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20/052019

What to wear to a wedding: dos, don’ts and outfit ideas



Header image of wedding guest outfits

When it comes to wedding guest outfits, there’s a whole load of rules to follow. Lucky for you, we’ve got you covered with our ultimate guide on what to wear to this season’s weddings.


From nailing that beach wedding vibe to how to dress for a city wedding, read our guide and make sure you’re the best turned-out guest this summer! 

WHAT TO WEAR TO A BEACH WEDDING

Do wear: a printed maxi dress 
A wedding is the perfect time to break out the bold patterns. And if you’ve a beach wedding to attend, then a silky maxi dress and statement accessories make for a great outfit that’ll look super-stylish while keeping you cool in the heat.

We adore the colourful florals on this BA&SH backless maxi dress – it’s pretty yet playful at the same time. Pair it with a modern mini bag. This season, there are loads of quirky styles and shapes to choose from: sculptural plastic, natural bamboo and straw, and beading to name a few.

Don’t wear: sand and stilettos are a big no-no. Ditch the heels and choose metallic leather flats or low wedge sandals instead. It’ll keep things beach appropriate, while still having that wedding guest wow factor. 
Maxi dress and bag product shot
Our picks: BA&SH rosy floral-print woven dress in white, £335, Selfridges; Shrimps Antonia beaded bag, £475, Selfridges


WHAT TO WEAR TO AN INFORMAL WEDDING

Do wear: a slip skirt and blouse
Less dressy do? Then ditch the dress. The ubiquitous slip skirt in slinky satin is EVERYWHERE this season, and it’s an ideal alternative base for your occasionwear outfit. (Plus there’s the added bonus that you can dress it down after the big day for weekend looks too.) 

Work a tonal colour vibe and pair this peachy Zara skirt with a fuchsia ruffle sleeve blouse. Trust us, the shades are a match made in matrimonial heaven! The trick is to choose variations of the same hue. Other options? Pastel pink with lilac; or cobalt blue and navy. 

Don’t wear: it’s a given, but steer clear of an all-white outfit, even if it’s an informal do and even if you’re opting for a slip skirt over a dress. But don’t veto white accessories. This outfit would look so polished with white backless mules, cool white cat’s eye sunglasses and a white leather clutch.
Satin skirt and ruffled pink blouse product shot
Our picks: satin skirt, £25.99, Zara; fuchsia ruffled blouse, £25.99, Zara


Want more wedding-appropriate ideas on how to style the slip skirt? Watch our video…



WHAT TO WEAR TO A CITY WEDDING

Do wear: a pastel suit
Think you can’t wear a two-piece suit to a wedding? Think again! If you’ve got a city wedding in the diary then embrace this season’s trend for pretty pastel tailoring. It’s super chic, shows you’re in-the-know when it comes to the latest fashion trends – plus it’s ideal if you don’t fancy getting your legs out…

The Reiss pale aqua suit is simply tailored and stunning. And that minty shade! It’s perfect for watching your friends say ‘I do’ in the sunshine. Take your skin tone into account when eyeing up pastel hues. We recommend grabbing a friend for a handy opinion, and heading into Bullring & Grand Central so you can see what shade suits. 

Don’t wear: avoid any shoes that cover your ankle; it’s all about showing a little skin to balance the suit. This look needs a few styling tricks to make it wedding friendly. Add a narrow roll-up on the trousers and choose barely-there strappy sandals. Ruche up the blazer sleeves (or go up one size for a slouchier feel).
Tailored pastel blazer and trouser suit product shot
Our picks: Evie tailored aqua blazer, £240 Reiss; matching trousers, £130, Reiss 


WHAT TO WEAR TO A SUMMER WEDDING

Do wear: sleeveless jumpsuit
Jumpsuits are where it's at – and that’s true for wedding season, too. Combining the comfort of a dress and the sophistication of tailored trousers, this seasonal must-have is a great summer occasionwear option. Pick a sleeveless style so you can go big on statement jewellery (earrings or necklace, not both).

Vibrant shades are back on-trend, and this orange-red jumpsuit from Karen Millen is perfect. Its cinched-in waist will help you stand out from the crowd. When it comes to shoes, go bold or go home with a pair of animal printed sandals – not forgetting the easy-to-stand-around-in block heel. 

Don’t wear: while we’re all for flats and jumpsuits for a relaxed weekend look, leave the sandals at home this time. It’ll sabotage the silhouetted look the jumpsuit gives you. 
Jumpsuit and block heels product shot
Our picks:
clinched waist red jumpsuit, £180, Karen Millen; Moni leopard mid block-heel sandals, £45, Dune
Alternative wedding dress article

WHAT TO WEAR TO AN EVENING WEDDING RECEPTION

Do wear: a cocktail dress
To nail the perfect cocktail attire for an evening do, the key rule to bear in mind when shopping is to keep it sleek, tailored and distinguished – think Audrey Hepburn! Versatile navy is the way to go, and it’s also important to ensure the hemlines and necklines aren’t too risqué.

We can’t stop thinking about this navy Ted Baker cocktail dress with chic lace detailing. Make sure you try the dress on in-store so it fits you like a glove. Finish off your look with a pair of (smoking hot) red heels. Bonus points if you match that red hue to your lip colour…

Don’t wear: if you’re unsure of the bride’s requests, steer clear of jet-black dresses. Save the LBD for other events. For this look, less is more so keep the accessories to the bare minimum to really let the dress and red heels shine.  
Cocktail dress and red shoes product shot
Our picks: Leeeo mixed geo lace navy midi dress, £279, Ted Baker; Baillie stiletto heel mule sandals, £89, John Lewis & Partners


PERSONAL STYLING AT BULLRING & GRAND CENTRAL

Want some expert advice on your wedding guest outfit? Head to Grand Central and take advantage of our personal shopping services. Book a Special Occasion appointment with the personal stylists at John Lewis & Partners. They’ll ask you about your style, talk you through all the latest looks and new-in pieces, then pull together a fabulous selection for you to try on. 

For more information, or to book an appointment, visit the website.

Next up, the ultimate wedding suit and how to wear it.


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