How to dress for a civil wedding as a guest? Read what to consider when picking you outfit depending on the time of the day and year, or stated dress-code. Get inspired by the photo examples.
- How to Dress as a Guest for a City Hall Nuptial
- Accessories for Wedding Guests
- Be Aware – A Wedding Is a Sort of Family Reunion
- Further Related Reads
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In Germany, the dream wedding month is May because it is the first real spring month with the first real warm days. The trees are green and the flowers, bushes and trees are in full bloom. Somehow couples associate May with sunshine and hope. However, 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 Indian Summer day on her wedding day.
In the US, June is the wedding season. Anyhow. Weddings need long planning. Let’s discuss civil wedding outfit ideas.
A wedding is a legal, official procedure. While they differ strongly by states and countries, it involves and officer. If the invitation states no dress-code, dress along the line of festive business casual, but leave your jeans at home. What’s called Sunday’s Best like a velvet dress would work too.
City hall wedding-guest attire means dress up.
When the invitation says semi-formal, a cocktail dress with cropped jacket to cover the shoulders will work. If no dress-code is given, take a hint from the location, and time of the reception. Timewise, the later in the day, the more fancy the attire of the guests. More on what to wear to a casual afternoon wedding reception.
Tip: Follow the cultural wedding etiquettes. In the US, a LBD is ok, while in many European countries it’s a No-No. Avoid wearing religious jewelry.
When it’s a winter wedding, or a chilly day, wear a fancy coat. In summer, go for a fancy, matching cardigan. Coordinate the outerwear with your outfit because some photos might be taken outside as well.
Dressing up means adding accessories. Looking sophisticated means to dress festive within the social expectation and cultural norm, as well as weather-appropriate.
Jewelry is a no-brainer. And sure, you need a purse. Avoid shoulder bags unless your coat/dress/jacket has stiff shoulder pads. Otherwise, the bag will create folds that 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 bag is best. You want to have your hands free to greet people, hold a glass of champagne or take photos.
On a sunny day, you need sunglasses in the same vibe as your outfit. 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 works with your outfit, and doesn’t clash with the color of the wedding party.
In some regions, women wear a hat. This accessory makes the outfit very sophisticated (see above inspiration photos). Add a hat in the vibe of your outfit.
Since weddings are also some sort of family reunion, you consider 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.
Did you know that you can find more tips and advice like in this post for all kind of events in my evergreen style book “How to Dress for Success in Midlife”? Buy it now.
Photos: G. Kramm
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