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What to wear to a wedding

Janelle Vreeland

A handy guide telling you exactly what to wear to any kind of wedding

What is acceptable to wear to a wedding nowadays is not the same as what it was 20 years ago, especially the themes can vary from formal to beach formal to shoes optional. How can you decide what’s appropriate for your theme or venue. With a little help from The Knot, our tips will help steer you in the right direction.

What to wear to a semi-formal wedding

Guys should go for a suit while women should wear a cocktail dress or a skirt and a top. The color of your attire can then vary according to what time of the day the wedding is being held. If it’s during the day, lighter colors are fine, but if it’s in the evening, you should look for darker colors to match the setting.

What to wear to a formal/black-tie wedding

Although tuxedos for guys aren’t required, you definitely can’t go wrong wearing one if you have one available. If you don’t have one on hand, a dark suit would also be appropriate. especially go with a dark suit if the wedding is at night. For women, formal cocktail dresses, gowns or a dressy suit is appropriate. Women can also go very glamorous with their hair and makeup in this setting.

What to wear to a beach-formal wedding

Beach weddings can be tricky, since you want to look elegant, but still dress appropriately for the setting and the elements. Women can wear a more formal summer dress and flat sandals, while men can wear sandals and a summer suit.

What to wear to a casual wedding

Casual does not mean “everyday.” In the instance of a wedding, jeans, shorts and tank tops are probably not appropriate, unless you’re told differently. For guys, khakis or dress pants with a button-down shirt or a polo are perfectly acceptable. For women, a nice sundress or a skirt or pants with a nice shirt are appropriate.

What to wear to a shoes-optional wedding

Obviously, if you’re not comfortable going barefoot, then stick with your favorite summer sandals or shoes. Women shoes avoid heels if the ceremony will be taking place on soft ground that the heels may sink into. In general, though, men can wear dress pants and a button-down or polo shirt, while women can stick with their favorite sundress or skirt and top.

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