This Is What to Wear to a Formal Wedding

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Did you know that in 2017 half of Americans over the age of 18 were married?

Weddings can be a jolly and exciting occasion to be a part of, you get to witness two people who you love come together and make a life-long commitment to one another. However, once you receive the invite you panic, because what are you supposed to wear? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered with our guide on what to wear to a formal wedding.

What to Wear to a Formal Wedding

What to wear to weddings, depends on what type of wedding it is. For example, you can have wedding attire from white tie to casual dress. The wedding invite should express what type of clothes the bride and groom want their guests to wear, however, if it doesn’t you should double-check with the lucky couple.

The three main types of formal weddings are white tie, black tie, and formal attire/black tie optional.

White Tie Wedding Clothes

White tie weddings are the most formal dress code of all. This means your attire needs to be immaculate.

Men should wear long tailored jackets, complete with a vest, bow tie, and fitted pants. You should add formal black shoes to your outfit and maybe even gloves. To make your outfit a little more unique, you might decide to accessorize with a classic wedding pocket square in your jacket pocket.

Meanwhile, women should wear a full-length, formal ball gown. To finish the glamorous look off, they should also ensure their hair and makeup is perfect and that their accessories complement their gown.

Black Tie Wedding Clothes

If the wedding attire says black tie dress code then you should wear clothes that are appropriate for evening wear. Black tie events are less formal than white tie events, but you should still aim for an elegant and smart look.

Men should wear a tuxedo for black tie weddings, complete with a black-tie (or bow tie), a cummerbund, and smart leather shoes. Again you can accessorize your outfit a little by adding a wedding pocket square or by choosing smart cufflinks.

Women should wear an elegant cocktail dress or a long evening gown. If the wedding is taking place in winter, then you might also want to think about adding a smart blazer, cardigan, or shoulder throw to keep warm.

Formal Attire/Black Tie Optional Wedding Clothes

The final formal wedding option is formal attire/black tie optional. This means that the couple wants you to be dressed in formal clothes, but they can be less formal than white and black tie.

Men can still wear a tuxedo if they choose, as this look is great for weddings and offers a formal and sleek look. However, if you don’t own a tux or would feel more comfortable dressed down, then you can choose a dark formal suit instead. This needs to be well-fitted and can be completed with a tie and leather shoes.

The options open up for women when it comes to formal attire/black tie optional. Women can wear a cocktail dress, a long evening dress, or a dressy suit. But again, try to keep your look as classic and chic as possible, so you fit in with the wedding party and other guests.

How to Dress for a Wedding: Top Tips

The main tip when it comes to what do people wear to weddings is obvious. Wedding guests shouldn’t try to upstage the bride and the groom. That means women shouldn’t wear a white dress and men shouldn’t wear a suit that is identical to the groom’s.

Another important tip is to be comfortable. As with any occasion, the most important thing is that you feel comfortable wearing the clothes you’ve chosen.

Weddings can be all-day affairs, which means you need to make sure your attire is comfortable and makes you feel good. That’s why women should ditch the high heels that rub and are uncomfortable and instead opt for a pair that offers comfort. (Or at least have a pair of flats in your bag).

Another tip is to wear clothes that are suitable for all-day purposes. This tip is aimed at those that are attending the ceremony and the reception. You need to make sure your attire is suitable for both the ceremony and the reception, which might mean not wearing any clothes that look too formal or are difficult to dance in.

And finally, have some fun with your outfit. Weddings are a great opportunity to dig out some of your fancy clothes and look incredible. They are also a great chance to go out and treat yourself to a new gown or suit.

Make sure you choose something that nobody else will be wearing and that you accessorize your outfit to show your personality at the wedding. You don’t want to be in matching clothes as any of the other guests (unless you are a bridesmaid or a groomsman) so make sure your outfit is unique. Formal doesn’t have to be boring, so why not utilize accessories and add a splash of color to your outfit?

Find Your Ideal Formal Wedding Attire

Follow our guide on what to wear to a formal wedding and make sure you look the part at your next special occasion. Don’t forget to have some fun with your outfit and make your appearance pop.

Discover our fashion and wear articles to get more inspiration on what to wear for all sorts of occasions. And remember to read some of our other wedding articles so you know what to expect, what gifts to buy, and how to create the best speech.