What to wear to a wedding?

It's not easy as a wedding guest: you shouldn't steal the show from the bride in terms of fashion and should therefore leave everything that is too short, revealing or conspicuous hanging in the closet on this day. But what should the perfect guest outfit look like? We'll give you some valuable tips on what you what you should wear to a wedding.

Pay attention to the dress code

Does the wedding couple indicate a dress code in the invitation? Great, because part of the decision is already taken from you. Stick to the specifications, because the bridal couple has certainly thought of something. The wishes and preferences of the hosts should be respected.

If the bridal couple has not specified a dress code, the three W's come into play: Who? When? Where? If the wedding takes place in the registry office, a sheath dress would be appropriate. If the bridal couple says yes in the city park, you are welcome to wear a maxi dress and floral decorations in your hair. If the celebrations take place in a castle, the long evening dress can be used. So always keep an eye on the entire scope of the celebration.

The absolute no-gos for wedding guests

Have you ever worn a white dress as a guest at a wedding? Hopefully not! The color white is reserved for the bride alone! This also applies to dresses in shades of cream, champagne, ivory and whatever they are called. White colors are taboo for guests - unless the bride asks for it. Do you remember Prince William and Duchess Kate's wedding? While Kate's sister and bridesmaid Pippa looked gorgeous in her outfit, her white dress was almost talked about more than the bride's.

Find out here which colors and looks you should also stay away from at weddings:

  • Stick to the “too rule”: Anything too flashy, too short or too sexy should be avoided on this day
  • Even if it is the color of love: eye-catching tones such as signal red can be problematic and steal the show from the bride
  • The color black symbolizes mourning and should therefore not be worn at a wedding. Do you love stylish black? Then it helps if you brighten up the outfit with a bag in a different colour, a brooch or a scarf
  • Particular sensitivity is required for church weddings: the dress should not be too short or too low-necked and the shoulders should be covered. So keep a cardigan or stole in your handbag. After church, more skin can be shown again

Clothing tip:

Are you good friends with the bride and groom? Then the bride asks what she thinks of your outfit or what ideas she has. Because: every bride and every wedding is different and maybe your bridal couple would like unusual colors.

So what does the perfect look for wedding guests look like?

You are generally on the safe side with a knee-length cocktail or shift dress in pretty pastel colors such as pink and light blue.

If you want to be a bit more eye-catching and spread a good mood, you can go for a summer dress with floral patterns. The same applies here: Always keep the context of the wedding in mind.

Styling from top to bottom: the perfect shoes and accessories

Great high heels are always a good idea and they go perfectly with dresses. They can be matched to the color of the dress or combined with the other accessories to match the dress. There is another special feature here: Unlike the clothes, you are welcome to use light tones such as cream for the shoes and accessories.

Wedding weather

Rain forecast for the big day? The day in summer is way too cold? Or is it even a winter wedding that you are celebrating? No panic! Any wedding outfit can be weatherproofed! Prepare yourself for all eventualities with the following tips and tricks:

  • Mini umbrella; fits in every handbag and can be a chic accessory in the right color
  • Trench coat; can be wonderfully combined with dresses. But make sure that the overall color scheme fits and wear a beige coat with shoes of the same color, for example cardigan or bolero; protect you from cold churches and windy days. Should it be even colder, you can grab an elegant coat.
  • Tights; always a good decision! With the skin-colored variant in 15 or 20 denier you are spot on. If that is too thin for you, you can also come back to opaque variants. But the same applies here: the color of the tights should harmonize with the dress.
  • When it's pouring rain, leave your sandals in the car and replace them with sturdier shoes, at least for the time in the open air. In the warmth you can then present your high heels again.

Can it be something more casual?

Not everyone likes to wear a dress. It shouldn't be blue jeans though. Instead, pastel-colored jeans or culottes combined with elegant blouses are recommended. Jumpsuits are also very popular with wedding guests at the moment.

What the man should wear

Your companion is well advised to choose a discreet, dark suit or dark pants with a jacket. So he will never run the risk of looking fancier than the groom. Dark blue suits continue to be very popular this year. In any case, the following applies: no matter what the temperature is – the jacket is only removed when the groom has also taken off his.

The perfect look for wedding guests

As you can see, the question of the perfect look as a wedding guest is very tricky. I hope I was able to help you with the tips and rules and wish you a nice (and fashionably stress-free) wedding season.

Frequently asked questions

Our daughter is getting married. Bought a sheath dress - so far so good. However, the top (up to under bust size) is made of white lace with oversized sleeves. Otherwise, the color is delicate salmon. The bolero above is in the color dove or mud. My daughter likes the dress very much. Should I still be concerned?

You don't have to worry at all! The combination of white lace and a delicate salmon is very nicely chosen. It can only become critical if guests appear completely in white - which is not the case with you.

My girlfriend is getting married in a church and I chose a jumpsuit with a white top lower part black or ink (dark blue). Can I join my predecessor or should I choose something else?

You made a very nice choice with the jumpsuit. Don't let the white top upset you - I would only see an all-white jumpsuit as a problem. Blouses, blazers or tops for dresses and jumpsuits are definitely allowed!

In July I'm invited to a wedding at a country inn. I have already bought a lace dress in grey/off-white from Heine in the closet, but am unsure whether this is too white? Should I better choose something else?

I find it a bit borderline for a wedding guest. Even if gray is also included, the combination of color and material is very reminiscent of a wedding dress. If you're good friends with the bride, just ask her opinion. Otherwise, you're probably on the safer side if you keep looking for another dress.

I'm invited to the wedding of a work colleague and friend of my partner. The wedding will take place in July in a good middle-class inn. I would like to buy an elegant black jumpsuit for this so that I can wear it after the wedding. I would combine these with high strappy sandals and a metallic clutch. In church I wear a (colored) stole or blazer over the jumpsuit. Is that appropriate or should I rather go for a classic dress?

As I can gather from your question, the celebration will take place in a good middle-class inn, it can be a little more casual here. With the right accessories and shoes (you've already made the right choice) you definitely don't have to hide. It doesn't always have to be a dress, jumpsuits are definitely allowed! If it doesn't necessarily have to be a black jumpsuit, but is still elegant, a radiant royal blue is the perfect choice.

I have a dark blue lace dress for a wedding. It's just above the knee. Do you think I can wear dark blue, semi-transparent tights with it? I also have a dark blue bolero. Bright accessories and a bright bag.