Wedding Guest Attire Questions: What to Wear When

Posted by Azure on May 4th, 2011
The proper guest attire depends on the style and season of the wedding. Will you include dress code information on your wedding invitations? Prince William and Kate Middleton did! Their dress code was 'Uniform, Morning Coat or Lounge Suit'. Yours will likely be different, and you'll want to know (and understand) all your options before mailing the invites.

And what better inspiration than the red carpet at Monday’s Met gala honoring Alexander McQueen?! Let's dig in: •Black Tie or Black Tie Optional– Tuxes or dark suits for the guys, full-length or tea-length dress for ladies. If this is a traditional group, than a cocktail dress will not be considered formal enough. •Formal– This is a little looser than Black Tie, the perfect spot for your cocktail dress. If your guy is fashion forward, he can get a little funky or stick with the classic dark suit. •Creative Black Tie– This is a confusing term, but it does pop up. I’d recommend sticking with the outlines of black tie or formal wear, and punch up the look with statement accessories. •Festive Attire, Festive Casual, Dressy Casual– This means look nice but feel free to incorporate a little flair. A cocktail dress, nice tailored suit (we love the menswear trend for women happening right now!) or chic skirt and blouse all work well. If the wedding will be fused with the couple’s heritage, add a cultural twist to your outfit if you desire. For the guys, you can always wear a dark suit or a nice cashmere sweater or silk shirt and slacks. •Informal– Technically, this is not the same as casual; informal still means dresses and suits. But take a cue from the bride and groom, the season and venue. If it sounds like a very low-key affair, more casual attire may be appropriate. •Casual– No jeans, no short shorts, no flip flops. For female guests, wear a nice pair of dress pants, a skirt, sundress or a dressier romper (nothing too short!). Khakis, slacks and linen pants (if it’s season-appropriate) are great choices for the men.

If dress code info isn't included on the invitation, look to things like the venue (church ceremony or backyard nuptials; outdoor reception venue or banquet hall) and time-of-day. Daytime and outdoor weddings are typically more informal, while evening I Dos, indoor weddings and downtown or city nuptials are traditionally fancier. How far along are you in the wedding planning process? Have you decided on the dress code for your big day? Post a comment to share your thoughts!
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