Gone are the days when wearing black to a wedding automatically cast you into the ‘dark side’ of the family. However, it’s still important to adhere to the allocated dress code for your wedding (see dress codes deciphered below) and do your homework on what is appropriate dress for the style of wedding you are attending.
Maxi dresses are a sophisticated option, and great to carry over from ceremony to reception (saves you having to wear hubbies suit jacket). Pastel dresses are fabulous and dare we say….romantic?
Dresses to avoid are shorter than short hem lines, you want to look classy and you’re going to be sitting and standing a lot so you don’t want to have to fuss over your outfit constantly. Also make sure you don’t over do the hair, make up and fake tans, it’s mistake a lot of people make and can leave you feeling a bit uncomfortable (and quite frankly unrecognisable in the wedding pics!).
WHAT TO WEAR TO A WEDDING
Definitely NOT white. Or Ivory in that case! When it comes to weddings, the dress code is generally determined by the type of wedding. My motto is that it’s always better to feel slightly overdressed than underdressed. People usually don their very best when it comes to weddings and presenting yourself in the best way you can, shows respect for the wedding party. And let’s be honest, getting all dolled up is usually the best part! In general, here are a few tips to follow for weddings:
Keep your dress length respectable – by this I mean leave the mini dresses at home! A dress cut just above the knee and down will keep you looking elegant and sophisticated without attracting unwelcome glances from creepy uncles.
Footwear. If you’re attending a beach or garden wedding, bear in mind that it’s difficult to walk on sand or grass in heels so it might be a good idea to wear heeled wedges, flat sandals or shoes with a bigger heel. Beach weddings are great for wearing bright colours and floaty styles – think Kaftans and printed maxi dresses. Remember to bring a brush if you decide to wear your hair down, a windy beach wedding can mean disaster for your hair.
Leave the cleavage covered. A little bit is OK but when you’re falling out on the dancefloor, it’s not a good look! The golden rule is that if you bare more on top, cover the bottom. If you’re baring more below, then cover up on top.
Use Jewellery or accessories to compliment your outfit and not to overdue it. If you have a lot of detail in your frock, opt for minimal jewellery. If your dress is high-necked, you probably don’t need a necklace and opt for a bracelet and earrings instead. If your dress is strapless, a necklace will compliment it nicely.
A small handbag or clutch purse is a smarter option than trying to bring your everyday handbag with the kitchen sink. Minimal is best, choose the evening bag every time!
Keep makeup classy and sophisticated, opt for a smokey eye, or a strong lip colour but definitely not both. Less is more.
DRESS CODES DECIPHERED
The most formal of them all. The White Tie dress code means you are required to look and wear your absolute best. Think suitable attire for dining with the Queen! Tailcoats, bow ties and floor-length gowns are the go and nothing above the knee!
A formal dress code where gents should be wearing a tuxedo or dinner suit, and ladies should be wearing floor length gowns. Think what you would wear if you were attending a red carpet event. Black Tie is most commonly used for formal occasions and weddings although these days a lot of women do bypass the code and opt for suitable knee-length dresses.
Gents should be in suits and the ladies should generally be in a long pretty dress. The Formal dress code is not as glamorous as the Black Tie code so as long as it’s sophisticated and knee-length or below, it will work. Heels are a must!
The semi-formal dress code means gents can be suited up without a tie and the ladies can go in sophisticated cocktail dresses. The semi formal dress code is very similar to a ‘cocktail’ dress code.
Lounge wear is a mix between Formal and Black Tie. It’s the dress code used for a party or social function where you are not required to wear a black evening suit (aka “a penguin suit” for the men and where you are asked not to turn up in jeans and an open shirt.
This basically means “please look good”. The smart casual dress code means shoes for gents (no trainers or sneakers please) but jeans are allowed. For the ladies, smart casual could be a pretty frock or jeans/trousers with a blazer and heels.
If you’re looking for evening wear don’t forget to check out some great evening wear suppliers in our Style Directory, in particular White Runway has an amazing selection of dresses suitable for bridesmaids and stylish wedding guests.
In the image above, dress from White Runway, Shoes from Betts, Jewels from pinkcandy, makeup from Gorgeous Cosmetics and Ry.com.au, Clutch from Fashion Diva, all can be found from our Style Directory.
Creative thanks to Katelyn Hague, style advice with the help of Rebecca Lau and Sally Dunn.