Spring weather brings wedding season. Although, I chuckle a bit writing this considering I have two cousins getting married this year, one in November and the other in December. I got married in October. So it’s not exactly accurate any longer to say that spring is wedding season. Despite wedding season being a year-round business, many people do think of spring as wedding time.
Stylish Wedding Guest Looks
Just like the variety in seasons when people get married, the types of weddings couples can also vary. Some are very formal and others a more casual affair. Last September, I attended a cousin’s wedding in Colorado and it was far more casual than the weddings I have attended in the northeast. A client once told me she was attending a wedding at a bowling alley and, currently, I am in the process of helping another client find the perfect dress for her son’s wedding in Vietnam, a place where they have their own unique ways of dressing for weddings.
With all this variety, there isn’t a cookie-cutter way to create stylish looks. Certainly, I can’t cover all the different ways in one blog post, but I can give you some outfit ideas on the basics. Check out five different wedding guest looks below.
#1 Morning wedding
I got married on a Sunday morning at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. The feel of a morning wedding is quite different than an evening event. You can actually watch my wedding video in its entirety to see how everyone dressed for one held at 11 and ended by 4 pm. It’s much more understated, and one of our friends said that our wedding looked like an Oscar Wilde novel. Certainly, all morning weddings don’t need to look like they came from a classic novel, but there are some things to consider when attending a wedding held early in the day.
This isn’t a time for glitz and glamour. Understated elegance is the way to go. Avoid bling, anything you would wear in the evening, and embellishments like sequins. Beading should be extremely minimal used only as a small trim. Of course, all types of weddings take place in the morning, so the venue and overall feel of the wedding should be considered. A morning wedding held on a beach vs. one held in a church will likely require a different dress code. Generally speaking, if the wedding is held in a place of worship, be sure to be clear on and respectful of any religious observations.
Morning weddings are perfect for florals. I styled this satin floral dress from Parker Black. The satin weave gives the style the perfect amount of dressiness for a morning wedding. I styled the dress with blush pumps from Marc Fisher, grey clutch from Dagne Dover and pink drop earrings from Banana Republic.
#2 Beach or casual
If you are attending a casual beach wedding or a more casual affair, a daytime style dress can be perfectly acceptable. In fact, years ago, I had attended two weddings in the same month. One was a dressier event and the other much more casual. The summer dress I wore to the rehearsal dinner to the dressier event was perfectly acceptable for the dress I wore to the more casual wedding.
For a casual wedding, I styled this floral Joie summer dress with silver metallic wedge sandals from Louise et Cie. If you are attending an event on sand or even grass, unless you very skilled, walking on soft ground with heels can be tricky. A wedge is a dressy alternative. Lastly, I finished the outfit with a pair of earrings from Argento Vivo, bracelet from Stella & Dot and white clutch from Rebecca Minkoff.
In most cases, a wedding is a formal affair that doesn’t require gowns or black-tie but does require an appropriate evening look. This is where you can break out the embellishments, evening fabrics, glitz, and so on.
Unless your life is full of black-tie affairs, it can be hard to pull the trigger on the purchase of a gown. Places like Rent the Runway can be a smart alternative, and not just for black-tie weddings. I think renting can be smart for any occasions, not just super formal.
If you are looking to buy, people tend towards buying the most simplistic styles so they can wear them again. There is logic in this, but I often find women compromise and avoid wearing things they really love.
I styled this teal gown from Tadashi Shoji, a brand I find makes really well fitting dresses for a variety of body types. I managed to find this pair of strappy heels that come quite close to matching the dress perfectly and I finished the outfit with gold using this minaudière from Whitig & Davis, bracelet from Adriana Orsini and drop earrings from Nordstrom.
I put this look together when I remembered a client asked me for help with a wedding look. She preferred pants and tailored looks over dresses and wondered if I could help her put a pants look together for a formal wedding. It was a fun challenge and she was a great client to work with. Inspired by this and knowing that my client can’t be the only one looking for a pant look for a wedding, I styled this outfit.
First, I selected pants designed for the evening. The pants you choose don’t need to be satin in fabric, like the pair I used from Lafayette 148 but they should be evening appropriate. Even drapey matte jersey would work in some cases. I added this silk charmeuse tank, also from Lafayette 148 and added this jacket from Ming Wang. Giving this outfit a formal finish, I added these embellished pumps from Naturalizer, a long station necklace from Stella & Dot and cluster stud earrings from Nina.
As you RSVP to your next wedding, I hope these outfit ideas help.