What to Wear to a Wedding: 9 Outfit Ideas That Never Fail to Look Good

It’s wedding season, and after a long winter, we’re set on making the most of it. This also means, of course, that we'll have an excuse to dress up once again (hurrah!), but seeing as we haven't done much of that over the past couple of years, we all could do with a few reminders of how to actually get dressed for big events such as this. And this is how we're here to help—by running you through some no-fail wedding guest outfit solutions.

We all have to walk that fine line when it comes to deciding what to wear to a wedding. We want to look striking, somewhat fun, but still appropriate. We want to be remembered for the right reasons, even if it isn't our day whatsoever. Well, there are some basic ground rules worth referencing before rushing to the big day in a floral-print panic. We've covered the official dressing dos and don'ts of formalwear so that you can be the best dressed guest at all manner of nuptials and soirées with zero wardrobe stresses.

From the wow dresses that are guaranteed to make a big impact—without outshining the couple—to the heels that'll see you through from the ceremony to the after-party. We've also cracked the code and found the wedding guest "rules" that are actually worth breaking (including black dresses), and now, with our help, you'll be in good stead to say yes to all those upcoming invites. Consider this your guide on what to wear to a wedding, no matter how big or small. 

So whether you have a city wedding to attend, a religious ceremony to consider carefully or you just don't want to have a miffed bride on your hands (no white lace, okay?), this is a good place to start. We can all lose our heads when a swanky event comes a-knocking, but it's really just a case of being fully prepared for every eventuality—and learning from some of our own fashion faux pas. Those strappy stilettos looked great online, yes, but were they really cut out for a marquee reception in a field? Not so much. Click through to read the nine rules for what to wear to a wedding when you're just not sure.

#1: A dress is a safe go-to

What to Wear to a Wedding: floral dress



If you're struggling to compile the perfect trousers-top-and-jacket combination with ease, then simply reach for one of your trusty statement dresses. Add heels or fancy flats, a few choice accessories and the makeup that makes you feel good. Perfection.

Shop dresses:

We see the ruffles and we are here for it.

Brown isn’t a hue we commonly associate with wearing to weddings, but the feathery cuffs make it feel so special. 

#2: Avoid short hemlines

While we would never want to be prescriptive when it comes to dress styles, we would say that it's worth bearing in mind that you end up sitting down for long periods of time at weddings, and sometimes minidresses aren't ideal for this purpose. A midi will not only look supremely elegant, but it will also end up being more practical and comfortable in the long run.

Shop long dresses:

It only gets more fabulous when ruffles are involved. 

If you're a fan of a long sleeve, look no further.

Although black is a strong option (more on that in a moment), navy presents a softer base tone. 

#3: Dress for the theme or vibe 

If you're going to a city wedding, it's likely you'll wear something different than you would for a countryside do. The same goes for destination nuptials or something low-key that's designed to be more of a party.

The perfect jewellery to finish with. 

Espadrilles are probably the one of the most comfortable wedding guest shoe options (flip-flops aside). 

#4: It's okay to wear black 

The modern world has ushered in many wonderful changes: iPhones, Headspace, cronuts, oh and the acceptance of wearing black at weddings and baptisms. Black once was the mark of doom and gloom, but now it's a tone for the chic urbanites. Wear it to weddings, and wear it with aplomb!

Shop black dresses:

This looks so premium, I personally can't believe the price.

The halterneck cut makes this feel fancy. 

#5: Always carry a small bag for your essentials 

What to wear to a wedding: Always carry a small bag for your essentials.



Large tote bags and cumbersome shoulder bags don't really say "special occasion." Rather, they make it look like you're going on a daylong trek across the urban jungle. Go minimal and head out to the wedding with a micro or clutch bag, cutting loose from your heavy accessories for a day. Think of it as a handbag detox.

Shop bags:

White accessories won’t detract from your outfit, whatever you choose to wear. 

This handbag looks so much more expensive than it actually is. 

A raffia style is my go-to when it comes to weddings.

Ganni's new bag comes in 7 fun shades. 

#6: Wear heels you can walk in all day

There's nothing worse than climbing into a pair of heels only to find that you are limping across the dance floor a mere few hours later. Find the comfy elevated shoes that will party harder than all your other footwear.

Shop comfy heels:

We’ll take any excuse to adorn our feet with oversized bows. 

This bold blue will also pair perfectly with jeans. 

Platforms are always more comfortable than they look. 

#7: Choose sleeves or bring a cover-up for religious ceremonies

There are lots of religious wedding ceremonies that may take place in sacred spaces that require a respectful covered-up dress code. Think royal enclosure at Ascot. Wear thick straps and take a generous silk scarf to drape across your décolletage, or wear sleeves to nail the issue in one. That or opt for a chic blazer. 

Shop the look:

The airy linen is perfect for covering up in the warmer months. 

You’ll be surprised at how much this pink coat goes with. 

#8. Check with the couple if you're not sure

If you're not sure about your outfit, and there isn't a clear dress code, it's always a good idea to check with the couple. Pro tip: Make sure it's at least a couple of weeks before the big day, as they will most likely have bigger things on their minds the days running up to the wedding and will not appreciate a text hours before they're about to walk down the aisle. And if you're still not sure, stick with a suit, jumpsuit or classic wedding guest dress.

Shop the look:

You'd be hard pressed to guess this was from the high-street. 

Subtle ruching and puff sleeves makes for a directional wedding guest look. 

A dress you’ll absolutely get the wear out of after the event, fact. 

#9: Try experimenting with outfit rental

What to wear to a wedding: it's still not okay to wear white



The rental market has grown massively over the last year or two, and it's perfectly set up for occasions such as these. If you want to wear a different look to every wedding you attend, then consider renting something from a platform such as Rotaro or Hurr. You'll get all the newness thrill without the expense and fear that you won't wear it more than once. Plus, it's a great way to rent a designer piece that would usually be out of your budget.

Shop rentals:

Black-tie wedding? Sequins should be on the menu. 

Our editors have their eyes on this dress for summer weddings. 

This will pair beautifully with shades like tangerine and pink for a chic clash. 

The ruffles, the off-the-shoulder neckline, the colour—this is peak wedding guest. 

Next Up: These 36 Wedding Guest Dresses Are Next-Level Beautiful

This post was originally published at an earlier date and has since been updated.