What to wear to a wedding as a guest, according to a former wedding editor

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·Editor-in-Chief, Lifestyle
·4-min read
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Wedding guests throwing rose petals confetti tradition over bride and groom on their special day. Newlywed couple walking past friends and family
Wedding guests throw rose petals over the bride and groom on their special day. (PHOTO: Getty Images)

The pandemic has definitely shifted our priorities when it comes to what we can spend our money on. For most, wedding plans may have been reduced to smaller proportions without the lavish spend on venue halls and buffet lines, but that doesn't mean you can't throw a memorable wedding party at a smaller space. With weddings returning in full force this 2022, I've been thinking about the outfits to wear as a guest on the big day.

Most invitations would come with a stipulated dress code, but I still find myself confused at the thought of what to wear? And most importantly, choosing to respect the ceremony and the bride on her wedding day. If you've been asking yourself the same question, you're not alone. I sought expert tips and advice from a longtime former wedding editor, Steve Thio, of Style Weddings, Her World Brides and Female Brides magazines (now defunct) on the dos and don'ts of wedding outfits for guests.

1. Don't wear white at a wedding

For the obvious reason, the bride should be the star and focus of her own wedding, which means wearing white is a no-no. "White makes sense for outdoor weddings in our humid weather but you can always opt for neutrals and pastel hues to avoid the all-white look," Thio shared.

2. Short-hem dresses for a garden wedding works

"If you’re attending a garden wedding in Asia, the first rule is to dress cool - for both men and women. Lightweight fabrics like cotton, linen and even viscose will help keep you comfortable in the outdoors without breaking a sweat," added Thio.

"Dresses are best for garden weddings as these events tend to be pretty and romantic, so sheaths that skim the body (not cling!) or A-line swingy dresses above the knees are perfect. You can also opt for separates but keep the silhouettes loose and free instead of tailored outfits for ample airflow."

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3. No T-shirts

If your wedding invitation states black-tie as the dress code, then for men, it's a black tuxedo. But for casual daytime weddings, it's vastly different: don a blazer, khaki pants and a shirt.

"Guys should never wear tees no matter how hot the weather is outside. Short-sleeve resort-style shirts (no loud prints please) or long-sleeve linen or cotton styles matched with tailored pants in lighter hues look dressy and smart. If the celebrations are held early morning or in the late afternoon, guys can opt for tees layered under unlined linen jackets. And forget your office lace-ups - slip-on espadrilles or sneakers to match your smart casual look."

Elliatt x Revolve Gwyneth dress. (PHOTO: Revolve)
Elliatt x Revolve Gwyneth dress. (PHOTO: Revolve)

4. Long dresses for overseas wedding

A destination wedding? Count us in! Think of those beautiful Bali beaches or a château in the South of France...

"If the celebration is held at a resort or on a beautiful beach, then long fluid dresses (not gowns which are a lot more formal) are perfect. Bare more skin with short sleeves or sleeveless designs with cheeky cut-outs, breezy slits or sensual barebacks to flaunt your golden tan! But do avoid anything too sexy or skanky!" Thio stressed.

5. Sandals or heels?

Thio advises on either one: "As with outdoor garden settings, women should avoid heels as walking will be a challenge on the grassy lawn or sandy beaches! Sandals are great but if you want a little height, strappy stacked heels will help you keep your balance."

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