With a wedding to attend in July, and my own coming up later this year, I figured that there was no time like the present to talk wedding etiquette, or more specifically, what to wear.
I’ve spent quite a bit of time trying to track something down for my future brother-in-law’s wedding (set in the picturesque countryside just outside of Florence!) and admittedly, after months of searching, decided to break one of my own rules…
So, if you’d like to learn a little more about what I consider the do’s and don’ts of wedding guest attire, then keep on reading!
Rule #1 – Don’t wear white
I feel like this one goes without saying, but the number of times I’ve spoken to girlfriends who have told me that people they know have turned up at a wedding in white continues to astound me. While there’s no question that all eyes will be on the bride, it’s a bit of a faux pas to wear anything that comes across as looking even remotely bridal. That being said, white based floral printed dresses, blouses or skirts are generally okay, as is something with subtle white paneling. The key is to ensure that it isn’t the focus.
Rule #2 – Don’t show too much skin
While I will always advocate dressing for your figure, and showing off your best assets, when dressing for a wedding, opt for the ‘rule of one’; be that a plunging neckline, a low back, a short skirt or something very close cut. Remember, it’s a wedding that you’re going to, not a club, so picking something that is tasteful but that has some subtle elements of sexiness.
Rule #3 – Try to avoid pastels if you can
Personally, I’ve gone down the route of navy bridesmaid dresses for my own wedding, but I find that more often than not, bridesmaids tend to be wearing something sorbet-inspired; think mint, blush, lilac, or sky blue. So, to avoid looking like you’re part of the bridal party, picking a dress with a fun print is probably your safest bet. Which brings me to my next point…
Rule #4 – Have a bit of fun with colour
My own wardrobe tends to lean more towards the monochromatic end of the scale, but I find that a wedding is a great opportunity to get out of your comfort zone, and play with colour, print and texture a little bit. My favourite label to wear to weddings has always been Lover, hands down, as you can always pick up a beautiful coloured lace or printed silk dress that will be perfect for the occasion.
I’ve been branching out a little bit lately, and Self Portrait is a great option for those looking to splash out a little, and really mix it up when it comes to sheer paneling, lace, and colour.
Rule #5 – Don’t wear black, unless…
I’ve always held the opinion that you just shouldn’t wear black to a wedding, no matter how much you want to. But… I’m starting to come round to the idea of it, although accessories are key. Given I’ve recently broken this rule (the navy version was sold out!), I’m opting to accessorise with a great pair of heels, a bold red lip, and a fun printed bag. I’ll also be bringing along a large colourful printed scarf to cover my shoulders with while in the church.
Rule #6 – It’s better to be overdressed
Wedding invitations generally give a hint, or a clue, as to the dress code. Take a look at the venue – is it a relaxed beach wedding or a formal church wedding? And when in doubt, it’s better to be overdressed than underdressed, at least I figure, anyway…
The above look is an outfit that I wore late last year to a dear friend’s intimate wedding in Auckland, and for me, it ticked all the boxes. It showed off my shoulders and upper back, but was in all other regards quite tasteful, and was an opportunity to play with colour while still sticking – loosely – within my personal colour palette.
Over the next few months I’ll be sharing a few more wedding-appropriate looks, some extra tips, and a few suitable options for those of you with a wedding to attend and facing the age old dilemma of what to wear.