**I promised this post a while back, and though we are more than halfway through Fall, hopefully it can carry you through for a bit!**
I receive a lot of questions about what to wear to different events and if you are a human and know even a handful of people, you will at some point attend a wedding. It’s inevitable.
While weddings can equal a fun night out (or even weekend away), they can also be a source of stress when you don’t know what to wear! From weddings that are on the more casual side, to full black-tie affairs, there’s a lot of room for anxiety. I’m here to help! More than likely, you already have the perfect outfit in your closet, you just don’t know it yet.
Wedding Scenario 1: Fall Outdoor Wedding
If this wedding is set in a park or in the countryside (as opposed to a vineyard or fancy garden), definitely feel free to tone it down. Does this mean you can wear jeans? No, no it does not. Unless the couple has specifically told you to wear jeans (or the reception takes place in a barn), please at least wear a nice pair of dress pants or a skirt. If weather permits, opt for a lightweight dress, nice skirt/simple top combination, and make sure to grab a sweater or light jacket for when the sun sets.
If you are more comfortable in pants, try to dress it up a bit with your accessories- a little bit of sparkle goes a long way. One last note here: Unless you are attending a full blown “country” wedding, keep the cowboy boots at home.
Wedding Scenario 2: Fall Church Wedding
Afternoon or evening ceremony, a church wedding calls for a slight increase in your formal-ness. While many church weddings today are more on the casual side, like the outdoor wedding, the most casual you should ever go is a nice pair of pants and top. (And take the accessories to the next level.) I’d opt for a nice dress in a jewel tone or a nice skirt. If it’s an afternoon wedding, keep the sequins/shine to a minimum.
Wedding Scenario 3: Fall Evening Wedding/”Cocktail” Attire
Don’t get too anxious here. Yes, this is more formal; no, you don’t need to buy a formal gown. Cocktail attire simply means you pull out your best dress. I’d skip the pants here (if you must, only black, and the top must be fierce). Look for richer fabrics – lace, brocade, and bead work is a definite “do”.
Wedding Scenario 4: Formal Wedding/Reception
So you’ve been invited to “the” wedding of the season and you’re in full-blown panic mode. True, you may not have anything to wear for a black-tie wedding, but it can be done regardless of your budget.
You have a few options here; if you have the budget, head to a nicer store (most major department stores sell formal gowns) and look for something classy but understated. Remember, this is still the bride’s day, so no “Oscar-worthy” ball gowns here. Also, steer clear of last season’s prom dresses (unless you happen upon something truly remarkable).
Option 2: Rent. Check out a site like Rent the Runway. You can rent designer dresses for a fraction of what it would cost to purchase. (This is a great option for a cocktail dress also!)
Option 3: If your budget doesn’t allow, check out second hand stores, sites like Ebay or Poshmark, or ask your friends. Also, check out discount stores like Ross or the clearance section of your local department store. Sometimes a dress that’s missing some sequins or has a broken zipper will be deeply discounted and will be pretty inexpensive to fix. I once bought a fully beaded long gown for a banquet in college at a department store for about $20. It can be done!