Wedding Guest Attire for Women Guide

Wedding Guest Attire for Women – The Complete Guide

Receiving a wedding invitation can be incredibly exciting. But, when the dress code leaves you feeling a little clueless, it can also be stressful. After all, trying to decipher the difference between cocktail, semi-formal, formal, and black tie can be seriously confusing. Thankfully, we’re here to help take the stress out of being a wedding guest. To ensure you’re dressed appropriately and stylishly for all upcoming nuptials on your calendar, here is a handy guide to wedding guest attire.

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Wedding Guest Attire

Casual Wedding Attire for Guests


Many relaxed, outdoor ceremonies and receptions call for casual attire. The dress code, which is the most informal of all wedding dress codes, allows you to wear something comfortable. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t also look chic. So, be sure to avoid jeans and tank tops unless they are stated as acceptable. Instead, opt for a sundress in a casual fabric or smart pants and a cute top if the weather is cold. When it comes to your feet, keep things laidback by swapping your usual stilettos for dressy sandals or low wedges.

Smart Casual Wedding Attire for Guests

Smart Casual

Received an invite to a smart casual wedding? Don’t panic. This relatively informal type of attire leaves you with plenty of outfit options. To nail the look, remember to keep your ensemble elegant and easygoing. Instead of fancy dresses and gowns, try opting for a stylish midi dress. Alternatively, consider pairing a midi skirt or cropped pants with an on-trend top. As for footwear, stick to sandals, wedges, or block heels.

Cocktail Wedding Attire for Guests

Cocktail Wedding Attire for Guests

Cocktail attire is often required for semi-formal weddings. It is especially common for evening weddings that do not include a formal, sit-down meal. While the dress code is more sophisticated than smart casual, it is still somewhat relaxed, meaning you can have fun with your outfit. Try a cocktail dress in a unique style or chic separates. Although cocktail dresses are traditionally knee-length, today anything shorter than an evening dress is acceptable. However, be careful not to go too short.

Semi-Formal Wedding Attire for Guests


When it comes to semi-formal weddings, it’s best to let the time and location guide your outfit choice. For example, if the wedding is taking place in the evening, try choosing dark, formal colors and more structured silhouettes. If it is taking place during the day, opt for light tones and breezy fabrics. As this dress code sits a notch above cocktail attire and just below formal attire, it is appropriate to wear a smart cocktail dress, jumpsuit, or long, dressy skirt and top.

Formal Wedding Attire for Guests

Formal Wedding Attire for Guests

Formal wedding attire can be somewhat ambiguous. Sitting between semi-formal and black ties, the dress code denotes an elegant appearance. As such, you can wear a short or long formal dress, pantsuit, or dressy separates. Like the black-tie optional dress code, formal wedding attire does not necessitate a floor-length gown. However, you can wear one if you wish without appearing overdressed.

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Black Tie Wedding Attire for Guests

Black Tie Wedding Attire for Guests

A black tie is a highly formal wedding dress code that is typically called upon for evening weddings. For female guests, it requires a formal, floor-length gown. However, you may be able to get away with a sophisticated cocktail dress. Just be sure to double-check with the bride or someone in the bridal party beforehand to ensure you don’t appear underdressed.

White Tie Wedding Attire for Guests

White Tie Wedding Attire for Guests

The white tie is the most formal and sophisticated of all dress codes. So, be prepared to dress to the nines with an elegant, full-length evening or ball gown. Traditionally, long gloves are also worn for white ties. However, they’re more of an optional extra in today’s modern world. If you do choose to wear gloves, you should leave them on while drinking and dancing and take them off for dinner.

Beach Wedding Attire for Guests

Beach Wedding Attire for Guests

Are you heading to a beach wedding this summer? Embrace the gorgeous setting with a lovely dress or jumpsuit. When shopping, look out for relaxed cuts, light-flowing fabrics, and summery colors and prints. As it can be windy at the beach, maxi dresses are often more appropriate than short dresses. But, if you’re keen to show off your tanned legs, go for it. Just remember to ensure your footwear is suitable for walking on sand. In other words, no stilettos.

RELATED: Beach Wedding Dresses For Your Special Day

Festive Wedding Attire for Guests

Festive Wedding Attire for Guests

Festive attire is a relatively new dress code for weddings. As such, it can cause quite a bit of confusion. Essentially, it is providing you with the freedom to have fun and be playful with your outfit. If you’re unsure where to start, try aiming for cocktail party attire with a twist. Think bold colors, exciting embellishments and accessories, and unique textures and details.

Country Wedding Attire for Guests

Country for Guests

Country weddings are typically held at a farm, vineyard, or garden and have a rustic theme. To dress for one, try keeping your outfit laidback and a little playful; to do so; swap your usual fitted dress for something you can move in. Also, playoff the location of the event with soft tones, florals, and lace. If you really want to inject a country touch into your look, consider adding boots and a hat.

Summer Wedding Attire for Guests

Summer for Guests

To nail summer wedding attire, all you need to do is embrace the spirit of the season. To do so, choose a dress in a bright color or bold print. One in a lightweight fabric will also work to keep you cool when things heat up. Likewise, whether you opt for a mini, midi or maxi be sure to avoid overly structured and restrictive designs. You can also keep your feet fresh and stylish with a pair of heeled sandals.

Winter Wedding Attire for Guests

Winter for Guests

When dressing for a winter wedding, it’s important to consider both the formality of the event and the weather. To beat the cold while looking sophisticated, opt for a long dress or suit. Try choosing designs with sleeves as well as styles in heavier fabrics to ensure you’re kept warm throughout the ceremony and reception. Those in deep hues, such as navy and burgundy, make particularly chic options. It may also be ideal to bring a smart coat or shawl with you.

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