While an outfit change is standard operating procedure for many brides, this might not be a question that had crossed your mind previously. A suit or tuxedo isn’t exactly as constricting (or flowy) as a wedding dress, so you might just consider heading straight from the venue to your reception in the clothes you’re already in.
While it’s perfectly acceptable to go without an outfit change, there’s no rule that says you can’t switch the style up a bit. Want to have an outfit change? Go wild! If you think it’ll help you enjoy your reception and be more present to switch into something more comfortable, feel free to.
Chalk this one up on the board of questions you probably hadn’t considered before. While you probably want to wear that ring you just got, there’s definitely some sense slipping on a silicone ring for your wedding reception.
Consider this as an option if your reception plans include dancing on the table and/or breakdancing. Hey, it’s an option! If you’re worried about damaging that new men’s wedding ring, then consider a backup just for the reception.
What you’ll change into is heavily dictated by what you started out wearing. You want your reception outfit to at least be in the ballpark of what you wore to the ceremony.
If you started out in a tux, don’t arrive in shorts. No, we don’t care if they’re chino shorts. You want your outfit change to transition well from wedding to reception, not make people ask how you know the happy couple. Talk about an awkward conversation.
Well, if you want to have one, have one! It can be as simple as that. That’s probably the biggest factor for grooms having outfit changes.
While it may not be as common, if you have certain cultural customs you want to integrate into your wedding, an outfit change may be customary. Even if it’s your fiancée’s culture, you may still want to integrate it out of respect.
There’s a defined tone shift that happens when the groom makes an outfit change. While it may not be necessary, it can help make the transition from ceremony to reception more obvious and may also change your headspace. Changing outfits may help you transition from stressful wedding day mode to “we’ve done it, and now I can breathe” mode.
While there aren’t hard and fast rules, there are a few guidelines to help you along the way.
Less is more here. While brides sometimes have two or three outfit changes (emphasis on sometimes), there’s definitely a law of diminishing returns. You really want to stick to one outfit change at max here.
The only exception to this rule might come in weekend weddings. If your wedding, like a destination wedding, for example, is going to span multiple days, you may have multiple outfit changes. That still only applies strictly if you have multiple events on the same day that would require a defined shift in tone.
Somewhere between wedding and reception — the specifics are up to you. If you have cultural norms that dictate outfit changes at certain times, then you have it pretty straightforward.
A popular choice is before cocktail hour if you’re having one. This is a natural transition point and probably works best if you don’t have any specific time in mind but do want an outfit change.
You could also plan your outfit change around photographs. If you did all your posed photos in the morning, then this won’t matter as much. If you plan to have a defined photography time after your ceremony, though, you may want to have an outfit change before then. If you took formal photos in the morning, you’ll have the bonus of two separate outfits being photographed for variety’s sake.
You want to keep two main things in mind here: Keep it similar to your original outfit and make it something you can move in.
Think of this as an opportunity to go one or two levels of formality down, but don’t stray too far from where you started. Of course, this will look different for beach weddings than black-tie affairs, so it’s all relative. Consider a casual button-down and some nice chinos as a general baseline. You can adjust formality up or down from there, but it’s a good place to start.
You also want to be able to move in it. You want to loosen the tie and dance with your friends and family, so the skinniest of jeans probably aren’t your friend there. You know what will work for you, so just keep movement in mind.
You don’t have to be a magician, but you do want to change pretty quickly. The last thing you want is to cut into time spent with friends and family putting together an outfit. Yes, you want to look good and have great photos, but make sure to balance your outfit versus time away from the people who are there to celebrate you.