Deciphering a wedding dress code can be tricky, even harder to know what to wear when there’s no dress code at all.
So, what to wear?
Jaimie Mackey says that there are a few clues that will definitely help you figure it out – possibly even before you pick up the phone and give the bride a call.
When it’s missing the key details, there are a few ways to figure out what your friends wants you to wear to her big day.
1. Read the Invitation
Take another look at that invitation. Start with the design itself. If it’s fairly traditional, printed on heavy paper, and embossed or letterpressed, there’s a good chance the event will require cocktail or formal attire. It’s full of clues to help you figure out how formal the wedding is.
Add extra formality points for details like painted edges and swirling calligraphy. An invitation that features colorful graphics, modern fonts, or other playful touches is most likely for a celebration that’s more relaxed.
2. Consider the Venue
The biggest clues. Do a quick Google search to see if they’ve chosen a fancy country club, an elegant ballroom, or a trendy restaurant downtown. Opt for attire that is fitting for the location. A reception that begins later in the evening is more likely to be formal, while one that takes place during the daytime will, by default, be slightly more casual.
3. Consult the Wedding Website
If the website exists, check the wedding website! This is the go-to spot for any information that doesn’t fit on the invitation. It’s often listed on the “events” page as one of the details surrounding the wedding reception, or might be outlined in an FAQ section.
4. When in Doubt…
Still not sure? Your best bet is cocktail attire. Sure, you might be overdressed if it ends up being a more relaxed affair, but you’ll fit right in at a cocktail attire party, and (with the right accessories) can easily dress up for something on the more formal side.
Women should opt for a dress in a luxe fabric, such as silk. Wear a darker color for evening weddings or something brighter during the day.
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