Monday, April 1, 2019

Guest Wedding Attire Etiquette

Will the wedding be a casual affair?

What to Wear to a Wedding, No Matter the Venue

Have you recently been invited to a wedding? If so, you may be wondering what you should wear. After all, this is a special occasion. You want to show the couple you appreciate being invited by wearing the right attire.

Choosing your outfit doesn’t need to be difficult. These tips will make putting together the right wedding look easier than ever.

Casual Outdoor Weddings

Will the wedding be a casual affair in someone’s backyard or a similar outdoor setting? A short dress will work. For colors, stick to pastels.

It’s a good idea to not overdress for this type of wedding in particular. You never want to appear to be ​drawing attention away​ from the bride. If the wedding is relatively low-key, be sure to dress casually.

Beach Weddings

The type of outfit you should wear to a beach wedding depends on whether it’s a casual or formal event. If it’s casual, you want your clothes to be fairly light. A maxi dress will do the trick. You should also consider wearing flats or ​supportive sandals​, as you want shoes that allow you to walk in the sand (or slip them off before walking in the sand, if necessary). What you don’t want to do, however, is go overboard with your accessories. Stick with something basic, like stud earrings.

That is, unless it’s a formal beach wedding. The elegant atmosphere of such an occasion calls for making a statement with accessories and jewelry, as long as you only make that statement with one piece. You don’t want to be too flashy.

Semi- Formal Cocktail Party

As the name implies, this type of wedding lets you dress down to a slight degree. That said, you don’t want your attire to be too casual. Consider a pencil dress or ​cocktail dress​. Just make sure you’re not treating “semi-formal” as an excuse to wear clothes you would wear on any other average day, and don’t overlook the importance of nice shoes.

Black Tie Wedding

This is an opportunity to dress up. For a black tie wedding, you can go with a floor length gown. You could even wear something with a train!

Check with the wedding couple to get a better sense of what is off-limits, too. A cocktail dress may be too casual for this type of wedding, if you were considering going with something a little less formal. 

Ballroom Wedding
Dress expectations for ballroom weddings can vary, so it’s best to check the i nvitation, and ask the couple any questions if you’re still not sure you know    what attire you should wear. In general, though, a long dress is a good choice.

Of course, you also need to keep basic tips in mind, such as ​not wearing white​, and avoiding anything too revealing.

Have fun choosing an outfit! This process may seem intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. You just need to remember these points when choosing clothes. If you do, putting together the ideal wedding guest outfit will be a breeze.

   Contributor Rae Steinbach is a graduate of Tufts University with a combined International Relations and Chinese degree.  After spending time living and working abroad in China, she returned to NYC to pursue her career and continue curating quality content. Rae is passionate about travel, food and writing (of course).

Etiquette Enthusiast, Maura J. Graber, is the Site Editor for the Etiquipedia© Etiquette Encyclopedia 

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