Wedding season is starting to wind down just a bit, but it’ll definitely pick back up in the Fall. And, just like in the Spring, I expect we’ll see a lot of weddings this Autumn. Being a wedding guest is a ton of fun, but you should also dress appropriately. There’s nothing more embarrassing than showing up to an event over–or under–dressed.

So, with that in mind, here’s your ultimate guide for what to wear to a wedding.

Basic Wedding Guest Attire Do’s and Don’ts

First, let’s start off with some simple do’s and don’ts which go for any type of wedding you attend.

Consider location – if the wedding is outdoors, for example, don’t wear super high heels that will get stuck in the grass or sand.
Dress tastefully – yes, you might look amazing in that sheer, skintight getup or that dress with the plunging neckline, but keep it classy.
Consider the weather – it’s also a good idea to bring a jacket or shall in case you get unexpectedly cold.
Wear white – this is a given, but don’t wear white. Or, really, anything that takes attention away from the bride.
Match the wedding party – find out what color the bridesmaids are wearing and steer clear of that color.
Wear anything too casual – even for a casual wedding, don’t wear jeans, tank tops, sweatpants, or flip flops.

Wedding Guest Attire For Every Type of Wedding

Most of the time, the dress code for a wedding will be listed on the invitation. Even then, it can be hard to know what you should actually wear as a wedding guest. So, here’s a simple explanation of the various dress codes and what you should wear to every type of wedding.

Related Read: Unpopular Wedding Opinions According to a Simple Bride

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Casual Wedding

A casual dress code suggests a more laid-back affair. You can wear something lighter and more comfortable, like a simple sundress. Men can wear khakis and a dress shirt.

Beach Wedding

Unless the invitation specifically says semi-formal or formal, a beach wedding usually indicates a casual dress code.

The only real difference, then, is the location. For a beach wedding, you’ll want to wear something light and breezy. Brighter colors or florals are also a good option. And finally, since you’ll be outdoors, you can choose an elegant romper.

Semi-Formal Wedding

A semi-formal dress code suggests something in between “casual” and “formal.” You wouldn’t wear a sundress for this dress code, but you don’t need to go all out either.

Another common dress code you might see is Cocktail (sometimes referred to as “festive”). For many, semi-formal and cocktail are interchangeable, but others consider cocktail attire slightly dressier. Men, though, should opt for a suit and tie with this one.

Formal Wedding

A Formal or Black-Tie Optional dress code is one step above the cocktail dress code. Women should wear a floor-length gown or elegant cocktail dress. You can wear an ankle-length dress, but you should stay away from anything above the knee.

Black-Tie Wedding

If you’re going to a Black-Tie Wedding, it’s a pretty fancy affair. Women should wear a floor-length evening gown. Ankles should not be shown. Men will need to wear a tuxedo.

White-Tie is the most formal dress code there is. It’s fairly rare, but it means you need to be as elegant as possible. For women, a floor-length evening gown is the norm. Men will wear a tuxedo with tails, a white shirt, white vest, and bow tie.

What’s your go-to look as a wedding guest? Let me know in the comments!

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  1. avatar

    These are some great tips and suggestions for different types of weddings. The last wedding I went to was in 2018 and I absolutely hate what I was wearing haha x

    1. avatar

      Oh no! That’s never good!

  2. avatar
    Riyah Speaks says:

    I love your casual wedding suggestions. I’m a bridesmaid this summer so I tried to find something not too casual but not too elegant. She seems to love my dress. I honestly believe wearing any form if white, black, or similar colors to be highly disrespectful.

    1. avatar

      White, absolutely. For black, I think there’s some mixed opinions out there. On the one hand, yes it can be seen as a “mourning” color, but on the other hand, so many people want to wear a little black dress. I think as long as it’s not only black it’s probably OK – so think beading, florals, other colors etc.

  3. avatar

    I’m a sucker for floor length dresses and tuxedo’s, but in the Netherlands I’ve actually never seen it at a wedding. A normal suit and tie for men and a cocktail dress for women is usually the go-to. Sometimes there are also colour themes involved, so that usually makes it a bit easier.

  4. avatar
    ellegracedeveson says:

    I’m absolutely loving this post! I always find it such a struggle to know what to wear to a wedding but you’ve shared some really great options which I’ll defiantly be taking note of. I love the Do’s & Don’t section! Thank you so much for sharing this with us lovely Xo

    Elle –

    1. avatar

      So glad to hear you found it useful!

  5. avatar

    I love these wedding guest dress ideas! Some great picks for every occasion 🙂 x

    1. avatar

      Yes, I agree! So glad you enjoyed

  6. avatar
    Becky says:

    I tried to wear trainers to my wedding – so not a feminine type of lady – haha!

    1. avatar

      I love that! As long as you feel good, that’s all that matters

  7. avatar
    mindbeautysimplicity says:

    2022 & 2023 are def going to be huge wedding years. i’ve already been to so many weddings & than had my own in the mix. this fashion guide is perfect and much needed. thank you!

    1. avatar

      Same here! Went to several just this month and I know more will be coming up.

  8. avatar
    According to Chren says:

    We love your suggestions for wedding season 2022. We have a wedding sometime soon and we’re waiting for them to tell us the dress code, because there will be multiple events.

    1. avatar

      Oh man, so I’m guessing you’ll need a few different outfits? That’s stressful!

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