I’ve styled wedding party and wedding guest outfits for my personal styling clients over the last couple of years, and I know that when you’re doing it on your own, planning the ideal wedding guest outfit is no easy feat. One has to tread the fine line between classy, chic, with the tiniest hint of sexy and stealing the thunder of the most important person of the day. Here’s my eight guidelines for planning the ultimate wedding guest outfit which will have you standing out for all the right reasons. But not too much…
1. context is key
A fashion forward and glamorous jumpsuit will look a lot more at home at a city wedding than a country wedding. A conservative/religious wedding necessitates more modest attire. Let the setting and context guide you in your outfit choice.
If you are unsure about the dress code, check out the venue itself. Beach venues will be more cocktail and smart casj, while ballrooms will require a more formal outfit.
I once attended a wedding where one of the female guests wore a transparent top. With no bra. Yes, then nips were on show, and it was not well received by anyone. Other than pervy older gentlemen guests. Generally speaking, you shouldn’t wear anything too overtly sexy or flesh-baring. If you wouldn’t wear it in front of your own Granny, don’t wear it in front of someone else’s.
3. don’t wear white
It kind of goes without saying, but white is still a definite no-go for a wedding, unless the bride specifically asks you to all wear white. The same goes for any shade of off-white, bone, ivory or blush. It’s strictly reserved for the bride only. Don’t be that girl.
4. do wear black
Nowadays, it’s ok to wear black to weddings. Just make it a fabulous statement black outfit to avoid looking dull. And wear a pop of colour (shoes, clutch, crystal belt, statement jewels) to make it interesting.
Do a little research to find out where you’ll be wearing your shoes. Will there be a drinks reception on a lawn? Will a beach be involved at any stage? Make sure your shoes will hold up to all terrain. Don’t try to be a hero and tackle a lawn in stilettos.
And most importantly, wear shoes you can stand in all day and dance in. If you can’t do that, bring a pair of flats you can change into for tearing up the dance floor later on.
Take a small clutch or bag for essentials (lipstick, phone, credit cards, confetti, what-have-you). Big handbags don’t work in a wedding setting, and will look out of place in photos.
7. know your audience
Although you should always dress according to your personal style, do take into account who will be there. Fashion friends? Mainly family? An ex with his new paramour? Someone you had a thing with previously and wouldn’t mind having a thing with again? Make it fabulous for all likely scenarios.
8. is social media important to you?
If social media is important to you, you might not want to appear all over the wedding hashtag in the same outfit as one more other guest(s). If so, avoid shopping on the high street. Spend some time researching new or niche designers. And if you’re headed abroad before the wedding, spend a little time exploring local shops in exotic locations to pick up that unicorn of an outfit that will dazzle and amaze your fellow wedding reception guests. “What, this old thing? It’s just something I picked up in a charming village I discovered while riding wild horses across the Sahara…”
If you need professional styling services for a special event, check out my styling services here.
As a wedding is a celebration of love, I tend to to adhere to the theme accordingly. Ideally, I like to wear an outfit that takes “romantic, floaty and floral” to the right level of extremes. A ruffly, silky, flirty and floaty extravaganza of an outfit is what I have planned for this season, thanks to the genius of Zimmermann. Shop the style here: