Wedding season is just about to kick into high gear and with all those invites on your fridge, you’re probably asking yourself a few questions, like what you want for dinner in four months, whether you have a plus one, and most importantly, what you’re going to wear. Since we can’t help you out with the date situation, we’re going to help you figure out what to wear by listing out a few critical do & don’ts to ensure you are faux pas free & the best dressed wedding guest.
Read on for our rules (Wedding Guest Fashion Tips) of wedding guest fashion so you’ll never have to ask yourself before you walk out the door, “Can I get away with this?”
Wedding Guest Fashion Tips
Let’s start with the fashion faux pas that you want to avoid for the next wedding on your agenda. We’re starting with don’ts because, frankly, they’re more fun!
- DON’T wear white, cream, or ivory.
You should already know this, so let’s move on.
- DON’T sport anything too short, too tight, too flashy, or too revealing.
The golden rule here ladies is that if you would wear the dress out to the bar on a Friday night, you cannot throw it on the next day for a Saturday afternoon wedding. All eyes should be on the bride during the wedding; you don’t want to distract from that with your inappropriate display of skin. And don’t think you’re fooling anyone just because you threw on a cardigan…
- DON’T forget to layer up.
Be mindful of the weather (and the A/C!) and plan accordingly by bringing something to cover up. This does not mean you should steal your date’s three-sizes-too-big suit jacket. You’ll be so grateful for that complementary pashmina or better yet, a tailored blazer for a chic look, when it starts to get a bit chilly after the sun sets.
- DON’T EVER wear jeans.
We get it, some of you just aren’t dress & skirt gals, but that in no way shape or form means you can wear jeans to a wedding. Not even your favorite dark wash, skinny cut, designer jeans. That doesn’t mean you have to stray from pants though! A tailored trouser in a modern, graphic print is a solid alternative to denim.
- DON’T try out a crazy print.
Speaking of prints, under no circumstances should you sport a totally out-there print to a wedding. That means step away from the techno color animal print you’ve been trying to find an event for & instead hop into a watercolor or floral print in soft pastels will ensure your place on the bride’s good side.
Follow these fashion dos and you’ll have no problem passing the test on wedding guest attire.
- DO read the wedding invitation!!
First things first: read the invitation, of course! If the bride specifies that she’s having a black-tie affair, you’ll need to wear either a floor-length gown or at least something that comes below the knees. On the other hand, if the invite says “beach casual,” a colorful shift dress (Think Lilly Pulitzer) is perfect. Of course, if the invite says “cocktail attire,” wear a cocktail dress! If they have a wedding website, you might also find this information there, and probably more in depth.
If you’re really stuck on the dress code, don’t be afraid to just reach out to the bride (well in advance of the big day) and ask what she had in mind.
- DO attempt to find out the color of the bridesmaids’ dresses.
You don’t want to look like a bridesmaid when you’re not one, so if it’s possible for you to find out what color the bridesmaids are sporting, by all means, do! And then choose a color that isn’t similar.
- DO think of your footwear.
You were asked to share in the bride and groom’s celebration on their wedding day, not hired to aerate the grass. Wearing high heels to a garden or beach wedding is a no-no. How can you enjoy the couple’s signature “Something Blue” martini when your heels are constantly sinking into the ground? Instead, opt for a wedge or a stylish flat for outdoor weddings.
- DO choose a bold accessory.
If you have a summer packed with weddings, you may want to consider investing in an impeccably cut, solid-colored dress that you can wear to each soiree by just switching out the accessories. Go for a bold statement necklace, an over-sized envelope clutch, or a funky shoe. Little details like this will make sure you feel trendy and fashionable without breaking the bank.
For The Guys
Real quick, some tips for the guys:
- Unless the invitation says “black-tie” or “formal,” a man should not wear a tux. Just as ladies don’t wear white as to not upstage the bride, a man shouldn’t wear a tux for fear of upstaging the groom.
- “Semi-formal” means a suit, either dark or light; only consider wearing khakis if the invitations says something along the lines of “casual.”
Rule of thumb: wear a tie. If you find out you’re overdressed, you can always take it off.
- Short sleeve dress shirts: just don’t.
- Don’t wear sneakers, no matter what the attire calls for.
And there you have it! Now go forth & be fashionable.