Wedding Guest Outfit Inspiration for Every Occasion

Melissa Reid
26 Jan , 2021

It’s wedding season, which means celebrations, champagne and getting dressed up to toast the happy couple on their big day. But what to wear?!

Knowing what wedding guest outfits are appropriate by interpreting the dress code on the invitation can sometimes be a little confusing if it’s not the usual “smart casual”. What does ‘cocktail formal’, ‘dressy casual’ or ‘beach normal’ actually mean when it comes to appropriate wedding attire?

Even if you have something in your wardrobe, a shopping trip is never a bad idea. Our knowledgeable team around the country would love to help you find the perfect wedding guest outfit that will suit you and your personal style.

Here are some ideas and inspiration to help get you on your way to being a best dressed wedding guest.

Invite Says: Beach Formal

Anything to do with the beach inherently indicates casual, so tacking the word “formal” to the end conveys that it’s still a classy affair.

We recommend a formal summer sundress such as our The Lost Lolly Dress in Sky Blue, which is perfect for a dressy casual wedding.

Invite Says: Dress Casual

Casual dress means wedding guests can wear pretty much anything they want — within reason.

We recommend a summer dress, such as our Down Town Dress in Red, which is perfectly suited to both day and night events.

Invite Says: Cocktail Attire, Semi-Formal or Dressy Casual

All three of these phrases are asking you to dress somewhere between formal and casual.

We recommend a cocktail dress like our Chenille Elle Lace Dress, our classic lace shift dress with a flattering cap length sleeve.

Invite Says: Formal Attire or Black Tie Optional

These two phrases are very popular in today’s weddings and indicate that the wedding party will be in formal wedding attire — and that it’s optional for all guests. Formal attire for weddings in this category requires longer length dresses.

With its elegant cowl neck and elegant silhouette, our Myra May Dress is perfect for a sophisticated event.

4 Wedding Guest Attire Rules

There are a few rules that apply to all dress codes across the board. Whether you're wearing casual or black-tie attire, avoid all of the following faux pas.

1. Don’t Wear White

Wearing white to a wedding is pretty much the ultimate no-no, unless it’s specifically requested by the couple. White, cream or ivory is generally exclusively reserved for the bride’s wedding dress, and the last thing you want to do is upset the bride on her wedding day!

2. Don’t Pick a Dress That Looks Like the Bridesmaid Dress

If you can get a heads up on the style and color of the dress the bridesmaids will be wearing, try to avoid wearing anything similar. If not, you may have to spend the night explaining to everyone that you're not a bridesmaid and you didn't mean to dress like one.

3. Don’t Underdress

Even if the invitation says to dress casual, try not to underdress for the wedding. Unless it was stated that wearing jeans is okay, try to at least wear clothes that you would feel comfortable wearing to a formal office party.

4. Don’t Dress for the Club

It's a party, so it’s tempting to dress like you're heading on a night out, but you should keep it classy and appropriate.

Shop more wedding guest outfit options here.

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