What Is the Proper Attire for a Day Wedding?

Once you receive a wedding invitation for a daytime event, you may be concerned about what you should wear. There are a variety of choices for men and women that will enable you to fit in with the wedding guests without standing out in the crowd.

What to Wear for Women

For a formal morning wedding, business attire is usually appropriate. For formal afternoon weddings, you can wear a dressy suit, or add some glamour to your ensemble with a scarf and jewelry. Semi-formal weddings require a short dress or suit.

If the invitation says "casual," don't go completely casual. You should still wear a nice daytime dress or tailored pants. Informal day weddings also require a dress or pants ensemble. And if your invitation does not specify the formality of the event, a short dress is your best bet.

Location and Climate for Women

For a beach wedding, you should wear a short, breezy dress. If you're indoors, you might choose to wear silk or satin with a matching scarf or jacket. For fall and winter weddings, wear warm-colored pants or a long dress. For spring and summer weddings, wear bright colors and shorter dresses.

Women should also consider location and climate when choosing footwear. For a beach or garden wedding, you may want to wear low heels or flats, so that your heels don't sink in the ground.

Wedding Faux Pas for Women

When choosing what to wear to a day wedding, rule out the inappropriate. Long gowns and gloves, for example, belong at black-tie evening weddings. Avoid white since it competes with the bride's dress. Also stay away from ensembles with sequins, flashy patterns or distracting accessories. Keep your attire simple with solid colors and classic prints.

If you are planning to wear a suit, steer clear of blazer-cut tops and go with a flowing or tunic-style jacket. This gives your business attire a more dressy and feminine look, so that you don't appear as if you're going to work. At summer or beach weddings avoid dresses that are too short and select one that's mid-thigh length. Clothes that are see-through or show a lot of skin are inappropriate for weddings.

What to Wear for Men

When in doubt, men should wear a suit and a tie to a day wedding. However, if the wedding is informal, a dress shirt, pants, and a sports coat are appropriate. Casual weddings require a dress shirt and pants, and a sports coat is still a good idea. Formal day weddings require a dark suit and tie.

Location and Climate for Men

For a beach wedding, or a summer wedding on a hot day, a khaki suit may be more practical than a dark, wool suit. Otherwise, if you know you'll be able to beat the heat, you can't go wrong with a more conservative suit and tie.

Wedding Faux Pas for Men

It is always inappropriate for men to wear a tuxedo to a day wedding, whether it is formal or informal. On the other end of the spectrum, bow ties or joke ties are also a faux pas. Wearing anything other than dress shoes is not appropriate, even at the most casual of weddings. Keep your clothing simple and conservative.

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