We’re quickly approaching the full swing of wedding season which generally stretches from late-April/May to September/October in the South! It is always exciting to see your loved ones get married, but it can be a frustrating experience trying to navigate the wedding guest attire codes.
In today’s post, we’re going to cut through to the basics, so that you are confident and relaxed going into your next event. Furthermore, this post might be wedding focused, but these basics still apply to any social event with a dress code!
Also, check out the end where there will be links to recommendations from cocktail dresses to jumpsuits. Wedding season also starts about the same time as Easter, so these options work great for spring events too.
The Dont’s of Wedding guest attire
Starting off with the Don’ts because once you know what you can’t do then the world is your oyster! These are 5 basic Don’ts to keep in mind that will ensure you to be a great guest!
#1: Don’t Wear White
This is an old tradition, but we are going to get out of the way first. Please don’t show up in any type of white, cream, ivory, etc. unless the bride explicitly states (i.e. black/white color theme, bridal party wears white, etc.). Prints can be workable—but try to pick one where the print takes up most of the garment and leaves little white grin-through. In short, if the piece looks predominantly white, probably best to pass.
#2: Don’t Forget Dress Code
Formal (Black Tie Optional): As with the Black Tie code, this dress code is very common for evening weddings as it still portrays elegance, but without requiring everyone to be in a tuxedo or evening gown. Although slightly less strict than mandatory Black Tie, the cocktail dresses or pant suits should still be elevated.
Cocktail: Also a very common choice, this dress code helps bridge the gap between formal and semiformal. When it comes to wedding guest attire, try to avoid anything too flashy or too tight. It is best to stick with a knee length dress in an elegant fabric like a satin or lace. The look should still be paired with a nice heel and delicate jewelry.
Semiformal: This dress code can be rather tricky because it is not quite formal but also not quite casual. But have no fear, this dress code just means you have to pay a little more attention to your surroundings. For example, if the wedding is during the day stick with lighter colors and a block-heeled sandal while evening weddings should focus on skirt separates or jumpsuits.
Casual/Destination: These two dress codes are paired together because they have many similarities. Both casual and destination could be beach weddings, backyard events or intimate ceremonies. Cotton sundresses, maxi dresses, and items of that nature are appropriate, but steer clear from shorts, flip flops, and t-shirts. Although casual, you should still look put together and intentional.
#3: Don’t Be Too Bold
Let your personality be bold, not your outfit! Recommend staying away from loud prints (i.e animal, chevron, large polka dots) in order to not distract from the bride or stand out too much in pictures. Keep things elegant with a small or subtle print. The same goes for colors– try to avoid neons or eye sore colors.
#4: DOn’t Show too Much Skin
Totally understand that weddings can be a social event for singles, but aim to keep your outfits sophisticated. Not only is it alluring and elegant, it will help you to avoid any wardrobe or picture mishaps! Also, depending on the dress code, it could seem out of place for a relaxed and casual event.
#5: DOn’t Stress
The Do’s of Wedding Guest Attire
Hang with me, we’re almost there! Now that we have gone over the “Don’ts”, let’s have some fun with the Do’s!
#1: Do Be Comfortable
When it comes to dresses, shoes, undergarments–you name it– it is important that you keep comfort in mind. Many people want to opt for the Spanx or high heel, but if it is going to make you miserable by the end of the night, then it should be a hard pass! However, make sure you still keep the dress code in mind!
#2: Do Dress for Weather
This might seem like a no-brainer, but make sure you check the weather the week and day of! Prepare in advance in case you need to bring an extra layer like a shawl or jacket. Also, good to keep in mind that if it rained the day before and it is an outdoor wedding, then be careful on your shoe selection!
#3: Do Dress for Location
#4: Do Ask Others
When in doubt, as your friends and family! It will never hurt to ask others what their attire will be. This will ensure that your outfit has hit all the right marks and takes any stress off your plate!
#5: Do Have Fun!
Wedding Guest Attire Ideas
Speaking of fun, let’s get dressed now! Here are some outfit ideas for each of the dress code categories. These are great base options, so you can add your own personality and twist.
Between these tips and outfit ideas, you will be set for your next wedding event! As mentioned above, don’t forget to have fun and enjoy these special moments with the ones you love! Leave any questions or comments below, and I would be happy to help!