What to wear (and what to avoid) when you're a wedding guest

Being invited to a wedding as a guest is your chance to dress up! Here are some suggestions about what to wear and what you should avoid to help you look your very best.

What to wear (and what to avoid) when you're a wedding guest

A wedding is a memorable event and couples often plan them with underlying themes. If this is the case you should definitely coordinate your attire with their guidelines in mind. The newlyweds will appreciate the effort!

Consider location

Where the ceremony will be held should also influence your choice of clothes.

  • If the happy bride and groom decide to exchange vows by the waterfront, a short dress with a flared skirt may expose you to embarrassment if the wind turns.

Dress for the weather

Formal attire varies according to season and presents some distinct challenges, especially in winter. One of the biggest issues with a winter wedding? Shoes.

  • You’ll need to avoid ice and slush or wear boots you can easily change out of.
  • As well, always bring a warm coat just in case. If it's bitterly cold you won't care much about being fashionable, plus it isn't much fun, if you're freezing your fingers off!
  • Having a mini-umbrella stashed within arm's reach is also a good idea. It helps to keep rain and light snow off your clothes.

Style tips for her

As a guest, you can’t go wrong in a dress. A skirt suit will also do the trick. In both cases, choose a high heel to lengthen the leg.

Avoid white
It's an old school rule of thumb that only the bride can wear white. Weddings pay homage to tradition so if you wear a dress, make sure it's an appropriate colour.

Keep it simple
Your outfit doesn’t have to be plain or drab, but aim for poise and elegance with an understated ensemble.

Wear a hat
Let’s be honest, how many opportunities do you really have to wear a fabulous hat? Weddings are the perfect venue to wear a decorative hat or headpiece.

Steer clear of white veils
This look is strictly reserved for the bride.

Wear jewellery
This is an occasion to accentuate your features with a necklace, earrings and bracelets – but don't overdo the bling!

Style tips for him

Your look should be proper and polished. If the atmosphere is more casual, you may be able to get away without wearing a tie. However, more formal settings may entail a three-piece suit and a bow tie.

Add a handkerchief
Folded in the breast pocket of your jacket, it's a dapper touch.

Wear proper shoes
For heaven’s sake, don’t show up at a wedding wearing sneakers – unless it's part of the theme. Patent or polished genuine leather shoes will make a better impression.

Don't wear black
Normally, the black tie or tuxedo look is reserved for the groom. Pale coloured suits for summer weddings and dark colours for winter will make you a stylish guest.

As a wedding guest it’s important to make an effort and rise to the occasion. However when choosing formalwear, keep in mind that all eyes should be on the newlyweds. What's more, when making your final fashion choices ensure your attire is comfortable (along with being stylish) since you'll be in your suit or dress for several hours.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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