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Here Comes the Guest, All Dressed In…

Here we are already in April, where has the time gone?  April means that we are officially in “wedding season”, if you don’t know someone getting married in the next 4 months or so, every last person you know must already be married!  Weddings come in all different sizes, shapes and styles but one thing remains the same, it is a very special day for the bride, groom and all involved.  Therefore, I want to set some ground rules and make some suggestions on proper attire for a wedding.

A few things to keep in mind when picking out that perfect dress (or outfit) for a wedding:

Venue: Chances are, the bride and groom are trying to set a specific vibe with their venue; if it is on their family ranch they most likely are having a laid back, lace, country wedding and if it is at the Four Seasons, chances are you are looking at a more formal event, possibly even black tie. Also important to keep in mind when considering your wedding attire in correlation with the venue are items such as shoes (i.e. no spike heels for an outdoor wedding where you will sink in the grass or the need for a jacket or shawl depending on the weather for an outdoor wedding)

Time of Day: Evening weddings are naturally a more formal event and lend themselves to more cocktail attire; afternoon weddings are generally slightly more understated.

Bride & Groom’s Wishes: Often, if the bride & groom have a specific dress code in mind they will make it known on the invitation, please, please be respectful of this dress code.  If you do not own the items that they are requesting on the invitation (i.e. black tie, boots, etc.) do your best to borrow or rent these items.

Season: While there is a wedding “season” of Spring and Summer, weddings happen year round, while you will not want to wear a parka (passed the front door) to a Winter wedding, you still must keep the season in mind when dressing for a wedding.

Now, for those ground rules I spoke about:

No white or off white: It used to be that you were not to wear a stitch of a shade of white to a wedding, these days as long as it is not the predominant color in the dress/outfit, you should be good; use common sense-would you want someone wearing that same dress to your wedding?

Jeans: For crying out loud people; unless it is specifically stated or requested, do not wear jeans to a wedding!!!  I honestly don’t care the age of the person, from 3 months to 88, nice pants are just as easy to put on as jeans!  A wedding is a special day for so many people involved and should be treated as such and jeans just don’t convey that message.  Don’t get me wrong, I love jeans as much as the next person they just don’t have a place at a wedding.

Appropriate:  This applies most to women, a wedding is a fabulous opportunity to go all out and dress up, if you would wear it to the club, it most likely isn’t appropriate for a wedding.

Keep the Focus: The focus should be on the bride & groom (mostly the bride), so do not wear anything that would pull that focus.  This could include something costume-esque and/or over the top, make sure to keep your attire tasteful.

So what should you wear?

What does black tie mean and how to dress for it: The term “black tie” can vary from dressy cocktail attire to ball gowns, if you are sure of what your hosts define as black tie simply ask them or others close to them, they surely have a vision for their wedding and will be able to convey it if they are requesting black tie.  With that said, if you are not able to ask here are a few safe guidelines to go by; a cocktail length dress (slightly above the knee) in a dark color or a full length dress are both appropriate, men should either wear a tux or a dark suit when black tie is requested.

This dress is simple, yet makes a subtle statement and can be taken from a black tie wedding to a non black tie wedding with accessories.

This dress is simple, yet makes a subtle statement and can be taken from a black tie wedding to a non black tie wedding with accessories.

This dress is formal due to it's length but adds a fun element that isn't over the top for a Spring or Summer wedding.

This dress is formal due to it’s length but adds a fun element that isn’t over the top for a Spring or Summer wedding.

This charcoal dress is also a beautiful choice for a black tie wedding.

This charcoal dress is also a beautiful choice for a black tie wedding.

Here is a dress that my client Michele of the Modern Jewish Wedding wore to a recent black tie wedding at the Four Seasons, Austin.

Here is a dress that my client Michele of The Modern Jewish Wedding wore to a recent black tie wedding at the Four Seasons, Austin.

Of course, a tux is always a safe bet when attending any black tie affair, including a wedding.  I really love that bow ties are back!

Of course, a tux is always a safe bet when attending any black tie affair, including a wedding. I really love that bow ties are back!

A dark blue suit with a dark tie can be worn for a black tie wedding as a great way to change it up a little.

A dark blue suit with a dark tie can be worn for a black tie wedding as a great way to change it up a little.

What to wear to a garden wedding: Bright colors and lace are great go-to looks for a garden wedding, just make sure the lace you wear doesn’t over step anything the bride may wear!  For men it is a great opportunity to change it up with a light colored jacket and a fun tie!

Put on a great pair of wedges (so you don't sink in the grass) and earrings, and you have a fresh look for a garden wedding!

Put on a great pair of wedges (so you don’t sink in the grass) and earrings, and you have a fresh look for a garden wedding!

Another great look for a garden wedding (again, make sure to wear a great shoe)!  This dress will be fun and easy to dance the night away in!

Another great look for a garden wedding (again, make sure to wear a great shoe)! This dress will be fun and easy to dance the night away in!

 

I know if I were a man, the same old black or blue suit would get old!  Pair a simple shirt, nice tie and light weight pants with this blazer and you will be set for a garden wedding!

I know if I were a man, the same old black or blue suit would get old! Pair a simple shirt, nice tie and light weight pants with this blazer and you will be set for a garden wedding!

What do you wear when there is no dress code given?  For women, a dress with heels, a nice bag and simple but dressy jewelry is appropriate; I know this may sound silly but I have seen that some people do need this reminder!  For men, when in doubt, you can never go wrong with a suit and tie; I know that men don’t like to dress up as much as women (boo hoo, try wearing hose and spanx, right women?!) but you look so handsome all gussied up and of course appropriate!

If you only have room for one suit in your life, for all of your suit occasions, this is a great one!

If you only have room for one suit in your life, for all of your suit occasions, this is a great one!

Here is a dress I have worn to two Spring weddings (a year apart) when not given a specific dress code:

This is my sisters and I at my cousin's Summer, evening wedding last year at a quaint hotel in Austin.  What do you think, did we hit the mark?

This is my sisters and I at my cousin’s Summer, evening wedding last year at a quaint hotel in Austin. What do you think, did we hit the mark?

Many of you may be asking, “what about the wedding party”, that is for another blog!

Where are your upcoming weddings and what do you plan on wearing?  Make sure to post pictures to my SHELL facebook page or send them to me to post!

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