When my wedding dress was stolen, the insurance company representative sneered. He told me that as a guest I would have received more compensation. Why? A guest’s outfit might be worn again hence held more value that a wedding gown which is worn once.
I was reminded of the cost of dressing for a wedding recently when a Montreal shop advertised what to wear to summer weddings. I like the ‘how-to’ approach in advertising; however, in this case the pricetags would wipe out the possible wedding gift for the couple!
Today’s couples are tying the knot in the most amazing places—so, what do you wear that feels just as special? Florals are a vineyard wedding staple, so make them feel fresh by going full bloom in a blouse with neutral wide-legged trousers and eye-catching metallics.
Personally, I avoid wearing trousers in summer, especially to a wedding! Exeception: lacey white or airy pastel perhaps. The greatest error is to wear polyester anything especially to a wedding in summer!
KEY to being a guest at any wedding: Dress up but remember that you may be in a church so have a shawl or jacket and don’t outdo the bride.
The URBAN UNION
Graphic is the way to go for an artistic wedding in the city. Let the design do the talking by sticking to monochrome black and white. Note the rule remains: avoid too much white so as to be different from the bride.
AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST MAMMA MIA
Take a tailored approach to dressing for a European destination (Santorini maybe?) by pairing a razor-sharp blazer with an abstract printed dress and accessories. My advice: AGAIN avoid synthetics and take and extra low-heel shoe for later.
How to Know What to Wear to a Wedding OR Invitation Terminology
The Knot is a great wedding site on line. From the craziest question of etiquette to the last designer detail. For example, has a wedding invite ever left you clueless? Fear not, the clue you need is likely there—you just have to know how to interpret the dress code wording. Whether it’s black tie, white tie or something in between, here’s a list for deciding what to wear for madame.
If the invite says “white tie”
This is the most formal of all wedding dress codes (think state dinners and the Oscars). ‘She’ should wear: A formal, full-length ball gown. Glamorous makeup and dramatic jewelry and hair are appropriate.
If the invite says “black tie”
This is the next most formal wedding dress code and usually means the wedding is an evening affair. ‘She’ should wear: A chic cocktail dress or a long evening gown.
If the invite says “formal” or “black tie optional”
The wording here suggests something slightly less formal than black tie. This means that a tuxedo isn’t required, but the event is still formal enough for one to be appropriate. ‘She’ should wear: A long evening dress, dressy suit or formal cocktail-length dress.
If the invite says “cocktail attire”
This is slightly less formal than black tie and black tie optional, which means no tux required for men and no floor-length gown required for women (unless you’d like to wear a long dress). ‘She’ should wear: A cocktail dress or dressy suit or jumpsuit.
If the invite says “beach formal”
This suggests an elegant beach wedding—so dress to impress, but also dress for the elements (sun, sand and water I ADD WIND!). Anything you’d wear to a nice restaurant on a summer night is appropriate. ‘She’ should wear: A formal summer sundress at tea or knee length with flat sandals. Makeup and hair can be natural. Hats are great but remember the WIND!
If the invite says “semi-formal” or “dressy casual”
Depending on the time of the event, you’ll want to dress somewhere between formal and casual. Wear darker, more formal hues for an evening fete; opt for light colors and fabrics for a daytime wedding. ‘She’ should wear: A cocktail dress or a dressy skirt and top.
If the invite says “casual” or “daytime”
Generally, casual means anything goes—but jeans, shorts and tank tops are probably not appropriate unless they’re specifically noted as acceptable. For the purposes of wedding wear, assume business casual to be on the safe side. ‘She’ should wear: A summer sundress or a skirt or pants with a nice blouse. Makeup and hair can be natural.
P.S. I don’t believe in casual (especially pants!) for a wedding. This should be an occasion. At least ‘Sunday Best’!