Selecting your wedding guest outfit for the upcoming nuptial affair is no easy feat. As soon as you get the invitation in your hands, you will start contemplating what to wear. But don’t worry, even a seasoned guest goes through the same drill every time when there is a wedding celebration to be attended. Below I have listed my top tips to help you make the choosing process run smoothly!
Discover the Dress Code
Usually, you will have this information stated on the invitation itself. In case there is none, then the next place you should search for is the couple’s wedding website. Often, this is the place where they would list all the important details so there is a good chance to discover what is the required wedding guest dress code.
Decoding the Wedding Etiquette
Having a dress code requirement is often a half load off your chest since you will have a firm pointer. Here are the most common ones to help you make a stylish and appropriate statement!
Black-tie – this is one of the most formal codes and it often translates that the wedding is going to be an evening event. This wedding etiquette is pretty straightforward and requires a long evening dress that wouldn’t reveal your ankles. However, if there is an indication that it will be just a tiny bit less formal, you can go for an elegant androgynous suit, pantsuit, or opulent cocktail dress. If an evening dress isn’t your cup of tea then, a tuxedo will be required. What completes the look are a vest, a bow tie, and of course, patent leather shoes.
Formal – this is actually just a bit less formal code, often referred to as black-tie optional. If you’re wearing a dress, then it is pretty much the same, you can go for the three usual types of wedding guest attire noted previously but with a small exception – you are allowed to choose a dress that would be ankle-length. Additionally, you have the option of wearing a tuxedo. If you don’t feel like it, then the acceptable options are a dark suit, a more conservative tie, and a white shirt.
Semi-formal – otherwise called dressy casual, this is a code that takes into consideration the time of the wedding day. If it is during the day, then lighter fabrics and colors are fitting, and during the evening – darker tones. In contrast to the previous two, this time, wearing a floor length gown is simply not fitting to the code. Instead, opt for a sundress or dressy skirt with a top, a sophisticated pantsuit, or a dress that has a below-the-knee length. You can also wear a suit or slacks and a dress shirt (with or without a tie). This is an opportunity to be both comfortable yet elegant.
Take Into Account the Season
Of course, the season will play a role concerning other aspects as well. During Summer, pick a wedding guest attire that has a lighter and breathable fabric to stay cool. When it comes to Fall, then this is a chance to wear some beautiful jewel tones. Spring is perfect for floral prints and pastels, while Winter is generally more elegant. Depending on how cold the weather is, don’t forget to bring a jacket which would wonderfully complement your style. When thinking about what to wear to a wedding, think of the whole day of events from ceremony, cocktail hour, to dinner and lastly reception.
Colors: White is a General NO
Avoid wearing anything white unless otherwise requested from the couple. Also, try not to coordinate completely with the wedding party attire. Instead, you can compliment the color palette. In addition, cream colors, very pale pink and white with florals are also in poor taste. There should be no confusion as to who is in the wedding party or who the wedding couple is.
Get a Feel From the Venue
There is a chance there won’t be a dress code specified, but nonetheless, the tips above will help you get a general feel. What can help you further in tailoring your wedding guest look is the venue. Take a look at the place and you will notice whether there is a level of formality, sophistication, or maybe it is a laid-back elegance kind of vibe.
I hope that this wedding guest guide will help you pick the right attire, or maybe help you settle a dress code for your celebration! For more handy resources, visit my list of favorite wedding vendors in Fresno, California. As for photography services, I would be delighted to capture your story! Get in touch here.
Hey there, I’m Michelle!
Wedding Photographer + Creative behind GunnShot Photography.
With over 3 years of wedding experience, I help couples feel comfortable, confident and capture timeless memories to share for years to come.
As a member of the LGBTQ+ community, I provide invaluable insight on how to navigate the wedding planning process as a queer couple in this heteronormative wedding world. You two can can create your own traditions and I’ll be there to capture those timeless moments.
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I specialize in inclusive wedding photography for all. I went from being engayged to being a Fresno Wedding Photographer when I couldn't find any photographers locally who held my same values.
Fueled by equal parts coffee and passion, I believe your story, your love, is beautiful and I can't wait to capture it in images you will treasure for years to come. I believe in real moments and genuine connection. In the kinds of images that remind you of the joy that can be found in the simplest of moments together.
And I can't wait to get to know you!
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