Wedding Season Is in Full Swing. Here’s What to Pack.

Sage advice for nailing those end-of-summer summer nuptials

August 14, 2023 10:04 am
a collage of what to pack for a wedding for men on a purple background
We've got the packing list to help you win wedding season.
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We knew this day would come. (It does, every year.) After months of being years away, the saved date is somehow right around the corner. Now you’ve got to dust off the old social skills, make merry with problematic family members and drink a few too many cocktails. Usher and “Mr. Brightside” will be permanently drilled into your brain. We’re in the midst of goddamn nuptials season, dawg. And chances are, you’ve got no idea what to pack for this (or any) wedding.

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Not that this is your fault. Between their relative brevity and formality, most weddings present an objectively difficult chunk of time to plan for. Do you need a checked bag? (Absolutely not.) Should you bring a suit? (C’mon, man.) What pair of shoes will work with all of your clothing? (Loafers, always.)

To help you better curate the limited contents of your suitcase, we’ve highlighted a few key areas when approaching what to pack for a wedding as an average guy. There are a few lessons in carry-on selection, a few breezy shirt recommendations and sage advice about your skincare routine. It’s all wound tightly under the banner of helping you decide what you can forgo. Below, InsideHook’s guide on what to pack for wedding season.

The Right Bag

The best trips start with a great bag — specifically, one that won’t be a pain to lug around and have enough space to fit all your valuables. A lightweight carry-on is critical to counteract the hassle of airports and check-ins. July’s recently released Carry On Light is our current choice, which weighs an impressive 3.9 lbs. If you’re really worried about your apparel’s integrity, try a tri-fold garment bag. Their ability to keep a suit pristine looking is worth their weight in linen, and they don’t have to be expensive either. (Thanks a lot, Bezos.)

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A Breezy, Lightweight Suit

The star of any warm-weather nuptials is undoubtedly the lightweight suit, and we’re thrilled to report there are options aplenty. From classic linen joints to refined Percival tailoring, the whole suiting world is your oyster, especially considering that while summer is far from over, the seasonal stock is already hitting sale. Just a few words of advice: if you’re shopping off the rack, seriously consider the form-flattering and often inexpensive merits of a tailor, and for the love of god, opt on the side of a relaxed fit. No grotesquely tight suits allowed — the last thing the bride wants is you passing out in the middle of the ceremony.

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Summer-Forward Shirting

Whereas winter black tie demands a crisp, white, cufflinked dress shirt, warm-weather weddings are often much more casual. That means there should be some room to play around with your top on a joyous day. We recommend a breezy camp collar shirt or the on-trend sweater polo for those anti-tie celebrations. If you’re a little less adventurous, a striped dress shirt westernwear snap is a still a surefire way to win wedding’s best dressed. Just double-check the invite, first.

Actionable Accessories

Easily forgotten is the lowly accessory, but these little suckers can often make the difference between a meh outfit and picking up a hot new date at the wedding reception. Sunglasses, hats and an unconventional tie should be the first thing in your weekender.

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No Frills (Or Laces) Footwear

One place you shouldn’t get cutesy is footwear, especially given the unfortunate combo of limited capacity and bulky shape. Stick to versatile gems that you can wear to the ceremony and the hungover brunch. That can be a standard loafer or something a bit more Rivierian in style. Pro tip: slip-ons, especially a beachy fisherman sandal or Huarache, are very much in this summer.

Grown-Up Grooming

Fellas, it’s 2023. Every adult guy should have a skincare routine. You know this. But a formal occasion to look hot and celebrate love is not the time to forego moisturizing. Get a nice scent and some SPF like a real man, or else face the saggy, blown-out consequences. And they better not be going in a plastic bag…that’s what dopp kits are for, buddy.

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