Wedding bells are ringing!!! Not for me, I am single as a dollar bill and waiting for my Husband to find me and lock me down, lol. However, I have been and will in the future I am sure be invited to friends and family members weddings as a guest. When it comes to picking out an outfit for the wedding, I have not always been the best.
I have shown up to a wedding or two back in the day improperly dressed for sure. It was not to be disrespectful, it was just a lack of knowledge really. I thought my presence would be enough, and it should be.
However, I can see how someone can take it the wrong way showing up to a wedding one way when the invite explicitly advised what the dress code is going to be.
I was a lot younger when this happened, but even so, I was ignorant to dress codes at weddings. I did not know what was or was not appropriate, colors, or even know how to tie a tie. Now, ladies I know some of this would not apply to you but being confused as to what to wear is pretty universal when it comes to weddings or life even.
So if you are a dear in headlights when you receive a wedding invitation when it comes to what to wear, this post is for you. What you wear to a wedding depends on the theme, time of day, season, and whatever else the couple is asking for specifically on the invite.
That sounds pretty simple, right? But if you do not know the specifics of themes, seasons, dressing for the time of day etc.. then this could be a nightmare. This is where I come in to help you ladies. I am going to give you the 411 in detail about the do’s and don’ts of dressing for a wedding.
To help in the process of deciding on your perfect wedding look, let’s discuss what you bet not even consider or think twice about when curating your look.
What NOT To Wear To A Wedding
Do not wear white to a wedding, PERIODT!!! Let me repeat, DO NOT WEAR WHITE TO A WEDDING!! I am not trying to yell at you, I just want you to embed this in your brain, lol. I once saw on the reality show “Bridezillas” a bride’s Mother pick out a white dress for her wedding and since reality shows are staged, she “acted” big mad her mother chose a white dress and yelled at her.
She was “acting” but her Mothers response was as real as it gets and she ended up trying to fight her daughter and called her a bitch, YIKES!! If this can happen between a mother and daughter, imagine what could happen if you show up in white to a friend’s wedding. To avoid getting cussed out, do not wear white unless the invitation calls for it.
Pantsuits and Menswear for Women are definitely on-trend BUT not appropriate for a wedding. I doubt a bride would call for her female guests to wear pantsuits but if she did, that would be the only time to consider this to wear to a wedding.
In some cases, you may be able to wear a “dressy jumpsuit” which sounds like the same thing. In terms of a look, they are not the same. You may also be able to wear a dressy suit as well.
I would advise beforehand consulting with the bride or wedding coordinator before you start getting too creative with looks. Outshining the bride can get you cussed out too, lol!
This should go without saying but I do not care if the gym shoe/sneaker is YSL, do not wear them to a wedding. I do not care how “casual” the wedding is, leave your gym shoes at home for the gym. This applies for your men to ladies and gents unless the invite tells you differently.
Jeans, Joggers, Leggings, T-Shirt/Screen Tees
Now you know this is too casual for a wedding! You cannot show up to a wedding looking like you stopped by after leaving a parent-teacher conference or soccer game. Its a tad disrespectful. Think about the money that was invested in the event.
The future newlyweds I am sure has a vision of what they want their wedding and photos to look like. You are apart of this vision since they invited you so you should show up as requested by the couple on the invite.
I mean you get to eat and maybe even drink for free, lol. The money saved from that can be used to purchase something appropriate for the wedding.
Overtly Sexy Pieces
I am about being sexy and you can dress sexy to a wedding, but do not overdo it. You cannot be having your titties/breast hanging out everywhere and your dress so short with one wrong move you whole ass and cha-cha is out.
Remember the wedding is about the bride and groom. This is not an opportunity to be the center of attention. I say if you can wear it to the club, then don’t wear it to the wedding. If your like me, you may be thinking it may be some fine single men/women at the wedding looking for their wife.
I get it, trust me, but you can be sexy in a subtle way to still get his/her attention. Don’t get me wrong though, outside of a wedding, any friend of hoochie is a friend of mine, PERIODT!!
The Same Colors As The Wedding Party
You do not want your color to be the same as the wedding party, PERIODT! If the invite calls for colors that are the same, then fine, but its a no-no otherwise. You know brides choose ugly dresses for their bridesmaids.
