In this article I talk about what to wear as a wedding guest, but also to attend other types of ceremonies. So, if you want to know how to dress for ceremonies and be chic and elegant, read on!
The advice I am about to give you applies to different types of ceremonies, ranging from baptisms to first communions and confirmations to decidedly more formal events such as traditional weddings.
The following tips are my personal views on how it is appropriate to dress for these occasions. So, let’s get straight to the point, to be stylish and chic at the most important moments in the lives of our loved ones!
1 – DETERMINE HOW FORMAL THE EVENT WILL BE
First, try to understand a priori how formal the event will really be.
Baptisms, first communions, and confirmations and are by far not as formal as, say, a traditional type of wedding.
But even among marriages there can be many different nuances.
Therefore, assess what the bride and groom are like, what kind of ceremony they have in mind, what is written on the invitation (sometimes it also contains clear directions on the type of dress code required).
But if you know the bride or groom the bride well, you can get an idea of the kind of ceremony they have in mind. If you are close, of course, you can also ask if they have any preferences regarding clothing.
Today many newlyweds are also very clear in this regard.
Once the degree of formality required by the occasion is established, it will also be much easier to dress and decide what to wear.
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2 – NO TO DISPLAYS OF VULGARITY
Although you may love very sexy looks in other situations, you should avoid showing off plunging necklines, micro-skirts and, in general, outfits that are not appropriate for the context.
There are many other places and contexts where you can walk around safely wearing this kind of outfit, if you really want to. Why then do it precisely at ceremonies, where there are so many people gathered perhaps in a church?
These are moments that for many people have even solemn, religious importance, and I find this to be a serious disrespect regardless of one’s beliefs.
3 – DRESS ACCORDING TO THE TIME OF THE CEREMONY
One thing to be clarified right away is the time of the ceremony.
In some cases the ceremony will take place in the morning, In other cases in the afternoon, and in the case of some weddings it will then continue into the evening.
According to etiquette, rather light colors should be worn in the morning or early afternoon hours, which then gradually darken going into the late afternoon evening hours.
So we also try to keep to the schedule, adjusting our wardrobe accordingly.
A SPECIAL CASE: DESTINATION WEDDINGS
A special occasion, then, is the so-called Destination Weddings, those weddings that have been all the rage for some years now and take place in exotic or otherwise alternative locations.
I know of people getting married in the Maldives in the Seychelles. It also happened to me during vacations I was spending in the Caribbean, the Maldives or the Seychelles, that I attended weddings.
But sometimes the location can be alternative even if it is close to home. So many people, for example, love beach weddings, which can be romantic and beautiful!
The rules of elegance prescribe in such cases an adjustment to the context in which the ceremony takes place as well.
Therefore, if the ceremony is on the beach, we could wear a maxi dress a little bit fluttery, suitable for a marine setting, but without betraying the occasion, which in my opinion must still prevail.
So if it is a wedding, it is fine to adapt to the beach and a maritime setting. On the other hand, it is not okay to dress excessively casual just because we are on a beach.
So we always remember what kind of occasion we are attending and what kind of dress code it would require. Then, as a second step, we also adapt the outfit to the setting.
4 – ABIDE BY ANY DRESS CODE REQUIRED BY THE BRIDE AND GROOM
Of course, it is good to always adapt to the requests made by the bride and groom when it comes to dress code.
Not everyone requires specific clothing for their ceremony. But some people are sensitive on the subject.
For example, I happened to attend a wedding where the bride and groom had chosen lilac as their ceremony color and required that everyone wear at least a touch of lilac.
I found it a very nice idea, and adapting to their request cost me absolutely nothing.
In fact, it may have made things easier for me because I already knew where to start!
5 – MATCH THE LENGTH OF THE DRESS OR SKIRT TO THE FORMALITY OF THE EVENT
Always adjust the length of hemlines to the degree of formality of the ceremony.
This rule usually does not apply to baptisms, communions and confirmations, which are hardly ever overly formal events, but rather semi formal.
Personally, I would not wear long for any of these occasions because I find it excessive.
A REUSABLE ALTERNATIVE: THE PANTSUIT
It may be okay to wear an elegant pantsuit. Many can be found this year and can then be easily broken up and used later.
On the other hand, if the event-particularly in the case of weddings-is formal, a long dress is required.
An absolutely acceptable and modern alternative consists of the stylish jumpsuit.
Be sure to avoid jumpsuits that are a bit shapeless or made of sporty fabrics, because they do not achieve the necessary rate of elegance.
MAXI AND MIDI DRESS, AN EASY AND VERSATILE OPTION
In recent years, the fashion of maxi and midi dresses has meant that there are so many of them in stores. In short, today it is really easy to find a long dress that is also in our style and has nothing old-fashioned and matronly about it!
If you would like to make new purchases for a ceremony, but also the recycle your purchase for less formal occasions later, I would first advise you to go for the solid color, which is much more versatile.
No one will remember that you wore that particular garment.
In my opinion, in this case the best choices are two: either a nice knee-length or even midi dress, solid color and excellent cut, which can also cost a little. You will in fact use it many more times in the future.
Or a nice pants suit, especially now because they are really in fashion.
It can be broken up easily; after the ceremony, you can use just the blazer with something casual underneath, even over jeans. Or, you can use the classic pant for example at work, combining it with many tops and blouses.
6 – HOW TO DRESS FOR A WEDDING AS A GUEST: COLORS TO AVOID
I have been asked many times if there are colors or other things to avoid when we dress for a ceremony-aside from the display of vulgarity that we have already discussed.
According to the rules of elegance, one should avoid white black and, in the case of weddings, even red and purple.
I generally find a little bit softer shades very nice, without necessarily having to resort to pastel or baby shades that don’t look good on everyone,
For baptisms, confirmations and first communions, and sometimes even for weddings (especially those in the morning), if you want to be really strict about following the rules of bon ton, really avoid white, black red and purple.
But I think that, at least according to a concept of elegance that is less of a schoolmarm and more of chic women who have traveled the world, all these colors can be worn if chosen in the right shade.
7 – WRONG COLORS? JUST BREAK THEM UP
Just maybe break them up with garments of other colors, with a patterned garment, dilute them a little bit in short.
Avoid wearing them in the pure form.
For example, avoid dressing in white as if you were the bride, or in black as if you were going to a funeral rite and not a wedding.
But taking away these extremes, in my opinion, all these colors can be in some form used and broken up, perhaps with accessories or with other garments or patterns.
No one will mind if you wear black if it is a single garment combined with other colors or if black is just one of the colors in a beautiful pattern.
8 – ENJOY THE PARTY!
Above all, have fun and participate in these moments of joy and celebration, which are important for the protagonists, but also for those who participate.
Because that is the real spirit, the real meaning of all these ceremonies. Everything else is secondary, including the look.
Just try to inspire a concept of elegance, of good taste of respect – and then really the solutions that can be adopted are really many!
How to dress for a wedding as a guest, but also for other types of ceremonies?
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