The Guide To Wedding Attire Etiquette

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It seems like nearly every season is wedding season when you get to a certain age. People you know get engaged and then all of a sudden, the invitation’s in the mail and you have to figure out what you’re going to wear! Check out this guide when it comes to wedding attire etiquette so that you show up looking fabulous but do not upstage the bride.

Weddings often have different attire requirements. The first step in having appropriate wedding attire is to match your outfit to what the invitation states. If guests are requested to dress in black tie or white tie, then men must don outfits accordingly. Formal attire on an invitation means that ladies wear a long dress or formal cocktail dress and men wear a formal suit with a not-flashy tie. Semi-formal or dressy casual for women equals a dressy skirt or top or a cocktail dress, and men can wear a suit and a tie. Festive attire invites guests to play up their look with fun accessories or bold colors, still dressed up but with a festive mood. Lastly, casual attire on an invitation allows you to relax your look. For men, this means dress pants or khakis and a button down shirts or even a polo shirt, Women can wear a nice sun dress or seasonally appropriate dress. Always match your attire to the invitation’s requirements and you’ll always be dressing appropriately.

That said, here are some other golden rules to follow when it comes to wedding etiquette.

1. Never Wear White

Although some modern day etiquette guides have stated that it is now accepted to wear white to a wedding, do not fall for it! There may be some so called experts that say it’s no big deal to wear a white dress or skirt to a wedding. Basically, if the majority of your outfit is white(a white dress, a white skirt), shelve it and pick something new! It’s the bride’s day, and she’s the one who gets to wear white. The rest of us guests need to pick a different color, because that one is taken. Even off-white or cream is pushing it a little too far. Respect the day and choose a different color to flaunt– even if it is a summer wedding and it’s before Labor Day. It’s bad etiquette all around!

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Image via theCosmopolitan.com

2. Do Not Go Casual Unless Requested

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Unless the wedding invitation says casual, do not wear casual! This isn’t a day at the office– it’s a wedding. Even if you add formal accessories, it’s still going to be considered in bad taste.

3. Wear Nice Jewelry

Don’t wear cheap earrings or, heaven forbid, a plastic choker necklace. Skip the Claire’s Jewelry look completely and go for formal and elegant, always. Also, don’t wear jewelry that showcases your own faith when attending a wedding of a different faith. It’s not too bad a faux pas, but it is considerate to place the religious jewelry on hold for one day and considered good etiquette.

4. Formal Shoes

When it comes to wedding shoes, go for nice ballet shoes, flats, or dressy heels. Always go dressy and never wear anything resembling sneakers. The least formal shoe you can get away with? Dressy gladiator sandals.

5. Look Your Best

Proper etiquette for a wedding is to look your best. It’s someone’s special day, and you’re celebrating that! Give yourself at least an hour to get ready, try a fancy up-do for your hair, and apply makeup appropriate for the occasion. That means black mascara, a conservative eye shadow, foundation and blush.

That’s it! Follow these rules and you will always have appropriate wedding attire etiquette. Now all that’s left is to get ready and enjoy the day!


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