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 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. Follow the dress code on the wedding invitation or don’t be afraid to ask if there isn’t one written. At a wedding, it is better to be overdressed, than underdressed!
2. Consider the Venue and Time of Day
What to wear to a wedding reception depends on many things, including where the wedding is being held and when. A beach wedding taking place at 1 pm is going to be far more casual than a church wedding at 4 p.m. 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 when it comes to dressing for a wedding reception than men. At some weddings, even a skirt + a blouse, or dressy evening pants + a fancy top are acceptable options. A dressy jumpsuit can be appropriate too. However, for the majority of weddings, the perfect choice for wedding guest attire is a dress.
3. Don’t Wear White
While there are no formal rules, it’s common sense to forgo wearing a white dress. White should be reserved for the bride. Even if the bride is not wearing white, white makes one think of a bride, so stay clear out of respect. If you prefer a lighter color, opt for a pretty pastel like this one in pale yellow lace.
4. Don’t Show Too Much Skin
The length of your dress matters. A ladylike length would be no shorter than about an inch above the knee. 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. You’re not going to a nightclub. A great way for an over-40 gal to show a little skin but not look trashy is to opt for an off-the-shoulder dress. It’s subtly sexy but still looks classy.
5. Wear Dressy Shoes
Chunky, serious business shoes won’t do. They need to be finer, dressier and a little sexy. For example, metallic heels add a touch of glam. You’ll want to hit the dance floor, so be sure you can move comfortably in whatever shoes you choose.
6. 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 would make sense.
7. Add a Chic Clutch
Leave your heavy, everyday bag at home and opt for something more evening like. A clutch or small chain handbag is a perfect choice for the occasion.
8. 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 at the church, in an air-conditioned reception hall, or 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.
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