If you show up wearing something that is the same color that looks better than their dresses, you will look very shady, lol. I’m joking about the ugly bridesmaids dresses btw, kinda lol.
Now this one is tricky because black is appropriate at uber formal or black-tie weddings. For anything outside of that, I would avoid wearing it. But you can wear black accessories or I even say a dress with some black in it where it’s not the primary color.
Just to be safe, if you have not spoken with the bride prior to wearing any black and the invite does not call for it, just don’t wear it.
Another one that is kinda tricky. I say this because, for a beach wedding, the newlyweds may say this ok. I would only wear them if it explicitly calls for this on the invite. Sandals are ok for Beach weddings but a dressier sandal. I would avoid the popular “dad sandals”, even if they are Louis Vuitton.
Do not go looking for dresses at the Prom Dress store in your hood for a wedding. This is not a day for you to redo your high school prom, its a wedding, lol.
You know a prom dress when you see one and if you do not, ask a sales associate where there are so you know which dresses to avoid. If you need a little direction on where to find dresses for wedding guests, David’s Bridal has a whole category specifically for that here.
Now that you are clear on what not to wear, let me help you define what to wear when the invite calls for certain dress codes. I have to be honest, I never saw an invite with a particular dress code on it. I guess we were just supposed to automatically know what to wear.
That can be problematic though, because like I mentioned above, I have dressed inappropriately for a wedding before. So if the invite you get is not clear on the dress code, I would advise reaching out to the bride and ask for some clarity.
She should not be offended if you do this, your just trying to make sure you show up right for her event. At least that is how I see it, but if she is a Bridezilla and she goes off, try not to take it personally, lol. Let’s go over the differences in dress codes for the wedding.
This what you may call ultra-formal or the highest in being formal of all the dress codes. With this dress code, you get to kinda play into your inner “Supastar” and get red carpet ready.
For this, think full-length ball gowns that are uber glam. With this dress code, a black gown would be ok to wear. A little sparkle is cool, but remember, your not trying to outshine the bride. I don’t care how much you don’t like her, joking lol.
So you do not want to show up as glitter ball or wear anything that may be a little too casual, in this case as an example, a cocktail dress.
This dress code falls right under the white tie and normally means this is going to be an evening event. Now with this, you may be able to get away with wearing a black cocktail dress.
Any cocktail dress and/or long gowns are ok to be worn to this. The invite should tell you if there is anything more specific with the dress code you need to know about. I would just advise keeping in mind the “don’ts” I mentioned above and you should be fine.
With White/Black Tie dress codes, formal is always best to stick with as much as possible. I would advise if you have the option of being “too dressy: as opposed to “less dressy”, go with the “too dressy” option.
Also, you may be able to get away with a dressy suit for anything that is just calling for formal attire, but I would avoid it just because its a slippery slope.
This is less formal than the dress codes mentioned above. I mean the attire is pretty easy for the ladies, a cocktail dress a slam dock for a cocktail attire dress code. You may also be able to wear a dressy jumpsuit but that is tricky.
If I were to wear a dressy suit or jumpsuit, it would be a sparkly one, but I would not want it to look like I am dressing for New Years or Studio 54. Subtle glam is what I would call it.
This is my wedding dress code when my Husband finds me lol. Think looking classy by the beach for this dress code. But that does not mean a sequin ball gown, that would be a mess lol. You want to dress in a way that works for the weather, sand, and sun.
I like to think of it as dressing for an evening Yacht party. A sundress dress that is ankle or knee-length works. Rompers works for this dress code as well. You can also find some ideas on my What To Wear With A Floral Dress post as well.
Sandals are appropriate for a beach formal wedding. Just not flip-flops that you purchased from the Dollar Tree. Even if they said I could wear those, I wouldn’t to a wedding.
You can easily mess this one up if your not sure exactly what this would exactly be calling for. I would say DO NOT wear something business casual you would wear to the office. That is not what this is.
With this, I would say you could get away with wearing something you would wear on a date to a five-star restaurant with BAE that is not too revealing. If its during the day, think upscale day party. I will show you examples of this just to give examples below in the next section.
You can wear a top and skirt for this option here but remember its dressy casual. Do not show up in a denim mini skirt, remember the don’ts mentioned above. Another option for this would be a dressy romper/jumpsuit.
