The wedding invitation has arrived. Now the big question is “What will I wear?”
Naturally, it’s all about the bride on her wedding day, but that doesn’t mean that you as a guest, shouldn’t look fabulous, too. There aren’t very many occasions to dress up these days, so if you’re going to a summer wedding, seize the chance to wear something special and shine. Here are some things to think about when trying to find the right dress.
1. Recognize the Need to Dress Up
This sounds obvious, but a wedding or semi-formal party is special. It means you need to dress up. Don’t think you can throw on a day dress that you’d wear to the office and be done with it. You need something more luxe and glamorous.
2. Consider the Venue and Time of Day
What to wear to a wedding reception depends on several factors, including where the wedding is being held and when. A beach wedding taking place at 1:00 pm is going to be far more casual than a church reception at four followed by a country club reception at 6 pm. Regardless of the time or place, all wedding receptions require a certain degree of decorum.
Women have more flexibility and options when it comes to dressing for a wedding reception. A skirt and a blouse, or dressy evening pants and a fancy top are both acceptable options. However, the perfect choice for wedding guest attire is a dress.
3. Pick an Appropriate Dress
While there are no formal rules, it is common sense to forgo wearing a white dress. White should be reserved for the bride.
Length is important. A ladylike length – just above the knee at the knee or even a bit below is appropriate. A very short cocktail dress is not. Also, avoid low-cut dresses or dresses that are too loud bright or busy. You want to stand out, but not in a negative way.
If you want to camouflage your tummy, a softly draped dress in a solid dark color like this blue cocktail dress (above) will help. An empire waistline can also help hide some jelly belly.
4. Buy Dressy Shoes
Leather business shoes won’t do. They need to be finer, dressier and a little sexy. For example, gold heels add the perfect amount of glam to the orange wrap dress featured above. You’ll want to hit the dance floor so be sure you can move comfortably in whatever shoes you choose.
5. Accessorize with Elegant Jewelry
Let your shoes set the tone for your jewelry. A gold bangle and a pair of gold, pearls, dangly earrings are the perfect accompaniment to the dress and shoes. Keep the earrings to a reasonable length, no more than 2″ below your earlobe.
6. Add a Chic Clutch
Leave your heavy, everyday bag at home and opt for something more elegant. A clutch or small chain handbag is a perfect choice for the occasion. This gold bag adds a touch of glam to this warm orange wrap dress.
7. Don’t Forget a Wrap
You will likely need something to cover your arms because many cocktail dresses are sleeveless. A wrap will come in handy in the church, in an air-conditioned reception hall or when you are on a patio if the reception is outside. Make sure your wrap is delicate and ladylike. No heavy wraps to weigh you down.
Did you look fabulous recently at a wedding or semi-formal party? Send me a photo. I would love to post it. Click here for more ideas for what to wear to a wedding.