A Guide to Perfect Wedding Guest Style: What to Wear and What to Avoid

A joyful wedding scene on the beach with a diverse group of guests clapping and celebrating a young couple in their wedding attire.

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Being a guest at someone’s wedding is a fun, special experience. Whether the wedding is for your close friend or an acquaintance, sharing in one of the most important days of their life is an honor. Once you send in your RSVP, you may have some questions about what you should wear to the ceremony. The wedding’s venue, time, season, and theme can all influence the type of clothing you should (and shouldn’t) debut. 

While piecing together the perfect celebratory outfit may seem daunting at first, finding the perfect wedding guest attire is easier than you might think with a little help from the experts. Check out these simple tips from the trusted team at OXXO Cleaners That Care to help you find an outfit you’ll be proud to wear to the next wedding you attend.

Understanding the Wedding Dress Code 

Just as every couple getting married is different, so is every wedding ceremony. While some weddings may be casual and outdoorsy, others are formal and elegant. Knowing the details of the wedding in advance can help you determine what’s appropriate to wear. You wouldn’t want to be the only guest in a tuxedo during a ceremony on the beach, after all. 

To help make your search for an appropriate wedding guest outfit as smooth as possible, here are the basics of wedding dress codes:

Black Tie Attire

This type of wedding is formal and typically takes place at night. Women are expected to wear floor-length gowns made from luxurious fabrics, such as organza. Cocktail-length dresses or a pantsuit may be appropriate, but it’s best to ask the bride if either one is acceptable just in case. Men should wear tuxedos with a black bow tie, vest, cumberbund, and patent leather shoes. If the wedding is in the summer, a white tuxedo jacket may be worn.

Semi-Formal Outfits

This type of wedding brings together the best of elegant and laidback ceremonies, which also allows guests to have more wiggle room in what they choose to wear. Women would look appropriate in a variety of outfits, including a dressy skirt and blouse, a below-the-knee dress, a pantsuit, or even a slip dress. Heels, wedges, or formal flats would work well at a semi-formal wedding. Men should wear a dress shirt and slacks. A tie and jacket would both be optional.

Casual Dress Code

This type of wedding is commonly held outdoors, such as at the beach. While it is intended to be more relaxed than a formal affair, jeans, shorts, tank tops, and flip-flops are never acceptable to wear. Instead, women should stick with sundresses paired with wedges or dressy sandals. Likewise, men should wear collared shirts with khakis or dress pants. 

Choosing the Right Outfit for Different Types of Weddings 

Knowing what type of wedding you’ve been invited to attend is one factor that’s worth considering when planning what outfit to wear, but it certainly isn’t the only one. Several other details of the wedding should also influence your outfit choice. First and foremost, it’s worth thinking about where the ceremony will be held. Will it take place indoors or outside? If it’s inside, is the location traditional, such as a church, or somewhere more eclectic? Is it a destination wedding that has a different climate than where you live? Identifying the answers to these questions will point you in the direction of what fabrics, colors, and clothing style you should embrace to feel comfortable, look your best, and fit in with the crowd. 

Another essential consideration that could affect your outfit selection is what season the wedding will be held in. If you’re invited to a spring wedding, wearing pieces with light materials, pastel color palettes, and floral details would be both appropriate and lovely. On the other hand, dark colors and warm accessories, such as a shawl to cover a lady’s bare shoulders or a heavy wool jacket for a man, would be a better option.

While the setting and season should influence whether you wear something bright and playful to the ceremony or chic and refined, it’s important to choose an outfit that you feel comfortable in. Remember, weddings are meant to be enjoyed by the wedding party and guests alike. For this reason, be sure to choose pieces that feel good on your body and reflect your personal style.

Color Etiquette for Wedding Guests 

If there’s one rule that applies to virtually every wedding, regardless of its location, time, or season, it’s that wedding guests should avoid wearing the color white. While some couples may not mind, it’s best to avoid ruffling anyone’s feathers by making this widely noted fashion faux pas. If you love the clean, sophisticated aesthetic that a white dress or trousers can create, look for a suitable alternative that can achieve the same result. For instance, a champagne dress would be an elegant choice for an evening wedding while a pale pink top would be ideal for an afternoon soiree. Everyone wants to look fabulous when attending a wedding, but it’s important to remember that the event should focus on the couple, not you. With this in mind, it’s best to choose pieces that won’t draw too much attention away from the bride and groom, including clothing that is too revealing, overly dressy, or features outlandish colors and patterns.

Accessorizing Your Wedding Guest Outfit

Once you’ve decided what outfit you’re going to wear to the wedding, you can put the perfect finishing touches on it with a few thoughtful accessories. The right accessories can make even the most basic outfit look polished and personalized. Women should choose shoes and accessories that complement their dress, skirt, or pantsuit while being catered to the setting and theme of the wedding. When in doubt, you can’t go wrong with classic pieces, such as pearl stud earrings or gold heels.

In addition, your handbag should be an extension of your outfit. A wedding isn’t the place to bring a large tote filled with an assortment of personal belongings. Instead, choose a petite clutch or tasteful cross-body purse that pairs nicely with your shoes and jewelry. Metallic shades are an elegant option that goes with just about anything, day or night. Men should choose a tie that pairs well with their shirt and jacket. Likewise, be sure to pair your belt with your shoes. This will give your suit a look that’s cohesive and put together.

Fabric Choices and Their Care 

Weddings are an opportunity to ditch the clothing you wear every day and put on something more stylish and chic. In many cases, this means wearing fabrics that are out of your usual repertoire, such as silk, linen, organza, satin, lace, and more. While these materials will certainly help you look fabulous, they’ll likely require a bit more attention and care than your favorite pair of blue jeans or cotton tee. Because of this, it’s a good idea to take these steps to ensure your wedding outfit stays crisp and clean throughout the ceremony, reception, and after-party:

  • Make sure your outfit is clean and wrinkle-free before the wedding day comes. Be sure to follow the care instructions for each piece to make sure that you wash, dry, and iron them appropriately. 
  • Run a steamer over your outfit right before putting it on to ensure that any wrinkles that may have developed disappear.
  • If you experience a stain while getting ready or during the wedding, be sure to treat it right away by gently blotting it with a clean, white cloth, and then gently covering the affected area with a stain-removing pen. Carrying an emergency wedding kit with essentials, such as a stain remover, safety pins, fashion tape, and makeup remover wipes can all come in handy should a fashion crisis arise unexpectedly.
  • When in doubt, have your outfit cleaned and pressed by a professional cleaning service before and after the wedding.

Be the Best Dressed Wedding Guest with the Help of OXXO Cleaners That Care 

If ever there’s a reason to dress your best it’s to celebrate someone’s wedding. Weddings are happy occasions that give guests an excuse to wear outfits and showcase their personal style in ways that many people rarely get to indulge in these days. Because of this, it’s worth considering what you’re going to wear to the next wedding you get invited to. 

Before you grab the first thing that you find in your closet, it’s a good idea to find out the details of the wedding first, such as its location, time, and theme. These will give you an idea of what’s appropriate (and what’s not) so that you can tastefully and comfortably celebrate the bride and groom in style. Fortunately, you don’t have to prepare for the event on your own. The trusted team at OXXO Cleaners That Care is here to help you look your best. Whether you’re in need of professional alterations services, having your outfit cleaned and pressed before the ceremony, or dry cleaning after the wedding is over, we’re eager to show you how simple dressing like the perfect wedding guest can be. Visit us online today!

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