Except when the wedding guest attire is specified in the wedding invitation it can be a bit of a struggle deciding on what to wear to wedding but hopefully that will change after reading this article.
I'm not a fashion guru and I don't pretend to be. That is why when I dress up I try to keep things as simple as possible so that I don't commit fashion blunders. For example I mostly do black shoes and bags because you can never go wrong matching that with any color of dress. For casual I do a jean and a blouse or shirt and for formal I do a pencil skirt or pant trousers with fitted shirt usually long sleeves. For church a pencil kneel length skirt with a shirt, a Nigerian native clothe which for me is usually in the style of a long flowing skirt with a blouse. And makeup I like to keep it simple nothing loud.
And for weddings (I don't attend often) I usually wear either a flowing native skirt and a blouse or gown. This is how though I am a fashion dummy I have been able to stay out of making ridiculous fashion mistakes.
You don't have to approve of what I wear or criticize it either. I said all that simply to show that you really don't need to know fashion and trends to dress acceptably. If you can keep things simple and know that everything has its place including different types of dressing then you'll be fine.
Do not wear any sort of trouser to a wedding: Yes, whether it's a jean or a pant trouser stay away from it. No matter how you feel about wearing a dress, the perfect wedding attire for a wedding guest is a dress; a cocktail dress. A cocktail dress is usually a kneel length gown. And it's perfect to wear to a wedding especially if the wedding is done in the afternoon; which is the common tradition in Nigeria. But if for some reason a wedding is done in the evening then a long flowing gown will be fine. However when you wear a cocktail dress or the flowing gown, make sure it cannot be mistaken for a bridal dress.
Apply caution when wearing the color White and Black to a Wedding: The wedding is still the bride's day and you don't want to take that attention away from her. That is why as wedding dressing etiquette for guests the color white is a No go color especially for women. That doesn't mean you can't rock a white dress at a wedding. But you just have to thread with caution. For example don't use pure white. If you do you can style it with black or any other color to make sure it can't be confused for with bridal dress.
Another color you have to wear to a wedding with caution is the color black.
Blacks are always associated with mourning. It's a sad color (depending on how it's used). You don't want to come to a joyous occasion such as a wedding and be looking like someone just died.
Sequin and Cocktail dresses is an all time favorite: Sequin and Cocktail dresses work anytime for a wedding as long as you keep the tips about colors in mind.
Avoid anything that will cause a scandal: Yes women, especially single women dress to weddings to get attention. And there's nothing wrong with that. You should look attractive especially if you're single and searching because there are likely going to be some single looking to settle down bachelors at the wedding. However there's a thin line between dressing to attract and dressing to attack. You want the right attention not the kind of attention caused by a much too loud makeup or skimpy dress that will get everyone distracted from the wedding and instead start murmuring about you. Skimpy dress if you have to wear it has its place and if you want, loud makeup too but not at a wedding. Also do not go to wedding revealing special parts of your body. Some women guests at weddings including bridesmaids wear dresses that reveal almost half of their breasts.
The bride should have all the attention and not you. So don't force people to give it to you else the bride will never forgive you.
Do not super dress: Don't overdress for the occasion that you look more expensive than the bride. We want people focused on the bride not wondering how much your dress or shoe cost. Or dressed like lady gaga. You know; an awkward or what some will think as weird dress that will cause people to stare and laugh.
Appropriate shoes for wedding: I don't think I even have to say it but I'll say it anyway. Footwear such as dunlops or aka kitto slippers as we refer to them in Nigeria (rubber or plastic slippers) are a No No for weddings! However you can wear pumps, flats, loafers and sandals can work too.
Don't use one wedding bridesmaid's dress to attend another wedding: I was the chief bridesmaid aka maid of honor for my elder sister's wedding. And my dress was a bit modeled after hers. We used a satin material to make a ballroom dress. It was full and in pink. You don't have to be told that it was a bridesmaid dress. And that was why as much as I loved the dress I had to eventually give it away because each time I wore it at least one person will come to me and say "it was a bridesmaid dress right?"
So if you've been one of the bridesmaids for a wedding and the dress you used can easily be identified as a bridesmaid dress then you may not want to wear that to another wedding. It's not that something is wrong with doing that really. It's just that it may not be a good feeling for people to know that you're wearing a dress you used as the bridesmaid for another wedding to a different wedding. But then if you don't mind that, then you can ignore this tip.
Just like for the women it's not right that you look better than the groom of the day; at least not in your dressing.
Don't wear a white tuxedo or any white jacket to a wedding except it's specified as the wedding guest attire or you're part of the wedding; perhaps as one of the grooms men. Either wear a black tux with a white shirt and black bow tie or wear a suit with a long tie.
Don't dress formal or looking business like to a wedding: Of course you can rock a pencil skirt with a blouse on it to a wedding. But wearing a shirt on it especially a long sleeves shirt on a pencil skirt will look almost too formal for a wedding. But worst is a woman wearing a suit to a wedding.
Finally leave the big bags out of a wedding instead carry a small pulse. And for the men, no briefcase. If you can't find anything small to carry then it's better not to carry anything than to carry a big bag.
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