Going to the Chapel and Gonna…See Someone Else Get Married

Wedding season is here.  May and June are two popular months for couples to walk down the aisle and say “I do.”  If you’re someone who has RSVP’d to an upcoming wedding, I wanted to address wedding day attire and what to wear to a wedding.  Sick of the little black dress?  Aren’t sure what to wear to a wedding taking place in the morning or on a beach?  I wanted to offer some thoughts and looks around different scenarios to help you come up with some ways to look great, while not upstaging the bride.

The biggest question I often get is whether or not wearing white or ivory to a wedding is inappropriate.  Etiquette dictates that it shouldn’t be done, however, that is old dusty etiquette.  Nowadays, many are wearing white or ivory to see someone else get married.  Do I agree with that?  Not really.  Regardless of the fact that it’s etiquette that isn’t really observed as strictly as it once was, with so many other colors out there, is it really necessary to choose the same color as the bride?  Additionally, while you may be comfortable with wearing white or ivory, there are some who will disagree.  Sure, it shouldn’t matter what others think, but wearing these colors worth sour looks and snickers from others who believe you are committing a faux pas?  I’d sooner just wear something else and avoid the tension.

The next thing I want to address around wedding attire is the time of day a person is getting married and the importance of this as a decision maker in what you choose to wear.  When I got married, it was at 11:30 am on a Sunday morning in a garden.  The time of day and venue really doesn’t call for spangly cocktail dresses or shiny fabrics.  Time of day is really important when considering what to wear to a wedding.  In fact, when choosing a dress for my bridesmaids to wear it was nearly impossible to find a dress for them to wear that wasn’t all bejeweled and satiny.  No, not everyone gets married in the evening yet the bridal industry seems to forget that.  Morning weddings are not the time to break out your evening cocktail attire.  Most of my guests wore less formal looks that were dressy yet not over embellished.

Daytime Wedding
This is a look I put together for a daytime wedding that will end before the sun sets.  With yellow and mint being two very popular colors, the look is fresh, updated and perfect for a wedding that isn’t too formal.  Black is also a color that is great to avoid for weddings being held earlier in the day.  This is not to say that you can’t wear black but, if you do, I would suggest that you wear it with a pair of tan heels and a less embellished handbag and jewelry.
Beach Wedding
These days many are choosing destination weddings and getting married at places like the beach.  For a wedding of this type, finding a dress that is easy and breezy is the way to go.  Also, for beach weddings, going for color is a great alternative over a heavy and dark color.  If you’re going to wear heels and the ceremony is being held at the beach just keep in mind how difficult it can be to walk on sand in stilettos.  Having a flat pair of shoes for the ceremony isn’t a bad idea.  Some couples offer flip flops to their guests that they can put on for beach walking.
Va Va Va Vegas Weddng
If you get an invitation from a friend telling you that their wedding is going to be held at a place like Las Vegas I say, when in Rome…or Vegas, I guess.  Go crazy.  This is a great time break out your spangle, air on the side of mild tackiness, choose shiny, bejeweled or anything else that makes you feel as bright as the city.  After all, they call it “Sin City” for a reason.
Pretty in Pink Wedding
For the most part, weddings are held in the early evening and go on until the late hours of the night.  Cocktail attire is usually expected at these types of events.  However, this does not have to mean black.  I went to a wedding a few years ago and while waiting for it to start a woman came up to me and said, “What a relief it is to see someone not wearing black today.”  Black is a good old stand by for many, but it doesn’t have to be; not with all the delicious colors going on out there.  Black may be slimming but any dress that is cut right for your body is slimming.  If you simply must wear black for an evening wedding then play with bold accessories and shoe colors instead.  Live a little!
Formal Wedding Affair
If you get a wedding invitation that says it’s a black tie affair this means that it is a formal wedding, but that does not mean that you have to wear black.  It is requested that you wear a formal dress or gown, however.  Gowns can be tricky things to purchase because it isn’t normal that most of us have a real need for them. Many go and buy a black gown.  Can you say boring?  Look, you may not need to wear a gown all that often so why wear black?  People assume that a black gown will be the most versatile gown color to own, but is it really?  There is no logic in needing a gown to be black in regards to how often it will be worn.  A gown that you will break out a handful of times can still be colorful.  If you don’t want to invest in a full-on gown because your life doesn’t really demand that you own one, you can look for a slightly less formal full length dress that can then be made more formal through dressier accessories and shoes.  Just make the sure the fabric of your less formal gown isn’t in fabric that is too daytime looking or casual.  A basic matte jersey with gorgeous dressy accessories can be just fine.


Happy wedding season to all of you.  Thankfully, I don’t have any pending invitations hanging on my fridge right now, but I’m sure it won’t be long until I find one in my mailbox.