WESTCHESTER COUNTY & HUDSON VALLEY WEDDING GUIDE

 DEPARTMENTS

Wedding Guest Attire

I am invited to a wedding - what do I wear?

This is one of the most common questions asked by wedding guests. In this article, I'll do my best to give wedding goers some direction but the information is provided only as a guideline. Even though the article seems to be directed to wedding guests, brides and grooms should read and consider it. If you are a bride or a groom, you know your guests and what attire they would be most comfortable wearing. This in turn will help you plan the kind of reception that will complement your style and be appropriate for your invitees.

Following are a few considerations to appropriate attire.

The season of the wedding

  • Autumn
  • Winter
  • Spring
  • Summer

The wedding location

  • Will both ceremony and reception be held in the same location?
  • Will the ceremony and reception be held in differentlocations?
  • Will the wedding be held indoors in a formal location?
  • Will the wedding be held indoors in an informal location?
  • Will the wedding be held outdoors in a garden or park?
  • Will the wedding be held outdoors on a beach?
  • Will the wedding be held outdoors in a backyard?

The time of day

  • Will it be a mid-morning wedding? Will it be an afternoon wedding?
  • Will it be an early evening wedding?
  • Will it be an evening wedding?
  • Will it be a split wedding, where the reception will not immediately follow the ceremony?

The Style of reception

  • Will it be a lunch?
  • Will it be a late afternoon tea and or finger-food reception?
  • Will it be an out door garden or picnic reception?
  • Will it be a buffet dinner?
  • Will it be a sit down dinner?
  • Will it be a black tie affair?
  • Will it be an outdoors reception?

Is it a theme or a dress-up period wedding?

If you are invited to a theme wedding such as Country or Western, Heritage weddings such as Chinese, Indian, Irish etc., or a period theme wedding such as Victorian, Ancient Egyptian, Roaring Twenties, etc., it may be appropriate, though not necessary, to wear period attire.

Wedding Guest Attire for Women

If you are invited to an informal or semi-formal or even a formal daytime wedding, that is, morning, early afternoon or tea time wedding you may wear a conservative dress, a suit or anything you'd wear for business providing you do not work at home in your pajamas and you do not wear jeans to work.

If you are invited to a formal daytime, or an informal or semi-formal evening wedding, an After Five, or Cocktail Dress will be most appropriate but be sure it is conservative and not too revealing.

If you are invited to a formal evening or a black-tie affair a long dress, gown, or cocktail dress are most appropriate. Add some jewelry and sparkle.

Whatever the appropriate attire, do not were plain white if this is the color of the bride's gown. If you are not sure how formal the wedding reception is, use your best judgment. If the reception will be outdoors, bring a change of clothing and follow the bride's cues. If the bride changes to sportswear, it is perfectly ok for the guest to do the same.

Wedding Guest Attire for Men

If you are invited to an informal or semi-formal or even a formal daytime wedding, that is, morning, early afternoon or tea time wedding you may wear a dress shirt and slacks and bring a sports jacket. Take your cue from the other guests. If most do not wear sport jackets then it is your option not to wear yours. If the majority does wear jackets, then you are prepared. Either way, don't forget the tie.

If you are invited to a formal daytime an informal or semi-formal evening wedding, wear a suit and tie.

If you are invited to a formal evening or a black-tie affair wear a dark suit and either a straight or a bow tie. Unless you are in the wedding party, do not wear a tuxedo, unless the invitation specifically stated "Black-Tie". If you are not sure how formal the wedding reception is, a dark suit with a conservative tie are always appropriate.

If the reception will be outdoors, bring a change of clothing and follow the groom's cues. If the groom changes to sportswear, it is perfectly ok for the guest to do the same.

Wedding Guest Attire for Children

Attire for Boys

A dress shirt and slacks with or without a tie. Ring Bearer, either a
suit or a tuxedo as arranged by the bride and groom.

Attire for Girls

A pretty dress. Flower Girl, a pretty dress usually chosen by the bride, with or without head dressing.

By Nily Glaser
©All rights reserved to Nily Glaser 2003

Nily Glaser is the founder of A-wedding Day, a very popular Wedding Resource and Information Center, and a Discount Shopping Mall for wedding gifts, supplies and bridal accessories. She is also the publisher of the free A-wedding Day newsletter.

Wedding Etiquette Q & A

General Wedding Etiquette

Wedding Guest Etiquette

Wedding Rehearsal Dinner Etiquette

Wedding Gift Etiquette

Groom's Parents' Responsibilities

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