You’ve got the invitation. Your best friend/family member/niece/nephew is getting married. Wonderful!
Now, the dress code says formal/lounge-suit. What?
Or perhaps it says dress to impress. Okay – who I am impressing you ask?
Or worse, smart casual. Yay – you can wear jeans! Actually, no you can’t.
Sure, we know brides have it hard to secure “the” dress but as a wedding guest, the vast array of dress codes and wedding types can be overwhelming when trying to find an appropriate outfit for the event.
Now this blog post is timely as in Australia, March is peak for wedding season. I shop with many ladies in the lead up to a wedding event. Most of them confused and desperate to secure the perfect outfit; appropriate, non-offensive to the bride and adhering to the dress code.
There is nothing worse than feeling overdressed or underdressed at an event. We’ve all been there.
So today, we give you tips and outfit ideas on what to wear to a wedding!
Here a few things to consider:
- Times have changed! Many brides take a relaxed view on traditions and in many cases allowing you to wear white, cream or black to a wedding. Finally!
- Traditions have changed, “formal” is no longer as formal as it used to be. Things have relaxed a little where a skirt/top ensemble for women or a jumpsuit is appropriate
- Keep it stylish.
- Adhere to cultural traditions if specified on the invitation. From my experience, European weddings are generally quite festive and you’ll find many people dress up. A friend of mine recently attended an Indian wedding and was encouraged to wear “bright colour”. Get involved; it’s always fun to do something different.
- The Beach Wedding. You will get sand everywhere, prepare for it. Watch for wispy, light-material dresses as the seaside always brings with it a breeze and shoes are generally the biggest challenge. Depending on how relaxed the wedding party is, a platform or solid heel will win over a stiletto any day!
- Garden Wedding. It’s nice to connect with the surroundings at a garden wedding so a nice floral dress or nature bright will work in nicely. Think a tea party ensemble and consider the beach type heel as you will probably be on the grass.
- Have a back up-plan should the weather change. Consider wraps and jackets and even a mini umbrella if you can squeeze it into that clutch. Oh and nothing looks worse than sunburned shoulders in your strapless or sleeveless dress – consider sunscreen.
- Dress for your body shape and wear control underwear or Spanx if you need them or if they make you feel more comfortable. I have a whole blog post on this
- Ensure your hair and make-up is perfect. If you can, get them done professionally, many places including Napoleon offer free* makeovers with the amount you pay redeemable in product.
- Clutches and handbags have changed so much and the idea of the perfect match to your shoes is still nice, however, these days bringing on an opposing colour into your clutch can look great along with adding some interest to your overall look! Think monochromatic black and white or this season’s blue and gold.
Mothers of the Couple
If you are a Mother of the Bride (MOB) or Mother of the Groom (MOG) opt for a simple and stunning look. Of course a colour to compliment the bridesmaids is always preferred. Tip: Make sure you find out what colour the MOG or MOB is wearing too if you can.
- Formal – the most over-used and confusing dress code as it means different things to different people. However I would suggest that for women, a cocktail dress at the minimum, beautiful accessories and a suit and tie for gentleman.
- Smart/Casual/Informal – no, jeans are not okay. This is more or a relaxed take on your look. You could still wear a cocktail dress but dress it down with relaxed hair, smaller heels etc. Gentleman can get away with trousers and a shirt (no tie) or pop out a shirt collar beneath a nice knit.
- Cocktail – very race-worthy. A pretty dress, even a maxi, heels and accessories. Gentleman should work a three piece suit.
- Lounge-suit – think daytime wear. Ladies can wear a cocktail dress, jumpsuit or skirt/top ensemble while gentleman should wear a daytime suit, no tie required.
- Black Tie – This is where you pull out all of the stops. Gentleman should wear a full three-piece suit or even tuxedo (bowtie included) a ladies should opt for a long evening gown.
- White Tie – the pinnacle of weddings and you would hope this person that suggested this dress code is getting married at The Plaza in New York. Think dress coat, tuxedo and bow-tie for gentleman and a ball gown for women. Ladies, keep this in your wardrobe in case you ever have the chance to attend the Oscars.
Finally, a wedding can be a bit like the races…everyone starts off so elegant and some end up like a ship wreck. Think about it, do you want to be remembered for how lovely you looked or how dishevelled you ended up?! (Just saying…)
It is coming into the wedding month of March, are you attending any weddings or maybe arranging one of your own? If so, have you got your outfit planned?
As always I would love to hear from you in the comments below 🙂
Now off you go, dress up, have fun and enjoy a glass of sparkling for me!