Dresses for Wedding Guests: Guest Attire Etiquette

There are a lot of options when it comes to dresses for wedding guests. As with most women, we love to dress up and a wedding is one of the times when you can doll yourself up and look pretty. However, the goal when dressing for a wedding is to look beautiful with an appropriate dress without outshining the bride.

As a guest, take the time to find out what kind of wedding they’re having. This will give you an idea on what becomes “overkill attire.” If they’re having a beach wedding, it’ll be an awkward entrance when you come wearing a heavy ball gown. Also, find out what their wedding colors are. Wearing a black dress might give the wrong impression if their theme is an all-white wedding. Simply put, a funeral garb will definitely send out the wrong message to the couple and other guests.

Dresses for Wedding Guests

Dresses for wedding guests: a cheat sheet

Depending on what kind of wedding the couple is having, here are a few suggestions for every woman attending as a guest.

White Tie Wedding: This is the most formal of all dress codes so going for a formal, full-length ball gown in neutral colors like black or dark brown will be appropriate. Wear glamorous makeup, beautiful jewelry and wear a formal updo for your hair.

Black Tie Wedding: Second to a white tie event, a black tie is usually held as an evening event. You have two options, you can either wear a long evening gown in neutral colors or a chic cocktail dress.

Black Tie Optional Wedding: It’s less formal than a black tie so instead of an evening gown, you can get away with a simple long dress or a formal cocktail-length dress.

Dresses for Wedding Guests

Beach Formal Wedding: This means you’re about to attend a formal beach wedding so don’t assume a two-piece is appropriate. A formal sundress, either above or knee-length is fine. Pair it with flat sandals and natural makeup.

Semi-formal Wedding: A cocktail dress is most appropriate. A skirt with a beautiful top is also okay but make sure you know what time of the day it will be held. Darker colors will be appropriate for an evening event.

Casual Wedding: Wear everyday makeup or natural makeup. This is an anything-goes kind of wedding so dresses for wedding guests can either be a summer sundress, skirt or pants paired with a nice blouse.