A few weeks ago I was contacted by The Black Tux, a tuxedo rental company, to talk about wedding attire. Even though our wedding is still on hold right now I thought it was a great post idea. I’ve been to so many different types of weddings from very formal to super casual. The Black Tux has put together a handy chart that simply breaks down all of the different types of wedding attire and what would be acceptable options for each one.
Our wedding will be semi-formal. Eric and the groomsmen will wear suits and the bridesmaids will wear nice dresses. Guests are fine to wear dress pants and shirt for men and dresses or a nice skirt and top for women. We want everyone to be comfortable, but still look nice. Our wedding has been downsized to only include around 35-40 people, so it’s definitely going to be an intimate ceremony and reception. We want people to really feel at ease and part of our day and not have to worry about wearing uncomfortable clothes or shoes.
The worst thing about going to a wedding is not knowing what the attire should be. Sometimes you can tell from the invitation, but it’s not always included. So if it’s not specifically stated on the invitation, try getting some clues from the location because that can usually set the tone for what kind of event it is. If it’s in a hotel ballroom I would probably lean toward black tie or black tie optional. If it’s in a barn or a more rustic setting, I would lean toward semi-formal or casual.
Since our wedding will likely be in the fall, it’s also hard to know what to wear to a wedding that’s in an off-season month. It’s hard to know if it will be warm or cold in months like September, October and again in the spring in March and April. It’s always a good idea to wear layers during these months because it could be cool in the morning and warm up in the afternoon. You can always wear a nice blazer or wrap and then take it off at the reception if you get hot.
To me, no matter what you wear, the most important thing is to make sure it is appropriate. I know a lot of people view weddings as a big party, but you shouldn’t be wearing super revealing dresses or super tall heels. We’ve all been to a wedding where someone treated it like a night at the club instead of a celebration of love and family. It’s always a little cringe-worthy and embarrassing.
And if it comes down to it and you really aren’t sure what to wear, just ask. I’d have no problem answering questions about what guests should wear. I don’t want anyone to feel out of place, under-dressed or over-dressed.