What to Wear to a Wedding: A Guide for Guests

When it comes to weddings, it's important to stay true to what makes you feel comfortable while still looking stylish. We understand that, especially after spending most of last year at home, you may not want to put on something too fancy. But, it's important to dress with respect for the occasion. Flip flops, shorts, and jeans are all off the list of options.

Women should look for a casual dress, and men should wear a nice pair of trousers with a loose-fitting shirt. If you're in your twenties or thirties, you may have multiple weddings to attend during the wedding season. Some will be informal, others will be semi-formal, and dress codes are always a possibility. What are the dress rules for wedding guests? How can we do this without breaking the bank? Here are our top do's and don'ts when considering what to wear.

For a more formal wedding, guests are normally expected to wear a long dress. But instead of taking out the dress you wore at prom, try putting on a more appropriate evening dress. If the wedding is during the day, a nice long dress should do. Instead of wearing flip flops, opt for stylish sandals or slingback heels if you want to make a statement with your shoes.

If you still want to imitate the jumpsuit look while still being appropriate for a wedding, opt for a more elegant jumpsuit with cap sleeves and a nice belt. While you might assume that the theme of a farmyard wedding requires your favorite pair of jeans, this isn't the case. Although black can indicate sadness, it is also appropriate attire for formal weddings and gala cocktail attire. Black-tie weddings require a full tuxedo for men, preferably with patent leather shoes and, of course, a black tie.

While these suggestions are gender-sensitive, you can always go for a more gender-neutral option if you want, as long as it's formal enough for the dress code chosen by the bride and groom. To avoid any missteps in terms of what's acceptable for wedding attire, prevention is better than cure. Likewise, save your Versace J-LO level dress for another occasion and opt for something more family-friendly. If the wedding is being held in a location that requires a little more walking (or maybe even dancing), consider wearing sturdier shoes.

If you know someone in the wedding party, their designated outfits might give you an idea of what's appropriate. For example, if your friend is having their wedding on the beach next month, an evening dress would be appropriate attire for the party. Remember that a wedding is a sacred ceremony and reflect that in your outfit selection; sequins, animal prints, bright reds and other over-the-top designs are fun for a night out but not suitable for weddings. The intention is to continue looking very elegant without being as strict in the dress code as in a formal wedding. A formal wedding is elegant enough for men to wear a tuxedo but they can also opt for a nice black suit with a simple tie.

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