Consider The Venue And Time Of Day
What to wear to a wedding reception depends on many things, including where the wedding is being held and when. A beach wedding taking place at 1 pm will be far more casual than a church wedding at 4 pm, followed by a country club reception at 6 pm. Regardless of the time or place, all wedding receptions require a certain degree of decorum.
Women have more flexibility when it comes to dressing for a wedding reception than men. At some weddings, even a skirt and blouse or dressy evening pants worn with a dressy top are acceptable options.
A dressy jumpsuit can be appropriate too. However, for the majority of weddings, a dress is a perfect choice.
What To Wear To A White Tie Wedding
White tie is the most formal dress code for any event, and is sometimes referred to as “full attire.” We’re talking Academy Awards or state banquet formal. It’s rare to see a white tie event that isn’t in the evening, so richly hued floor-length gowns and dark tuxedos are the norm.
Women Should Wear:A full-length formal gown in black or a jewel tone that isnt too bright. Skip cocktail or tea-length dresses. Wear a full face of makeup, styled hair , and your best jewelry.
Men Should Wear:A tuxedo with a long tailcoat over a white shirt and vest, and a white bow tie. Black formal shoes. A clean shave or well-groomed facial hair. White dancing gloves and a pocket square are optional extras if you’re feeling very fancy.
Adrianna Papell Plus Size Floral Printed Midi Dress
Allow us to formally make the case for wearing a blush wedding guest dress in fall. This size-inclusive frock has a regal mock neckline that leads into a blouson bodice and flowing skirt. But the best part about this dress is the ethereal blush pink floral print. We love the idea of wearing this plus size floral dress for a fall wedding in a backyard or garden setting.
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You Can’t Go Wrong With A Little Black Dress
It is common to hear that every woman needs to have their go to LBD, or little black dress, hanging in their closet for a variety of occasions like cocktail parties, happy hours, and date night, but is the LBD acceptable in a wedding scenario? As it turns out, it is!
“The little black dress is a go to for every occasion,” said Stafford, “and weddings are no exception any longer.” If you don’t have a LBD hanging in your closet, then consider this the perfect opportunity to head to the mall and find your new go to, you know you’ll wear it plenty!
To A Casual Fall Wedding
Casual weddings call for outfits that show off your personality within reason. As for fabrics? Grotts recommends anything chiffon, colorful solids, or floral fall prints with matching handbags and strappy sandals or pumps. Remember, the hemline should not be too short, she says.
According to Patrickson, casual wedding attire means gorgeous dresses from brands like Carolina KandReformation, chic separates, and beautiful strappy flats. Opt for simple strappy gladiator sandals that can elevate your look. I recommend the Style 10 fromAmanu where you can also custom sandals to match your outfit perfectly, she says.
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Best Colors To Wear To A Wedding
If the bride has no preference, then any color of the rainbow is appropriate for weddings, as long as you consider the event carefully. Even white is acceptable if the bride specifically asks the guests to comply. If the bride doesn’t specifically say what guests should wear, there are a few things you can consider to help you choose. The formality, location, and seasonal weather will all be key factors in determining your best outfit.
What To Wear To A Beach Formal Wedding
“Beach Formal” is often seen on beach wedding invitations. But just because theres sand involved doesnt always mean you can wear flip-flops .
Women Should Wear:A floral maxi dress, tea- or knee-length sundress works great for upscale beach weddings. A stylish shawl and fancy flats or sandals . Don’t worry about going too overboard on a hairstyle, since the elements will likely have their way with it. Stick with a simple chignon bun or loose wavesboth appropriately polished, yet relaxed.
Men Should Wear:A linen or seersucker suit or a lightweight blazer with a shirt, linen pants, or chinos. No tie required. Light brown shoes.
