By Rachel Wilkerson, Lover.ly
There are many different types of wedding attire; it can be hard to know the etiquette (or even the definition!) as a guest -- or even as a bride! Here are the different types of wedding dress codes you may be presented with as a guest, and tips on what to wear and what to skip.
White-tie and black-tie.
Though beach weddings may sound casual, they aren't all created equal; guests should pay attention to what it says on the invite and wedding website. If it says "beach formal" or you get the vibe that it's going to be a pretty glamorous affair, wear a nice maxi dress with embellished flats or dressy cocktail dress with wedges. If it says "shoes not required," you can get away with a more casual maxi dress or a nice sun dress. Just stay away from anything that looks like a beach cover-up.
No matter what the invite says (or doesn't say) about attire, you can ask yourself these questions to avoid a fashion faux pas:
1. Is it a daytime or evening wedding?Cocktail dresses typically work for both day and evening weddings, but if you aren't sure whether yours is appropriate for a wedding, consider the time. If the wedding and reception will be over before sunset, opt for a non-strapless cocktail dress; if it's a late afternoon or evening affair, strapless is likely fine.
2. What do I know about the bride's and groom's cultures? As a guest, you should always strive to look appropriate for the circumstances, and different cultures and religions have different definitions of appropriate. Do your homework and see if open-toed shoes, sleeveless/strapless dresses, or showing up without a hat would be considered inappropriate for this couple's ceremony.
3. What are the bride and her bridesmaids wearing? You may not know, but it doesn't hurt to ask around -- you don't want to show up looking like a missing bridesmaid. And brides, if you're not wearing a white gown, let your guests know what the off-limits color is by adding something like, "Semi-formal. (PS The bride's wearing pink!)" to the invites so guests can avoid that color instead of the traditional white.
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