With wedding season fast approaching, now is the time when wedding invites are sent and social calendars start to fill up with wedding-related events. As a guest, you’ll be invited to bridal showers, hen and stag celebrations, and rehearsal dinners (an American wedding trend that’s becoming popular in the UK). The average cost of a wedding may be at an all-time high, but so is the cost of attending. The latest research reveals that wedding guests pay an average of £1,015 to attend. This figure includes the costs of pre- and post-wedding activities, alongside wedding gifts and that all-important wedding outfit.
Whatever your relationship with the couple tying the knot, dressing to impress as a guest is important. Here we share the golden rules of dressing for a wedding so you can make your presence known without upstaging the bride or groom.
Stick to the dress code
If you’re stumped on what to wear, take a hint from the wedding invitation. In the search for the perfect big day, most couples include dress code rules for guests. Deciphering the dress code jargon isn’t easy, with phrases like white tie, black tie, smart casual, cocktail, beach formal and festive dress commonly used to describe the dos and don’ts of dressing for the occasion. What if there’s no dress code mentioned on the invite though? You and Your Wedding offers their advice:
“If there are no instructions on the invite, it’s safest to err on the side of caution… those wedding photos last forever! If in doubt, ask the bridal party for advice. Remember it’s an honour to be invited to a wedding, so pick an outfit that’s respectful and doesn’t bring attention to yourself. Then you can simply enjoy the day and focus on the celebration of love.”
Never (ever, ever) wear white
One sure fire way to upstage the bride is to opt for a white outfit. Even off-white or pale blue garments should be out of bounds for those looking to dress the part at a wedding. Although this does seem like a no-brainer, there’s a wide range of stylish white dresses and neutral ensembles in fashion at the moment, making it all-to-easy to break this cardinal rule.
Keep it classy and conservative
Dresses are excellent choices for women attending spring and summer weddings. Feminine dress designs come in a diverse selection of cuts and colours, but don’t go too short with the hemline.
Longer hemlines don’t have to be old fashioned. Many longer hemlines are conservative, sexy and the perfect choice for weddings. Irregular hemlines are the latest trend to take the wedding scene by storm, with the peekaboo style an excellent option for those looking to go bold, not brassy. Your choice of materials can also make conservative designs more cutting edge, with lace and embroidery, in any shade but white, a great way to add texture and class. Those looking to go edgier may want to go for a black ensemble. Far from representing doom and gloom, a black outfit is super chic whatever the season.
Suit up in style
In theory, men have an easier time dressing for weddings than female guests, but with a huge selection of suits to choose from, it’s getting increasingly problematic. A fitted suit is great, but don’t be afraid to jazz up your choice with some great accessories. A patterned tie or colourful shirt are just two trends to twist tradition.
Don’t forget to accessorise
Your wedding accessories choice is another aspect of your outfit that requires careful consideration. Forget the large and cumbersome totes and opt for a small and stylish bag to carry your essentials. Wear shoes that are comfortable, stylish and designed to be worn all day – your feet will thank you for it! Keep jewellery simple and sophisticated. You can even add a hint of formality to your outfit by investing in a cute shawl to cover your shoulders for the ceremony before whipping it off to dance the night away at the reception.