"The Wedding Guest Style Guide" was created by The Black Tux, a high quality suit and tux rental company. Guys now have the ability step up their game a bit when it comes to dressing for a wedding with the option to rent attire and accessories without breaking the bank! Read on to hear our tips on navigating wedding dress codes and outfit suggestions.
Dare I say the bride has it easiest when picking out her dress to wear to the wedding! Yes, the search for the perfect dress is no easy task but you can never be too dressed up or too over-the- top if you are the bride! The guests on the other hand have it a little harder and with seemingly more and more wedding wear guidelines, finding your way to your assigned reception table is now easier than picking out what to wear. However, you needn’t fret just yet. Annalise Bridal Boutique has partnered with The Black Tux to breakdown all the I do’s and don’ts of your wedding wardrobe!
FABRIC - Due to its’ casual nature, color is not an important factor of most casual weddings however, fabric selection most certainly is. Many casual wedding events take place in warmer weather seasons such as spring and summer. A fabric’s breathability, hand, and cooling qualities are all very important characteristics to consider when selecting an outfit for these occasions. Favorable fabrics for a casual wedding include cotton, seersucker, silk, and chiffon.
OUTFIT - Not one for dresses? Let’s hope you get invited to a casual wedding. This event type is the only wedding category where pants are acceptable for women as well as men. If you opt for pants over a skirt or a dress it is important to make the outfit a bit dressier by pairing it with a feminine blouse. If you do choose to throw on a dress (which we highly recommend a twirl sesh in) a sundress is the way to go. As we stated previously color is not a concern nor is the length. Whether you want to attend this wedding in a bright pink maxi, a patterned midi, or a short beige tunic dress be our guest… or in this case theirs! As usual you men have it easier! For men, we suggest dress pants and a button-down shirt or polo. In this case color does matter a bit. We suggest straying away from your go-to black slacks and instead chose a lighter, less dressy pant such as khakis or pastel pants if you aren’t afraid of color.
Semi-formal Dressy Casual
OUTFIT - Semi-formal dress is simply your casual outfit played up. Since this scenario is a year-round occurrence there is no particular fabric or color you need to keep in mind. Women should think of this as a nice night on the town. What would you wear on date night or for an art gallery viewing? Women can choose between a cocktail dress or pairing a skirt with a dressy top. As for men, black is back in the running. If it is a nighttime wedding, feel free to have a Bond moment. If the wedding occurs in the daytime we suggest not wearing black and going with a more subdued color such as tan or a light grey suit.
FABRICS - Beach weddings are beautiful but they do bring the element of weather-appropriate dress to the forefront. It is important to remember that beaches are often windy and sometimes chilly in the evenings. Ladies, when selecting your dress you should consider the weight of the fabric your wearing and the length of the dress. The longer the hemline and the heavier the fabric the less likely you’ll be to have a Monroe moment. We suggest fabrics such as jersey for women’s dresses and cotton and linen for both
OUTFIT - Sundresses are a common choice of dress for women attending a beach formal wedding. The length of the sundress should be tea-length or knee-length; either is acceptable. As for shoes we suggest flat sandals. Sandals will allow you to walk with ease and not have to worry about your heels sinking into the sand. For men, we suggest a summer suit. Many men sport linen suits or linen shirts with khaki pants at a formal beach wedding. And perhaps the best news of all, you can forgo the tie! Though formal, beach weddings are still relatively casual in nature. Save the tie for the black tie soirées.
Black Tie Optional
COLOR - The color of the garment you choose is very important when attending a black tie optional wedding. Darker colors are preferred for both women and men. No matter the season of this wedding, guests should be wearing darker color palettes such as brown, gray, black or midnight blue. These colors work well for all guests and create a polished overall look.
OUTFIT - Though color is extremely specific for black tie optional attendees, there is a significant amount of leeway in terms of dress. Women can wear a floor length dress, a formal suit set, or a cocktail length dress. We advise men to wear either a dark colored tuxedo or black suit and tie. Though a tuxedo is acceptable, we suggest not wearing a black tuxedo to this type of wedding, as it is a bit too formal for the occasion.
COLOR - Once again, black tie weddings call for very limited color specifications. Women should be wearing neutral colors; preferably brown or black and men should be wearing black. These colors may seem dull to the colorful at heart but accessories can tastefully give any outfit a pop of color. For women, perhaps colored jewels, metallic shoes, or a beautiful accent clutch. Men, might we suggest colorful cufflinks or a colorful pocket square.
OUTFIT - Outfits worn to black tie weddings should be incredibly formal. For women we suggest a floor-length, formal evening gown or dressy cocktail dress. For men we recommend a black tuxedo including black accessories such as a bowtie and cummerbund. Black tie weddings are the second dressiest tier of wedding types. Keep this in mind when selecting your outfit! The dressier the better!
OUTFIT - White tie weddings are the highest tier of wedding formality. Guests are expected to not only dress formally but also, be styled opulently. Various accessories include statement jewelry for women and white gloves for men. Women are expected to wear full-length ball gowns in neutral tones. Men are expected to arrive wearing a tuxedo, long black jacket with tails, a white pique vest, and a bowtie. This grandiose category allows the bride to truly be a princess the big day. Yes, the outfit coloring is a bit restrictive but you’ll be looking oh so chic.
STYLING - This advice is just for our lady readers, sorry gents! Since white tie weddings are extremely formal, we suggest getting your hair and makeup down professionally. Most women at white tie weddings wear their hair in some sort of updo. Many incorporate jeweled hair combs into their updo or string pearls through strands of hair. Makeup is also extremely important. It is difficult to replicate the same airbrushed look by doing your makeup yourself. Keep in mind while you may not notice a difference, it will undoubtedly be noticeable in photographs. In order to blend with ease and stay picture perfect throughout the wedding you’re going to want your styling done by a professional, trust us!