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Wedding Guest Attire Tips

Even if it isn't your big day, your wedding guest attire matters. Choosing the right outfit can help you show off your style without stealing the spotlight.

The Dos and Don'ts of Wedding Guest Attire

Few experiences give you the chance to show off your style quite like a wedding. These events are the perfect excuse to treat yourself to some fabulous new pieces, but you need to make sure that what you choose is right for the upcoming event. When you're a wedding guest, there are a few rules and recommendations that can help you dress with confidence.

Wedding Guest Dress

How To Choose Appropriate Wedding Guest Attire

Every couple is different and has a unique vision for their special day. Just a little research and attention to detail can help you pick the right outfit so you can express your style while respecting their wishes.

Check the Invitation

Your invitation will give you a lot of information on how to plan your wedding day apparel. The overall style and design can give you a general feel for what to expect, whether it's rustic, chic, modern, or fun. Many will also give specific dress code instructions for wedding guest attire. The time of day can also be very insightful: morning and afternoon weddings tend to be more casual, while evening weddings are typically more formal.

Consider the Venue

Take a few minutes to look up the venue for the ceremony and the reception. Find photographs if you can. By getting a feel for the setting and atmosphere, you can be more confident when choosing the right outfit, from the cut and style to the fabrics used.

Define the Dress Code

If your invitation does have a specified dress code, make sure you know the correct definitions to guide you in your planning. Some of the most common options for a wedding guest include:

  • Black tie
  • Formal
  • Semi-formal
  • Cocktail
  • Casual
  • Come as you are
  • Themed

Keep in mind that many of these dress codes can be somewhat flexible and open to interpretation. When in doubt, ask the bride or groom.

Printed Glam Dress

What To Wear When You're a Wedding Guest

Once you've narrowed down the dress code for the wedding, there are still some other factors to consider as you plan your outfit. These tips can help you feel great about what you're wearing so you can thoroughly enjoy the event from start to finish.

Do Dress To Impress

There are plenty of events where anything goes wardrobe-wise, but a wedding is not one of them. Even when you're dressing for a casual wedding, choose attire that shows you care about the couple and that you recognize it isn't just another ordinary day. As a wedding guest, you should avoid pieces that have holes or tears and choose tasteful options that help you look put-together. In the end, it's better to overdress a little than to underdress for the occasion.

Do Consider Your Comfort

Most weddings are rather lengthy affairs, so keep this in mind when you're choosing your attire for the day. This is especially true for outdoor weddings. Not only do you want to consider your outfit, but your undergarments and accessories as well. Above all, choose shoes you can stand and walk in for long periods. If your outfit absolutely must have a set of killer heels to complete your look, pack a simple pair of flats to change into after the ceremony or when it's time to hit the dance floor.

Do Choose the Right Accessories

Every wedding guest should have a few essentials on hand to get them through the big day, like a favorite lipstick, a few tissues, or cash for tips at the bar. However, since you'll likely be moving from place to place throughout the event, your typical handbag could be cumbersome and unnecessary. If you don't already have one, purchase a simple clutch that's easy to keep track of and accentuates your outfit. In fact, the right accessories, such as a stylish hat or statement earrings, can really elevate your look in just the right way.

Fall Wedding Guest Dress

What Not To Wear When You're a Wedding Guest

While it doesn't have to be difficult to dress well for a wedding, it can still be easy to get it wrong. When choosing your ensemble for the event, keep these wedding fashion faux pas in mind and avoid them completely.

Don't Wear White

This should go without saying, but it is generally considered socially unacceptable for a wedding guest to wear white, no matter what the wedding party is wearing. It's a fashion choice that gives off the impression that you aim to take attention away from the happy couple on their big day. Unless the invitation specifically instructs you to, stay away from a solid white (or off-white) outfit. Otherwise, you could create some very unnecessary tension.

Don't Match the Wedding Colors

There's a good chance that the wedding invitation will give you a sense of the overall style and color choices for the wedding. While it may be tempting, avoid options that look like you're trying to match the theme for the big day; unless, of course, it's a themed wedding. Trying to match the bridesmaids or look like you're a member of the wedding party when you aren't can send the wrong message. Opt for other colors that look great on you without making you blend in with every other wedding guest.

Don't Risk a Wardrobe Malfunction

While there's nothing wrong with fashion choices that accentuate and highlight your body, a wedding isn't the appropriate venue to show too much skin. Pieces that are extremely short, low-cut, or revealing can be problematic, especially if you plan on dancing the night away at the reception. Many people view weddings as sacred ceremonies, even if the celebration afterward gets a little rowdy. It's better to dress in something that shows your appreciation and respect for this momentous occasion and the people involved. Remember, anything that draws too much attention away from the wedding party can be problematic.

If you want to be certain that your wedding guest attire is appropriate, reach out to the bride or groom; just be sure you do it well in advance. When you're ready to shop for the perfect outfit, Kate Hewko offers options for every taste, from glamorous and chic to uncommon and cool. Contact us today for help with fit, styling, and more.

Pink Ruffle Dress

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