Wedding Guest Attire
What to Wear to a Wedding -
Informal Daytime: Short dress or suit (business attire OK for morning weddings)
Wedding guest style for her
Informal Evening: Cocktail dress
Semi-Formal Daytime: Short dress or suit
Semi-formal Evening: Cocktail dress
Formal Daytime: Short dress or suit. Hats and gloves optional.
Formal Evening or Black-Tie: Long or dressy short cocktail (beading, glam accessories, wrap)
Ultra-formal or White Tie: Long gown, extra glitz (furs, diamonds, etc.)
Don't wear white because it competes with the bride. There are plenty of other colors available.
Do's and Don'ts for Her
Don't wear black or sequins during the daytime.
Don't worry about wearing the same colors as the bridesmaids or mothers. You can't possibly coordinate with everyone in the wedding party.
Do wear something feminine and appropriate, out of respect for your hosts. Clubwear, overtly sexy clothing (strapless, see-through, etc) doesn't belong at a wedding.If you have to ask if it's appropriate, it probably isn't.
Don't wear opera-length gloves (to top of arm) with anything but sleeveless or strapless gowns.
Do take off gloves to eat or drink.
Do use good judgment if the invitation doesn't specify the formality of the event. A pastel suit or soft floral dress for daytime or a little black dress for evening (after 6 p.m.) will take you almost anywhere.
Informal Daytime: Dress shirt and pants, preferably a sports jacket.
Wedding Style for him
Informal Evening: Suit
Semi-Formal Daytime: Suit
Semi-Formal Evening: Dark suit
Formal Daytime: Dark suit and tie
Formal Evening: Tuxedo (if invitation states "black tie") or dark suits if women wear short dresses.
Ultra-formal Evening or White Tie: White tie, cummerbund, vest and shirt.
Don't try to get cute with a tuxedo. A black tux with white shirt and black bow tie is the best way to go. If "Creative Black Tie" or "Texas Formal" or some sort of other vague formal description is used, then going with a tux and black shirt, no tie, might be acceptable. Also, trendier cities like Los Angeles and New York might be more accepting of breaking with tradition.
Do's and Don'ts for Him
Do wear a dark suit, with a tie if the wedding is after 6 PM, and doesn't say "Black Tie."
Don't wear a tuxedo during the day time, regardless of the formality of the event.
Do use good judgment if the invitation doesn't specify the formality of the event. A dark suit and conservative tie will take you just about anywhere.
By Cynthia Nellis
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