You've seen their cute announcement on Insta, and now the day has finally arrived. You go to your mailbox and find an invitation to a friend's wedding there waiting. Now, the big question arises - what do you wear?
Look no further, here are the golden rules for wedding guest attire!
LOOK FOR THE LOCATION AND TIME OF DAY
So your friend didn't include an attire requirement on their invitation. No worries! The traditional attire requirements are broken down below - with examples of what one might wear. If the invitation doesn't include this information, look at the location of the wedding and what time of the day that the ceremony takes place to get an idea of what type of attire you should wear.
OVERDRESSED DOESN'T EXIST
Afraid you're going to be TOO dressy? That's not a thing, sister. Put on those heels and the dress that's been hiding in the back of your closet. A wedding is a celebration, a formal, traditional event - you can never be too dressed up. You should, however, avoid jeans, casual sandals (read: flip flops), and shorts/t-shirts. The exception to this rule, especially in Kentucky, is the jeans rule. If you know that the groomsmen are wearing jeans, you might let your date slide with that one. However, have them pair it with a nice sports jacket or vest to show their respect for the couple and the time (and money) they've shelled out to host this party!
PICK ANY COLOR - EXCEPT WHITE
The polls are in, and tradition stands. Over 200 people voted on ALLYOGRAPHY social media polls, and almost 90 percent of voters agree that guests should never wear white to a wedding. White, off-white, ivory, champagne - it's reserved for the bride for the day. This rule gets tricky, because what if the dress is white but has a pattern on it (looking at you, trendy floral dresses)? Most agreed that it's just best to err on the side of caution and skip over any options that have a white base/overlay. It's your lucky day though, because you've got a rainbow of colors to pick from, and there are some great options for each attire level below.
So after reading over the invitation, you realize the ceremony is in a beautiful ballroom at night, with romantic candlelight vibes as you dance the night away celebrating. What attire level does that call for?
We've all heard of Black Tie events, but have you ever heard of a White Tie event? Think the fanciest of the fancy, the most glamorous night to be had. For White Tie events, formal attire is required. Males should adorn a black tuxedo with coattails, paired with a white vest and white bowtie. Tradition calls for white gloves and formal black shoes as well. Ladies should accessorize their full-length ballgown with stunning jewelry and dramatic hair and makeup.
Even though this is a step down from White Tie, one might wear some of the same attire. Men are expected to wear a black, or dark-colored tuxedo, and full-length ballgowns are most appropriate for the ladies. Occasionally, a luxurious cocktail dress might be acceptable.
FORMAL OR BLACK TIE OPTIONAL
Following the rule from earlier, you can never be overdressed. Formal attire requires a dark colored suit at the least, but a tuxedo is appropriate for the men. Classy, fun cocktail dresses to evening gowns are acceptable for women.
COCKTAIL OR SEMIFORMAL
For cocktail attire requirements, one must look to the time of day that the ceremony is held. In the daytime, one should wear brighter, fun colors, and for an evening ceremony, one should wear darker, more formal colors. A suit and tie is acceptable for men, and a cocktail dress or dressy jumpsuit is appropriate for women. As we trend towards the shorter dresses, be aware that dresses should be around your fingertips in length, and shorts are never appropriate for a wedding - ruling out those rompers we all love.
DRESSY CASUAL OR DAYTIME
Daytime weddings give you the luxury of choosing lighter fabrics and colors, just be sure to adhere to the no white (anywhere) rule and fingertip length appropriateness. Men can choose from a light sports jacket, to a vest, or simply a button down with dress pants. Pull out those summer dresses, ladies, because here's your chance to wear them!
Now that you know all of the traditional rules, and attire levels, let's go shopping! Click on any of the outfits above to shop, and be sure to share your favorites with us in the comments!