Going to the Chapel… to watch other people get married

Tomorrow will be the 3rd wedding I’ve attended this month. And I thought last summer was wedding intensive!

I’ve been to people getting married by a non-religious friend in the middle of a park and I’ve been to a full mass and everything in between. There have been many differences between the various ceremonies, but a few major constants:

The big one being, of course, the celebration of a couple’s committment to spent their lives with love and each other. That’s a beautiful thing.

The other is the fact that many, many people have no idea what’s appropriate to wear to a wedding. Let me help.

The basic rule of thumb to remember is that no one’s going to be looking at you and no one SHOULD be looking at you. Do not steal focus by being the prettiest person there, and do not steal focus by being the worst dressed.

Now, as to what’s appropriate to wear, every wedding is different. See if the invitation gives you any clues. This website gives some great tips. As does this one.

There are a million exceptions– I know of weddings where everyone wore jeans. At least 2 of my friends got married in the past year while wearing pants instead of a dress.

But, when in doubt, here are some general rules of thumb that won’t steer you wrong…

Guys should wear a suit. Lighter for day, dark at night. At the very least, trousers dressier than khakis, a button down shirt and a tie or vest.

Girls should wear a skirt or dress. I know a lot of people hate them, but it’s still seen as more classically dressy. Suits/pants are seen as more business dressy, not wedding dressy.

Don’t wear white. Only the bride gets to, even if she’s choosing a different color.

Don’t wear black to a wedding before 6pm.

If the wedding is outside, be wary of heels–they sink in grass! And bring something that matches but is warm in case it’s windy or cool or rainy…

When in doubt, choose the dressier option.

If you’re questioning if your outfit is ok, it’s probably not.

REMEMBER: If the wedding is taking place in a church, you are attending a church service! Wear appropriate clothing!

Women: your skirt should at least go to your knee while you’re sitting down. No excessive cleavage and, depending on the religion, you might want to cover your shoulders. Definetely you need straps.

If your outfit has a little cleavage or bare shoulders and you’re more concerned about the dancing after the wedding, wear a wrap or shrug during the service.

At no point should your midriff be bared.

Also, your clothing should be nice. Just because it’s a suit doesn’t make it nice. Especially if I would wear that suit when dressing like a hobo for Halloween. Nothing should be too tight, or too short, especially your skirt.

Receptions are a great place to hook up with someone, but your outfit shouldn’t announce that you’re on the prowl.

Remember, you don’t want anyone to look at you. Dress up. Don’t make a major fashion statement. The object is to blend– a wedding is only about you if you’re the one getting married. Otherwise, smile for the happy couple and don’t stand out. Look nice out of respect, but don’t steal focus.


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