Witnessing a couple promise to love each other for eternity is a beautiful experience. The party, the food, the drinks, and the dancing, can all be so exciting. But however blissful this event may be, it can bring about a certain stress level. It opens up Pandora's box: "What to wear to a wedding as a female guest?"

If you are a woman, we're sure you have asked yourself this question a million times. Every celebration, weddings especially, raises the question of what to wear to a wedding as a female guest. The dress code is what makes this experience a bit stressful. Some invitations say nothing about what one should wear. 

Figuring out the distinctions between black-tie, cocktail, formal, or semi-formal might be difficult. We're here to help you relax and enjoy your time as a wedding guest. This handy guide to wedding fashion will help ensure you're dressed appropriately and fashionably for any upcoming weddings on your calendar.

make up palette what to wear as a guest female

What To Wear To A Wedding: Female Guest

Although formal wear is the most typical, wedding invitations can include a variety of additional dress rules. Formal, semi-formal, and casual are more ambiguous than black-tie, and it might be difficult for attendees to decide on their preferred level of formality.

As a female guest, you would consider the wedding venue as the backdrop that creates the tone, so researching the venue is one of the easiest ways to decide how to dress. 

That means only one thing. It's time to consult an old friend of yours – Google. A quick search of the location can give you an idea of the wedding style, and the venue will have images of previous weddings that you can use as inspiration.

Beach Wedding Attire For Guests

Have you ever been invited to a beach wedding ceremony? While this is fantastic, you may be left scratching your head over what to dress for a beach wedding. However, there are a few ground rules for this type of non-traditional celebration that need to be followed if you want to look fabulous, feel comfortable, and be the right amount of formality. 

Ideal Colors For Beach Wedding Attire For Guests 

Although black appears elegant, it absorbs heat, so if you are surrounded by waves, sand, and tropical winds, you can end up thoroughly melted!

Why not take in the tropical atmosphere and integrate it into your look? Dress to match those delectable, tropical hues. Unique yet appropriate tones include terra cotta, beige, yellow, aquamarine blue, sand, turquoise, lime green, fuchsia, mint green, citrus, and even marigold.

You could also want to incorporate some beach-friendly patterns or print in any of these vibrant colors. Excellent choices include bold floral prints, stripes, polka dots, and dynamic lines.  

Ideal Materials For Beach Wedding Attire For Guests

The ideal textiles are light and do not stick and look glued to your body. Nothing is more embarrassing than perspiration spots on a gown's back and front. Though lightweight and casual-looking, fabrics like cotton, chiffon, lace, organza, and linen, can still look incredible if styled the right way. Bring a lightweight shawl if the wedding is a little bit later in the day or early in the night because the coastal winds may be getting fussy at this time of the day/night.  

- VB Tip -

As comfortable and as cozy linen fabrics might be for a tropical wedding, choose them with caution when travelling. Linen wrinkles readily, and in a more isolated location, you may not find a dry cleaner to iron it. 

Wedding Formal Outfit

Wedding clothes might be a little confusing. The dress code is sophisticated, and everything comes to the fine line between black-tie and semi-formal. As a result, what would be appropriate to wear at such a celebration includes a long, medium-long, and tastefully short formal dress, pantsuit, or elegant separates. Like optional black-tie attire, formal wedding clothes do not require a floor-length gown. You can, however, wear one without looking overdressed if you want to.

A formal dress code is one of the most common wedding dress codes. While you may encounter this wedding outfit language on many invites that you need to RSVP, deciding what to wear takes some thought. A formal wedding outfit does not necessarily mean a long silk dress or a tuxedo for men.

It's an affair significantly less formal than a black-tie celebration, and it usually has fewer requirements. The ideal choice for female guests would be a lovely cocktail dress, be it long, medium-long, or short in length: a classic suit or a jacket and tie for a wedding formal outfit. 

A good quality pantsuit or an exquisite dress is also suitable for such a formal affair.

If you're still unsure about formal wedding wear, remember that you can never overdress. A nicely-tailored suit in a dark tone or a plain long dress is a safe bet when you are uncertain about what to wear. However, if you're feeling daring, try out fashionable jumpsuits or some nice suit combined with a bright-toned blazer or dazzling accessories.

When it comes to formal weddings and choosing your best attire, keep in mind that playing the safe card and opting for a more elegant outfit is always a decent choice.

Related: How to Find the Perfect Wedding Dress

Attire For A Catholic Church Wedding

Choosing the proper attire for a Catholic church wedding may be stressful for the guests. Therefore, when attending a Catholic wedding, you should always pay attention to the color of your outfit and your overall style. Being well informed of what's a yes and a no to wear at a Catholic wedding will give you confidence when choosing your outfit.   

A fair amount of Catholic weddings require a semi-formal dress code. Many people are perplexed by this dress code, yet it is relatively simple to follow.

For example, wear darker clothing to an evening wedding and light colors to daytime gatherings. For morning weddings, avoid using light or bright colors. And always avoid things that are too short, too revealing, or too tight. Classy is the way to go!

