Etiquette: What to Wear to a Wedding
When attending a wedding, it is a sign of respect towards the happy couple to wear the appropriate clothing. Some cultural and religious groups have specific standards as to appropriate wedding attire, while others are not as strict on what you are allowed to wear. Emily Post, adviser on all things etiquette, gives the instructions for guests on what to wear to a wedding.
- Formal daytime wedding – Women should wear a cocktail dress or dressy afternoon dress. Men should wear a dark suit coupled with a conservative shirt and tie.
- Formal evening wedding – Women should wear a long evening dress or fancy cocktail dress, depending on local customs (gloves are optional). Men should wear a dark suit, or a tuxedo if the invitation specifies “black tie.”
- Semi-formal daytime wedding – Women should wear a dressy afternoon dress, suit, or pantsuit. Men have the option of a dark suit OR a blazer and gray flannel pants with a tie.
- Semi-formal evening wedding – Women should wear a cocktail dress or dressy pantsuit. Men should wear a dark suit.
- Informal daytime wedding – Women should wear an afternoon dress, dressy skirt, or pants and a blouse. Men should wear a sport coat or blazer with slacks (tie optional).
- Informal evening wedding – Women should wear an afternoon or cocktail dress. Men should wear a blazer with gray flannel pants or slacks (tie optional).
- For women, hats or head coverings are optional, unless required by the house of worship or at the bride and groom’s request.
- Clothing that is skimpy, provocative, suggestive, obscene, or just in poor taste.
- Costumes – UNLESS you have been notified that it is a costume wedding and everyone else will be attired in costumes as well.
- Blue jeans and t-shirts. Avoid denim in most cases; a denim skirt, shirt, or jacket is most likely not appropriate.
- Any jewelry that calls attention to your own faith while attending services for another faith. It is important to have your own beliefs, but there is a time and a place for making a statement about religion, and someone else’s wedding is neither that time nor that place.
- Baseball caps, sport caps, large decorative hats that block others’ lines of sight. Those are appropriate at the Kentucky Derby, but not at someone’s wedding.
- Casual shoes or boots worn with formal or semi-formal outfits. Perhaps you forgot your fancy shoes at home – run out to Target and buy a pair of heels instead of wearing the dirty tennies you found in your trunk.
- Sunglasses worn indoors (unless you have a valid medical reason for doing so).
- Boutonnieres and corsages (unless supplied by the hosts).
If you follow these fool-proof guidelines, you will be an enjoyable member of the happy couple’s special day, instead of an eyesore who causes a distraction!
This post was written by a guest contributor for The Perfect Card Box, creators of patented locking wedding card boxes and card holders for all occasions.