… And, what NOT to wear to a wedding.
It doesn’t matter the type of wedding you are going to, there is wedding etiquette and rules for attire that are pre-set. The dress code is there to help guide you in the outfit selection process. They are there primarily to ensure that the wedding couple is happy and comfortable on their big day!
There isn’t much the bridal party can do when it comes to what their guests wear to their wedding. However, it is important that ensure that you are not mimicking or trying to upstage the bride and groom.
Some couples will send out their dress code expectations with the invitations. This helps ensure that everyone is on the same page.
Knowing what NOT to wear to a wedding is really important. You don’t want to be that person that takes the attention away from the bride.
What Not To Wear To A Wedding
Before we go over what to wear to a wedding, we need to address what must be avoided. This is a mini-etiquette guide that will help you prepare for the wedding you’re invited to.
Avoid Overly Revealing Clothing
Of course this is not say you shouldn’t feel confident, and sexy in what you choose to wear. But, it is important to air on the side of caution when showing too much skin. You have to keep in mind that there will be guests that are older, younger, and may come from different religious backgrounds.
Keep you outfit choices modest, with hints of sexiness. This can be easily achieved by choosing a garment with a slit in the leg, or a back-less dress. Pick an outfit that makes you feel confident, comfortable but doesn’t steal the show.
Avoid Matching The Bridal Party
A huge faux-pas when attending a wedding as a guest, is showing up matching the bridal party. Do some digging and try to find out what shades and colors the bridal party and groomsmen will be wearing. Then, choose something that is the complete opposite.
Some couples will include in the invites what colors your can or cannot wear to the wedding. Some invites will have a color scheme and those shades will most likely be used in the wedding décor and bridal party.
Can you wear black to a wedding? Yes, you can definitely wear black to a wedding. However, sometimes, black is associated with mourning and sadness. So, be sure to choose your accessories wisely.
Don’t Go Too Casual
Even if it is stated that the wedding is casual, there are many things you need to avoid. The couple definitely does not mean show up in your sweats, flip-flops, t-shirts and/or denim. This type of attire is inappropriate at a wedding.
Ladies, wear a casual dress or a nice pant suit, and men wear a button up shirt that is tucked in with a belt.
Obviously, Don’t Wear White
White is not an option as a wedding guest. Yes, even off white. Even really light colors can come off as white in photographs.
You should be steering clear from any colors or shades that may read as white, both at a glance and in pictures.
However, if for some reason, the bride makes it known that guests can wear white, than that’s the exception.
Wedding Guest Dress Code Ideas
Now that we know what not wear, let’s discuss what to wear when you recieve your invitation and the concept is revealed.
- Casual Wedding: a comfortable, flowy dress with a pair of low heels or sandals. For men, khakis or dress paints with a tucked in button up and a sports jacket.
- Semi-Formal Wedding: a maxi dress and a dark suit are semi-formal and comfortable options.
- Formal Wedding: a long dress or gown that makes a statement but isn’t over the top and a tuxedo.
- Beach Wedding: A sundress or linen is appropriate. Sandals, not flip-flops.
Not Sure? Just Ask
Once you get your invite, and have tried to decipher what the dress code is but you still aren’t sure, just ask.
Call, text or email the bride or someone in the bridal party. Find out what colors and shades they are wearing and what type of wedding it will be.
It is fairly rare that there won’t be any information regarding dress code on both the website and the invitations. Knowing whether the wedding is formal, casual, or semi-formal will help you understand what to wear.