When you’ve been invited to a wedding, the thought of what to wear can leave you feeling a bit uncertain. There are certain ‘rules’ related to wedding outfits, and it can be a struggle to know if what you plan on wearing is acceptable and appropriate. Plus you have to think of an outfit that works for both the daytime ceremony and the evening reception party. It’s all somewhat tricky! So as a wedding guest, what exactly do you wear?
You might think that both black and white are off limits for a wedding. However, there are ways you can incorporate both shades. Modern wedding etiquette suggests you can wear white providing you don’t look too ‘bridal.’ So all white outfits, especially those with lace or beading, are best avoided. But a dress with accents of white, or white pattern should be perfectly fine. A black dress can make a smart wedding choice, providing it doesn’t look too much like funeral attire. So brighten up the outfit with accessories to make it more wedding appropriate. Pastel shades make a good choice, and since most weddings are held in summer, they work well for the season.
It goes without saying that your clothing choices should be ‘wedding appropriate’- so nothing that is too short, tight or low cut. If you’re wearing something from your wardrobe that you haven’t tried on in a while, don’t leave it until the morning of the big day. It could have shrunk, or your body shape might have changed, making a once modest outfit into a very risque one. If you’re not a fan of skirts or dresses, smart tailored trousers are also okay. You can still take your personal style into account so that you don’t feel uncomfortable all day, providing you keep it smart of course. Any casual wear such as jeans or sportswear of any description is firmly out of bounds when it comes to weddings.
Weddings tend to be long days. Chances are you’ll be doing a lot of standing and maybe even dancing in the evening too after a few glasses of champagne! Heels will look more dressy, but comfort is also essential, so it’s not the time to go for the highest ones you own. If you struggle to spend a day in heels, a pair of cushioned insoles may help. You might want to keep a pack of blister plasters in your handbag too, just in case.
Your accessories can really transform an outfit from day to night. This is especially handy for occasions like weddings where there will be both daytime and evening celebrations. For the daytime ceremony you could wear a tailored jacket or shrug over your dress, and then take it off for the reception. You could bring a glamorous necklace in your handbag and put this on in the evening to dress up your outfit, and take it from day to night.
Go for makeup you feel comfortable in, without going too heavy with it. When the ceremony is likely to be in the morning or early afternoon, very dark or excessive makeup isn’t likely to be the most appropriate choice. So avoid things like dark smokey eyes, excessive false lashes, and very dark lips! Going for a fresh-faced look which accentuates your features is your best bet. You could always bring a darker lipstick with you, and apply that for the celebrations later on. This will instantly make you look ready for the evening.
Fascinators have been standard in British wedding attire for generations, but since the Royal Wedding, they have become a worldwide trend. Unless the bride has requested no fascinators or head wear, then it’s perfectly acceptable to wear one if you like how they look. Just don’t go for something too bold which could detract attention from the bride, and be sure to coordinate it with the rest of your outfit. Alternatively, you could choose a pretty hair accessory instead. Something like a flower or a diamante comb or clip would work well and add a subtle glamorous touch to your outfit.
There are a few things to take into consideration when dressing for a wedding, but providing you give it some thought you will be fine. Be sure to try everything on together before the day itself so you know your outfit works, and you’re not left on the morning of the wedding in a stress about what to wear! Aim for smart and sophisticated and you’re on the right track.
What do you wear when you attend a wedding? Have you ever unknowingly made a wedding fashion faux par?