Dressing as a wedding guest can be quite difficult if you haven’t been to many weddings or aren’t sure what is suitable, plus there are so many different dress codes out there it can get quite confusing. So, we’re here with some really simple tips to help make the whole process easier, from what to read on the invitation to tips to help you feel comfortable. Let’s get into it and help you find the perfect outfit for the next wedding you attend!
Follow The Couple’s Wishes
The first and most important piece of advice we can give you is to follow the couple’s wishes. If there is a specific dress code on the invitation, make sure to follow it, as this is their special day and if they would like you to wear something particular, you should do so. If you really don’t want to, you should definitely consider not attending rather than showing up and potentially causing upset on their big day. The couple will be looking at their wedding photos for the rest of their life, so if they want them to look a certain way, this should be respected! If you’re unsure about the different dress codes, here is a brief introduction:
- White Tie – the most formal dress code for the most grand weddings, where you would be expected to wear a very formal evening gown or even a ballgown.
- Black Tie – slightly less formal than white tie, but a formal floor length gown would still be expected.
- Formal – this can be open to interpretation, however usually this would involve either a slightly less formal floor length dress, or a very formal cocktail dress.
- Cocktail – cocktail sits somewhere around formal and semi-formal, where midi or mini dresses are acceptable, and you are able to have a bit more fun with your outfit. You can introduce more colour, texture or print here, to bring your outfit to life.
- Semi-Formal – any evening wear is appropriate here, whether it’s a jumpsuit, a dressier skirt and top or pants and a blouse. Steer clear of floor length gowns as you will definitely be overdressed here. As long as they aren’t too revealing, your going out dresses will work well here.
- Casual – this is often a choice for barn or beach type weddings where the couple are dressing down and you can too. Summer sun dresses are perfect for this, but just make sure that you avoid jeans or anything along those lines!
Avoid White At All Costs
This is another essential tip that you need to pay attention to. Unless you are explicitly asked to wear white on the invitation (this might be the case if the bride or groom are wearing all black or colourful outfits), you should avoid white at all costs. Wearing white to a wedding is known to be a no-go, as it is a clear attempt to distract from the bride and to get people talking about you rather than them. You might have elements of white on your dress which is okay, but as long as it isn’t the predominant colour, that is the most important thing. This also goes for similar colours, like ivory or very pale pastel colours that could be mistaken for white. You can wear white dresses whenever else you would like, but make sure that they remain firmly in your wardrobe when deciding what to wear to a wedding!
Avoid Anything Too Revealing
Our next tip is to avoid anything too revealing, as again, this could be taken as an attempt to upstage the bride. Also, most wedding guests will want to dance the night away at the wedding and simply have a great time, so you want to make sure that you feel completely comfortable in the outfit you’re wearing. Also take into account that you will be sitting down for meals and potentially around the cocktail hour, so choose something you feel completely comfortable sitting down in.
Look At The Invitation Carefully
Another thing you can do to help you decide what to wear on the big day is to look at the wedding invitation carefully. You can access so much information to help you make your decision here, so pay attention! Firstly, look at the colour theme on the invitation. This is very likely to be a giveaway about what the theme on the day will be, as well as what colour the bridesmaids might be wearing. Whilst this might not be accurate, if you want to avoid clashing with the bridesmaids, paying attention to the colour of the invitation is a good direction to go in!
You should also look at the location of the wedding, to help make a decision on the type of shoes you wear. For example, if it’s a farm wedding, you might decide to wear wedges instead of stilettos to stop you sinking into the mud. Equally, if it’s a super formal venue in the city, you might bring out your best pair of shoes that you know won’t get dirty.
Wear Semi-Comfortable Shoes
Last but not least, although wearing very high shoes can look great with your outfit, it isn’t the most practical in terms of comfort! Weddings can be very long days, with some wedding ceremonies commencing at 1pm and continuing through to 1am, so you want to make sure you have shoes that will take you through the whole day. So, go for something you have worn before that you know won’t cause any blisters or anything. Or, if you need to buy new shoes, wear them around the house with a pair of socks for a good few hours, a few times before the wedding. This may feel silly, but it can make such a difference when you come to wear them on the big day, so it is definitely worth it, plus, you can do it when no one is watching!
If you are staying at the venue, or you are driving, you could leave a pair of shoes in your room or car so that once all of the photos and the main parts of the day are out of the way, you can change into comfier shoes. This is the best of both worlds, as you can wear your favourite shoes and get lots of nice photos, but then you can enjoy the whole evening without anything holding you back. We would always recommend taking shoes with you rather than going barefoot, as someone almost always drops a drink on the dancefloor and a glass will get smashed, so this just means you can enjoy everything without any concerns.