Wedding Guest Attire

What to wear when invited to a wedding


As a personal stylist, I get asked this question all the time. What do you wear to that very special event, where do I shop for the perfect dress, especially if you’re the mother of the bride.

Dressing for a wedding and purchasing the correct attire can be a bit tricky for a lot of people. Different types of wedding ceremonies and receptions have different levels of formality.

The first thing I ask is what does the wedding invitation say? The invitation is where you’ll find the clues to what to wear. The wedding invitation will generally specify the dress code, time and location.


Wedding Attire – Formal, Semi-Formal, Informal/Casual


In most cases this will translate into ‘Black-tie.’

This means for the men, a tuxedo is required. Guys don’t worry, if you don’t have one, just hire a tux for the day, simple. Tip – if your shoes are looking a little shabby, get yourself a new pair. For the women, a floor length gown or an elegant cocktail dress would work perfectly. Just about any colour goes except for white or Ivory. You really don’t want to compete with the bride, after all, it is her day!


Dress to impress, men wear a suit and tie. Ladies a cocktail dress or elegant blouse and skirt, glam it up with fabulous accessories.  What would I wear, not really into dresses, so I would wear an elegant jumpsuit in a fluid fabric with statement accessories. More images on my akstyle facebook page.


Casual and informal usually means anything goes. That does not mean you can wear flip flop’s or a sweat with a hoodie. It’s a special day guys, a pair of trousers teamed up with a shirt. If it’s cool, throw on a sports jacket.  Ladies a lovely printed dress or a pretty blouse and skirt. It’s going to be a great day and you want to look and feel good. You’ll look back on the snaps so wear something nice. Remember it’s not formal or semi-formal so easy up on the bling.


It’s never a good idea to wear anything that could be mistaken for a wedding dress.

OK it’s not a night club, so ladies be mindful of necklines that are too plunging, and dresses or skirts that are way too short. Subtlety is best.

No jeans and T-shirt guys, unless the invitation specifically says so.

What do I wear if the invitation says ‘Lounge Suit’?

Dressing in lounge suit fashion, is a more relaxed alternative to formal wear. What this generally means is a semi formal dress code.

For men think of a smart dark suit, white shirt and tie. Go easy on the stripes as you don’t want to look too corporate. For the women a cocktail dress, knee length or shorter, remember be classy. A beautiful silk blouse or a sparkly top teamed up with a lovely skirt or pant, add to this ensemble statement accessories. Looking good!