Dresses for Wedding Guests

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Dresses for Wedding Guests

It seems like there is at least always one inappropriately dressed woman who shows up at a wedding. She may be trying to upstage the bride or she may be wearing a dress that is more suited for a gentleman’s club. If you will be attending a wedding or similar formal event, you should learn about the appropriate attire to wear to the event. The time of day, season of the year and a note of formality on the invitation are all factors that affect the propriety of an outfit.

General Guidelines

In general, women should wear dresses for wedding guests. This means that their attire should not clash or compliment the dresses worn by the bride or her wedding dress. She should stay away from dresses that are white or red so she does not look like she is attempting to upstage the bride. She may also want to stay away from black, which may appear like she is unhappy about the union. Dresses should be a respectable length and not be too tight. Try to dress appropriately for the season. For example, sleeveless gowns are acceptable for summer weddings, but may not be appropriate for winter weddings. Also, use colors that reflect the season. Dresses for spring weddings are usually in lighter and brighter colors, while dresses for winter weddings are typically in deeper hues.

Evening Weddings

Evening weddings tend to be more formal than morning or daytime events. A long gown is usually appropriate for an evening event. Darker colors tend to be worn during an evening event, such as black, dark brown and deep purple.

Daytime Weddings

Daytime weddings tend to be less formal than evening affairs. Dresses for wedding guests who attend daytime events include tea-length dresses and summer dresses. A skirt and blouse or a pantsuit is also appropriate attire. Lighter colors tend to be worn during a daytime event, such as pastel blue, green, yellow and peach.

White Tie

If the wedding invitation states that attire should be white tie, this means that the attire is expected to be the most formal.  A full-length ball gown is appropriate. A neutral color such as black is often appropriate for white tie affairs. Too see a gorgeous selection White tie Formal Gown Dresses for Wedding Guests click here.

Black Tie

Black tie weddings are often evening affairs. This is one step down on from a white tie event, but is still very formal. Appropriate dresses for wedding guests include an evening gown or cocktail dress. Neutral colors are always appropriate, or you can go for a slightly bolder color, such as blue, green or plum.

Black Tie Optional

Black tie optional means that the event is not as formal as a black or white tie event, but formal clothing is still appropriate attire. Dresses to wear to a wedding as a guest to a black tie optional event include a long dress or cocktail dress in muted shades, such as brown, black, navy or gray. A formal suit can also be worn.

Semi formal

Semi formal clothing attire reduces the level of formality in guests’ attire. If the wedding is during the evening, a more formal gown or cocktail dress should be worn. If the event occurs during the day, a long skirt and a blouse is appropriate. Wear lighter colors and fabrics, such as silk and chiffon, during a daytime wedding.

Beach Weddings

Beach weddings are often less casual than other types of weddings. A summer sundress that is tea-length or stops at the ankle is usually appropriate attire. If the beach wedding is expected to be more formal, opt for a dress with sleeves or wear a light jacket on top of your dress.


Casual for weddings does not mean that anything goes. Instead, if an invitation includes a note on attire that states that guests should dress casually, women can wear summer sundresses, pantsuits and skirts and blouses. Jeans, shorts and revealing clothing should be avoided. Think about what type of clothing would be suitable for a business casual office environment. This reflects the casual attire that can be worn for weddings of this type.

Using the season, the time of the event and the invitation’s note on the required formality ensure that you will dress appropriately for the next wedding you attend so the bridal couple remembers you for the great time you had, rather than the garish clothing you wore.

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