Is It Okay for a Groom to Dress in More Formal Attire Than Was Requested of the Wedding Guests?

Dress-code etiquette can raise questions for guests and the wedding party—even the groom. See what we told Sarah, who asked us via email what her husband-to-be should wear to their nuptials.


Q: Our wedding is black-tie optional. Is it still appropriate for my fiancé to wear a white vest and white tie with a classic black tux? 


A: What you’re asking is whether it’s okay for the groom to dress more formally than his guests, since the getup you describe is more “white tie” than black, and white tie is considered the most formal option in menswear (followed by black tie, black-tie optional, semiformal, and festive). The way we see it, it’s your day, and you and your fiancé can dress as formally or as casually as you like. As senior editor Julie Vadnal says, “Not even the most militant of dress-code followers will think it strange if the groom wears white tie but all the other men are sporting tuxes or dark suits.”