10 Do’s and Don’ts for Dressing as a Wedding Guest

GS LOVE / May 25, 2017
dressing as a wedding guest

Simplify your wedding season with our how to guide for dressing as a wedding guest.

In today’s world, weddings have become unpredictable. Couples get married later in life, brides no longer exclusively wear white and more people are choosing to have non-traditional ceremonies. Sometimes it’s hard to know whether your next wedding invite will ask you to go to a 5-star hotel or a secluded barn in a forest. This ambiguity can make navigating what to wear just that much harder than it used to be. But fear not! Even in this uncertain world, there are still some rules to stick by. Here are our 10 do’s and don’ts for dressing as a wedding guest.

black kitten heels

Do wear comfortable shoes.

A wedding can be an all day affair, and with all the standing, walking, and most importantly, dancing that will be going on, don’t get stuck barefoot carrying around your impractical stilettos.

Stick to comfortable shoes with a minimal heel that are still dressy enough for the occasion.  

Kitten heels are always a great choice, as they allow you to dress up your outfit, but your feet won’t be screaming for help by the end of the night.

Style # 159903
black kitten heels
sad bride

Don't wear white.

This one should go without saying, but white is still off limits.  

This is the couple's day, and all attention should be on them.  Let the bride own the color of her dress.

sad bride
floral maxi dress

Do go for soft, romantic looks.

For the most part, weddings are dreamy, happy affairs.  

Stay away from looks that are too edgy, and instead dress with soft colors, ruffles and flowing hems.

Style # 160364

floral maxi dress
couple flowers wedding

Do dress for the event.

A good rule of thumb is to dress according to the time of the wedding, season and it’s location.  

So if it’s being held in the morning, outdoors, during mid summer, it’s safe to wear a light, shorter dress.

If it’s a late afternoon winter wedding, held indoors at a hotel, it’s best to wear something more formal.

couple flowers wedding
knee length floral dress on model

Don’t wear anything too flashy.

We know that pink bodycon dress makes you look amazing, but now is not the time.

A cute floral knee length dress is a good choice to avoid looking drab, while still being respectful.  

Just remember that someone’s grandparents are going to be there, so dress as if they were your grandparents.

Style # 160377

knee length floral dress on model
gold necklace

Do have fun with jewelry.

While you shouldn’t get too flashy when it comes to your outfit, that doesn’t mean you can’t still have fun.

Break out your best jewels for the occasion, those pieces you can’t wear to work without looking a little over the top.

Jewelry can add a splash to your outfit that doesn’t attract too much attention.

Style # 156278

gold necklace
wedding venue event

Don't forget to check your weather app.

With smartphones these days you no longer have an excuse if you show up to an outdoor wedding wearing a strappy dress, only to find out it’s going to get chilly as the sun goes down.

Pull up that weather app and make sure you’ve got what you need to make it through the day.

wedding venue event
mid length black cardigan on model

Do wear layers.

Ah, the struggles of going from the ceremony, to the cocktail hour, to the reception.  

When moving from location to location you can never be certain what the temperature is going to be at each new spot.  

Make sure to dress with layers so you can easily shed or add clothing, depending on how you’re feeling.

Style # 159934
mid length black cardigan on model
bride and groom wearing converse

Don’t underdress.

When in doubt about how formal the wedding is, just remember it is better to be overdressed rather than underdressed.

Even if the couple is the type to wear converse with their wedding day outfits, there is no guarantee you won’t still stick out like a sore thumb if you do the same.

Dress a bit fancier, and feel safe in your outfit choice.

bride and groom wearing converse
wedding invitations

Don’t ignore the invitation.

A wedding invitation holds a lot of clues for how to dress, make sure to use it!

Pay attention to the wedding colors indicated on the card and use them to coordinate your outfit with the decor.

You can also look at the style of the invite to gauge the formality of the wedding.

wedding invitations


But the most important thing to remember?  Don’t stress too much about clothing, and do have a blast!

Want more how to fashion articles?  Check out our Weekender Guide to What to Wear.

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