What to Wear to a Wedding


What to Wear to a Wedding

What to Wear to a Wedding



Black Tie...is black tie: contrary to popular belief, you don't have to wear a floor-length gown to a black-tie wedding. However, if you do wear a shorter frock, be sure it is extremely dressy: a cocktail gown that's not provocative in anyway. If the invitation says black tie, go black tie. You never want to be underdressed. If you have to ask yourself, "Is this fancy enough?" it probably isn't.


...is white tie: here's where the mandatory floor-length gowns come into play. Though you don't have to wear a ball gown, your dress must cover your legs. We're not talking summer maxi-dresses here, either. These full-length dresses must be red-carpet worthy.


Doesn't Specify...doesn't specify: if the invitation doesn't call out the dress code, take hints from the location, time of the event, and knowledge of the couple's style. If you're still stumped, ask one of the bridesmaids to fill you in. Chances are, if the event is in the evening at an indoor venue, the couple is expecting formal wear. That means short cocktail dresses for the ladies and a suit and tie for men. Men may take off their suit jackets after the ceremony.


...is on a beach: feel free to get a bit casual here, but don't go overboard. A nice sundress would be perfect for the women, and khakis and a button up are ideal for men. When in doubt, men, wear a tie. You can always remove it.


Barn Wedding...is in a barn: again, don't get too casual here, but you need not wear a cocktail dress. A flowy, pastel frock would be perfect for this rustic wedding venue.


...is in the winter: wear an outfit that fits the dress code and then throw on a jacket to match. If the event is black tie, please don't throw a fleece over your gorgeous gown. A fur coat or shawl would be much more appropriate. Scarves, hats, and gloves are also wonderful ways to keep warm. If you must, wear snow boots and bring your heels to change into.


Brunch Wedding

...is a brunch: you can wear nice black slacks and a fancy top but, chances are, you'll be much more comfortable in a semi-casual dress. Wear something you would wear on Easter Sunday or to meet your significant other's parents.


...is themed: follow the theme, or you'll most likely feel left out. If you really don't feel comfortable, wear an outfit that alludes to theme but doesn't go all out. For example, lots of couples are jumping on the Great Gatsby bandwagon. You don't have to arrive with a feather in your hair, but you can wear an art-deco dress.




Overall rules: Bring Flats

  • Never wear white.
  • Ladies, make sure you bring a shawl or cardigan to cover up if the ceremony is in a house of worship.
  • Don't go too sparkly unless it's a New Year's wedding. You don't want to outshine the bride.
  • You're better off being overdressed than underdressed.
  • Bring a pair of flats so that you can dance the night away!
  • Don't wear anything too short or too low cut.


All photographs by Sweet Little Photographs and Anastasiya Belik

BONUS! To find out everything you need to know about a special pre-wedding event, be sure to check out How to Plan a Bridal Shower: Helpful Bridal Shower Planning Checklist.

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