Pampering for a wedding: What to Wear

You’ve gotten the invitation for your friends’ wedding, happily circled the date on your calendar and started shopping for their gift, when all of a sudden it hits you – what are you supposed to wear? The etiquette for proper wedding guest attire can vary greatly depending on the style of the wedding. You’ll have to become a little bit of a detective but fear not. There are clues everywhere.


Start off with the invitation. Is it in flowing engraved black script on a heavy cream paper with formal language? Odds are the wedding will be similarly formal. Does it cheekily ask you to come to see them get hitched? Wedding guests should look for a nice casual outfit. And of course, it may tell you directly on the invitation – black tie, casual attire, etc.


Think about where the wedding is set – if it’s outdoors avoid anything that will get caught in the wind – you won’t want a battle of wills between the wind and your modesty! Also, avoid high heeled shoes that will sink in the sand or in the grass. If it’s in a hot location avoid the suit and go for a breezy dress to help you keep your cool. Indoors at the country club or fancy restaurant? Make your outfit slightly more tailored and dressy.

Daytime Wedding

For her

  • A fun floral dress.
  • A skirt and a sweater set with slingback shoes. (H & M has some surprisingly affordable and stylish skirts right now that will work for a daytime wedding).
  • A light-colored suit – try to stay away from the black, navy, or anything that looks like you’re going to the office.
  • A beautiful hat that coordinates with your outfit.

For him

  • In the summertime, a light-colored suit, especially linen or seersucker.
  • Winter weddings call for warmer clothing, including wool suits, a navy blazer with charcoal pants, and perhaps a sweater and tie underneath a blazer.
  • A dress shirt, tie and dress pants is acceptable, but dress it up with a blazer if you can.
  • If the invitation is formal, wear a dark suit. Tuxedos are not appropriate before 6 pm.

Evening Wedding

For her

  • Dress as you would if you were going out to the theater or to dinner.
  • A cocktail dress – nothing too sexy but something fun to dance in. Black is fine.
  • A dressy suit or a cocktail suit.
  • Wear darker colors and look for something sophisticated.
  • Avoid beads or sequins unless the invitation specifically says black tie.


For him

  • A dark suit is always appropriate.
  • If the invitation says casual or semi-formal, you can wear a blazer and slacks with a nice tie.

Black-tie Optional

For her

  • A cocktail dress, perhaps to the floor.

For him

  • If you have a tuxedo, or just like wearing one, by all means, do so.
  • Otherwise, wear a dark suit. Dress as formally as you can.

Black Tie


For her

  • A formal dress, usually to the floor.
  • Bring out those beaded purses, fancy wraps, and formal jewelry that’s been waiting for an occasion such as this.
  • Black tie weddings almost always involve dancing, so don’t wear anything too constricting.


For him

  • A tuxedo is the only appropriate thing to wear. If it says creative black tie, he should still wear a tuxedo, perhaps with a black shirt or collarless white shirt.

Don’t Wear:

  • White. (This rule has relaxed some, and you can get away with wearing a printed dress with a white background and some cream colored clothing. Just be careful not to upstage the bride.)
  • Black to a daytime wedding
  • Jeans
  • Anything too sexy or revealing
  • Anything torn, with holes, stained, too big or too small for you!
  • Anything sleeveless or strapless to a religious wedding. Bring a wrap to cover your shoulders.


Let Quatty Wot guide you through the fashion tips.


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