Wedding Dress Codes

Confused by wedding dress codes? Unsure what’s acceptable to wear when you’re a guest? LifeStyle YOU’s fashion guru Donny Galella guides you through the biggest no-nos and fashion faux pas when planning your outfit!

You’ve just received the wedding invitation, and your mind begins to think ‘What will I wear?’. If the invitation does not specify a dress code, then you will need to consider: is it a day wedding or a night-time wedding? Indoor or outdoor? On a beach or in a cathedral? If you’re still baffled, simply call the bride or groom and ask them what the appropriate dress code is. Here are some common questions about dressing for a wedding.

Is it okay to wear black?

Yes, it is fine to wear black to a wedding. It is more appropriate for a nighttime or more formal style wedding. If possible try avoiding wearing black to a day time wedding. If you do decide to wear black, try injecting some vibrancy into your outfit with some bold coloured shoes and a matching clutch.

Or even white like the bride?

This rule has somewhat been relaxed over the years. If you wear white or ivory, just keep it simple and elegant. A chic white cocktail frock or two piece suit, would be best. Try avoiding anything that is white long and floaty. Don’t try and upstage the bride, or she may not talk to you ever again.

Does it depend on location and code?
Yes it sure does, below are some ideas on what you could wear to different options

Daytime Wedding

• A floral or printed long maxi dress
• A wrap dress
• A nice skirt such as a pencil skirt with a ruffle trim blouse
• If outdoors consider wearing a nice brimmed hat to keep the sun off your face
• A crisp linen dress
• Ideally go for lighter colours, pastels, prints and nice tailored silhouettes. Use accessories and nice shoes to dress up your look. It’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed.
• If the ceremony is outdoors or on a beach, wear or bring some flats, ballet flats or wedges.
• Check out Forever New, Cue, Portmans, Charlie Brown or David Lawrence

Evening Wedding

• Wear something that you would wear to the theatre or to a very formal dinner. Darker colours and blacks are fine. Prints are in fashion, but a solid colour will look more formal.
• A cocktail dress
• A cute dress with some embellishment or trim details
• A tailored two piece suit
• There are some great options from Events, Sheike, Alannah Hill or Review.

Black Tie

• Traditionally women wear longer ankle length gowns, however it is becoming increasingly popular for hemlines to be creeping just below the knee.
• Ladies can also dabble in a dark toned tuxedo style suits, paired with a black or white satin shirt or even a tuxedo detail shirt.
• Have a look in Carla Zampatti, Alex Perry, George Gross, Mr K and Aurelio Costarella.

If the invite does have a dress code, such as smart casual, lounge suit or cocktail, click here for more examples of what to wear.

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