Thursday, June 27, 2013

What to Where When: Guest Attire for Weddings

There are many stressful things that come with being a bridesmaid but one of the best things is knowing that your outfit is already decided for you months before the wedding day.
Being a wedding guest on the other hand, you are left to your own devices to find an outfit which raises various questions (what time of day is the wedding?, where is it?, is it outside or inside? What are my girlfriends wearing?), and causes the clothing pile at your feet to grow larger and larger as you frantically continue pulling dresses down.

The Marry Me team thought it would be nice to bring you a blog post about wedding attire for guests. Between all of us attending weddings as guests and working them as part of our job, (not to mention we love following fashion blogs), we have seen everything and are happy to be your personal stylist for the 2013 wedding season!

Firstly, some easy to remember rules when trying to figure out what to wear to any wedding:

1)      Never wear white to a wedding. This rule (although unwritten) is still in effect, at least according to the editor-in-chief of Martha Stewart Weddings

2)      Figure out what colour and style the bridesmaids are wearing and avoid that colour in the same style unless you want to look like the bridesmaid that didn’t ‘make the team’.

3)      ‘White Tie’ means the ultimate in formality (think Academy Awards). ‘Black Tie’ means full formal attire for guests (long dresses for women, tuxes for men). ‘Black Tie Optional’ generally alludes to a formal wedding so err on the side of caution and dress up. ‘Cocktail Attire’ means shorter dresses for the ladies and a suit and tie for the men. Suit jackets are usually worn for the ceremony and then taken off at the reception.

4)      Day weddings generally are less formal than evening weddings

5)      Your shoes do not need to match your purse

6)      For your accessories, it’s okay to mix metals (wear a silver necklace even if you are wearing a chunky gold watch)

7)      Don’t be THAT girl with the short skirt and the plunging neckline. It’s tacky to take away attention from the bride and you’ll be talked about for all the wrong reasons

 Now let’s look at some examples of when to wear what.

Stick to the softer colours like Easter: soft pink, baby blue, peach etc. Make sure the fabric isn’t too soft and light as the weather is not that hot yet (or in our city’s case right now- non-existent) and you’ll most likely freeze.

Floral prints are also still huge (hooray!) just make sure the floral print is still in the same family as the shades already mentioned (blue, pink, green, yellow, peach, lavender etc..)
Neon is really huge again this season so in this case a neon green dress is not recommended for a wedding but a neon yellow belt would look fantastic with a soft lavender dress.


It’s hard to look put-together when the mercury rises but we girls have it much easier than the boys who still have to wear suits in the 40 degree heat. In summer go for the chic look- not the ‘cute’ look. This can be achieved by dressing simple. Avoid the layers or anything poufy. The floral trend can continue through the summer if you want and ensure the fabric you choose is light and airy (think cotton or linen) especially if the ceremony and reception are outdoors. Since your dress is simple, go all out with your accessories- the chunkier the better.


We love the fall for many reasons, but when it comes to wedding attire, the fall has an ‘anything goes’ rule. You can still get away with some lighter dresses you wore in the summer but you can also start integrating some heavier, darker pieces too. The best types of dresses for the fall echo the colours outdoor: black, red, orange, gold, burgundy etc. As for the style, you can start incorporating some small embellishments like a sequined neckline or belt, lace, a peplum top.


Just like the Christmas season, winter weddings are fun and festive. Attire generally tends to be darker jewel tones like emerald, royal purple, ruby/magenta or sapphire. Just because it is cold outside, does not mean you have to dress in a long dress (you will never be outside except when running from your car to the venue). In fact, it’s more important to dress for the event- not for the season. So if the wedding is in the winter but it’s not ‘black tie’, then a jewel-toned cocktail dress is perfect. Unlike in the summer, because the dresses tend to be the’ jewel’ of the outfit on account of their vibrant colours, keep the accessories simple and classic like diamond drop earrings or a pearl necklace.

Beach Wedding

Always a difficult one to dress for. Guests generally think beach wedding means casual, not true! You still have to dress to reflect the importance of the day but still ensure you are comfortable with the excess wind, water and sand. A delicate sundress would be perfect (think chiffon) but keep it on the shorter side (not below the knees) to make your life easier. Because the location itself is usually very vibrant with flowers and plant life, avoid florals

Check out our Pinterest page specifically for guest attire to get more inspiration for your wedding looks this season.


  © Blogger template 'Morning Drink' by 2008

Back to TOP