What Do You Wear to a Wedding?
Ask this question and you’ll get about a hundred different answers: Don’t wear black, Don’t wear white, Don’t show too much skin, Don’t wear a pattern, Don’t wear something too tight, Don’t wear bright colors, AND no matter what, Don’t show up the bride!
Well, did any of those answers help you? With the exception of “don’t wear something too tight”, which is always a good piece of advice, none of those answers helped me either. Sometimes being a bridesmaid isn’t that bad – at least your dress is picked out for you in advance – even if it is pink, poofy, sparkly, or any other number of things, at least you don’t have to ask yourself, “What, oh what, will I wear to this wedding?!” In an effort to give just a small bit of guidance, we at Academichic wanted to provide you with a few ideas based on the many weddings we’ve attended (or hosted in the case of A. and S.).
Spring and Summer Weddings
A few summers ago we answered What to Wear to a Beach Wedding. We recommending things like: “Brighter colors and prints are more easily made beach appropriate but can just as easily become formal as black or grays” and “look for silk or chiffon blends. Try to avoid 100% cotton – it’s easier to dress down a silk-blend fabric than it is to dress up a cotton dress.” S. debated the taboo against certain colors and decided on a black dress for one wedding and a pink dress for another summer wedding last year. E. too opted for a bright hue for a Labor Day weekend wedding, and of course, A. wore a gorgeous sapphire colored sheath dress for S.’s wedding.
As it happens, I (L.) had the chance recently to put this advice to the test because prior to my departure for Peru, I had the pleasure of attending my best friend’s wedding on Cape Cod. The wedding was on the beach and the reception was under a tent on the lawn of her yacht club. I wanted to wear something dressier than a sundress, but not overly formal (or hot) for the beach. I knew Ab’s dress, from BCBG via Nordstrom, was long and flowy and had flowers on the skirt. My only restrictions were that I had to wear flats due to the sand and grass, and I wanted to stay away from blue since I knew that was what the bridesmaids were wearing. I settled on a bright, cheerful, printed, vintage Nicole Miller halter dress that I’d bought at a consignment shop two summers ago.
The wedding was gorgeous, the weather was perfect, and Ab looked amazing. After the ceremony they walked off together down the beach, happily ever after. Congratulations Ab and Eb!
Fall and Winter Weddings
While the majority of weddings are still probably in the spring and summer, there are more and more cropping up in the cooler months. E. and A. attended weddings in Colorado and Montana where the temperatures varied from the 50s to almost the 30s at night.
While some fall weddings are held outside, most winter weddings are indoor affairs and lend themselves to being a touch more formal. A. added some bling for another of her winter wedding outfits, and shoes are another way to dress up a look. For A. and A2′s wedding reception last fall, the Chics varied from black taffeta cocktail dress on L. to a red-orange jersey dress refashioned by E. The cooler temperatures can also mean layering more either on top with a wrap or sweater or under with tights like E. did for a wedding last fall.
Ultimately, what really matters in your wedding attire is that you feel beautiful and happy (and comfy enough to dance the night away!). Not all “rules” suit all people, and the only guidelines that you have to go by are your own. We hope that seeing some of our sartorial choices will inspire yours, but we, like you, are still figuring things out, one dress at a time. What will you be wearing to your next wedding?