What to Wear to a Wedding

Hello Indianapolis Fashionistas,

This time of year I start to hear from clients who say: help me find something to wear to this wedding I am going to. I love hearing this, since most of the time this means a dress purchase, and no one loves dresses more than I do. Yes, I am definitely a dress girl!

Anyway, so when I start the styling process with buying wedding guest apparel, my first question is what times is the wedding, and where is the venue? If it’s clearly an afternoon or even a morning wedding, right away, that tells me to stay away from a black dress. Black is worn to weddings, and I have done so myself. I had a strapless, black eyelet fit and flare dress with a giant black/white polka dot belt. Oh how I loved that dress. I wore it to a late afternoon wedding. Probably only marginally correct, but it looked so great I didn’t care.

So afternoon weddings, I look for pastel colors, floral prints, navy or other neutrals. A casual maxi dress can work, too. I love metallic shoes or even floral print shoes or sandals because they can be worn again. I love dress with details such as ruffles, metallic trim, sheerness, strapless, cap leaves, lace, etc. I always advise clients to stay away from a white dress–too bridal–and even a predominately white print. However, if the print is really more colorful, a white background can be fine, even summer like.

The venue of the wedding makes a difference as well. A barn wedding and outdoor wedding can be slightly more informal than a church or other more formal venue. However, people still seem to wear very dressed-up attire to even more rustic weddings, so try not to lower the bar too much.

An evening wedding or a Black’Tie wedding immediately tells you more formal attire is needed. This means full-length or black/navy dresses, bespoke to the ball gown look. Dressy shoes and purses — they don’t have to match — sequins, sheerness, pearls and other touches will make the outfit even more special. I love off the shoulder look for wedding guest attire and the more pretty, feminine details the better.

What I would shy away from at weddings is extremely bold colors such as red and neon yellow. A soft yellow is okay as is a muted raspberry color and muted peach. Always think soft, feminine looks for a wedding.

If possible, leave behind the sweater, bolero, etc., because they can be so fussy. If the wedding is during a more cold weather day, consider a coordinating sheath and coat ensemble. When I was putting together wedding looks for Kit magazine, Macy’s had a beautiful Blush Pink sheath and a light cream tailored coat. It was very beautiful and I wouldn’t hesitate to wear that since it was a very flattering way to stay warm and look put together, instead of the very bare dress with a sweater or shawl thrown over it.

First three dresses: Modcloth; remainder are from Nordstrom.

Enjoy your summer weddings! I love them so.

Keep it sassy, Indy.

Beth Divine, Indianapolis Personal Stylist