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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.


  1. Best City Hall Wedding Guest Attire Needs Planning Ahead
    • What to Wear to a Civil Wedding as a Guest
    • What Do Guests Wear to a Courthouse Wedding?
    • Can You Wear Outerwear at a City Hall Nuptial?
  2. Court Nuptial Outfit Ideas
  3. Accessories for Wedding Guests
    • Best Purse to Wear at a Civil Nuptial
    • Prepare for the Weather
    • In the US Southeast, Great Britain, Add a Hat
  4. Be Aware – A Wedding Is a Sort of Family Reunion
  5. Further Related Reads


Updated: 5/12/2022

Disclosure: This post has affiliate links.


Best City Hall Wedding Guest Attire Needs Planning Ahead

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 day on her wedding day.

bride wearing a hat
Wearing a hat at our civil wedding


In the US, June is the wedding season. Anyhow, as weddings need long planning, let’s discuss civil wedding outfit ideas.


What to Wear to a Civil Wedding as a Guest

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.


What Do Guests Wear to a Courthouse Wedding?

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.

Follow the cultural weddingetiquettes. In the US, a LBD is ok, while in many European countries it’s a No-No. Avoid wearing religious jewelry.


Can You Wear Outerwear at a City Hall Nuptial?

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.



back view of festive business casual dress with jacket
Back view of festive guest outfit with outerwear


Stylist in Kate Middleton inspired dress with cardigan civil nuptial guest outfit
Shein dress, Ivanka Trump pumps, Hipstik pantyhose, Sam Edelman studded top-handle bag, Hermes collier de chien bangle, Ray Ban sunglasses, and cardigan c/o Coolibar


Wedding Guest Outfit Inspirations

The photos below give some outfit ideas for a civil wedding.

pink jersey attire for a guest at a civil wedding
Baby-pink sheath c/o Lookbook, studded flats, and necklace for a civil casual style summer wedding guest look


fake skirt suit for a participant in nuptials at a court house
Vittari linen blazer and skirt, D&GM sunglasses, GNW polka dot top, Anne Klein silk scarf, pearls, tophandle bag, and L.K. Bennett pumps


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 buckle, Nine West pumps, Hermes collier de chien bangle, multi-gemstone cuff, Gucci ostrich bag



style blogger showing what to wear to a civil wedding
Victoria Victoria Beckham cat pleated drop-waist dress, Paloma Picasso sunglasses, Hermes collier de chien bangle, Bulova watch



stylist showing how to dress for a civil wedding as a guest in a color blocked dress
Liz Claiborne pumps, top-handle bag, coin-necklace designed by my late Dad, Hermes collier de chien bangle, and color-blocked dress c/o Ronen Chen



look for a civil wedding
Winter guest outfit idea for an event in Germany. Adea top, Vittari blazer, pearls, and Sienna Studio leather pencil-skirt, pantyhose, and pumps


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, purse c/o Bellorita. This look is inspired by the colors of the purse.


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 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 champgne or take photos.


Prepare for the Weather

On a sunny day, you need sunnies 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 the US Southeast, Great Britain, Add a Hat

In some regions, women wear a hat. This accessory makes the outfit very sophisticated (see above inspiration photos). Find a hat that goes with the vibe of your 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 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.


fashion blogger in 40s style shirt dress
Festive business casual guest look


midlife wedding guest outfit idea black shirt dress and coat


Further Related Reads

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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