What to Wear to a Wedding: A Helpful Guide

Someone you know is getting married, and you’ve received an invitation.

You RSVP, you’re already thinking about what to wear.

Should you be in a tuxedo? What about a suit?

How do you know what to wear to a wedding?

That’s what we’re here for.

We are going to help you understand what to wear so you can feel confident attending without worrying that you might not be dressed for the occasion.

The Ground Rules

There are a few things you should absolutely never wear to a wedding regardless of any surrounding circumstances unless the bride specifically asks you to do so.

One of those things is wearing white to a wedding.

The only person that should be wearing white is the bride. It’s what makes her stand out on the happy couple’s big day.

The only time that there is an exception to this is if it is stated in the invitation that everyone is supposed to wear white because that’s what the couple wants.

Something else to remember is to be respectful of where the ceremony is being held.

If the wedding ceremony is being held inside a conservative church, it would mean a lot to the couple if you were respectful of the surroundings. That means not exposing too much cleavage or wearing anything too revealing.

Remember, it’s not about you and your views – it’s about the couple and their wishes on their big day.

Also, if you’re not sure about the dress code, it is always better to be overdressed than to not measure up and feel awkward in the process. In other words, if the invitation says something like “black-tie optional” go for the black-tie look to ensure that you’re not underdressed at the wedding.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, let’s look at some of the things you’ll need to consider as you figure out what to wear to a wedding.

Weddings in the Winter

Winter weddings are generally festive and a great reason to splurge on that party dress that you’ve been eyeing. You can wear something decked out in sequins or bold colors that you’ll probably be able to wear more than once.

Fabrics are also essential to consider if you’re going to be out facing a chilly night. Thicker blends like velvet are excellent choices because they’ll keep you warmer longer.

The same logic applies to men’s clothing as well.

It would be a good idea for men to select a wool suit that will not only keep you warm but will also keep you looking your best.

Men, especially, also need to remember to clean up your beards and mustaches. Stray hair is not attractive, so make sure you get them and make yourself look presentable.

Weddings in the Fall

Fall weather is entirely unpredictable because it’s that pesky time where sometimes it still feels like summer is hanging around like an unwanted visitor, and other times the cold is knocking on your door.

Your best bet for a fall wedding is to plan to wear layers to be ready for anything.

A splendid suggestion on what to wear for a wedding in the fall would be a little black dress complete with perfectly selected heels.

You can add a few things to give you the layers you need.

For example, you can wear tights with your dress, and you can also wear a scarf to give yourself an extra pop of color. You might want to have an extra sweater, too, in case it gets a little chilly.

When it comes to men’s wear, the issue is going to be to have a suit that will keep you cool or warm depending on the weather.

Honestly, you’re going to have to keep a close eye on the weather to see what your best choice will be. But as a suggestion, you might want to consider mixing fabrics to achieve maximum comfort.

Weddings in the Summer

Summertime is hot, so when you dress for a summer wedding, you want to make sure you’re going to stay cool and still look appropriate for the occasion.

Airy fabrics are best for this season, so you’re going to want to look at pieces made of linen, chiffon, or cotton.

Other suggestions include wearing a sundress and dressing it up with the right shoes. You can go with heels or wedges to make it look more elegant.

Consider also carrying a light shawl because if any part of the ceremony is indoors, it might feel cool enough to need one.

For men, it’s a little more difficult to pin down the right summertime wedding wear because men’s wear tends to have more layers. During the summer, you may want to wear a thinner jacket over a loose button-down shirt that you can take off when it gets too hot.

Weddings in the Spring

Spring weddings tend to be exquisite in their own right thanks to all of the blooms that are opening and the new grass is growing. At the same time, weddings during this time bring their own unique challenges when it comes to dressing appropriately.

Weather during this time is highly unpredictable, and if the wedding happens to be outdoors, you can bet that everyone is hoping it won’t rain.

To save yourself and your outfit, consider options that will survive an outdoor catastrophe.

As an example, long dresses are not going to be a good choice because if it drags on the ground after a rainstorm, it is going to get dirty and you will not look quite so polished. When it comes to shoes, you may want to avoid heels and go with close-toed flat shoes instead.

In men’s wear, you may want to try out some different colors. Examples include thinner jackets with colored shirts or ties that give a bright pop of color.

Men will also want to keep the weather in mind, and as such, keep an umbrella nearby in case you need to pop it open to keep you and a friend dry.

Wedding Exceptions

There aren’t too many exceptions when it comes to wedding wear. In fact, there are only a few that are worth mentioning.

First of all, if your invitation says “black-tie,” then it doesn’t matter when the wedding is happening. It could be in January, and it could be in July.

Regardless of when, a tux and gown are the outfits you will be expected to wear.

Something else to think about is whether or not your invitation indicates that it will be a theme wedding and guests are invited to arrive in costume. As an example, if the happy couple has decided to have a Renaissance themed wedding, they may request that everyone wear period-appropriate garments.

If that’s the case, pay attention to the time of year and the fabrics available to select something that will work.

On occasion, you may get an invitation that indicates casual dress is the order of the day. That does not mean you should go in shorts and flip-flops. Keep it classy by wearing something like a sundress with strappy sandals.

For men, wear an untucked casual button-down shirt with the sleeves rolled up along with a nice pair of linen pants to be presentable.

A Last Few Words

Pay attention to the date and dress when you get your invitation. That will tell you most of everything you need to know to dress appropriately for the wedding.

Above everything else, don’t outshine the happy couple with your choice of wardrobe. It’s considered to be in poor taste to even consider doing such a thing.

Remember to RSVP in a timely manner and then start looking for that perfect wedding outfit now that you have a place to start.

Happy shopping!

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