Western Wedding Attire for Grooms, Groomsmen, and Guests

How to cowboy up without looking like you're in costume.
Bride and groom in western attire
Photo: Logan Cole
tres dean Associate Menswear Editor
Tres Dean
tres dean Associate Menswear Editor
Tres Dean
Associate Menswear Editor
  • Tres writes and edits articles for The Knot, with a specialty in menswear and suiting.
  • He brings over a decade of expertise in the field garnered as a writer, editor, copywriter, and trend specialist.
  • Before joining The Knot he covered menswear for publications including GQ, AskMen, Men’s Health, Sharp Magazine, Highsnobiety, and Spy.
Updated Jan 30, 2024
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When it comes to Western weddings, it's okay if it's your first rodeo. Western weddings have been on the rise in recent years, with cowboy couture and western cowboy wedding attire becoming a more and more popular aesthetic for grooms tying the knot. Maybe you're looking to channel your inner Willie Nelson or get your Yellowstone on. Perhaps your partner's feeling the influence of Dolly Parton or Kacey Musgraves? Or maybe you're a person for whom being a cowboy is a profession and lifestyle, not just a wardrobe choice. In any case, you're going to need a special pair of boots in which to walk down the aisle. Western weddings are an opportunity to embrace a different form of wedding tradition, eschewing tuxes and dress shoes for denim, hats, and bolo ties. So whether you're here to build your western-style groom outfit from the boots up or just looking for the right finishing touch, saddle up.

In this article:

Men's Western Wedding Attire for Every Role

Different from black-tie dress codes and semi-formal soirees, a wedding with a Western theme is a little harder to pin down. Do you wear a suit? Are jeans okay? Can you wear a cowboy hat? Take the following advice and everyone at the wedding will swear it's at least your second rodeo.

Western Groom Attire

If you're the groom at a Western wedding, good news: you get to set the tone for this thing. Your guests are going to be looking to you as the point of reference for how they should be dressing for your big day. That means if you're wearing jeans, they'll probably be wearing them too. If there's anything to keep in mind, it's this: if you're getting married in a religious institution of any time, the cowboy hat probably should stay off until the reception.

Cowboy Groomsmen Attire

As a groomsman at a Western wedding, you're going to be dressing based on instructions from the man of the hour (or his better half). There's a good chance he's got some general guidelines for your Western wedding outfit if not a very specific one he'd like for his party to wear. This could be anything from matching boots to matching hats to simple coordinating flourishes like bandanas or bolo ties. Whatever you wear, just make sure you're going to look whatever part the groom wants for you to play.

Western Wedding Guest Attire for Men

The first thing you're going to want to do as a guest at a Western wedding is to double-check the dress code on the wedding website or with the couple themselves. Sometimes couples hosting Western weddings still prefer a degree of formality like a suit jacket as a part of your outfit. Once you've got the dress code figured out you can plan your outfit from there. You don't have to go all in and show up in boots and spurs, but it's generally considerate to incorporate the wedding's theme into your attire. This can be as simple as throwing on a western shirt under your favorite go-to wedding suit or subbing out a cotton tie for a bolo tie. That said, if the couple is permitting you to go all-out, do it. Wear those boots, buy that Stetson, and do whatever you need to do to channel your inner Eastwood.

Western and Cowboy Wedding Outfit Ideas

Sometimes getting dressed in a Western wedding fit is in the interest of dressing for a Western wedding vibe. Other times you're just trying to add a bit of your sense of style to more standard weddingwear. In any case, there are all kinds of ways to incorporate a bit of cowboy flair into your wedding fit, from the aisle or the pews. Those looking for a subtle cowboy touch to their outfit can keep to the lower end (1) of our handy dandy cowboy level scale, while those looking to go all in should aim for a 3.

Suited and Booted

Black and white western grooms outfit
Shirt: J. Crew,Suit: Suitsupply,Tie: Suitsupply,Boots: Alvies

Formality level: Formal

Cowboy level: 1

There's no need to overcomplicate a Western wedding look. Slip on a great pair of boots with your favorite black suit and you'll bring a little Johnny Cash to your wedding look.

