There will perhaps never be a day you are photographed alongside your partner more than on your wedding day. Thus, coordinating looks for the wedding should be top of mind as it creates a cohesive fashion union that translates beautifully to photos. While you don’t have to be too matchy-matchy (in fact, you shouldn’t strive for that), coordination keeps you both looking put together and stylishly planned out.
When trying to harmonize looks in a way that comes off as chic and sophisticated, rather than cheesy, focus on elements such as color, style, and texture. You should also pay close attention to accessories like jewelry, and even hairstyles or beauty looks.
Meet the Expert
- Miguel Wilson is a fashion designer who specializes in making clothing for grooms and groomsmen. He has been involved with celebrity weddings for rapper 2Chainz and Hollywood producer Will Packer, among others.
- Liv Schreiber is a celebrity stylist, lifestyle influencer, and founder of Brand Caffeine.
If you want to effortlessly coordinate your ensembles, but are feeling completely lost, don’t worry we can help. We spoke with two stylists who are experts in working with couples on their big day, in order to get some tips on how to coordinate a wedding day look. Read on to learn more.
Coordinating doesn’t mean that you both have to wear all white, or white and black, although you definitely can go this classic route. “Most traditional brides and grooms stick to a very ridged presentation, which includes the classic white dress for the bride and a black or white tuxedo for the groom,” says fashion designer, Miguel Wilson.
Nonetheless, Wilson encourages both men and women to step out of the box when it comes to the colors of their wedding look. “Obviously, one of the best ways to coordinate with a partner is to wear the same color and/or style,” he says. “There are many examples of partners who wore vibrant reds, blues, and greens, dress and tuxedo, to coordinate on their wedding day. The results were absolutely amazing.”
Instead of just wearing white and black, you can try having the groom wear a different colored tuxedo or suit, or even just a brightly colored tie or shirt. The bride can then incorporate this color into her look with something that matches, like a bag or shoes in the same color.
Celebrity stylist Liv Schreiber recommends against matching colors completely—for example, a bride and groom both wearing all white. Instead, she suggests that couples wear neutral hues so that they always complement each other no matter what. “When you wear neutrals, there is less room to make a mistake in terms of mismatching of colors,” she says. “When planning outfits with your partner, look for colors in the same family or tone.” She uses desert hues as an example, which include “…sands, beiges, browns, and creams. These blend beautifully together without looking forceful when it comes to aesthetics and will help you both look your best together.”
Schreiber also advises on matching colored accessories for a subtle look. “Try adding hints of matching colors with socks, pocket squares, headbands, hair accessories, bracelets, or shoes to add in a pop of color,” Schreiber says.
Coordinating accessories is subtle but obvious, and adds a personal feel to a wedding. “It’s the little things that matter most,” Schreiber says. “Incorporate matching pockets squares, bracelets, or other little details that can really make an outfit symbolize that you are together.”
Examples include the below:
- Matching pocket squares or socks
- Matching the color of a pocket square to the color of the sash on a gown
- Matching cufflinks
- Matching ties or bowties
- Matching the color of the ribbon around a bride’s bouquet to the color of a tie, bowtie, or pocket square
- The color of a bride’s shoes can match the color of a groom’s tie
Partners can also try incorporating some of the same little details. “For example, if a bride decides to have crystals embroidered on her dress, her partner can have crystals embroidered on his jacket,” Wilson says.
This can also extend beyond the wedding. “I love matching leather duffels for a destination wedding or honeymoon,” Schreiber says. “I think it adds a touch of togetherness for before and after the wedding. If you are not using a bag, couples can use monochromatic baseball caps or sneakers.”
When it comes to coordinating jewelry, both Schreiber and Wilson recommend coordinating metals. So, for example, if the bride is wearing all white gold jewelry, the groom should do the same. Maybe the bride is wearing a necklace with a colored gemstone in it—the groom could wear a matching bracelet.
Schreiber also recommends wearing the same watch or adding one of your partner’s items into your ensemble. “If you want a more coordinated look, try pairing your outfit with your partner’s watch and/or an heirloom,” she suggests. “I think that it can be symbolic to wear something borrowed from your partner or your partner‘s family to tie your looks together.”
Coordinating textures is another subtle way to come across as looking more cohesive. “If there’s a pattern or texture that is incorporated into the wedding gown, the same can be done for the groom’s jacket and pants if he chooses to have his suit or tuxedo custom made,” Wilson recommends.
One example is that if the bride is wearing a silk gown, the groom could wear a similar silk tie. If the bride’s gown has a lot of lace, her partner could consider incorporating lace somewhere into their look. The same goes for fabrics like velvet or satin.
This extends to accessories as well. “If your partner is wearing glossy shoes, wear your heels with a similar texture,” Schreiber says. You don’t need to match the color and style exactly, just matching the texture is a subtle and non-cheesy option.
“If color isn’t something that’s up for debate, partners can try coordinating through styles, such as 1920s-inspired wedding looks,” Wilson says. “Or they can take their inspiration from geographical locations or different colors, such as modern Moroccan-style wedding looks or modern Afro-chic wedding looks.”
Schreiber also recommends matching aesthetics. “For example, if the bride is wearing a romantic floral dress, her partner should be in a suit,” she says. “If she is wearing something edgy like a pantsuit, her partner should have a sports coat on and sneakers!” Be sure that one partner isn’t in something super formal and the other is in something more casual. It just won’t look right, in photos or in person.
Matching through floral accents is also a fun way to coordinate. Your partner can use one of the same flowers from your bouquet and stick it behind their ear. “Or have your partner match the bouquet in a subtle way by incorporating similar colors,” Schreiber says. For example, if your bouquet features light blue flowers, maybe their tie could be the same color light blue.
“I also think adding a bandana to tie around your neck or a sun hat is an easy way to bring in bouquet colors,” Scheiber adds, if you want to do something more out-of-the-box.
Why Partners Should Coordinate Their Wedding Looks
A lot of emphasis always gets put on the bride’s look, but that doesn’t mean your partner’s ensemble isn’t equally as important. Coordinating wedding looks is essential because the attention will remain on the two of you all night, and you want to look good together.
Wilson points out that coordination also adds to the presentation, the aesthetic, and complements the overarching theme of a wedding day (which is two people becoming one). In other words, it’s not just about how you both look aesthetically, but it’s also about how you appear together—a united front.
And as Schreiber notes, it’s important for great photos. “I think it’s really important for the photos that everyone looks like they’re in alignment,” she says. A coordinated outfit will forever look lovely in pictures for years to come.
What to Avoid When Coordinating With Your Partner
While Schreiber isn’t a fan of matching colors completely, this is a personal choice and is completely up to you. If you want to look like a matching pair, wear the same hue as your partner; but if you just want to look coordinated, opt for shades that look nice together.
Wilson also stresses the importance of comfort. “Brides should avoid forcing their partners into anything they don’t like, making them feel uncomfortable, or not giving them a say,” he says. “At the end of the day, they’re just clothes.”
He also warns that a theme shouldn’t take over everything else. “You don’t want your wedding to be more a gimmick than a special day for you and your partner,” he notes.
Simply put, yes. Couples should look put together and have a cohesive look on their wedding day. You don’t need to match completely, but looking like you go together is important.
If you want to match exactly, you can. If you want a more coordinated look, wear shades that complement each other, or incorporate matching details like florals and colored accessories.
In general, avoid wearing things that match completely head-to-toe. This tends to look a bit too obvious.