Showing up to a casual wedding in full-glam attire is akin to wearing a turtleneck on a summer's day. It's uncomfortable, a little inappropriate, and you'll probably end up feeling like everyone's staring at you.
Black-tie nuptials are a great opportunity to go all-out (while being mindful about stealing the bride's spotlight), but if the invite expressly states that the dress code is casual, there's most likely a reason. Maybe it's an intimate wedding, and the venue is rustic and laid-back; a parents' back garden, for example, or the local courthouse. You hardly need to buy something new and extravagant for this brand of ceremony. That being said, there's a fine line between casual and too casual—I'm sure it doesn't need to be stated, but please don't show up in jeans and a T-shirt.
Of course, you can still dress up, but aim to keep the frills and embellishments to a minimum and stick to everyday fabrics like cotton and linen. Save the chiffon and organza for another occasion. Footwear is also important, as are the rest of the finishing touches: a cute clutch and gold jewellery get the green light, but feather-trimmed shawl and diamonte-encrusted stilettos are probably a step too far.
To get the ball rolling, we've rounded up five outfits below that we think hit the mark for a casual wedding. They're elegant, smart and refined, and we think you're going to love them.
1. Colourful Blazer + Black Trousers + Smart Shoes
Style Notes: Where a full suit feels like a formal choice for a wedding, mixing and matching your tailoring will result in a more laid-back look—especially if you opt for flat shoes. You'll be grateful for them when you hit the dancefloor, too.
2. Linen Dress + Simple Sandals
Style Notes: Linen is an inherently casual fabric choice and a safe option for a no-frills summer wedding. Opt for a dress in a simple silhouette with minimal embellishment (ideally one you can see yourself re-wearing on your next holiday), and pair it with strappy sandals.
3. Bright Jumpsuit + Kitten Heels
Style Notes: Not only is a jumpsuit easy-going, but it's also a comfortable option for a wedding. After all, they're usually day-long events. In the same spirit, do yourself a favour and choose a low kitten heel over a sky-high stiletto.
4. Black Floral Dress + Boxy Blazer
Style Notes: To make your dresses feel instantly more relaxed, just add a loose-fitting blazer on top. Easy peasy. Top tip: keep to a minimal and neutral palette if you're unsure of the party wedding colours.
5. Vintage Shirt + Slip Skirt + Mules
Style Notes: I love the idea of styling separates together for a wedding, particularly pieces that you'd usually wear day-to-day. A vintage shirt, for example, will feel instantly dressier if you team it with a silky midi skirt.