How to dress for a civil wedding
Contents
    1. City hall guest wedding attire
      • What to wear to a courthouse as a wedding guest
      • Court nuptial outfit ideas
    2. Accessories for wedding guests
      • Best purse to wear at a civil nuptial
      • Add a hat
    3. Be aware – a wedding is a sort of family reunion

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City hall guest wedding attire

In Germany, the dream wedding month is May. Many young couples want to get married in May because it is the first real spring month with the first real warm days in Germany. The trees are green and the flowers, bushes and trees are in full bloom. Somehow they associate May with sunshine and hope. Actually, May is the rainiest month in Germany. When I told my sister, she switched her wedding to October. And yes, she had a sunny warm day on her wedding day.

bride wearing a hat
Wearing a hat at our wedding

In the US, June is the wedding season. Anyhow, as weddings need long planning, especially here in the US, I thought it is the right time for some Dress for Success posts on the various dress codes for a wedding.

What to wear to a courthouse as a wedding guest

Let’s start with just a civil wedding with just the legal wedding procedure. They differ strongly by states and countries, but when borough, county, city or religious officers are involved you cannot be wrong with pants or skirt suits, a formal dress, anything along the line of business casual as long as you leave your jeans at home. City hall wedding-guest attire means dress up. What’s called Sunday’s Best like a velvet dress would work too. A cocktail dress with cropped jacket to cover the shoulders will work as long as you are sure not to out-dress the bride.

Don't outdress the bride. #weddingguest Click To Tweet

Stylist’s tip: When it’s a winter wedding, make sure to wear a fancy coat.

fashion blogger in 40s style shirt dress

robe in retro style for non-bridal party invitees

vintage style gives a romantic vibe to a nuptial ceremony

midlife wedding guest outfit idea black shirt dress
Outfit details: Corduroy velvet shirt dress (self-sewn) with leather coat, L.K. Bennett pumps, Jaeger bag, Hermes collier de chien leather band and D&GM sunglasses (all own)
In the US, a LBD is ok, in many European countries it's a no-no. #weddingetiquette Click To Tweet

Wedding guest outfit inspirations

The photos below give some outfit inspirations for a formal civil wedding.

fashion over 50 wedding guest outfit Abstract floral print Eli Tahari sleeveless summer sheath dress accessorized with MOSHINO belt, Hermes collier de chien bangle, small lady-like bag, pink jacket and slingbacks (all own)

pink jersey attire for a guest at a civil wedding Baby pink sheath jersey dress c/o Lookbook with own studded flats and necklace for a civil summer wedding guest

fake skirt suit for a participant in nuptials at a court house Linen blazer with black straight skirt, Dolce aand Gabbana Madonna sunglasses, GNW polka dot top, Anne Klein silk scarf, pearls, structured bag and L.K. Bennett pumps (all own)

woman wearing an outfit perfect for a nuptial guest in the South Ivanka Trump sandals, D&G clutch, Aspeed burnt velvet gown, pearl and Swarovski crystals earrings (all own) and Shire Scala Collezione straw hat c/o Tenth Street

over 50 years old fashion blogger in silk shirt dress with matching belt, bag and heels Banana Republic silk shirt dress, Kieselstein Cord lizard belt, Gucci dionysus silver enamel buckle, Nine West pointy-toe pumps, Hermes collier de chien bangle, multi-gemstone cuff, Gucci ostrich bag (all own)

style blogger showing what to wear to a civil wedding Victoria Victoria Beckham cat pleated drop-waist dress with pumps, Paloma Picasso sunglasses, Hermes collier de chien bangle, Bulova watch, bracelet and scarf (all own)

mature woman in color blocked dress for attending a civil nuptial Liz Claiborne pumps, statement bag, a coin necklace designed by my late Dad, Hermes collier de chien bangle (all own), and color blocked jersey dress c/o Ronen Chen

look for a civil wedding Long sleeve turtleneck layering top c/o Adea with own hounds tooth blazer, pearls and Sienna Studio pencil leather skirt and pumps for a sleek, sophisticated and effortless look

style book author looking elegant in LBD, trench, pumps, pearls and purse Burberry trench coat, Ellen Tracy sheath, Kieselstein Cord belt with 3 horses buckle, Anne Klein pointy toe pumps, multi-color pearl necklace worn c/o The Pearl Clasp (all own) accessorized with a purse c/o Bellorita. Again the look is inspired by the colors of the purse

midlife blogger in a fancy summer dress Banana Republic abstract print fit-and-flare dress, Very Fine Dancing Dancesport shoes, statement panther belt, Hermes collier de chien bangle, silver cat cuff and Winkwood wooden sunglasses (all own)

Accessories for wedding guests

Best purse to wear at a civil nuptial

Jewelry is a no-brainer. And sure, you need a purse. Avoid shoulderbags. They will let your dress, blazer, jacket, or blouse look odd. Of course, a fancy day clutch works, but a small, fancy top handle or wrist-handle are best. This way you have your hands free to greet people, have a glass of champgne or take photos with your cell phone. When it is a sunny day, make sure your sunnies look great with your outfit. They should have the same vibe. On a rainy day, an umbrella is a Must-have. Since the photos are a memory for the couple, make sure the color of your umbrella doesn’t clash with your outfit or that of the wedding party.

Add a hat

In some regions, women wear a hat. This accessory makes the outfit very sophisticated. The hardest part is to find a hat that goes with the vibe of the outfit. Check this hat guide for a know-how. How lucky are our sis in Great Britain where there are still hat makers and stores with huge selections!

Be aware – a wedding is a sort of family reunion

Since weddings are also some sort of family reunion you may want to also take in to consideration what to wear at a family reunion to not become the amusement of the freshly weds future kids at a family reunion down the road.

When your kid is marrying you may also be interested in reading the 6 does and don’ts of selecting a mother-of the bride dress. Do you have a wedding coming up? What kind of wedding is it? Just curious.

Do you want more tips and advice like given in this post? Then you may want to get a copy of my style book “How to Dress for Success in Midlife.” It covers all kind of dressing situations for women over 40 from job interview over spa to dinner invitation. Buy it now.

Get the inspiration, support, motivation, and tips to look to your best in life. Get a free subscription to High Latitude Style. Deep inside you know when I can do it you can do it too.

Photos: G. Kramm

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