The sun is out, the invites are pouring in and the hotels are booked – now all you need is the perfect wedding guest outfit. When it comes to summer nuptials, donning the appropriate attire is essential. You don't want to upstage the bride or spend the whole evening feeling uncomfortable in what you're wearing. Many invites will dictate what to wear but if not, then you could always ask the bride or groom or check out the list below for wedding guest outfit dos and don'ts. Because there's nothing worse than realising too late that all the other guests are in formal attire and you've shown up in flip flops! Or spending the entire evening freezing because you forgot to bring a cover-up...
Weddings are a time to celebrate with loved ones but it's hard to enjoy yourself if you're fretting about what to wear. Take the stress out of picking out your wedding guest outfit with this handy guide to what is and isn't nuptial appropriate.
DO embrace the dress code
If a couple has gone to the effort of writing a dress code on their invites or website, then take note and dress accordingly. If no dress code is explicitly given, then you can often infer the proper wedding attire from the venue. A garden or beach ceremony calls for a pretty dress, while a hotel or ballroom will likely require something a little more formal.
DON'T wear head-to-toe black
Remember that this is a festive occasion, not a funeral. If you are wearing a black dress or outfit, liven your look up with a few pops of colour. Bright shoes, sparkling accessories or an eye-catching clutch all say you're there for a celebration.
DO put on your dancing shoes
Whether that's a pair of chunky wedges or some pretty flats, make sure you wear shoes that you can stand, walk and dance in – you'll likely be doing lots of all three. Opt for footwear that will be both chic AND comfortable. That means this is probably not the right time to break in a pair of spanking new heels.
DON'T bring a bulky bag
Choose a purse that will match your outfit – so that cotton tote bag or bulky handbag is probably not appropriate. You only really need some cash and cards, a bit of lippie and your phone, so keep things simple with a pretty clutch or small purse.
DO think beyond the dress
A summer dress is a lovely option but don't feel as though your options are limited when it comes to wedding guest attire. Co-ords, culottes or a pretty jumpsuit are all fabulous options that are just as stylish as a dress. Discover our essential styling tips for alternative wedding looks.
DON'T flash the flesh
This is not the time or place to wear something overly sexy or revealing. Weddings are a family celebration, so if it's not something that you would feel comfortable wearing in front of your grandparents then don't wear it in front of somebody else's!
DO embrace accessories
Weddings are a fabulous opportunity to wear accessories that are typically deemed too glamorous for casual wear. Think statement jewellery or an oversized clutch. For best effect, pair bolder accessories with a more subdued outfit – you want the accessories to compliment, not take over, your look.
DON'T wear white
It's the bride's day, which means wearing white is a big wedding no-no. If you have a cream skirt that you're dying to wear, make sure it's not the focal point of the outfit and that you've got some other colours going on, too.
DO bring a cover-up
Even the warmest of summer days can cool down in the evening. For a chic way to cover up without bringing a bulky jacket, opt for a light shawl or simple wrap.
DON'T do denim
Even if the ceremony is a casual affair, skip the denim. If you don't want to show too much leg, opt for a maxi dress or a pair of culottes instead. You'd rather be overdressed than underdressed!