Formal Attire for Wedding Guests


Authored by Lisa Bower in Wedding 
Published on 01-04-2010

A wedding is an incredibly important in a person’s life. Thus, it is important to know what to wear to a wedding ceremony so that you dress appropriately for this event. This doesn’t mean that you have to be uncomfortable or wear things you hate. Instead, it means considering everything from the invitation’s directions or guidelines to your personal tastes and the location of the wedding. The following are some tips for those trying to select formal attire for their loved ones’ wedding.

First off, check the wedding invitation to see if there are any directions regarding the dress code or required attire for the wedding ceremony. Some invitations will dictate that the wedding is black tie whereas others will explain that the wedding is meant to be casual. Additionally, consider the invitation itself and whether or not there is a theme for the wedding. If the invitation is made with high quality or cardstock paper and is engraved in gold, you may want to go dressier or more formal than if the invitation was made by hand and explains that this is a backyard wedding and low key.

Next, consider the location of the event. If this is a beach wedding in the summer, you may want to steer clear of heels and go for sandals and something loose-fitted and made with natural fibers. If this is a winter wedding, you may want to incorporate a nice coat or wrap along with the outfit. If the wedding reception is to be held at a fancy restaurant or five star hotel, you will go more formal than if the reception is to be held in a banquet hall or a church.

The time of the wedding ceremony matters as much as the location. A daytime wedding would involve a short floral dress or a lightly colored suit for women. A daytime wedding ceremony for a male would involve a linen or seersucker suit or a dress or polo shirt paired with nice slacks. An evening wedding would involve a darkly colored cocktail dress for a woman and a dark suit or a darkly colored suit paired with a nice tie and slacks.

Black tie formal attire for wedding guests is clearly more formal or fancy. If you are a woman, it means wearing a floor-length cocktail dress. You can go for long and slinky or something looser in fit like a ballgown. Black tie attire for men basically means wearing a tuxedo or an all black or navy suit. The more formal, the better when it comes to black tie wedding ceremonies and wedding receptions.

General rules for weddings are to never wear white, jeans, or anything that is too large or too small on you. If you are questioning the dress code, feel free to ask your loved ones what they suggest for the event. It really is better to be safe than sorry when it comes to such an important event. After all, the photographs from this moment are sure to last a lifetime. You want to be sure to dress appropriately and to look your very best.


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