What to Wear to a Wedding

Posted in Wedding Advice on Jul 08, 2024

Nothing causes more anxiety for some of your guests than figuring out what they will wear to your wedding! Nobody wants to wear the wrong thing and feel like they somehow "missed the memo." Here are some tips for both couples planning their wedding to make this easier on their guests, and for guests to find a little peace of mind while choosing their outfit.

Advice For the Couple: Giving your guests some direction helps so much, and cements the feeling you want your wedding day to have. Most people know to inform their guests if the attire is cocktail, formal, or semiformal, but what is the breakdown for this?

Casual: Usually reserved for weddings held earlier in the day. Light dresses, skirts, no jackets on the men. Should specify if jeans are an option.

Garden Party: Just as it sounds, something light, flowy, and cool for a summer party. Light colored linens for the guys, generally light color dresses or jumpsuits in happy hues or patterns.

Cocktail: Less formal, knee-length dresses, possibly a sport coat and good tan pants on the gents. Bear in mind, the later the hour of the ceremony (or if it's cold out), the more likely the dresses can be longer

SemiFormal: We tend to think of this as business attire for the gents, and semilong dresses for the gals. Jackets optional.

Formal: Jackets and dress pants, the darker the color the more formal.

Black Tie: OK this has happened only ONCE here at Oakleaf and it was hella fun as it was so unexpected out here in the forest. It was a smaller wedding (60 or so guests), but the tuxedos and the glittering gowns together in the candlelight in our very decorated stable barn was just amazing.

Also Fun: Suggesting color ranges for your wedding so your guests are dressed in your wedding colors! This also helps relieve some anxiety for your guests, but keep the color explanations simple. Instead of simply saying "fall colors" where some folks will feel unsure if navy counts as a Fall tone or not, suggest something like amber, rust, deep greens, dark yellows, etc. so guests can feel sure on their choices.

Some weddings have had all of their guests dress in shades of blue -- whatever blue they wanted! It really looks amazing in photos.

Hot tip: A Pinterest Board with the colors and even some options you found for the vibe you are striving for. Guests may realize they have something that fits your vibe right in their closet, or will know to look for those things. I wouldn't be surprised if outfits in those colors started to appear in their ads on Instagram, which would also simplify their search for them. If you aren't naturally a clothes horse, then just the colors and saying "cocktail attire" will help point guests in the right direction.

Guest tip if attending a wedding here at Oakleaf Cottage: We do have some gravel, and some uneven spaces (slopes) thanks to our mountainside location. Choose your footwear with that in mind, and steer away from high heels or stilettos. Having a spare set of flats on hand is always a good idea too -- it's far more fun to dance in comfortable shoes!

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