Now that  the Wedding invitation has landed on your doorstep, panic sets in!  You realise that you will likely need a new outfit.  “What shall I wear?”

It was three years ago since I was a privileged Wedding guest and even since then there is so much more freedom from Wedding etiquette rules however, there are still some important considerations in order to remain respectful of the ceremony and those lucky to be ‘tying the knot’.

Apart from the obvious emotional event, a Wedding is after all about celebrating with your family and friends and a great opportunity to get dressed up.   Let me try to set out some easy to follow guidelines.

Before you do anything…

Pay attention to the dress-code laid out in the invitation to avoid any discomfort on the day.  If you are in any doubt, check with the Bride beforehand.

  • Be respectful of Weddings held in a Church or other religious environments. Not too much bare arm or cleavage.  A generous Pashmina or wrap will help to cover your shoulders and arms.
  • Consider the location.  Is the Wedding in a City where strappy stilettos are perfectly suitable or a Country Wedding where you may have to tramp through a field to the marquee?
  • Whilst I love to see a crisp white or cream outfit in lace, chances are these colours will also be the Bride’s choice!  No overshadowing the Bride – leave this day for her and choose something else in another colour that really works for you.  You can still look cool and stylish.  Pink is a favourite colour this season.
  • Wearing black was always considered unacceptable for a Wedding however it now appears to be back in vogue and no longer ‘off-limits’ for an evening-do.
  • Don’t feel that a dress with heels is the only option for a Wedding outfit. A trouser suit will work extremely well paired with some statement shoes and accessories as will a stylish Jumpsuit.  See right – Photo Credit:  Cleo Bow Detail Jumpsuit Gina Bacconi.
  • Whatever your choice, opting for something versatile means that you can wear it for cocktails, a christening, Christmas party or perhaps the races.  Choosing a flexible outfit allows you to maximise its wear.  Also try to avoid anything too ‘trendy’, it is preferable to get value from any piece of clothing.
  • A Spring Wedding may just be subject to an impromptu rain shower. Plan an outfit that could survive inside or out and perhaps a mini umbrella in your bag may be a good idea.  Similarly a Summer or overseas Wedding may require you to think about a natural or breathable fabric for your outfit in order to remain cool and elegant.  See right – photo credit: Elena Dress Gina Bacconi

Handbag Essentials

Like the Bride, we should pack a few essentials for every eventuality.

  • You’ll need space for your lipstick and a hankie at least. You may want to think about party-feet gel cushions or a spare pair of tights/stockings
  • Keep your bag neat and it really doesn’t need to match your shoes.  The bag will outlive the shoes so best to find something you can use time and again.


Then of course there’s your hat!  Where do you stand on hats at weddings?

  • An elaborate hat is best paired with a simple outfit and similarly where the interest lies in a bolder, flowing or patterned outfit, a simpler and neater hat works best. Do not be tempted to do both.  It’s one or the other!
  • Your hat does not need to match your shoes and bag – a more balanced look is created with the hat matched to the same colour as the outfit.                               See left – photo credit: LK Bennett



  • Wear shoes that have a thick heel to avoid you sinking into any grass.
  • Wearing heels for the whole day may present a challenge so take a second pair (perhaps some flats) so you can make your journey – if necessary, to the marquee.  If you like a good boogie think about wearing heels that you can wear all day and into the night.
  • You may regret wearing brand new shoes (unless you first break them in).  See right – photo credit: LK Bennnett Bardon Pink Shoes

You will find some more inspiration on Wedding Dressing on the Pinterest Board I have prepared for you.

So, there you have it, I hope you have a better idea about wedding etiquette and how to dress for a Wedding….however if you are still at a loss on special occasion dressing and need guidance to put this or any special outfit together please call me on 07494 644788 or visit my website


Jackie Crawford