This does not mean show up like your going to hang at a bar with friends. A nice simple dress or top and skirt that you would not see a mannequin wearing at Abercrombie and Fitch works.
Just remember you want to still dress up to some degree. To be safe, use any of the options from the Beach formal, semi-formal, or dressy casual dress codes when you think of a casual dress code. It’s better to overdo it than under-do it.
What To Wear To A Wedding
Now we can get to the meat of this post which are actual examples of looks you can wear to a wedding. This also can be broken up like the dress codes because how you dress for a wedding would differ based on seasons and dress codes.
Depending on what season the wedding is, this can dictate the dress code. For example, for a winter wedding, you want to wear something that is going to keep you warm. Ain’t nobody got time to be cold!
What To Wear To A Winter Weddings
Winter weddings allow you to be able to layer looks and wear thicker fabrics like Velvet if that’s your thing. But depending on where the wedding is, for a winter wedding, you may be able to get away with no having to layer as much.
I will say for a winter wedding, you want to be more safe than sorry. Have some boots, coat, head coverings, etc.. just in case you run into some inclimate weather. Let me show you some examples of looks…
This works for Black-Tie, Formal Attire, Cocktail Attire dress codes
It’s cold in the winter, so why not wear a throw dress to the wedding to keep warm, lol. I think this look is a slam dunk for a Winter wedding. In this case, you would want to bring some boots just in case there is snow on the ground.
I think this dress would be easy to dance in as well since it’s loose and flowy. You can also wear a regular closed-toe pump with these, but these mules paired so perfectly with this dress, I chose these. You would kill in this look sis, without outshining the bride I hope lol.
This works for Black-Tie and Formal Attire dress codes
This dress may seem questionable to be worn to a wedding, but I think if it was on a body, it would look more formal. With all the accessories, it definitely adds the glam necessary for a Black-Tie or Formal Attire weddings. This is another look I would bring an extra pair of shoes in the event of snow or water being on the ground. This could be worn in the Fall too.
This works for Black-Tie, Formal Attire, Cocktail Attire, and Semi-Formal dress codes
This dress covers a lot of dress codes and I am going to explain how. Based on how you accessorize this dress, it can be formal or semi-formal. I saw the model wearing this dress with mules, which made it a little more semi-formal but how I styled it, it can very much be formal.
The back is out on this dress so you would need to make sure you wear the proper undergarment where it will not be showing.
What To Wear To A Fall Wedding
Dressing for a Fall wedding can be one of the most frustrating of them all just because Mother Nature is so inconsistent during the Fall. It can be hot or cold or inbetween depending on where you are in the world.
I am in Texas and we can have 80-degree weather in the Fall, as where in Detroit where I was born and raised, it can be 40-degrees. Also, a lot of the Fall color palettes are not as strict as they used to be. You can were brighter colors in the Fall now.
So that makes for so many different options in the Fall. I would always keep me a cute faux fur coat or maybe even a shawl coat or sweater for the temperature drops at night.
I would advise layering in the way that you can remove something if it gets hot and you not be naked. I did not add any layers to my looks but you can easily add some to the looks I have curated, check them out…
This works for Black-Tie, Formal-Attire, Cocktail, and Semi-Formal Attire dress codes
If Fall were a dress… This little number is the epitome of Fall with all the different earth tones. I am not normally a fan of earth tones but I can make an exception for this look. The poofy sleeves are definitely on-trend and work for cooler weather.
I would reserve this look just for the Fall like this would be my Fall dress lol. With this look, you stand out without doing the most.
This works for White-Tie, Black-Tie, Formal Attire dress codes
Blue Sapphire works in the Fall, and so does this dress. Even though the shoulders are out with this dress, you can easily layer if necessary. Can’t you see this dress on a red carpet? I can! You would not be able to dance that good in this dress but if you are at some stuffy uber formal wedding, you may not be doing much of that anyway, lol. I kidding, kinda.
This works for Cocktail Attire, Semi-Formal and Casual dress codes.
I love vibrant colors in the Fall and this look gives me exactly that! I would more than likely wear this in “Indian Summer” when it’s still kinda warm but it’s not hot. I say that because of the open-toe sandals.
