Wedding Guest Attire


Last week my brother called asking for my expert opinion on what to wear to an afternoon, outdoor wedding in Napa. Napa nuptials? How divine and of course I had to help him pick the perfect ensemble. He shared where the ceremony and reception would take place, the time of the wedding, as well as the formality of the actual invitation – all clues to help decipher the dress code. After discussing wardrobe options, I advised that he wear the suit, tie and dress shoes, however confirm with his good friend the groom if this was appropriate. Sure enough, the groom echoed my thoughts and my brother wore his suit and looked oh so dapper.

Selecting an outfit for a wedding is a common conundrum for guests. Most invites these days will have a reception card that includes mention of the dress code (black tie, black tie optional, etc.) however if this isn’t the case, just as I told my brother, look to the invite as a guide. To make it even easier, I’ve broken down the most common wedding dress codes to give you a hint of inspiration as you primp for your next affair, as well as my list of do’s and don’ts. Enjoy!

For the Ladies:

For the Gents:

Quick Tips

Wedding Guest Attire Do's and Don'ts


Do opt for black-tie appropriate ensembles if the invite lists a start time of 6pm or later

Don’t wear denim, flip-flops, shorts, etc. Weddings are a time to dress up and shine!

Do wear socks, gentlemen

Don’t wear cream, white, or ivory. Leave this shade for the bride

Do check with the bride & groom on appropriate attire if you have any doubts

Don’t bring a large handbag, opt for a chic clutch

Do dress for the season

Do be respectful with your attire, such as covering bare shoulders with a pashmina during a Catholic wedding ceremony

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