Being the Fashionable Wedding Guest, Part 2

In this blog, we’re continuing our dialogue about what to wear to a wedding as a guest from your Indiana Wardrobe Stylist!

Cocktail – If you’re invited to a wedding with “cocktail” listed as the dress code, feel free to dress down
just a bit. Cocktail weddings typically occur in the evening, so avoid opting for something too casual like a sundress. Instead, consider wearing a stylish little dark dress, or for men, a tailored suit with or without a tie is perfect for this occasion (men, avoid pastel suits though, and opt for the darker colored suits such as navy, charcoal, hunter green). Here is a pretty cocktail dress in a beautiful nude pink. This light color suit for men is a great option for a wedding during the day.


Semi Formal or Dressy Casual – As you’ve observed, dressy casual signifies a gradual increase in style freedom with each level of dress code. Dressy casual balance between sophistication and relaxation, leaning towards the latter. For an evening wedding, style typically leans towards a more formal ambiance; in this case, opt for darker colors in your attire selection. Great options for this type of event include dressy mini dresses or elegant jumpsuits. For men, a sport jacket paired with chinos and a button-down shirt is a perfect choice for meeting the dress code requirements.

Casual – A casual wedding is indeed a special celebration, so I wouldn’t recommend showing up in flipflops and shorts. Opt instead for a cute sundress paired with nice sandals. Men will look wonderful in polo shirt, khakis, and boat shoes, helping your friends celebrate tying the knot.

Festive – Festive dress code is an  opportunity to wear something fun with a colorful pattern or a great style that twirls well on the dance floor. Men will enjoy pulling out a colorful tie and festive socks for this laid-back event. This wedding dress code has appeared more recently on wedding invitations, offering a fun opportunity to express your style and celebrate with the new couple.

Beach or Destination Wedding – For a beach or destination wedding invitation, you will want to plan for the weather and the
location of the wedding. if your friends are marrying at a beach, wear light colors and softly draping natural fabrics, such as linen or cotton. This can work well for a sundress or a suit jacket for men. At the beach, wearing flat dressy sandals would be perfect to complete your look. If it’s going to be sunny, ladies, don’t forget your hats and sunglasses (men too).

Themed Wedding – A themed wedding is an opportunity to have fun with your outfit. if you’re looking for fun ideas,
check out Pinterest to help your friends celebrate in a big way matching their theme. If you still need more ideas, check with other friends also going, to see what they have come up with. This wedding dress code is very free and informal, so have fun with it.


No Dress Code – If you don’t know the dress code, your best option is to ask the bride and groom what they prefer. Another option is to check in with other guests to see what they plan to wear. A good in-between choice is cocktail or semi-formal attire if you do not learn the dress code before attending. You’ll feel confident that you look your best and are ready to celebrate the new couple when you choose semi formal.This sundress is perfect for a casual wedding.

What Not to Wear? – There are also a few things that you should avoid wearing to any wedding. Don’t wear wild, bright colors unless you’re attending a festive wedding. Avoid white attire, overly revealing clothing, or anything excessively eccentric or attention-grabbing. With the guidelines above,
you should feel confident in selecting a beautiful ensemble for the big day. Your default source for wedding guest attire is always the bride herself. Some wedding guests never want to wear the same colors as the bridesmaids, so if you are in that camp: ask the bride!!

If you need help dressing for a wedding or any occasion in your life, please reach out to me. I work with many clients to help them feel confident and learn the best styles to select just for them.

Keep it sassy, Indy.

Beth Divine, MA, AICI-CIC,
Personal Image Consultant and Indiana Wardrobe Stylist