What Should Guests Wear to a Wedding?

When choosing an outfit for the wedding it is important to stick to the dress code as it is stated in the invitation and pick something appropriate for a specific time of day.

Image by Mink Studio

If you are stuck with ideas just pick a simple floral cocktail-style dress for a daytime occasion or a classical LBD if it is an evening event. Men should always wear a suit unless it is an informal daytime wedding, and it ought to be a dark suit at a formal dinner or a tuxedo at a black tie event.

According to etiquette, female guests should never wear a white or ivory gown which might compete with the bride’s outfit. You should also avoid too short and revealing dresses, heavy embellishments and jeans. You don’t want to be neither under dressed nor over the top, so a simple and yet sophisticated frock is definitely the best bet. If you are worried that your outfit might clash with the bridesmaids, just add a few colourful details like a small jacket or a bold scarf. Alternatively, you can find out what are members of the bridal party planning to wear.

Guests’ attire must meet the formality of the event, so you should read the invitation carefully and make sure to clarify what you are expected to wear. If the dress code is informal or casual you should avoid glamorous dresses and evening suits as you don’t want to compete with the bride and groom, but if it is a black tie event a tuxedo and a gown are a must! While a dressy cocktail gown is still appropriate at a black tie wedding, white tie requires a maxi dress and men should wear classical white tie suits.

Your outfit can also depend on location and venue. If it is a countryside wedding, consider wearing wedges and a bright summer dress instead of stilettos and a dressy gown as you will have to walk on grass surfaces and you need a pop of colour against the natural backdrop. Choosing an outfit for a beach wedding can be tricky because there are different elements to consider including heat, sun and the ocean breeze. If the dress code says formal attire, a tea-length chiffon dress and a pair of flats is the perfect choice for a woman while men can wear light suits teamed with sandals.

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