There is no doubt that there is increasing pressure on the father of the bride to look the part in modern society. On his daughters big day, he is the focus of much of the lead up to the ceremony itself and of course is thrust into the limelight during the speeches.
The father of the bride needs to be cool, calm and collected throughout the day so ensuring that his appearance is sharp and most importantly, comfortable are essential aspects to consider.
The Enormity Of The Task
It is not just those highlights that the bride’s father has to look his best for. Don’t forget the often extensive greeting of the guests in the build up to the nuptials and of course one of the milestone moments of the entire occasion, the first dance.
This emphasizes the significance of the father of the bride maintaining an immaculate appearance from the start of the day to the end of the night.
The first dance is a hugely special and unique experience between father and daughter and it is imperative that both of them remain aesthetically pleasing to the onlooking audience whom expect so much at this pivotal stage of the wedding.
So with all that in mind, it is time for us to guide you on just how the father of the bride should dress on the big day itself and of course anyone acting in a fathers absence can follow suit too.
Everything discussed in this article is applicable to whomever is giving the bride away and assuming the traditional father of the bride duties and responsibilities.
Location And Venue
You have to take into account the season the wedding falls in and of course the venue itself. The location and time of year are fundamental to the fashion sense deployed by all guests and the wedding party themselves.
A beach wedding in the Bahamas is going to need very different attire to an Icelandic picturesque wedding no matter what time of year you hold the ceremony.
You have countries like the United Kingdom where although the weather format is typically cold in winter and warmer in summer, can be erratic and unpredictable. This makes choosing clothing a tough task.
In circumstances such as these, unless you find yourself in extreme heat or drastically cold climates then it is best to stick with a suit or tuxedo aand go ahead with whichever theme the happy couple have selected.
Formal Or Informal
To determine the wedding dress code the Bride and Groom will have to decide how serious or relaxed they want the range of wardrobe choices to be. The old-school formal look still has huge significance and take pride of place in most weddings but there has been a noticeable rise in couples opting for a more chilled informal look in recent years.
The general rule of thumb is to replicate the look of the wedding party unless the bride and groom have stressed otherwise and given creative freedom to write your own fashion rules.
As mentioned previously, this usually means a smart suit, tuxedo or even military uniform for those in the forces. Dress-codes can be defined in a manner of different ways and therefore open to interpretation depending on your culture and residence.
For example, the father of the bride, just like any other guest should adopt a reasonable response to the wording on the invitation and seek clarity if anything is not transparent.
“Black Tie” or “Black Tie Optional” can be phrases coined for a formal event any time of year. A semi-formal dress-code is sometimes referred to as simply “cocktail” or “party” which can mean the ladies have to think a little harder to get their outfit right.
The father of the bride on the orther hand, is safe in either scenario as the suit or a tux is still suitable attire for him. A suit is usually a solid choice for a casual wedding unless the couple says differently of course.
It is light enough to seem cool but smart enough to look like you care even if you lose the tie and go open collared like a true wedding rebel.
Follow The Crowd
We touched on it earlier, most wedding parties have the groomsmenand immediate family dressed the same although the groom may opt for a slightly different tie (pattern change or material selection) just to stand out on his big day.
The father of the bride should always be included in this and it looks very trendy, smart and sophisticated when he matches up with the others involved in the wedding.
That said, as an older member of the ensemble, the father of the bride should be afforded certain luxuries in terms of choice of style and fit. If he is not comfortable then he wil not enjoy the day as he has every right to.
To accommodate this, let him choose a regular loose fit instead of a modern slim-fit or fitted suit to save any mishaps or awkwardness.
A Personal Touch
Whilst you don’t want to stand out like a sore thumb, it does not stop you accessorizing. Adding the finishing touches to your standard outfit as the father of the bride is encouraged and can bring real sentimental value to the items you choose or are gifted.
Special socks or novelty pants can bring light hearted humour because only a select few will actually know about them (unless you share with everyone after a few drinks!)
Things like personalized cufflinks, an engraved watch or other jewelry are also popular items to enhance an already classy and elegant look by making it your own and one to remember forever.
You can add your own creations to the basics in a bid to differentiate yourself without stealing the limelight away from either the Bride or Groom. Adapting or adding to shirts, ties, vests or cummerbunds, and pocket squares, are a superb opportunity to personalize the look while still looking cohesive with the rest of the bridal party.
Don’t Forget The Mrs!
The often neglected mother of the bride role is one you should consider as the father of the Bride. Color-coordination is crucial to your appearance as a couple representing your daughter on the biggest day of her life.
Have the bride’s mother match her dress or outfit with the colors selected for the wedding and then you both will look splendid on each other’s arm.
If you aren’t together anymore then people will understand you not being color-coordinated so don’t make a big deal out of it for a few pictures, just enjoy the day!