’t pronounce (lucky you).

We know how confounding and stressful deciphering dress codes can be at times, so we’ve put together four looks for four different wedding settings so you can get through wedding season in style:


1. The Good Ol’ Church Wedding (Black Tie Formal)

Maybe the only real reason you’ve been waiting so eagerly for wedding season is to finally have an excuse to rock that fresh custom tux that you picked up earlier this year. When else are you going to tux up and strike a pose like God himself dressed you. Here’s a rule of thumb: if the invitation reads “Black Tie formal”, and you find yourself in a church, it’s the cue to keep it textbook and let the details do the talking.

Black Tie Formal means: A tux, black bow tie, cummerbund and patent leather shoes.

  1. Black Custom Tuxedo with Shawl Lapel by Black Lapel
  2. White Pleated Front Broadcloth Custom Tuxedo Shirt by Black Lapel
  3. Four-Pleat Cummerbund by Brooks Brothers
  4. Black Bow Tie by Black Lapel
  5. Tuxedo Studded Set Cufflinks by Black Lapel
  6. Solid Silk White Pocket Square by Black Lapel
  7. Black Patent Leather Oxfords by Alden


2. The Chic Wedding Hall (Black Tie Optional)

Maybe you’ve been waiting for that opportune moment to channel some Daniel Craig a la Skyfall with a modern twist on Black Tie (with a straight razor shave from a hot chick for good measure). Black Tie Optional means the host is probably wearing a tux and suggests that you get down with one too. Why not take the “optional” to mean a little more color rather than a license to dress down?

Black Tie Optional means: A tux or a formal dark suit and tie.

  1. Royal Blue Custom Tuxedo by Black Lapel
  2. White Pleated Front Broadcloth Custom Tuxedo Shirt by Black Lapel
  3. Black Bow Tie by Black Lapel
  4. Tuxedo Studded Set Cufflinks by Black Lapel
  5. Solid Silk White Pocket Square by Black Lapel
  6. Black Patent Leather Mayfair Formal Shoes by Allen Edmonds


3. The City Rooftop Wedding (Semi-formal, Dressy Casual)

All of your friends are either getting married or pregnant, but you’re just getting more awesome. So it seems like every week this summer you’re invited to a wedding, you know those cool rooftop weddings at a chic location on a breezy summer night. But what to wear? Your friend’s invite says “Semi-formal”, which usually means a full suit with a white dress shirt and tie (skip the tux). You see it as an opportunity to dapper up and have some fun.

Semi-formal means: A suit and tie, dark or light depending on the season and time of day. Nighttime usually calls for darker, more formal attire.

  1. Royal Blue Custom Suit by Black Lapel
  2. Pink Micro Check Broadcloth Custom Dress Shirt by Black Lapel
  3. Solid Royal Blue Tie by Black Lapel
  4. Navy Pink Ryon Knot Cuffs Links by Brooks Brothers
  5. Blue Twill Pocket Square by Black Lapel
  6. Pienza Brown Leather Oxfords by Boticelli


4. The Beach / Resort Wedding (Destination, “Beach Formal”)

Lucky you. Did your invite just say “Phuket, Thailand – round trip flight provided?” Yes, please. You block out the 5-day weekend on Google Calendar “Friend’s Wedding,” make it public for your coworkers to see, and jet on out of there with the summer suit you’ve been wanting an excuse to wear for the past two seasons. A lighter colored suit like a khaki or light tan is the name of the game. Breathable fabrics such as tropical wool, cotton and linen come into play if the temp hits break-a-sweat level. When the mercury rises you can lose the tie, unbutton the top button and even swap the shoes out for sandals if the ceremony is, literally, on a beach. Round up some Corona with lime and enjoy the show in style.

Destination or “Beach Formal” means: A summer suit (breathable, light fabric) with a linen shirt (no ties required), linen pants and white sneakers or sandals.

  1. Khaki Linen Blend Custom Suit by Black Lapel
  2. Slim Fit Linen Shirt by Club Monaco
  3. Gray Chambray “The Piggy Bank” Bowtie by The Knottery (optional)
  4. Brown Essential Braided Leather Belt by L.L. Bean
  5. Solid Lavendar Linen Pocket Square by The Tie Bar
  6. Men’s Bahama Boat Shoes or Boat Thong Sandals (if on the beach) by Sperry Top-siders
There you have it. Follow these guidelines and you’ll look like a million bucks at any wedding…and possibly score an invite to party with the bridesmaids after the reception (Note: If you are currently married or brought a date you’d like to continue seeing after the wedding, DO NOT accept the aforementioned invitation. Trust us.). The only trick left now is making sure NOT to outshine the groom. You could be all, “if you can’t stand the heat, don’t invite the kitchen to your wedding, bro,” but the better move would be to politely offer up some of your impeccable style tips to the groom before the wedding. Tip #1: (shameless plug) read The Compass.

Now, look to your left and look to your right. If one of the people next to you has a rock on her finger that you dropped 1/4 of your annual salary on, then the next wedding you might be going to will be co-starring you. In that case, check out The Black Lapel Wedding Page to request a style consultation and get yourself a perfect custom suit or tuxedo for your big day.

Curious to see what a Black Lapel tailored wedding looks like? Style Blogger Barron Cuadro of Effortlessgent.com rocks one of our tuxedos for his wedding. Read about it here. 

Still on the fence about tuxing up for your wedding? Read his “Argument for a Formal Wedding Celebration” here.


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