The wedding season is coming … What should you wear?

With the start of the wedding season just a few weeks away, I thought this was a good time to give some tips and advice to help you put together some amazing outfits for these lighthearted celebrations. As is always the case with fashion, age is a factor in deciding what to wear … but you might be surprised how far that consideration falls on the list.

FIRST CONSIDERATION: Dress code or No dress code.

There are six dress codes that a couple can choose to have for their wedding guests. To understand each of these, I am using the information found in the invitations on Dawn’s website.

Dress codes: what to wear

1. Informal: informal dress adapted to the season

2. Cocktail / Semi Formal / Elegant Casual Attire – Cocktail Dress

3. Themed attire – Determined by the couple (see # 5 Vintage below)

4. Formal attire / Black tie Optional: floor length dress or evening pantsuit

5. Black Tie – formal dress

6. White tie – full length ballroom dress

If there is a dress code that will narrow down your options, but there is still room for a lot of imagination! If there is no dress code, you can move on to the next consideration.

SECOND CONSIDERATION: Wedding theme or style

There are many themes / styles, but I will mention the eight most common. Understanding the theme / style can help you decide what to wear if the invitation doesn’t have a dress code.

Theme / style (ranked from most formal to most informal): Suggestions for what to wear

1. Classic or traditional: from cocktail dress to full length dress

2. Contemporary or elegant: cocktail dress or wide leg jumpsuit

3. Romantic or Patio / Vineyard: cocktail dress or wide leg jumpsuit

4. Industrial inspired: any of the above

5. Vintage: depending on the period chosen by the couple

6. Rustic or country: summer dresses, long casual dresses or jeans and a lace blouse

7. Beach: summer dresses, full-length casual dresses, swimsuit with pareo

Your possibilities are endless – use these tips to get your creativity flowing.


A general rule of thumb is that the attraction gets a little more formal as the day progresses into the evening.

Now you can narrow it down even further and start thinking about garment details as well as starting ideas for accessories.

FOURTH CONSIDERATION: Adjustment for inclement weather

Whichever outfit you choose, make sure you have a secondary option ready in case the weather turns bad, or have a blanket or shawl … even a fancy umbrella to help you weather the weather!

FIFTH CONSIDERATION: What are the wedding colors?

If you know the colors that the couple has chosen for their wedding, you can choose to wear something that goes well with them. Generally, you don’t want to exactly match the colors if you’re not part of the wedding party. However, something a little lighter or darker than one of the colors or a simple pattern that has one or more of the colors are good options.

CONSIDERATION SIX: What do you look best at?

This one is a bit tricky, because even though you want to look your best, you should never outshine the bride or bridesmaids. This is the day for the bride to shine and her bridesmaids with her, so consider what looks best on her and then tweak it a bit. That could mean that instead of wearing a dress that is tight and very short with high heels, you choose a fitted dress just above the knee length dress and any heels OR a slightly looser dress that is short with killer high heels. Another example would be instead of wearing a low-cut, off-the-shoulder jumpsuit, you could wear a slightly higher neckline with a low back. The modifications are endless …

DO NOT skip this consideration. It will prevent you from being the one everyone is gossiping behind your back at the wedding and for weeks afterward.

SEVENTH CONSIDERATION: Appropriate for age

This is not good for my younger readers and bad for my older ones. Again, these are modifications. You want to look elegant as well as age-appropriate. Those of you who are younger have more options, although I would recommend EVERYONE, regardless of age, to study yourself closely in a standing, sitting, walking, and bending 3-way mirror. The word modest means to show grace to the observer and that should be your goal when attending a wedding. You don’t want to be a distraction to other guests or anyone else at the wedding party. Those of us who are older need to spend even more time thinking and studying how we look in an outfit … no matter how impressive it is on the hanger or on the mannequin. As we age, we can lose sight of (or sometimes choose to lose sight of) how our clothes look from different angles and in different body positions. Show no mercy in any outfit that doesn’t look its best in all angles and in all body positions. Don’t wear something that you regret later. Always opt for the most classic pieces.

A good rule of thumb for those of us old enough to be a parent:

Combine classic pieces with one or two trendy pieces


Accessories are what turn garments / pieces of clothing into sets. Never underestimate the power of accessories. Here are some things to help you make good decisions.

1. Weddings are not the best place to wear oversized jewelry or brightly colored jewelry.

To. Choose more moderate-sized earrings, bracelets, and necklaces

B. Parts that are mostly metal with bits of color and shine are best.

2. Make your jewelry or your shoes / purse / belts / outerwear the main focus … not all of the above.

3. Choose shoes that are comfortable for hours on your feet and dancing OR bring another comfortable pair for dancing that complements your outfit and is in excellent shape.

My husband and I have two weddings to attend this summer. One is a rustic wedding and the other is traditional, so I can choose two very different outfits in different colors with different accessories … some of which I already have in my closet and others I will have to buy. I’m already gathering ideas for what I’ll wear both days based on everything I’ve written here.

So, I leave you now with your own creative juices. TO ENJOY!


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