Head West

Semi-formal western wedding outfit
Shirt: Snaps Co.,Jacket: J. Crew,Pants: Wrangler,Boots: Tecovas

Formality level: Semi-Formal

Cowboy level: 2

If you want to really cowboy up, lean into it with a denim western shirt and a pair of boot cut dress jeans. Throw on a blazer in a heftier fabric such as tweed for a touch of formality.

Casual Cowboy Vibes

Casual Cowboy western wedding outfit
Shirt: Wythe,Jeans: Shockoe Atelier,Hat: Stetson

Formality level: Casual

Cowboy level: 3

Western weddings often have a bit more of a dressy casual vibe, meaning they're one of the only wedding settings in which we're inclined to say jeans are appropriate. Just make sure you pair them with a western shirt with some pizzazz (velvet is a great way to lock that in) and a classic cowboy hat.

Boho Bachelor

Boho western grooms wedding outfit
Shirt: Corridor,Pants: Banana Republic,Hat: Lack of Color,Boots: Lucchese

Formality level: Casual

Cowboy level: 3

Western wedding attire and boho wedding attire can have a bit of overlap–try this fit, for instance. The embroidered western shirt and rancher hat give it some solid cowboy energy, but the flowy pant leg brings out the boho in it. This is great for guys attending a more casual western or boho wedding as a guest.

Cowboy Up Your Suit

Cowboy western wedding suit
Suit: Indochino,Shirt: Pinto Ranch

Formality level: Formal

Cowboy level: 2

Pairing an embroidered shirt with a good suit can be a great way to put together a Western wedding suit. The contrast between the solid colors and classic suit cut and something with eye-catching embroidery can make for an unforgettable fit.

Texas Tuxedo

Western grooms tuxedo
Tuxedo Jacket: Bonobos,Shirt: Bonobos,Jeans: Wrangler,Bowtie: Neiman Marcus,Boots: Cody James

Formality level: Formal

Cowboy level: 3

Take your tux from all business to all reception with this Texas tradition. A full tuxedo fit from the torso up paired with boot-cut jeans and your best black boots is sure to turn heads.

What is a Cowboy Wedding Suit & How to Find One

A cowboy suit is a fairly broad term for any suit with at least a touch of western flair. Sometimes it can be on the subtle side–piped detailing, for example, or wearing a traditional suit with a pearl-snap shirt or boots. Maybe you're pairing a traditional sport coat or suit blazer with denim (even the jacket itself can be denim). There are no hard rules surrounding what makes a cowboy suit a cowboy suit, but it's safe to say that if it includes any of the following, it fits the bill.

  • Denim
  • Boot-cut trousers
  • Piped arrows
  • Pearl-snap shirts
  • Bolo ties
  • Cowboy boots
  • Embroidered western iconography

The other style that probably comes to mind when you hear the words "cowboy suit" are bedazzled and embroidered Nudie suits. Nudie suits take their name from Nudie Cohn, a Ukranian tailor who began providing his signature embroidered and bedazzled suits to stars like Elvis Presley, Elton John, and Gene Autry from his studio in North Hollywood in the mid-20th century.

These days Nudie-inspired suits take notes from the style he pioneered. You've likely seen them on country stars like Kacey Musgraves and Chris Stapleton, though their flashy vibe has also made them a favorite of non-country performers (Post Malone is known to rock one now and then). In terms of what sets a nudie suit apart from normal ones outside of embroidery, style can sometimes play a part. That style of embroidery is often applied to unconventional suit fits, like cropped bolero jackets. However, it's common to also see it applied to classic single-breasted suits.

The one hitch in getting your cowboy wedding suit is that they generally aren't made on a mass-market scale. More likely, you'll need to buy a regular suit and take it to a craftsman who specializes in the style. Manuel Cuevas, Nudie's protege, is still working today out of his Nashville studio. Fort Lonesome in Austin, Texas and Phillip Rupp are two other particularly popular modern masters of the Nudie-inspired suit. For vintage and custom offerings alike, try Jukebox Mama. Suits like these take a bit more time and research to acquire, but grooms looking to really show out when they walk down the aisle will likely find they're worth the effort.

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