Not having rules to follow can actually make dressing for a wedding even more difficult. But there are always guidelines to follow. Consider the following when selecting your attire:
- What time of day is the wedding?
- Where is the wedding/reception located?
- Has the couple specified attire in the invitation?
Obviously, an afternoon wedding that takes place in an outdoor setting will be more casual than an evening wedding at a posh hotel or restaurant. Black tie or white tie specified in the invitation is very clear for men, but can still be confusing for women. And what about the beach front wedding followed by a reception at a yacht club- is it casual or formal?
Hopefully if you have been invited to the wedding, you know the couple pretty well and if the question of casual vs. dressy exists, you should probably be able to figure out which direction the couple would go in. If however, it's a distant cousin you don't know too well, then the task is a little more difficult. For the sake of this blog post, let's assume you have a good idea of the type of wedding you are attending. No matter what the style of the wedding, the most important accessory you will choose is your shoes. Weddings are long events, often culminating in much dancing, so you want shoes that won't kill your feet from the start. For beautiful shoes that are also comfortable I must recommend Nina Shoes. I use these all the time for the performers at AMT because they are durable, elegant and comfortable. I often find them at heavily discounted prices at places like SYMS, Burlington Coat Factory, Marshall's and TJ Maxx.
So now that you know about the most important part, let's get on to the outfits!
Casual, outdoor wedding:
Dress: Anthropologie, $158
Flats: Nina, $79.95
Straw Clutch: Michael Kors, $106.99
A casual, outdoor wedding is the perfect opportunity to wear a fun print- just make sure the dress has dressy feel to it. Even though it's a casual wedding, it's still a wedding, so "casual" doesn't have the exact same meaning as it does in "casual cookout" or "casual date." You still need to bring it just a little bit.
Dress: Modcloth, $53.99
Clutch: G by Guess, $20
Shoes: Nina, $79.95
For the in-between wedding, it's best to err on the side of being little dressier, but have fun with your outfit. The bright green shoes add a fun punch of color and the grey clutch is a nice change from the traditional black evening bag.
Formal, evening wedding:
Dress: Sung Boutique, $108
Clutch: Emitations, $75
Shoes: Nina, $99.95
For a formal wedding (black or white tie), you really do need to wear full evening attire. It's up to you if you want to go long or short on the dress, but I find that short is always best for two reasons. First, with a long formal gown, you run the risk of looking like you're there to accept an Academy Award. And second, if you absolutely must kick of your shoes to shake your booty, the hem won't get shredded by the end of the night if you go short.
As with any outfit, use the accessories to add some personality to your look. It will help set you apart from the countless other guests at the reception. I once attended a wedding where I was literally the only 20-something who wasn't wearing an LBD and I was quite proud of myself for standing out in the crowd. If you must wear an LBD, be sure to spice it up with great accessories.
And please, refrain from doing the Chicken Dance. No one looks good doing the Chicken Dance.