How to Dress as a Wedding Guest

August 22, 2018

As a wedding guest in the 21st century, you’re expected to look half decent. In fact, not just half decent — you’re expected to look well put-together and stylish.

Why? Well, a millennial bride and groom tends to spend so much time, energy and pennies finding the perfect outfits, and they’re paying for most of the day, therefore who says that the wedding guests shouldn’t make a wee bit of effort?

Personally, I think it’s only fair.

After all, a wedding is one of the most special occasions that there is in life — and each couple only plans to get married once.  

Let’s dress up and party like it’s 1999, shall we?

I know it can be challenging trying to figure out how to dress as a wedding guest when you’re a female and you need to think about hair, makeup, shoes and accessories as well as clothing. (Man, does the list ever end?)

However, as a recent wedding guest (congratulations, Claire and Danny!) I thought I’d help you out a little. Here are my top tips on how to dress as a wedding guest. You’re welcome.

What to Wear to a Wedding

Consider the Venue Location

First thing’s first — there’s no point dressing in a velvet dress and blazer if you’re heading to a summer wedding on a beach. Similarly, a short cocktail dress would look totally out of place at a snowy ski resort in Austria.

How to dress as a wedding guest rule 101: think about where the wedding will be held and what the weather is supposed to like before you plan your wedding guest outfit of the decade. And then you’re halfway through the battle, wedding wizard.

Decide on the Look That You’re Going For

Do you want to look elegant and refined? Are you wanting to rock something a little more trend-driven? Do you want to wow the guests with your statement accessories?

Once you’ve decided on an aesthetic that suits you and your personal style, then it’s just about finding something that ties in with it — whether this is a fashion-forward jumpsuit, a long sleeved evening gown or a floral maxi dress.

Invest in the perfect outfit separates and the rest will follow.

Shop According to Your Body Shape

As well as considering the venue location and the look that you’re going for, it’s also important to shop according to what suits your frame.

For instance, there’s no point searching for a sleeveless frock if you hate your shoulders and the tops of your arms (me all over). Why? You will only spend the day agonising over every photo because you’re convinced that your arms look like they belong to Popeye and not yourself. (Again, me down to a T.)

Instead, work out what kind of outfit is going to look the most flattering on your figure and then shop specifically for it to avoid any potential heartache on the day.

Trust me, you’ll thank yourself for it later.

How to Dress as a Wedding Guest

Work with Your Skin Tone

It’s true that everybody has a certain set of colours that compliment their skin tone better than others, so be sure to pick something that works for you and not against you.

Generally speaking, fair skin tones look fabulous in neutrals, pastels and jewel tones, whereas medium complexions can wear darker, bolder hues without feeling washed out. Then, when it comes to deep skin tones, they can rock jewel tones, white, fuchsia, yellow and royal blue like there’s no tomorrow.

Essentially, if you discover your own personal colour palette, then working out how to dress as a wedding guest suddenly becomes a whole lot easier.

Utilise Accessories

Once you’ve got your clothing pieces locked down, you can then proceed to accessorise accordingly. 

Sometimes a simple accessory can put the perfect finishing touch on an ensemble and take you from drab to fab in a heartbeat. For an occasion like a wedding where you’re encouraged to embrace your inner maximalist, accessories are a must.

However, it’s about using them correctly and in moderation. Too many glitzy accessories can make a wedding outfit look seriously overdone, whereas too little can give off a carefree impression and make you seem too casual.

If you want to do wedding accessories right, I’d suggest tying them into the aesthetic that you’re going for. For example, for the wedding I’ve just been to, I decided I was going to go for a pretty, feminine look that was dressy but not too glamorous. 

Why? Well, too much bling is just not me.

Therefore, I went for a glittery gold clutch bag, glitzy earrings and two co-ordinating rings that were sparkly but not too OTT. And you know what? I think these accessories worked flawlessly with my personal style.

How to Dress for a Wedding

Co-Ordinate Your Hair and Makeup

As well as choosing the right outfit and accessories, be sure that you choose a wedding hairstyle and makeup look that compliments what you’re wearing.

You don’t want to have an outfit that screams serious style statement to then completely ruin the aesthetic with locks that are scraggly and three days old, or makeup that gives the impression that you’re just popping to the supermarket.

No, Siree.

If you’re really ensure what to go for, there’s no shame in enlisting the help of a professional to provide you with a look that’s sure to wow. After all, Kim Kardashian does it.

Wedding Makeup

Experiment and Have Fun

Figuring out how to dress as a wedding guest is a common conundrum for any 21st century female. However, it’s about taking the time and energy to work on each piece of the puzzle so that it comes together to form one hell of an awe-inspiring result. Also, don’t be afraid to shop around and experiment with looks that you wouldn’t usually go for, and it won’t be long before you’re winning in the best wedding guest outfit stakes.

Wedding Guest Outfits


Dress – Ted Baker (similar here)

Shoes – Dune (similar here)

Clutch – Lipsy @ ASOS (similar here)

Earrings – Coast (similar here)

Wedding Couple

(Please note that this post contains affiliate links, which help me to run this blog. For my full privacy policy, please click here.)

Subscribe to my mailing list: