Hey, y’all! We’re back, brimming with inspiration from another reader email! (Did you catch our answer to Stephanie’s boot query yesterday?) This time the reader is Lori, and she’s got a slightly different fashion question. She writes:
First of all – I love the Southern Weddings blog! I found it shortly before my fiance and I were engaged and have been a loyal follower since. It’s been my go-to for inspiration the past few months.
On to my question: My wedding colors are navy blue+apple green. I would really like my bridesmaids to wear navy dresses, which brings me to the dilemma… Navy blue dresses and black tuxes?? I realize this may seem a silly question but I have been stuck the last few days. I originally planned to dress the guys in either khakis+navy blazers or navy suits (because I felt black tuxes + navy dresses would clash/not coordinate) but my mom continues to urge me toward exploring the tux option. What do you think about navy and black? Also, with a black tux are colored/detailed bow ties a go? Think Southern Proper/Vineyard Vines…
A little more info: My fiance and I are planning a wedding in October. The ceremony and reception will be held in Nashville, TN at Belle Meade Plantation. It is an evening wedding with a simple, outdoor garden ceremony and an indoor/outdoor reception in the carriage house and surrounding outdoor area.
An excellent question, Lori, and I’m SURE you’re not the only one struggling with this dilemma!
Forgetting the particular details of Lori’s wedding, let’s review all of the possible options for her formality and color scheme:
Charcoal gray suit
Classic tuxedo or a midnight blue tuxedo (with a black bow tie)
Navy blazer with khaki or linen pants
A few we can knock out immediately, if we’re sticking with classic etiquette. Since Lori’s wedding is in October, a linen or seersucker suit would be a faux pas (only don one of those between Memorial Day and Labor Day!). It is a lovely look, though, isn’t it?
Photo by Jill Thomas. See more of this gorgeous wedding here!
The season-appropriate option that’s the least formal is the navy blazer + khaki pants + fun bow tie or tie look.
Top photo by Eleise Theuer (see the rest of this wedding here and here), middle photo by Jenna Cole (see more of this wedding here, here, here, here, and here), and bottom photo by Soli Photography
Lovely! The next step up in formality would be a charcoal or black suit (you could also do a navy suit, but I think that might be a bit too much navy when the girls’ navy dresses are taken into account). I love the look of a charcoal or gray suit, and I think it would look fabulous against navy dresses. As a bonus, the gentlemen could simply wear a gray suit they already own, since a range of hues looks quite dapper. It would be easy to add a fun bow tie to this look, and gifting the guys a common pattern would help pull the range of suits together.
Photos by Melissa Musgrove
Finally, we have the classic tux option. You heard it here first: navy and black do NOT clash, and a tuxedo looks smashing with almost everything. Your bridal party will look fabulous together! However, we would recommend sticking with as classic a tux as possible to keep the look clean-lined: no vest, a black bow tie, and a black cummerbund.
Top photo by Bryan Johnson — see the rest of this wedding here! Bottom photo by Clark+Walker Studio — see more from this wedding here!
In sum, Katharine and I conclude that your best options are:
1) Khaki pants, a navy blazer, and a fun patterned tie
2) A charcoal or lighter gray suit with either a navy or patterned tie
3) A classic black tuxedo with a black bow tie
From there, Lori, the choice is up to you! Each option will definitely create a feel of its own, so think hard about what sort of mood you want to set. Rest assured, however, that whatever you choose, the gents will look exceedingly dapper.
Readers, weigh in: Are your girls wearing navy dresses? If so, what will the men be wearing? Would you pair navy and black? Have another option we haven’t thought of? Leave it in the comments below!