Others may choose "formal wear" or "black tie optional" as the dress code for their guests because couples have various preferences. It is, nonetheless, preferable to overdress than to underdress. A formal wedding attire means women can freely opt for a glamorous gown. 

Second, in addition to the dress code, the season must be taken into account. For example, if we are talking about winter weddings, one must pay attention to the fabric they'll choose. On the other hand, if the celebration occurs in the evening, you should opt for warmer fabrics. Layers are also a wise choice, especially because you can always take a layer off whenever you feel hot.

Suggested for you: Authentic Italian Catholic Wedding Traditions: all you need to know

Wedding Casual Outfits

The casual wedding dress code is the most laid-back of principles, giving you the complete freedom to choose your attire depending on what you feel the most comfortable in. However relaxed the dress code may be, keep in mind that it is still a wedding, and some rules need to be followed. So, don't go crazy opting for some sportswear or sneakers or shorts.

Use business casual clothing ideas as inspiration when deciding what to dress as a guest at a casual wedding. Similarly, a dress with a great neckline and essential accessories is always a good choice. To dress it up a bit more, go for pump-heel sandals. 

A casual wedding outfit for female guests means wearing outfits that they are comfortable in and modest yet chic. 

The dress code varies according to the wedding reception and theme, but in general, avoid displaying too much flesh and wearing anything too short. You don't want parts of you peeking from underneath your dress while dancing. And also, don't exaggerate with the choice of heels. Keep them at a reasonable height. 

Tea-length, midi, and maxi gowns are all excellent choices for female wedding guests. An elegant jumpsuit or a quality-tailored pantsuit are also options.

More experimentation with fashionable fabrics, patterns, and colors is also possible with a more casual wedding dress code. You can be more imaginative with your attire during semi-formal and informal events.

wedding glittered white shoes

Deciding what outfit to wear to a wedding isn't always easy. And, once you pop your RSVP in the mail, there's a good chance you'll start stressing about the attire you'll don on the big day. But, with these tried-and-true wedding guest fashion tips, we're sure you'll pick an appropriate outfit and allow you to feel your best in.

Up Next: Ultimate Guide to Beach Wedding Attire

While brides and grooms planning beachside weddings frequently have stylists and tailors on hand to ensure that every stitch and seam is flawless, nailing the dress code as a wedding guest is mainly up to you. The key to choosing the right outfit is whether you’ll be semi-formal barefoot on the beach, or is it a black-tie shindig?

starfish on an beach - beach wedding attire

What Is Beach Wedding Attire?

Whether you have decided to have a beach wedding with the ceremony next to the glorious waves or have been invited to attend as a guest, figuring out beach wedding attire can be tricky. Not only will your favorite formal little black dress not be appropriate fancy hairdos and sassy high heels won’t work either. 

Beach wedding attire is the most casual or beach chic style of clothing, shoes, and accessories suitable for attending a wedding or getting married on the beach. Generally, the concept calls for more comfortable, soft, and airy fabrics and open shoes. It can also depend on how formal the ceremony is meant to be. 

Beach Wedding Attire For Men

One is correct to assume that navigating the arena of classy yet comfortable beach formal wedding attire is just as challenging for men as it is for women. However, a popular misconception is that men have limited options for a wedding on the water and what to wear. Nothing could be further from the truth because there are plenty of ways that men can express their sense of style regardless of whether they are the groom himself or a guest at a beach wedding.

Go With Classy Prints

A wedding on the water allows you to experiment with a tropical and classy pattern for your suit. You can further elevate the outfit with attractive cufflinks and a tie or even go the more neutral route by sticking to shades of blue for your tuxedo or suit. With a bright, floral-patterned suit, you can pair a plain cotton white shirt to play down the look, and don’t forget the French tuck (made globally famous and in vogue by the designer Tan France in his hit show Queer Eye). Comfortable shoes like Chinos or even plain white sneakers can really pull this look together and brace you for walking on the beach.

Beige & Greige

Beige, off-white, light grey or greige (a combo of beige and grey) suits are perfect, neutral, and fashionable as beach wedding attire for men. They reflect the natural tones found on the beach, such as those of stone and sand, and using an airy, light fabric like cotton can make sure you are super comfortable in the sun. Use a flattering slim fit design and tailor the suit exceptionally well, making up for the minimal bling factor. Neutrals look lovely too!

Monochromatic Is Always In Fashion

As far as beach wedding attire for men goes, black and white is a classic combination that does not disappoint. Just make sure to choose comfortable, light fabric and a slightly looser fit, so you are not sweating in the sun too much. What makes a monochromatic outfit pop just a little is colorful cufflinks or a tie or shoes. Choose one element in your attire to draw attention, and brightly colored pocket squares are beach-appropriate!

