Wedding Attire 101: What to Wear To A Wedding
Weddings are a $50 billion annual industry, with the average American couple spending more than $35,000 on their special day.
It can be easy to let that price tag intimidate you when you open your invitation. But of all the things you have to worry about — like finding a perfect gift for the newlyweds — your wedding attire doesn’t have to be one of them.
Here are the “I Do’s” and “I Don’t’s” of Wedding Attire
Before you proceed, there are a couple of rules you should keep in mind, especially if you’re a lady.
No. 1: Avoid white, off-white, or ivory. After all, you don’t want to detract attention away from the bride.
No. 2: Black is actually permissible now. Traditionally, the color used to be reserved for funerals and mourning, but Glamour Magazine reports that it’s become more socially acceptable because of how flattering and versatile it is. Some weddings are even specified as black-tie affairs now.
If you’re not sure what the dress code is, ask the bride to see one of her wedding programs to get a better idea of what to expect. It’s also helpful to note the setting and time of the wedding, that way you can stay comfortable and fashionable at the same time.
For the Ladies
There are a few guidelines to follow once you know the time and location of the wedding. For instance, avoid black and sequins if the wedding is during the day, as this will make you appear overdressed.
Additionally, remember that the wedding will be attended by guests of all ages, not just your own. This means you should probably save that low-cut, high-hemmed, revealing, or form-fitting dress for the bachelorette party — especially if the wedding is taking place in a church or other modest setting.
Moreover, you want to accessorize properly. Ditch the tote bag in favor of a clutch, cross-body, or mini bag. All you’ll need is your keys, phone, ID, credit card, and lipstick. And as for the shoes, you want them to balance the formality of your outfit, not over- or underdo it.
Lastly, if a dress just feels a bit too feminine for you, you’re allowed to wear pants. Just be sure they’re not denim; stick with a pair of elegant slacks, or find a comfortable pantsuit.
For the Gentlemen
Although wedding attire for men is significantly less diverse, it’s still possible to screw it up. However, feel free to personalize your look with a pocket square, cufflinks, or tastefully patterned tie.
Rule number one: No shorts. Ever. Not even in the summertime. Remember it’s a wedding and not a Saturday frat party before the game.
Your safest bet will be a suit and tie, but remember to stay away from black. Navy is a better alternative if you’re drawn to the darker, neutral shades. And if the dress code is “black tie,” stick with a tuxedo and black bowtie.
Before We Part…
No matter what you decide to wear, make sure your wedding attire is properly tailored for the occasion. The last thing you need is a wardrobe malfunction on the dance floor.
Keep the theme of the wedding in mind as well. Some couples like to get creative over their shared interests, so this might allow you some extra freedom with your outfit. And if all else fails, it can’t hurt to run your idea by the bride and groom for approval beforehand.