There’s a lot riding on the outfit you wear to a wedding. On one hand, you don’t want to show up to a wedding looking like a schlub; on the other, you don’t want to upstage the bridal party.
Well, worry no more—here are the dos and don’ts you should know before picking out your wedding attire.
Things To Avoid
This may seem obvious, but some people need to be reminded: do not wear white to a wedding. Ever. That color’s reserved for the bride.
By the way, this rule even includes pre-wedding gatherings, like engagement parties, bridal showers, and rehearsal dinners. Unless the bride and groom specifically ask for an all-white dress code, avoid this color at all costs.
It’s also important to take the venue and context into consideration. The outfit you wear to a garden wedding should be different from the one you wear to a very religious ceremony. When attending a stricter wedding, it’s best to dress a little nicer and more conservatively. Men, leave the jeans at home.
Because weddings are a family event, you don’t want to pick anything that’s too revealing. A casual wedding ceremony and reception is not the time to bust out your newest club wear.
Also, be sure you pick out something that’ll be comfortable for a long day. Pulling up a strapless dress or constantly adjusting your suspenders will get old real fast.
Good to Go
Just because you have to be careful with your wardrobe doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with your outfit. Don’t be afraid to wear patterns, floral prints, or bright colors. Weddings are all about celebrating love, so try going for cute ruffles and lace.
Shoes are a tricky part of the wedding outfit ensemble. You don’t want to show up wearing sneakers with your formal dress, but you also want to be able to comfortably stand and dance all night. Wedges are a great compromise between flats and heels, giving you more support while still looking chic.
If you feel like you must don heels for the ceremony, pack a cute pair of flats for later in the evening.
It used to always be considered a “don’t” to wear black to a wedding, but that rule has changed. Black is officially a kosher color for weddings, though it’s best reserved for ceremonies taking place in the evenings.
Seasons and Your Outfit
The date of the wedding will change your style choices, too. As the seasons change, so do wedding attire options. Winter may be the most fun season, because during the coldest months it’s completely appropriate to wear sequins and jewel-toned outfits.
For spring and summer weddings, go with brighter colors or floral prints.
A fall wedding outfit should include mostly muted tones, but you can add a pop of color with an accent scarf or colorful piece of jewelry.
When no dress code is listed on the invitation, take the venue into consideration. A beach wedding is obviously going to be more casual than a ceremony taking place in a church or formal event space. If nothing else, you can’t go wrong erring on the side of being overdressed.
Oh, and don’t forget to have fun. Weddings are celebrations, after all.