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What to Wear to a Wedding: Best Ideas for Women

Updated on February 7, 2017
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What Should Women Wear to a Wedding?

If you have received a wedding invite and you’re wondering what to wear, here are the best style tips. Selecting the best wedding attire for a guest is as difficult as you can imagine. Some wedding invitations will specify the dress code. But knowing the rules and having the finest wedding ideas will help in blending in with the bridal party.

Wedding guest attire should be feminine but also appropriate enough. Any clothing that might attract too much attention is not suitable. This is not your day to shine. It belongs to somebody else.

Your wedding day is coming, or is already past. Clothes that are extra sexy can bring shame to you. The idea is to be elegant and charming, but not to look like the bride.

Wedding Guest Outfit Ideas for Women
Wedding Guest Outfit Ideas for Women | Source

Types of Dresses to Wear to a Wedding

There is a wide range of dresses to wear to weddings. Your selection depends on the type of invitation, the time of day and season. In most weddings, a dress that is knee-length or longer is perfect.


Little black dress

A little black dress will be okay for a majority of weddings. It is especially appropriate to wear for evening weddings. In case this dress is too dark for the occasion, accessorize it with shoes, jacket or headgear in a lighter color.


Floral Dresses

These are ideal for summer and spring weddings. Most ladies wear them with flower adornments to shine with the sun. For daytime weddings, this is the ultimate dress. Soft floral colors are more stylish for bridal parties as they are not too stunning.


Pastel Dresses

They generate a supple and tender appearance. They are especially appropriate for daytime weddings. Pastel dresses are cute and thus versatile for many occasions.


The Sheath Dress

The sheath dress is one dress that never goes out of fashion. It is suitable for all women and enhances the feminine nature. For a day wedding, choose cotton or linen floral print. You can also opt for another bright color and harmonize with shoes of the same shade. For evening weddings, try a material like satin or chiffon.


Maxi Dress

The maxi dress is a good preference for an outdoor wedding. Good materials include chiffon and silk. A maxi dress in brilliant colors will make you confident no matter what the event. These dresses are perfect for summer as well as winter weddings. In case it’s very cold, you can layer under or over the dress. You’ll keep warm and still look amazing.

Skater Dresses

A skater dress is flexible for a wedding occasion. You can choose from a wide range of colors, materials and lengths, depending on the type of wedding. Only wear the appropriate length and modest style.
For an evening wedding, you may choose one in chiffon and your favorite color. For a day wedding, choose cotton and a bright color or print.


Evening gown

This is ideal for black tie weddings which need for a long gowns. Choose appropriate accessories and jewelry to create a fabulous and feminine appearance.


Cocktail Dress

This is ideal for black tie and semi-formal weddings, which are mostly held in the evenings. You can wear a cocktail dress that is either sleeveless or short sleeved.

In case you want to wear a skirt, you can choose any skirt that is at least knee-length. Pair the skirt with any matching top. For instance, a neutral maxi skirt will go well with lace blouse. This is a good option for semi-formal weddings.

What to wear to a wedding women
What to wear to a wedding women | Source

What Not to Wear to a Wedding

Though some weddings have a specific dress code, there are some outfits that you must not wear. A bridal occasion is one event that leaves a big mark on your reputation and might affect future invites. As you ponder on what to wear, always remember that the impression you make is very important. Below are some outfits that you should not wear to a wedding.

  • Top with extra-low neckline especially if you have no bra. This may be particularly improper if it shows too much of your bust
  • White dress that can be confused with the bride’s attire
  • Micro-mini skirt
  • Uniforms – these may be okay if they are for dance crews etc
  • Tight clothing that shows the outline of your belly button or nipple
  • Transparent dress or skirt especially if it shows your underwear
  • Black dress especially if you have other black accessories, making you all black
  • Office or business wear – this might be acceptable in some morning weddings
  • T-shirt
  • Jeans
  • Backless dress – if you must wear a backless dress, make sure it has an attached bra. Also be certain it doesn't attract unnecessary attention
  • Dress or skirt that shows your bike shorts
  • Exaggerated make-up
  • Concert wear unless you’re performing in the wedding
  • A short top that shows your belly
  • Clothing that is too luminous
  • Flip-flops – unless it’s a flip-flop casual wedding
  • Plastic footwear
  • Shorts or romper
  • Business accessories like a briefcase – Leave these in your car or drop them off somewhere
  • Sports wear like a jogging suit


If you avoid these types of clothing, you will have a clearer picture of what you can wear to the occasion. Always avoid clothing that sends the message; “watch me”. This is seen as a desperate and futile call for attention.

What to wear to a Wedding Women
What to wear to a Wedding Women | Source

How to Wear a Skirt to a Wedding

Wearing a skirt to a wedding is appropriate unless the dress code does not allow it. Go for anything that is stylish and graceful. If you can't wear it for an evening, you perhaps should not wear it to a wedding. As a rule of thumb try avoiding skirts that are;

  • Too revealing
  • Too casual
  • Uniform like
  • Too business like


A pencil midi skirt is simple, cute and fashionable if styled the correct way. The wrong choices can make this outfit look office-like. If you choose a black or neutral skirt, go for a top with simple decorations like ruffles. Avoid pairing a skirt with a button shirt especially if it is white.

Maxi and midi skirts can be paired with suitable tops to make good formal separates. Some skirts make walking difficult if they are form-fitting. You may wear one that has slits. But the slits should not be too high as to look vulgar.


Best tops to pair with skirts for a wedding are feminine blouses. These include lace blouses, peplum tops and ruffled tops. If you must add layers, choose female varieties like a tweed jacket or a mesh cardigan. Masculine tops like men’s shirts or blazers pair well with feminine outfits like floral printed satin or chiffon skirts.


If your skirt is neutral, choose a colored pair of shoes to add zing to the look. Neutral and dark shoes go with bright and print skirts. Try to match or closely blend your shoes to the blouse.


If your skirt is medium height, you can wear closed shoes. For long skirts, opt for strappy or open footwear. Accessorize with a statement necklace to make the outfit look more formal.

Acceptable Colors to Wear to a Wedding

While almost all colors are acceptable to weddings, some might make you feel uncomfortable or embarrassed. Clothes for bridal parties should make you blend in with the other guests. You should also feel confident without attracting the wrong attention. Some outfits may be fine for a guest but be inappropriate because of the color.


Wearing White to a Wedding

The colors white and ivory are frowned upon by many wedding guests. Wearing these colors makes you look like you are trying to compete with the bride. If you wear white to a wedding, some people might get the impression that you are full of jealousy.
If you must wear white, wear adornments in other colors. Prints with white as the background will also be welcome. Also be careful with the design of your white dress. If it looks like a bridal gown, it is not wedding guest appropriate.


Can You Wear Black to a Wedding?

Many controversies abound about whether it is appropriate to wear black to a wedding. Some parties argue that you should wear black only if it is an evening wedding. But why would you wear the world’s gloomiest color to one of life’s most beautiful events? With so many colors to choose from, there is no point in looking like you are going to a funeral.


Can You Wear Black and White to a Wedding?

Black and white if they are separate are not very welcome in many weddings. But wearing them together is not inappropriate. They can be mixed any form. This includes checked, stripped or accentuated combinations.

With these styling tips, you will feel confident as you leave for the bridal party. Always make sure to look yourself in the mirror before venturing out. If you’re unsure of your clothes, remove them and opt for another style.


If the wedding is at night, select richer, bolder shades. Also be sure to familiarize yourself with the norms of your locale. And when the event is over, you’ll be glad that your idea of what to wear to a wedding really paid off.

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