Wedding - what to wear as a guest
Wedding season is officially upon us - which means the search for a summery (and guest-appropriate) wedding outfit is on. And if you’re like me, your mind is already buzzing thinking about what to wear to all of the events that are now popping up on your calendar.
It's true that while yes, there are infinitely more wedding outfit options for a summer wedding, as opposed to a winter one, but there are also plenty of opportunities for potential wardrobe malfunctions. Regardless of how swelteringly hot the ceremony is, we suggest steering clear of super-sheer fabrics, excessive cut-outs, and sternum-plunging necklines.
So, since dressing for a wedding can be tricky, I thought I’d put together a straightforward list of style do’s and don’ts, to guide you through wedding season. Check them out to be the best dressed wedding guest in 2019 - or just to have a fail safe.
The first and most important rule when being invited to a wedding – motto weddings excluded – is to never clash with the bride. That means, first and foremost, don’t wear white (or any color that neighbors white like ecru, eggshell, or cream) as it would be very rude.
Apart from that, not crashing with the bride also means don't go too flashy. Don't be that girl. You know, the one who showed up obviously trying to look hotter than the bride. Understatement is what we live on weddings.
Secondly, a really important rule is to not wear black and save that for funerals. And witnessing two people getting married is not a sad event, right?
Wedding dress codes come with even more stipulations: don't go too short. Micro-short hemlines are totally inappropriate on every kind of wedding, no matter if it’s an outdoor wedding on hot summer days or a classic one. Midi-length is the way to go!
However, if the wedding is more the classic wedding type including a church, there are even more restrictions. In catholic churches, you’re shoulders should be covered. Apart from the typical blazer I actually love scarfs rapped around the shoulders. Churches tend to be cold inside, even on really hot summer weddings, so you’ll be glad to have some covering anyway.
Besides the obvious do’s and don'ts, the "what to wear" to your friend's wedding isn't always an easy question to answer. You have to decide whether to wear a long dress or a shorter one, a trouser and blouse combination or a jumpsuit.
Jumpsuits are my favorite since it’s as easy as a dress and in light fabrics a jumpsuit is perfect for hot summer days. Plus: your skin is covered enough for the church!
Do opt for pretty, romantic looks. A wedding is a celebration of love, so keep that theme in mind when you’re deciding what to wear. Think floral prints, crepe, ruffles, and lace. Edgy, sultry, or even overly fashion-forward ensembles should be reserved for other occasions.
Floral dresses are my favorite option for summer or spring weddings. If the dress is patterned either with flowers or anything else, it’s okay if the ground color is white. Try rose for those romantic vibes.
When it comes to shoes do wear your dancing shoes. You want to look chic and put together, but you also want to be able to dance the night away with the couple. So, make sure that whatever shoes you pair with your outfit are the perfect mix of style and comfort. Wedges, mid-height heels, dressy sandals, and even chic ballet flats are all good options. No matter how beautiful those stilettos are – ask yourself if you want to dance with these or if you can walk properly and elegantly with them. If you really want to wear sky-high heels for the ceremony and cocktail hour, I suggest stashing a pair of flats in your bag for later in the night.
All other accessories should be kept simple. A statement collar is nice but probably not the right thing for a really conservative wedding. Everything depends on the wedding type and dress code. But, let me say, wedding accessories are mostly small romantic details or coordinated with the whole wedding look and not contrast pieces. Nice earrings and a bag (maybe big enough to carry ballerinas with you!) are okay – a hat shows that you’re brave to experiment with fashion. Most online shops not only offer categories for wedding dresses but also for wedding shoes, wedding accessories and so on.. Get some inspiration over there
But what about your hair? Whether you're a maid of honor or just a guest, you should take the occasion to do something more like an “all day everyday open hair”-look. Chignons or every other kind of (well made) bun-hairstyle is great in summer, since your neck doesn’t get too hot. If the wedding dress code allows some creativity put a floral hairband or other hair accessories on – best chance to wear them finally!
You want to be the perfect couple on the wedding (apart from bride and groom of course)? Coordinate your outfits! That means when you’re wearing a light blue dress it’s nice if your boyfriends bow tie has (nearly) the same color. Play with some details in order to show you belong to each other and you both know what it means to have perfect wedding style. Pay attention of how elegant you both are. If he’s wearing a cummerbund and you’re wearing a bohemian dress, you will look more confusing than chic.
Last but not least, my ultimate advice: Don’t wear anything that is terribly uncomfortable or waiting to be a wardrobe malfunction. It's a shame to spend the entire evening pulling your strapless dress up or having to skip a beautiful meal because your dress is much too tight! And: Do take note of the dress code. If no dress code is listed, you can usually infer how dressy a wedding will be based on the venue. Beach weddings, for instance, tend to be cocktail attire or dressy casual, while ballroom weddings call for more formal attire.
You found some inspiration for a wedding outfit? Great. But just don’t forget to put at least some tissues in your bag…