You still may need to bring an extra pair of shoes just in case it does get a little cooler. All in all, this would be an awesome choice dress to shake your tailfeather in or if you’re like me twerk in, lol!
This works for Cocktail Attire, Formal Attire, Semi-Formal, and Casual dress codes.
Sometimes less is more. There is not much to this dress, but it can work to be worn at a wedding. I didn’t want to do a solid color shoe since the clutch and dress are solid colored. The shoe adds some type of life to this look, but without doing the most.
The jewels in the clutch and the earrings add that dressy vibe that would be appropriate for a wedding. I likey!
This works for Cocktail Attire, Formal Attire, Semi-Formal, and Casual dress codes.
This dress gives me church lady vibes. There is nothing wrong with the church, that is just what I see lol. So if you going to a wedding that is taking place in a church, this dress would be very appropriate to wear.
If needed, you could easily layer this look with a nice faux fur coat and maybe a stocking if necessary if it’s colder in the Fall where you are.
What To Wear To A Spring Wedding
Springtime weddings are one of the more coveted times to have a wedding but you better have a good talk with Mother Nature before you plan. She can make your wedding day HELL with potential rain and thunderstorms.
I have seen some episodes of Bridezillas when Mother Nature paid a not so nice visit on some couples wedding days. You might be able to tell by now that I was a fan of Bridezillas lol!
You may want to prepare a bag with some essentials you may need if there is inclimate weather on your friend or family members special day. For example, an umbrella, extra shoes, hair spray, rain poncho etc…
But when weather permits, Spring weddings are fabulous! Its not to hot and not to cold and with all the flowers blooming and the green grass, its an ideal time for a wedding.
You get to bring out all of your lighter fabrics and wear short sleeves and play with more vibrant brighter colors. I have curated some pretty looks to give you something to get some inspiration from…
This works for Formal Attire, Cocktail Attire, Semi-Formal, and Casual dress codes
I love this look here! It’s so Springtime Princess Realness. They do not advise longer dresses in the Spring because of the uncertain weather but if you check the weather before the wedding and all is clear, go for it!
I will say if it’s a garden wedding, you may want to be careful with wearing these Louboutins. They will keep getting stuck in the grass so you can substitute with a cute flat if that is the case. This look is a no brainer for me!
This works for Black-Tie, Cocktail, Semi Formal and Casual dress codes
Its the color for me! This is a simple yet elegant look. You really cannot go wrong with this look. The bag is big enough to carry your essentials and extras that you may need.
You may look at this and see I stated that it works for a casual wedding, and it does just because its best to overdress than undress at a wedding. If you wear this to a casual wedding, you may stand out but it would be for good reasons at least.
This works for Beach Formal, Semi-Formal, and Casual dress codes
Another simple and chic look! I love this for a garden wedding in the Hamptons. Sundresses are ok to be worn at weddings for sure. They can be worn to Spring, Summer, and Beach weddings. What I would change in this case between the 3 would be the accessories based on the dress code and season.
This particular dress has a lot of colors in it so you would have to be careful to double-check the colors of the wedding party beforehand.
This works for White-Tie and Black-Tie and/or Formal Attire wedding dress codes
If you wear this dress and you are single to a wedding, you are going to leave with a new BAE for sure! This dress can be worn in the Summer as well, but because its a silk-like fabric, I opted for Springtime as when this should be worn.
Can you imagine wearing this in 100-degree weather, UGH? It will stick to you and you might even see sweat stains. You may want to check with the bride or wedding coordinator before wearing this to see if they are ok with black being worn. Ain’t nobody got time to be getting cussed out!
What To Wear To A Summer Wedding
A lot of people like to get married in the Summer months because of course the weather. Summer weather is great, but can work against you if your not dressed properly. How so? Well if you wear some thick, non ventilated fabrics in the Summer, you can be a hot sweaty mess.
I do not know about you, but I do not like to sweat but I sweat a lot. Its nothing worse than trying to be cute and your sweating puddles all over your cute outfit! For this reason, when choosing an outfit for a Summer wedding, you want to choose the coolest options possible.
