Summer Wedding Attire Faux Pas: Are You Guilty?

Just because you're going to a beach wedding doesn't mean you can show up in flip-flops and board shorts. We asked celebrity wedding planner David Tutera ( and RoseLynn Micari-Fiumara from Bridal Reflections ( to weigh in on what you should wear to this summer's outdoor wedding. Read on to find out the top five faux pas so you don't end up committing a fashion crime at this season's nuptials.

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1. Don't wear flip-flops
If the wedding is on the beach, both RoseLynn and David suggest sandals or open-toed shoes for women -- but no flip-flops, no matter what. (And sorry guys, we're afraid you still have to wear close-toed shoes even if it's summertime.)

"Even on a beach, a wedding is the most special day in your friend or family member's life, so guests should dress accordingly," says David. If you're not sure what to wear on your feet, simply ask the bride or groom ahead of time or check with the venue. It can be insulting to show up wearing the wrong footwear.

2. Don't show up without a tie
"Beach weddings are still weddings, and the bride and groom will be looking at their pictures and watching their video forever," says RoseLynn. So that means you shouldn't look out of place.

RoseLynn offers a solution for the tricky "tie-or-no-tie" option men face: Bring along a tie just in case. Then, if they're the only one without one, they can quickly run to the men's room and throw it on.

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3. Don't wear short, sheer, or bright dresses
Remember, it's a wedding, not a Hawaiian luau. RoseLynn says one of the most common faux pas she sees women make is wearing a skirt that is see-through or too short. Overall, women have plenty of freedom and can even wear red (yes, red!) -- as long as the color is not too bright and distracting.

"It is a wedding after all, not a bachelorette party," RoseLynn says, adding that the dress shouldn't be so short "that a breeze can lift it."

She also notes that you should be careful not to wear dresses that are too sheer and that if you are wearing a lighter color, make sure you have the right color on underneath. "Remember that summer wedding usually means outdoors," says RoseLynn. "So make sure you cannot see through the dress in natural light."

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4. Don't wear sunglasses if you're in the wedding party
While guests might need to shade their eyes if they're being asked to sit in the bright sunlight for 30 minutes or so, the wedding party just has to grin and bear it.

"For a few reception photos, it may look really cool and show the 'fun side' of the reception," says RoseLynn. But it's a big no-no during the ceremony. "They're distracting and it takes away from the bride and groom's special moment."

Plus, with so many shutters snapping during the ceremony, they're going to want to see everybody's face.

5. Don't sweat it
We know: It's summer and it's hot. But even if you're wearing a suit, that's no excuse for turning into a hot mess during the outdoor nuptials. Instead, RoseLynn suggests that men wear a cotton undershirt under their jackets.

Just choose wisely with the suit you'll be wearing. "Semi-formal weddings are suited to lighter fabrics for both men and women," says David. That means men can wear a blue or brown suit with a lighter colored tie (or possibly even skip the tie) while women can wear short (but not too short!) cocktail dresses to beat the heat. However, if it's a formal wedding, you'll probably just have to wear a darker suit or tux -- no matter what the weather is like. Chances are the bride and groom will likely hold most of the reception inside.

Photo: Shane Carpenter

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