19 August 2008

Guest Wedding Attire: The Basic Rules

Though fashion knows few rules, some events still require you to dress appropriately out of respect for the host, and well.. so you don't end up looking out of place.
Seeing as I got a few e-mails about wedding attire, I decided to post a "how to guide "with basic guidelines to follow if you are uncertain what is or isn't acceptable. Hope it helps. =)I've posted a few ensembles you could try putting together as an idea for outfits.

Know the what the "dress code" means for Her:
  • Informal Daytime: Short dress or suit (though business attire is ok for morning weddings)
  • Informal Evening: Cocktail dress
  • Semi-Formal Daytime: Short dress or suit
  • Semi-formal Evening: Cocktail dress
  • Formal Daytime: Short dress or suit. Hats and gloves optional.
  • Formal Evening or Black-Tie: Long or dressy short cocktail (beading, glam accessories, wrap)
  • Ultra-formal or White Tie: Long gown, extra glitz (furs, diamonds, etc.)

Do's and Don'ts for Her
  • I'm sure you've all heard this one: "Don't wear white because it competes with the bride." There are plenty of other colors available. However, if you pair a white pencil skirt with a colored top (for instance) you should be ok.
  • Usually it is best not to wear black during the daytime.
  • Don't worry too much about wearing the same colors as the bridesmaids or mothers. You can't possibly coordinate with everyone in the wedding party.
  • Do wear something feminine and appropriate, out of respect for your hosts. Clubwear and way too sexy clothing (see-through, too much cleavage, mini skirts, etc) don't belong at a wedding. I go by the rule: "if you have to ask if it's appropriate, it probably isn't."
  • Don't wear opera-length gloves (to top of arm) with anything but sleeveless or strapless gowns, and take them off to eat or drink.
  • Use good judgment if the invitation doesn't specify the formality of the event. A pastel suit or soft floral dress for daytime or a little black dress for evening (after 6 p.m.) will take you almost anywhere.

Know the what the dress code means "for Him":
  • Informal Daytime: Dress shirt and pants, preferably a sports jacket.
  • Informal Evening: Suit
  • Semi-Formal Daytime: Suit
  • Semi-Formal Evening: Dark suit
  • Formal Daytime: Dark suit and tie
  • Formal Evening: Tuxedo (if invitation states "black tie") or dark suits if women wear short dresses.
  • Ultra-formal Evening or White Tie: White tie, cummerbund, vest and shirt.
Do's and Don'ts for Him
  • Don't try to get cute with a tuxedo. A black tux with white shirt and black bow tie is the best way to go. If "Creative Black Tie" or "Texas Formal" or some sort of other vague formal description is used, then going with a tux and black shirt, no tie, might be acceptable. However, trendier cities (Los Angeles, New York, etc) will probably be more accepting of breaking with tradition.
  • Wear a dark suit, with a tie if the wedding is after 6 PM, and doesn't say "Black Tie."
  • Don't wear a tuxedo during the day time, regardless of the formality of the event.
  • Use good judgment if the invitation doesn't specify the formality of the event. A dark suit and conservative tie will take you just about anywhere.

If the wedding is an outdoor affair (depending on the season):
  • Female guests should likely avoid skirts and dresses that can easily blow upwards and opt for a tailored suit or skirt instead.
  • Avoid high heeled shoes that will sink into sand, mud or grass.
  • Male wedding guests should avoid dark suits with jackets if the wedding takes place under the midday sun. Opt for a light suit with a jacket that can be easily removed. Both male and female guests should bring an extra jacket to evening weddings.
  • Come prepared with an umbrella if rain is expected.
  • Bring sunglasses at outdoor afternoon weddings.
  • For winter weddings taking place outdoors guests should wear warm boots, coats, gloves and wraps over their dress clothes and bring shoes to change into once the reception moves inside.
  • A backyard wedding and pot luck reception indicates casual summer guest attire.


Adiel said...

Great guide!

♥ fashion chalet said...

Great polyvores! :)

Fusion said...

You have been given an:
I Love your Blog award
by: fusion through design

LaCouturier said...

loveee the outfits you put together! =) the first is my personal favorite!

please check out my blog!

Leeann said...

Great tips, thanks =)

♥ Marta ♥ said...

This is a very helpful guide ... I think that for me a pretty cocktail dress works well especially paired with some killer heels ... it is easy to dress it up or down :)

ey said...

thank you so much. it helps me a lot to decide what to wear. :)

Anonymous said...

Il semble que vous soyez un expert dans ce domaine, vos remarques sont tres interessantes, merci.

- Daniel

Anonymous said...

I wanted to know about bags: are evening bags appropriate for a semi-formal 1:00 PM wedding? Sequins on bag okay?


Gigi said...

Hi Diane,

Usually sequins isn't worn much for daytime weddings, but personally, since handbags are accesories - and as long as it isn't covered in sequins and matches the tone of the outfit - it'll work

If you want to email me a picture of the bag you have in mind so I can get a better idea, feel free to do so. :)

(My email: sharemyaddiction@live.com)

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