Linen is always good and lace as well. Summer dresses come in pretty breathable fabric to keep you cool. Sandals stilettos are always a go-to when I am putting together looks for the Summer and also are appropriate for a Summer wedding. A flat sandal may work as well, just be careful it’s not too casual like them damn “Dad sandals”. Of course, I have some examples to show you…
This works for the Black-Tie, Cocktail Attire, Semi-Formal and Casual
This dress may be a little short, but I think it would be ok. On the model, it was WAY over the knee but she had long legs. You can always wear shorts under it to make sure your kitty doesn’t make an appearance at the wedding or reception.
This is perfect for the Summer because the fabric is a lighter fabric and breathable. Proper undergarments are going to be essential when you wear this. If you are a girl with big ta-ta’s, you would probably need to tape the girls down with this dress or wear a strapless bra. Nonetheless, this look is perfect for a wedding if you ask me.
This works for White-Tie, Black-Tie, Semi-Formal dress codes
This dress is so fun! I would love to wear this to a Summer wedding. It’s so colorful and has so much drama when you walk I am sure. This dress could possibly rise a little high, but I doubt it. Just as an extra precaution I would wear some shorts under so no surprise appearances are made.
This works for Black-Tie, Cocktail Attire, Semi-Formal, and Casual dress codes
Its the fit for me! This dress is perfect for the hourglass body type! The accessories are very bling-bling but for a dress that is this simple, some bling is not going to do anything but enhance the look.
The shoes having the fringes on them add some character to the look as well. You can be a showstopper in this, not overshining the bride of course, lol.
This works for Black-Tie, Cocktail Attire, Semi-Formal, and Casual dress codes
Red Light Special realness! The dress is very basic looking, this I know. But with all the accessories having all this bling, the dress being so basic breaks up all the bling.
Now that I looking at it again, it needs a belt at the waist. It can be a blinged-out thin little belt. With this minor change, BOOM you have a complete wedding-ready look.
This works for Black-Tie, Cocktail Attire, Semi-Formal, and Casual dress codes
Navy blue and yellow is such a great color combo. Now you may be thinking that Navy is more of a Fall color BUT if you are invited to a Black-Tie wedding, it’s more than likely going to be in the evening and darker colors are normally worn for events in the evening.
The contrast of the Yellow brings Summer vibes to this look. This dress looks like a good time. Its the perfect dress to party and bullshit at a wedding in, lol.
What To Wear To A Beach Wedding
This works for Beach Formal and Casual dress codes
Romper for the win! For a beach wedding, especially when it’s hot, this totally works. I added the hat because for a beach wedding, sometimes it is asked that you wear one.
I mentioned above that Sandals are appropriate for Beach Formal dress codes. You may even be asked to take your shoes off altogether. So leave the Louboutins at home, unless they are Sandals. Do not wear flip-flops, at all.
This works for White-Tie, Beach Formal and Semi-Formal dress codes
This dress screams beach wedding! The shoes you may not be able to wear if there is going to be sand involved, but you can always keep them handy for the reception or photos. I do not think you would get too hot in the dress even though it’s long.
This works for Black-Tie, Cocktail Attire, Beach Formal, and Casual dress codes
You may question my choice of saying you can wear this to a black-tie event, but depending on where it is and time of day, it could work. They say you should not wear black to a wedding but there are exceptions to the rules.
The dress has black in it, it’s not all black, and the accessories are ok to be black. Overall though, I think this works best for a Beach Formal dress code wedding.
This works Beach Formal, Semi-Formal and Casual dress codes
I like this look for a Beach/Boat wedding. What I mean is the wedding is on the beach and then the reception is on a boat/Yacht. You can wear a cute sandal on the beach and you can wear the stilettos on the Boat. I am just trying to set the scene of my inspiration for this look, lol.
This works for Beach Formal, Semi-Formal and Casual dress codes
This dress would really work best for a Beach Formal wedding to me, but you could try wearing it a Semi-Formal or Casual event. I love that this dress is so easy to wear. Also, I like that you would not get very hot in this or it would not make you hot at least.
Whew, that was a lot of information and looks but I covered enough for you to no look a mess at your friend or family members wedding. You can always play up or down any of the looks, just remember all the thing I stated for you not to wear to a wedding.
The last thing I would want for you is for everybody to be talking about you that attended the wedding and it be because of how you looked. If you get sloppy drunk and ratchet, I cannot help with that but at least you will look good, lol.
Whatever you end up deciding to pick out to wear, just to remember to have fun throughout the process!