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A Black Tie Wedding At A High
DO: Walk the line between black tie and white tie. If the wedding is at, for example, the New York Public Library, its one of the most sophisticated settings a couple can choose, says Hovhannisyan. Yes, its formal, and yes, men need to wear a tux! For womens wedding guest attire, lean toward a floor-length gown – and even consider a train. It doesnt need to be as structured as a gown for a white tie affair, but should still be elegant and regal. It could be an a-line, Grecian, slinky, or poufy design, as long as it touches the floor. Bonus points if your dress has a slit! she adds, And heels are a must.DONT: Go too casual. With such a formal setting, even a cocktail dress isnt quite enough unless the invitation specifically asks for it. Err on the side of fancier for wedding guest outfits, as the bride will definitely be wearing a statement gown to match the setting.
Don’t Wear Anything Too Short
Modern as the bride and groom may be, a wedding is still a wedding and it pays to stay on the safe side. Or, if you’d prefer something a little different, a jumpsuit or a pantsuit are other options.
Sophie Turner’s outfit for ‘Game of Thrones’ costar Kit Harington’s wedding was certainly eye-catching
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Most Fashion Forward: Dessy Group Cowl
Courtesy of The Dessy Group,
Our Lovely bridal party collection with Dessy Group has so many great fashion-forward options for wedding guests for Spring. With the weather warming up, its the perfect time to rock bright colors, modern cutouts, or unexpected details like a cowl neckline or asymmetrical hem, List says.
Casual Summer Wedding Attire
Generally, casual means anything goesbut jeans, shorts and tank tops are probably not appropriate unless they’re specifically noted as acceptable. For the purposes of wedding wear, assume this dress code means business casual to be on the safe side.
Simplicity is the name of this game. A mini dress silhouette in a pretty pastel blue hue is all about serving effortless glamour.
Reformation Christine dress, $218, TheReformation.com
Consider this printed romper for a casual summer weddingit’s flouncy and all-around festive.
Lulus Call it a Crush navy blue floral print ruffled romper, $54, Lulus.com
For a quintessential preppy summer wedding outfit, go for a gingham button down shirt. It can work in basically any setting, but we love it for a nautical-themed event.
Peter Millar Robinson gingham check button-up shirt, $148, Nordstrom.com
You can’t go wrong with a pair of navy blue chino pants. They complement a wide variety of solid colors, prints and patterns. We love them with the above gingham button down shirt.
J.Crew 484 Slim-fit stretch chino pant, $80, JCrew.com
There’s something so charming about a watercolor-inspired print. This mini dress also boasts the prettiest gathered sleeves plus a trendy off-the-shoulder neckline
Misa Danae dress, $325, Shopbop.com
This colorblocked dress, with its tiered skirt, puff sleeves and flattering V-neck says one thing: chic.
STAUDCorsica mini dress, $295, Shopbop.com
Joseph Abboud Tan modern fit chino, $40, MensWearhouse.com
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Loveshackfancy Popover Mini Dress
You might associate LoveShackFancy with summer wedding guest dresses, but the whimsical brand has plenty of fall-appropriate options too. Consider this ditsy floral print long sleeve mini dress for a wedding on the cusp between summer and fallwe love its cinched waistline and flounced skirt. Pair this easy fall cocktail dress with strappy sandals or nude booties to complete the look.
Alter Pieces You Already Own
Alterations can play a large role in what to wear to a wedding as a guest. If you have a busy wedding season, it might not be financially feasible to invest in new outfits for every event. So, in addition to accessorizing thoughtfully, experts recommend altering pieces you already own to change up their look.
“The number one key to looking and feeling your best is to make sure that you’re nailing the fit of your garments,” says Sacawa. “If the fit’s not right, that can affect your confidence.” Adds Durham: “You never want to wear an outfit you have to tug up or down. You can breathe new life into the clothes you already have by raising or lowering the hem of a skirt or creating a new silhouette.”
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Do Experiment With Colour
No one wants to mistake a wedding guest for someone attending a funeral! Bright colours look great in wedding photos and makes it look like you’ve gone to an added effort with your outfit for the day. Bonus points if you’re boarding a boat to George Clooney’s wedding, a la Emily Blunt.
