It’s no secret that every wedding has a dress code. Couples have specific expectations of how they want their big day to look especially when it comes to the wedding attire of their guests. A simple wedding can range in dress code from casual, semi-formal, to black-tie optional. There’s even a white tie option that signals the couple means business.
Do Know the Dress Code
Hopefully, the soon to be husband and wife will let you know of the dress code in their wedding invite that they send out. That way you can plan in advance whether the event requires only cocktail attire or something extra. This isn’t always the case though, as some couples are loose with their vision and leave you with more flexibility.
Luckily, you’re solely attending as a guest. You don’t have to worry about the food, music, or making sure everyone is entertained. Your job is to show up and support the couple, but also make sure you dress the part. It’s imperative that you not only feel confident in your wedding attire but that you’re also appropriate to the occasion.
That’s why our experts at Helen Ainson are available to help make the process easier and share a few tips for finding the perfect wedding attire.
Most often, the preferred wedding guest attire for women is long dresses, but there is a difference between formal and casual events. With a casual wedding, a short dress could be appropriate but generally, the longer the better. A formal wedding often calls for a floor-length dress or gown, possibly even a bow tie for the men.
Do Know the Destination
Additionally, while it’s important to see what the dress code is that was set by the couple, there are other factors as well that might impact your choice. For example, weather, location, or time of day.
A destination wedding on a humid, tropical beach wouldn’t call for you to wear a floor-length dress with long sleeves. In this case, stilettos may become impractical because of sand, and the couple may encourage a sundress with sandals or wedges instead.
On the other hand, weather is just as important. Seeing rain in the forecast of the big day might change your outfit completely. A great tip for this is to look up the venue in advance to get a feel of what the location calls for in terms of your wedding attire.
Moreover, it’s also important to pay attention to the wedding season in addition to the weather and location. Pastels and florals, for example, are more favorable to be worn to a spring wedding than they would be for one held in the winter.
Also, weddings are a great time for men to experiment with their own fashion. While white tie weddings can often be more restrictive, it’s the perfect time for a man to use formal and casual weddings to his advantage. A simple neutral suit with a pop of color tie for spring or deep maroon for the fall and winter can spice up any wedding look.
The biggest tip, in our opinion, is that it is better to overdress than underdress. Picking out your outfit for any wedding can be nerve-wracking. You don’t want to embarrass them by showing up in flip-flops and a t-shirt dress but you also don’t want to take all the attention away from the couple by wearing a floor-length prom dress. Use your best judgment and decide where the sweet spot is between the two.
Don’t Overshadow the Wedding Party
One thing, however, you should never do is wear white, that is the number one unspoken rule at any wedding. Even cream or ivory is cutting it too close. This is the bride’s special day, an occasion she has been dreaming of her entire life and wedding planning for months.
The last thing that needs to happen is one of her guests overshadowing her in their wedding attire. It’s better to instead stick to neutral colors, patterns, or maybe your favorite color that looks the best on you.
Similarly, jeans are never acceptable for a wedding unless the event is explicitly stated as being casual. Even though it’s probably not the best look. These celebrations are beautiful and memorable events that could live on in photos for years to come. Think about what your future self would be happy with you wearing.
Also, make sure not to match with the colors of the bridal party dresses. While it’s great to dress to fit the theme, you don’t want to be confused with being a bridesmaid. If you’re worried about this being an issue you can always ask the couple in advance what their color scheme is if you can’t tell from the wedding invite. You should stand out from the rest of the wedding and not completely blend in.
Finally, one aspect that most guests might not think is important is after the ceremony. While you want to fit the wedding attire dress code, what about after? It’s important to take into account how much walking you’ll be taking part in or even dancing.
Do Pick your shoes!
Additionally, this can have an impact on what kind of shoes you plan to wear and how tight or loose you want you dress to be. Sometimes formal dresses, while elegant and beautiful, can be too restricting for after hours.
In short, regardless of what you wear, the most important part of the day is showing your love and appreciation for the couple.
At Helen Ainson we have a wide variety of wedding guest attire options as well as mother of the bride and bride dresses to choose from. This includes formal dresses and cocktail attire, so no matter what the dress code, is we know you’ll find the perfect style for you. You can stop by our store, or make an appointment for a private shopping experience to get started today where we can answer any additional wedding attire questions you may have.