Wedding guest attire, 2016 edition

Posted on Jun 29 2016 - 6:23pm by Samantha Clark
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It’s that time of year again where once more our diaries are choka block with wedding after wedding. It’s an exciting time! It’s especially nice to get all dressed up every now and again to share in the special occasions of our friends and family but often there is an element of stress in it too. What to wear being the ultimate conundrum.

So we’re hoping to eliminate that aspect of stress by providing you with inspiration in the form of complete outfits based on the typical formalities of the occasion!

Top tip: if there is no specific dress code on the invitation look to the venue the wedding is taking place. If it is taking place in a house of worship/country estate, it is more likely to be a formal affair than casual. You’ll also get a feel for themes and colour schemes from the invitation. You can always ask other guests what their intending on wearing to get a feel for what you should wear.


The setting for a wedding in this formality is usually outdoors and/or very relaxed. In this case, opt for a skirt or trouser combo or pretty summer dress. In almost all circumstances, jeans, vest tops and shorts are not appropriate unless of course specified.


Top: Cream, lace sleeveless top, New Look

Skirt: Patterned skirt, H&M

Necklace: Fia beaded necklace, Phase Eight

Bag: White snake box clutch, Dorothy Perkins

Shoes: White cross strap, New Look


A cocktail occasion is an opportunity to get more dressed up. The advantage of cocktail is finding dresses under this category is a lot simpler so stress is completely reduced and there is a whole host of options. As a rule a cocktail dress should be no longer than knee length but can be a bit shorter (judge this based on those who’ve invited you).


Dress: Rosalie lace tea dress, French Connection

Shawl: Silk blend shawl, The Wool Company

Clutch: Ella woven clutch, Accessorize

Shoes: Black leather plaited sandals, New Look

Black tie

If you see black tie on your invite or the location screams black tie, you  know it’s a formal affair. I also think this is one of the easiest occasions to dress for- floor length dresses are the recommended length for a black tie occasion, however, cocktail dresses are still absolutely appropriate. For a wedding of this formality though, no shorter than 1 inch above the knee would be recommended.


Dress: Alloway jacquard dress, Coast

Necklace: Hearts of Pandora, Pandora

Bag: The minnie bow clutch, Accessorize

Shoes: Steve Madden Stecy shoes, Dune

White tie

Is the most formal occasion, think the Oscars!  A full length gown, yes even ball gown, is the most appropriate attire here. It calls for more elaborate makeup and accessories too.


Dress: Phase Eight Astrid maxi dress

Bracelet: Diva bracelet, Swarovski

Clutch: Cream beaded clutch, New Look 

Shoes: Carvela Lana shoes, Kurt Geiger

If you’d like a further breakdown including a guide on what he should wear too, take a look at The Knot’s cheat sheet for further guidance.

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