Wedding Attire Etiquette

by Claire Valenty on January 26, 2010

in Wedding Etiquette

wedding dress etiquette

Wedding Dress Etiquette for the Bride
Well, this one’s a no brainer – it’s your wedding, so, wear whatever you want! White is still the accepted norm, but, if you want to go a little untraditional or if it’s your second marriage, any color under the sun will do. Just make sure you either dress appropriately for your wedding locale or have heaters/fans on site to keep you warm/cool and comfortable for your entire event!

This is one area of wedding planning where the budget can skyrocket very quickly. Pick a beautiful gown that makes you feel like a princess, but, in the back of your mind, keep in mind that this dress will probably sit in the back of your closet for the rest of your life; zipped up in a garment bag so you can’t even see it. Is that worth dropping $10K on? Go dress shopping at untraditional places, like department stores. Yes, it may sound cheesy, but, department stores have gorgeous dresses (don’t worry; you’ll still be able to spend a few grand) and keeping things simple is in now. If you feel you need some of that fancy beadwork everyone raves about but no one ever actually gets close enough to your dress to see it, then have those added afterwards at a fraction of a cost to buying a dress from a bridal store. The dress is a key component of the wedding, but, most memories of weddings are a man in black, a woman in white and both of them having enormous smiles on their faces.

Wedding Apparel Etiquette for the Groom
Whatever your fiancée tells you are wearing is proper wedding attire for the groom. Seriously. You may be able to get away with picking the color of your cummerbund. Maybe. Unless you’re one of those metro guys who’s been dreaming of this day since he was eleven. In which case, you aren’t on-line looking for help, so, I’m assuming you’re not one of them. Your fiancée will most likely put you and your groomsmen in matching suits with accents that match the color of her bridesmaids’ dresses. You’ll probably get fitted for them about a week before hand, pick them up a couple of days before the wedding and return them a couple of days after the wedding (and if you have a good best man, the only thing you’ll have to do out of these is go in to get fitted).

Wedding Attire Etiquette for the Bridal Party
Ditto for the bridal party. What she says, goes. The bridal party pays for their own outfits, too. Remember that when saying yes when someone asks you to be in their bridal party. It’s a big commitment, and saying, “I don’t have the money” when the bride tells you she’s picked out $300 bridesmaid dresses will probably end your friendship.

Guest Wedding Etiquette Clothing
You’ll probably get off easy here. Most wedding invitations these days give you the dress code.

Casual – No, this doesn’t mean show up in your jeans and flip flops. For women, it would be a nice sundress and men, slacks and a Hawaiian shirt.

Semi-Formal – break out those cocktail dresses; we’re going dancing! Men need to wear a suit for this one.

Formal – long dresses for the women and tuxedos for the men.

Themed – this could be nautical, Hawaiian, black and white…you get the picture.

If the invitation isn’t clear on attire and you’re unable to get a hold of the bride and groom, play it safe with semi-formal. And never, ever wear white. You’re taking attention away from the bride – it’s her day!

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