Hope everyone had a fun Cinco de Mayo yesterday! My post today is both a follow up of Wednesday’s post (find it here if you missed it) and a response to a post request from a reader–I hope you all know that I love hearing what YOU want to read on Something Pretty, so if you have any questions about weddings or fashion related things, get in touch with me via the info listed on my Contact page! :)
While it’s important for the bride and groom to be good hosts, it’s also important for friends and family to be good guests. One of the most important ways to respect the couple getting married is to dress appropriately for their wedding, which can be harder than it sounds, thanks to a truck load of etiquette rules. Some rules should be followed no matter what, but others vary according to the dress code.
Black tie: This basically indicates that the men should be in tuxes, but as we all know, girls have so many more options! Think of a black tie event like a ball–Cinderella would not be caught dead in a little cocktail dress–so the most appropriate choice is a floor length gown in a deep or jewel-toned color. Black is perfectly fine in this situation. Additionally, be sure to make a sophisticated statement with super-polished hair and makeup.
Formal: Also known as “black tie optional,” a formal dress code offers some flexibility between evening gowns and cocktail dresses. I would go no shorter than knee length, but feel free to go bolder in the color of the dress and your accessories than you would typically do for a black tie event.
Semiformal: This is probably the most popular wedding dress code, and for good reason–guests are still expected to dress up and look their best, but it’s much easier and more versatile than the formal specifications. For a semiformal wedding, cocktail dresses in any cut and color (with a few exceptions–more on the later) should be appropriate.
Casual: Let’s be clear on this one–casual does not mean lounging-around-at-home casual! This is still a wedding, so putting in the effort to look good shows the couple how important their special day is to you. A casual dress code allows for lighter fabrics, more colors (prints included), and more natural hair and makeup.
Along with these different dress codes, there are a few hard and steadfast rules that wedding guests should always adhere to:
- Don’t wear white! Yes, this rule still stands—you don’t want to take any of the attention away from the bride. As far as patterns with white in them go, I would use the 50% rule. If the dress is 50% white or more, don’t risk it. If you’re really not sure, it doesn’t hurt to call the bride and ask for her preference (just be sure to do this early… she’s going to have a lot more on her mind the week of!)
- Don’t wear anything too revealing. A lot of wedding ceremonies still take place in churches, so it’s important to be respectful of that. Even if no church is involved, it’s still not classy to look like you’re going clubbing instead of to a romantic, family-oriented event. Use your judgement here–if you wouldn’t want someone wearing it at your wedding, you don’t get to wear it to this wedding!
- There’s an iffy rule about wearing black to weddings as well since it reminds a lot of people of funerals. I think the formality and the time of day are the key things here. If the wedding is black tie, formal, or the reception is in the evening, I’d say go for it. Try to stick to colors for casual, semiformal, or earlier events.
Have a great weekend!