What to Wear to a Wedding: Choosing the Perfect Attire for the Occasion

In this article, you’ll find expert advice on choosing the perfect outfit to wear to a wedding, taking into consideration the type of wedding, season, and current fashion trends.

Key takeaways:

  • Understand the wedding dress code
  • Consider the location and venue
  • Check the weather and dress accordingly
  • Avoid wearing white to respect the bride
  • Choose comfortable shoes for dancing and standing

Do Consider the Wedding Dress Code

do consider the wedding dress code

Understanding the wedding dress code is paramount when selecting an outfit. For a black-tie affair, opt for a formal gown or a tuxedo. A cocktail dress or a suit and tie are appropriate for semi-formal events.

In the case of a casual wedding, a summer dress or a skirt with a dressy top, and dress pants with a button-down shirt might be suitable.

Beach weddings often warrant lightweight fabrics and lighter colors. Here, linen suits and breezy dresses can replace more structured attire.

Always ensure your choices respect the event’s formality and the couple’s wishes, as noted on the invitation. Remember, a wedding is a festive occasion, and your attire should reflect both respect for the event and personal style, within the prescribed dress code.

Do Consider Location

The venue significantly influences your outfit choice. Outdoor settings like a beach or garden call for lighter fabrics and flat or wedge shoes to navigate sand or grass.

Conversely, a formal indoor event often requires elegant dresses or suits and possibly heels or dress shoes.

If it’s a destination wedding, research local customs to dress respectfully and appropriately.

For historical or unique venues, ensure your attire aligns with any venue rules or thematic elements.

Always prioritize comfort and suitability for the environment over style alone.

Do Check the Weather

Assessing the forecast ahead of the event can greatly influence your attire choices. For outdoor weddings in warm climates, opt for light fabrics like linen or chiffon to stay cool. Conversely, if the wedding is in a colder setting, layering with a pashmina or tailored coat is advisable. Rain on the horizon? Don’t forget a stylish umbrella and water-resistant footwear that complements your outfit. Always have a plan for elements to ensure comfort and style aren’t compromised.

Don’t Wear White

Reserving white attire for the bride is a deep-rooted tradition symbolizing purity and a new beginning. It’s a gesture of respect to avoid any shade of white, off-white, or ivory, ensuring the bride stands out on her special day.

Exceptions exist with themed weddings or specific instructions from the couple.

If white must be worn, consider patterns with colored backgrounds to maintain distinction.

In a sea of wedding photographs, guests dressed in non-white attire contribute to the visual harmony and highlight the bride’s unique ensemble.

Opting for alternative hues is an easy way to adhere to wedding etiquette and partake joyfully in the couple’s celebration.

Do Wear Comfortable Shoes

While selecting your footwear, prioritize comfort along with style. You’ll likely spend hours on your feet, mingling, or dancing. Here’s how to choose wisely:

1. Opt for shoes with cushioned soles to provide support during prolonged standing.

2. Consider lower heels or stylish flats if you’re not accustomed to stilettos.

3. Break in new shoes before the event to avoid blisters.

4. Investigate shoe inserts for additional support if necessary.

5. For outdoor weddings, avoid thin heels that could sink into grass.


What should I wear to a wedding as a guest?

As a guest at a wedding, women can opt for wrap dresses, midi dresses or elegant jumpsuits, while men can choose a light sport jacket, button-down shirt and relaxed chinos for a daytime wedding and go for darker colors for an evening event as it tends to be more formal.

What is the dress code for a guest at a wedding?

The dress code for a guest at a wedding can be formal, semi-formal, or black tie, with men typically wearing a black tuxedo, white dress shirt, black bowtie, and black dress shoes, and women choosing between floor-length gowns or elegant cocktail dresses, complemented by statement jewelry and stylish heels.

What is the best color to wear to a wedding?

The best colors to wear to a wedding are dark colors like navy blue or black for a classic and timeless look, or pastels such as lavender, light pink, or pale blue for a more glamorous touch.

How do I accessorize for a wedding without outshining the bride?

Choose accessories that complement your outfit but are subtle and understated, ensuring the focus remains on the bride.

How can I determine the level of formality for a wedding based on the invitation?

The level of formality for a wedding can generally be determined by analyzing factors such as the design, wording, and type of paper used in the invitation, with more formal weddings often having classic, stylized invitations on high-quality paper.

Is it appropriate to wear black to a wedding?

Yes, it's appropriate to wear black to a wedding as long as the dress code doesn't specify otherwise.

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