How to dress in hot and humid weather.
Let’s not forget about the Groom! When getting married abroad, the Grooms attire for a beach wedding or hot weather can actually be quite tricky. In Weddings Abroad Guide Community our closed Facebook Group, we had a fantastic discussion around this which I felt was too good not to share.
Question from Bride to Be:
“I’m marrying in September in Cyprus, initially I suggested to h2b that he could be informal wearing linen shirt etc as we’re abroad. After buying said shirt, he’s decided he wants to be more formal… he doesn’t do well in heat anyway so I’m worried about finding my groom dripping in sweat at the alter (& his comfort of course! ). What have you all gone with if you married or will marry in a hot country?”
Response from Matija Kljunak:
“Hi, I’m a professional photographer from a hot town with a Mediterranean climate very similar to Cyprus and I’ve seen a lot of sweaty grooms. Also, I’m one of those guys who sweats quite a bit (I guess my body likes keeping cool so I think I have large enough of a sample to comment with some weight.
There are two basic approaches to handling hot weather successfully if you are prone to sweating. One is to dress in naturally cooling materials, forget some of the formalities and just take it easy, to minimise sweating.
Second is to dress in layers (undershirt, dress shirt, waistcoat, suit) which will contain sweating so that it doesn’t show (except on groom’s face, of course). Except for regular wiping off the sweat, which might make the photographer’s job a bit more difficult, there is one additional drawback. I’ve had a groom faint in the middle of the ceremony from heat stroke. Luckily many of the guests were doctors, so after some hydration he was able to continue.
First approach is good because groom will be feeling great, he’ll be able to relax, have fun and be active. Second approach is good if all you care about are the photos, because he will be going through hell. As I said, I’ve seen this too many times.
Since I tend to sweat quite a bit and must run around hauling equipment, I of course choose to dress smart but light in NASA-developed materials (not kidding), which are breathable, sweat-wicking (ie. cooling), quick-drying and anti-staining (you have to sweat extremely hard for sweat stains to show through).
You can still look smart, but it’s not a three piece suite, of course. One example of such a combination can be seen here:
Clothing I mention is available from manufacturers like Ministry of Supply (e.g. Apollo dress shirt) and Bluffworks (e.g. Original trousers and Blazer). They’re not cheap but are worth every cent. There are others (like Mizzen+Main), but I tried these for myself after extensive research so I can vouch for them.
Finally, my honest suggestion is to try and talk him out of dressing too formally. Many guys want to be heroes, but by the time they realise it was a bad idea, they’re completely wet, thirsty and lack energy and will to do anything, even smile for the camera.
Getting married is about taking a huge step in life and celebrating with loved ones, but having fun is integral to this process. Playing a formal role is not, whatever the society tries to tell you. In a way, I got ‘married’ hundreds of times and know very well what the lasting impressions are.
Whatever you decide in the end, have spare shirts close by and plan a schedule which will have a reasonably slow tempo. Hurrying will be hell for him, all the male guests, but also the ladies.
I also suggest wrist-sweatbands (like tennis players use) in his pockets to wipe off sweat. They’re not as formal as handkerchiefs, but they excel at wiping and absorbing a lot of sweat, which cannot be said about the former. Besides, holding one in his palm, your fiancé can use it without guests actually seeing the Nike logo (or whichever)
I hope I helped and good luck!”
Anyway, from top to bottom:
- H&M – 100% cotton hat, breathable and comfy
- Ministry of Supply – Future Forward Dress Shirt – made from their proprietary material: breathable, moisture wicking, quick-drying, anti-wrinkle, self-ironing (your body heat), anti-stain (sweat), temperature regulating, 2 way stretch https://ministryofsupply.com/collections/mens-shirts
- (Bespoke wooden bow tie and leather camera harness)
- Bluffworks trousers – Chino model; but their Originals are what I wear to fanciest weddings as they look very much like woolen dress trousers; Chinos are stretchy, non-creasing, quick-drying and partially waterproof; Originals are extremely breathable, anti-creasing, quick-drying and have woolen-texture appearance https://shop.bluffworks.com/pages/about
- Bluffworks navy blazer
- Mark Nason/Sketchers shoes with memory foam
Note: Bluffworks market their trousers as travel/adventure, but in fact they look very fancy when properly combined with other clothing articles.
Response from Bride to Be:
“Thank you so much for the advice! I will get him to read it and let him have a think. I was quite happy to be the only one sweltering in the heat but he said he wanted to ‘feel & look like a groom’, which I understand. To be honest, I’m not really bothered what he wears, I was hoping for him to be comfortable at least! He may listen if someone else tells him though…”
Reply from Matija Kljunak
“I’m glad you found it useful! I completely understand your h2b’s need to look and feel like a groom, but it’s easy to forget how unforgiving Mediterranean sun, heat and humidity can be while picking your suit in the middle of a UK winter.
Looking like a groom on Cyprus might mean something very different than in UK. And arguably, looking and feeling like a groom probably doesn’t include a very sweaty & shiny forehead that will be impossible to Photoshop, so there’s that.
It’s a matter of personal preference of course, but as a professional photographer I just love when my couples (especially grooms) dress appropriately for the location and season they picked. It’s easy to just go with traditional outfits from wherever they’re from, but I feel there’s a lot of charm in acknowledging that the destination you picked has different climate, customs and traditions. Just like you’d certainly wear a thick coat and woolen suit if you picked Siberia in winter, you’d also choose a light linen shirt and trousers for a Bahamas beach wedding.
Leaving behind ethnocentricity and your cultural expectations when getting married abroad can be really great way to fully immerse yourselves in the experience and make it more authentic (along with your photos and memories). Use smaller details taken from your own traditions to give it a real cross-cultural twist.
Have a lot of fun in Cyprus, that’s what matters the most in the end!”
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And also just a little side note from me… if the grooms attire for a beach wedding is shorts check with your venue that this is allowed.