Suggested Reading: What To Wear To A Catholic Church Wedding: The Guide

Rock The Coastal Stripes

Seersucker suits are perfect beach wedding attire for men because they are a classically coastal style and are generally very comfortable. Choose stripes that are light blue or white for a traditional look, but you can also wear this suit with a pale pink shirt. This style looks stunning during the daytime in the summer sun!

Totally Blue

Completely blue suits are an ideal beach wedding outfit; they go well with the crystal blue of the water and can stand out in any season of the year. Paired with a plain or patterned white shirt, you have a winning outfit for a groom or a guest at a beach wedding. Don’t forget a white rose or any seasonal flower in your breast pocket to tie the look together! 

Beach Wedding Attire For Women

As the bride, you may want the fluffy, ethereal fairytale dress. Still, practicality is at the heart of beach wedding attire. It is not a factor you want to overlook as, depending on the climate, only certain fabrics and styles will allow you to breathe and feel relaxed and enjoy the ceremony.

A designer top trick is to mimic the colors of your surroundings such as azure blue, light blue, tan, beige, white, grey, aquamarine, sunflower yellow, lime green, and so forth. But, of course, you can also make your own interpretation of a coastal color palette by experimenting with different patterns and tones.

A Flowy Maxi Moment

Maxis, especially in lighter colors like pale or duck egg blue, rosebud pink, light yellow, and creamy off-white, are a beautiful idea for a beach wedding outfit because they make anyone glow in the daylight, and the style is natural flowy and gorgeous and works with most body types. You can have a high slit, a low V-neck, or even a backless pleated number for added effect.

A Romper With Overskirt

Consider the casual yet fitted version of a romper with an overskirt if you want to be at ease for a long wedding ceremony. It can accentuate your curves, look gorgeous in the breeze and keep you cool. It goes well with pumps or sandals, and chunky jewellery can add a glamorous touch.

Midi Dresses Take The Cake

Midi dresses seem like they’re right out of a stunning Audrey Hepburn movie, but they have been coming back into fashion forever. A midi dress has that feminine flow and cut, but it also goes just a little under the knees to enjoy the sand around your feet and legs without worrying about tripping over a long dress. Consider it an ideal and captivating option for a beach wedding guest dress.

Scallops & Buttons

A scallop dress is the epitome of venue-appropriate beach wedding attire for women. Scallops are very thematic, and that kind of texture in a dress is coastal and gorgeous and clings to the right curves! What’s more, you can use vibrant, bright colors like coral, orange, yellow or bright blue to really stand out. Wearing a scalloped dress with a button-down style is a modern take on the traditional version and can really be the ideal combination of casual and chic. 

Related: Top Ideas for Your Wedding Gift Table

Beach Formal Attire

Beach formal wedding attire (for the bride and groom and close family) can still be an uber-comfortable style to pull off. Use the same styles (maxi, mid-length, midi, etc.) but opt for ‘dressier’ fabrics such as metallic finishes, lace, and silk. The materials should be soft and breathable, and classic colors like teal grey, green, cream, and white keep you on the neutral spectrum, although you can use brighter patterns if that is more to your liking.

Many brides pack their wedding reception jewel-studded heels to change into their reception venue! If you struggle with formal beach wedding attire, know that a simpler dress for your wedding on the water is an excellent idea. Of course, you always have the option of a second, more elaborate wedding dress for the reception.

For grooms, groomsmen, and male guests that need to master the art of a beach wedding outfit, summer suits with long-sleeved shirts never disappoint especially if they are made from fabrics like the softest linen and khaki. Never go as far as wearing shorts to a beach wedding! While ties make less sense for a beach wedding, they add that extra finesse and, in some cases, a pop of color that no groom or chic wedding guest should be without. 

bride and groom and in hand on beach wedding attire

Beach Wedding Attire Etiquette

If you are hosting a beach wedding, you will probably need to provide your guests with some direction regarding beach wedding attire etiquette well before the ceremony. This is especially important if you have a destination beach wedding in a foreign country or a location your guests are unfamiliar with. If you are a wedding guest and have not been given any instruction regarding appropriate beach wedding attire etiquette, always remember it is better to be a bit overdressed than to tone down your outfit too much for the event.

Check The Weather

The seasonal climate of the area or the weather forecast is an essential clue as to what to wear especially when considering beach wedding attire for women because they typically have to wear makeup, jewellery, and other accessories with their look.

Is It Very Formal?

Not all beach wedding ceremonies are very formal, so look for cues from the couple or double-check any correspondence related to the wedding to ascertain how formal the event is. Semi-formal beach wedding attire for women can differ from a more formal requirement, so it is good to know how much wriggle room you have with what you wear as a guest. If you’re the bride or groom, you have free will on beach wedding attire etiquette and deciding on how formal you want your ceremony to be! 

Depending on the site and wedding style, attendees' beach wedding attire varies. While your initial reaction may be to put on a sundress or shorts, it's good to keep in mind that beach wedding attire is formal. Even if the beach wedding is casual, it's still essential to avoid T-shirts and flip-flops.

Up Next: 5 Things To Know About Wedding Gift Etiquette.

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