Emily Blunt wore a stunning, blue dress for George and Amal Clooney’s wedding
Use The Venue As A Guide
Olivia Christina Photography LLC
The location of the wedding can also offer some clues as to what you should wear to a wedding. For instance, your outfit for an outdoor wedding at a farm will be different from what you wear to an evening celebration at an upscale ballroom. It’s also important to plan your look around any religious ceremonies included in the wedding. “Be mindful if you’re attending a wedding in a religious facility,” Durham warns. “Be sure that your shoulders are covered and remove any hats.”
The venue can also indicate what kind of shoes you should wear too. “If you’re outside, opt for a chunky heel for walking purposes and a strappy top if it’ll be hot,” Durham adds. “If you wear a kitten heel or a stiletto, you might risk sinking into the ground. If indoors, you can never go wrong with a pump heel.”
Do some research into the venue before the wedding date so you know what to expect. Looking for photos on the location’s website or social media pages will help you understand what clothes are appropriate to wear to a wedding on their property.
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For A Festive Wedding: For Love And Lemons ‘victoria’ Midi Dress
courtesy of for love & lemons
This silky dress has a draped bodice with a keyhole, to show some skin. The skirt gathers at the waist and turns into a wrap skirt with a slit on the side. You’ll find shoulder pads that elevate the dress, giving the whole silhouette a flattering finish for all body types.
A Guide To Beach Wedding Attire For Guests
// by Cynthia //
This is the ultimate guide to beach wedding attire for guests! After reading this, youll know exactly what to wear to a beach wedding whether its casual, semi-formal, or formal. Not only are we decoding the dress code, but were also sharing the best colors, fabrics, and shoes to complete your beach wedding guest outfit! After you read these tips, make sure you check out this gallery of gorgeous beach wedding dresses for guests to get ideas of what you can wear, and find retailers that sell affordable beach wedding guest outfits.
Have you just opened up an invitation to learn that youve been invited to a beach ceremony? While this may be exciting, it may also leave you scratching your head wondering what to wear to a beach wedding? There are a few ground rules you should follow in order to look great, remain comfortable, yet formal enough for this non-traditional wedding.
Disclosure: We earn a small commission for purchases made through links in this post.
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Do Opt For Comfortable Shoes
While it should be fairly common knowledge, I’m not talking about wearing your bright pink running shoes to a wedding. Rather, nice dress shoes that you can comfortably wear for a few hours. Alyce Head, wedding manager for Hamilton Place at Pursell Farms, suggests, “Choose shoes that are wearable for four hours.”
While we would all probably leave our shoes under the table and head back out to the dance floor during our high school proms, we should know better these days. “This tip combines etiquette and style,” she added. “It’s just not good form to be barefoot and carry shoes, or create a pile of discarded shoes in the corner of the reception space.”
While it may be tempting to buy those extra cute heels to wear just for the occasion, before throwing down your credit card, I highly encourage you to walk around the store and see if you could be comfortable wearing them for hours. If the answer is no, then either reconsider the purchase or pack a pair of flats you can change into between the wedding and reception and leave the extra in the car!
There May Be Exceptions
There will obviously be exceptions to many of these rules. If the bride and groom request a certain attire or mention a specific theme, some of these tips may fly out the window, but for the majority of weddings you may attend, these rules are tried and true to follow.
For me, this means having that one dress hanging in my closet that I know is always a safe and acceptable option for nearly any and every wedding I attend. When in doubt, if you find yourself stressing and texting your friends about whether or not your outfit is appropriate, chances are it may not be and you’re better off picking something that fits within these safe guidelines.
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Be Aware Of Your Neckline
I’m here for a great cleave moment, but weddings are generally a bit more family-friendly, so it’s best to keep your J-Lo-level Versace dress in mind for a different occasion. Not saying don’t do a deep V, just saying don’t ask the question “how low can you go.”
Here’s a plunge that should still work.