Understanding how to dress for a wedding is knowing how to connect the clues and the hint you've been given in the wedding invitation. It's not simply a matter of abiding by the supplied dress code because within this guidance; there is room for error, which is why we are going to explain how to dress for a wedding. We’ll cover beach weddings, vineyards, churches and underwater weddings… scrap that last one, just wear a bikini.
The Details You Need to Consider
There are five details to consider when you're choosing your outfit as a wedding guest. There is quite a bit of psychology involved when you're choosing your frock. You don't want to underdress, showing you don't value the day, and you don't want to overdress, stealing attention away from the bride. You want to match the dress code, but you don't want to just look like everybody else. There is a sweet spot within all of this madness, and we're going to give you the insights required to absolutely nail your outfit.
Here are 5 things you need to consider:
- Dress Code
- The Demographic
- What you Shouldn’t Wear
Let’s go into more detail…
Seasonality is Key
This is something that the bride, bridal party, and wedding planner have already considered whilst creating the dress code and the brief on the invitation. Hopefully, the dress code reflects the time of year; if it doesn't, you can't be helped, unless you go against the grain and wear what you think's best - which we can neither recommend nor encourage.
A Summer Wedding Outfit
- Light material
- Less material
- Light colours, yellows, creams, pinks, greens, blues
A Winter Wedding Outfit
- Dark tones
- Heavier materials
Silver or diamond accessories
An Autumn Wedding Outfit
- Earthy tones - dark yellow, oranges, reds, browns
- Mid weigh materials
- Creative accessories, gems, stones
A Spring Wedding Outfit
- Vibrant tones
- Creative designs
- Shorter cut
- Mid-heavy materials
Seasonality also relies dependently on the location of the wedding. A wedding in autumn at a rooftop atrium will contrast dramatically to an autumn wedding at the botanical gardens.
Location, Venue, and Surroundings
Take into consideration where the wedding is held; if it's outside and in any month other than summer, you’re going to need a backup plan if things start to chill off.
If it's a local destination wedding, plan for the trip up. How does your dress travel? Will you need to do touch-ups by the time you get there? Is there a private room there where you can get changed, providing that you can get there early and not get spotted stepping out of the car in track pants and a jumper.
Church weddings should always be considered slightly more formal and plutonic whether you're religious or not. If it's a church wedding, the odds are there is religion on either one side or both, so it's best not to wear your mini dress and push-up-bra, it just won’t match the picturesque wholesome wedding they were dreaming of.
Most (sensible) people will have a beach wedding in summer, and with this in mind, most summer outfits will slot into the setting nicely. One thing to consider is the blue palette and working with the white/yellow sand tones.
It's important not to overdo it with the white, considering the bride will almost definitely wear a white dress, best not step on her toes.
Once again, hopefully the organiser has chosen a suitable month to have their Vineyard wedding. Though in certain parts of Australia, All months bar winter could be on the cards. Consider working with the green palette; use the natural surroundings as the foundational building blocks so your outfit. if a bride (or groom) has chosen as he needed as a suitable location, a naturalistic, adventurous, and beautiful theme is what she's going for.
Let these details guide your outfit choices.
If the wedding you're attending is in the city; it may be a little more formal compared to other location weddings. It's best to consult the formality of the venue; you can do this by having a look at their website and perusing their gallery images. This may help determine the extent (price tag) of your outfit.
Dress Codes Given
If you’re currently researching what to wear when attending a wedding, it’s crucial to also refer to the dress code stated in the wedding invitation (usually).
- Black tie
- Black tie optional
- Smart casual
- White tie
If the stated dress code complies with the official dress codes, you will absolutely need to depend on location and seasonality to guide your outfit choices. Often wedding invitations will go into detail to clear up the grey area of what a dress code entails, as different demographics view dress codes variously.
Phone a Friend
This is a great backup plan if all else fails. If the instructions are far too unclear, it's best to combine what you've taken from the brief and what a trusted friend has gathered from all the details supplied. If you're both on the right track, you've probably nailed it. If one of you is way off, we’ll leave it up to you to figure out who needs to rethink their outfit (considering you've done the research, it’s probably them).
What Not To Wear
We focused this article on what to wear, but it's crucial to address what not to wear as well. White is a big no-no, a hint of white…sure, but if you are planning on wearing a full-length white gown, you’re ultimately signing your death wish.
Wearing black to a wedding is becoming less and less taboo, but I would take the location and who the bride is as a person into consideration which could help you figure out if black is appropriate. Most modern weddings these days pay no attention, but if there is a hint of tradition in the brief, it's best to leave black out of it.
How to Dress for a Wedding with Dress for a NightNow that you have an idea of how to dress for a wedding, it's time to start shopping.
See Dress for a Night’s Wedding Guest Collection for a range of on-trend and seasonal designs suitable for a range of locations and dress codes.