Style Insider Your daily dose of luxury

The Wedding Guest Dressing Guide

As the wedding invitations stack up, so too can the angst that comes with deliberating what to wear on the day. A veritable minefield of sartorial expectations, we caught up with Style Me Pretty founder and editor, Abby Larson, to compile a reassuring list of wedding guest dos and don’ts.

“For the most part,” Abby explains, “nothing is terribly essential these days. As a guest you want to embrace the style of the wedding while wearing something you feel beautiful in.” Doubts yet to be dispelled? Read on…

Do read the invitation. “The invitation itself usually holds many clues as to what the right choice of attire is,” Abby suggests. “Look to the time of the wedding first: late morning generally indicates a breezy casual style; afternoon, a fun day dress will likely do; evening and it’s all about a cocktail frock. You can also look at the tone and design of the invitation; is the wording formal and traditional or more whimsical? Is the event space one that you know to be upscale or is it more casual?”

Don’t wear white. While Abby admits that the rules for wedding guest dressing are much less rigid than they once were, she remains resolute about her ultimate style no-no: “A white dress. Of course.”

Do consider a LBD. “As long as the wedding is held at cocktail hour or beyond, black is just fine!” Abby declares. “A LBD is chic, timeless and you can dress it up or down.”

Don’t underestimate accessories. “If the dress is simple and dressed up in different ways, no one will bat an eyelash if you wear the same dress to two weddings.”

Do take layers. There’s no guaranteeing the weather, or the chosen venue, so prep your layers. “Take a chic cardigan, a gorgeous wrap or a pretty cape,” Abby explains, “so that you can layer on as the evening chills.”

Don’t forget a pair of ballet pumps. “I always have a pair of ballet pumps in my bag,” admits Abby.  “That way I can rock the heels until I get my dance on, and then swap into the pumps when everyone is having too much fun to notice how short I suddenly became!” Lanvin, Dolce & Gabbana and Stuart Weitzman folding styles are perfect.

Do prep for easy beauty touch ups. “I love blotting papers for long evenings when I won't be able to freshen up easily,” advises Abby. What else is in her clutch bag? “A good cream-based blush to add a bit of colour, and I keep lip gloss on me at all times because it's easy and instantly makes me feel made-up again.”

Shop our edit of wedding guest dresses and essential extras below

Planning your own wedding? We've got Wedding Style covered

Return to Top