Wedding season is upon us, and chances are you have at least one (if not multiple) weddings to attend this year. Weddings are all different, and therefore what is appropriate to wear to one event, may not be quite so appropriate for the next. Sometimes, knowing what you should/should not wear can feel overwhelming. Well, I am here to help. Today, I am breaking down each level of the The Black Tux wedding guest style guide for you! (The Black Tux is the newest way to rent tuxedos for the modern man. Their motto is: "simple, stylish, and affordable." Think of it like Rent the Runway, but for dudes!)
Casual Weddings. Casual weddings will most likely be weddings with informal settings. Think beach wedding, barn wedding, or backyard wedding. Since most of these type weddings will take place outside in the late spring through early fall season, you will want to consider dressing weather appropriate. For the gals: sundresses and skirts are always lovely. For the dudes: you can't go wrong with dress slacks and a button down. What to avoid: too much makeup, jeans, shorts, and tank tops.
Semi-formal (Dressy Casual) Weddings. Semi-formal weddings are weddings with a little bit of formal mixed in with a little bit of casual. These weddings will likely take place in a hotel or upscale restaurant type of setting. You will want to take the time of the event into consideration when dressing for a semi-formal wedding. For evening weddings, consider donning darker colors and thicker fabrics, and for daytime affairs go lighter. For the gals: cocktail dresses or dressy skirts are the way to go. For the dudes: suit and tie all the way. What to avoid: over or under dressing.
Beach Formal Weddings. Okay, so I know that I said beach weddings could be considered casual earlier. Well, they can also be formal and elegant (this is why it's important to always check the invitation or wedding website to see what type of wedding you will be attending). Since formal beach weddings will be outside, you will want to take the weather and nature (hellllooo sand!) into consideration. For the gals: formal (tea or knee-length) dresses with flat sandals are not only breezy but are also so prettttyyyyy. For the dudes: think summer suit with a linen shirt and pants or khakis (and bonus no tie is needed!). What to avoid: wearing thick fabric (as you could get hot), wearing too much makeup, and going too casual with your look.
Black Tie Optional Weddings. Black tie optional weddings will mostly likely take place in a more formal setting then some of the previous weddings we have discussed. Think country club, ballroom, or ritzy hotel. Black tie optional weddings are dark and sophisticated but are not quite as formal as black tie. Tuxes aren't required but the wedding will still be formal enough for you to don one if your heart so desires. For the gals: wear long, formal dresses (or formal cocktail dress) in dark colors (brown, gray, or black). For the dudes: wear a tuxedo or dark, formal suit and tie. What to avoid: under dressing or wearing too much color. It is better to err on the side of formal than to under dress for these types of fetes.
Black Tie Weddings. Black tie weddings are the second most formal type of weddings and will almost always be in the evening. For the gals: chic cocktail dresses or long evening gowns in a dark color (brown or black) will make the right statement. For the dudes: pull out (or rent) your tuxedo with a black bow tie, cummerbund, and patent leather shoes. What to avoid: under dressing or wearing bright colors.
White Tie Weddings. White tie weddings are the most formal type of weddings. Think Downton Abbey (coat tails), Presidential dinners, or the Oscars! For the gals: full length ball gowns in neutral colors (brown or black) are the way to go. And be sure to go all out with the glamorous hair and makeup and dramatic jewelry for this type of wedding! For the dudes: tuxedos, long black jackets with tails, white pique vests, bow ties, formal shoes, and optional white gloves for dancing are where it's at. So elegant and dashing! What to avoid: ladies, don't wear white even though the invitation says "white" tie - unless otherwise stated only the bride should ever wear white at a wedding!
I hope this style guide helps you when you are thinking through what to wear to your next wedding. Something to note: you should always check the invitation or wedding website to see what type of wedding dress code the couple has requested before attending a wedding. And when in doubt? Ask!
To see examples of some of the above options or to rent a suit or tux for your next wedding (this is a great option for all you grooms and groomsmen too!), visit The Black Tux's website HERE.