Wedding season is officially upon us and that can mean one of two things. Either you’re buzzing with excitement as wedding bells chime or you’re trembling with fear at mere thought of what to wear to your best friend’s wedding. Finding the balance between traditional and contemporary style is no easy task. So if you’ve got an upcoming wedding, or several to attend this year, our wedding guest cheat sheet is the only style guide you will ever need!
When I say ‘Wedding Season’ the period itself is difficult to define, as the matrimonial calendar never really stops. With the month of March, closely followed by November proving to be the most popular months to get hitched in Australia, love is in the air all year round for this timeless social institution! Whether you’re playing a special role during the event or not, the rules are really simple. Read the invite, decode the dress code and RSVP on time. From a casual backyard wedding to a fancy formal affair, we’ve compiled the ultimate guide to Wedding Guest Fashion so you can confidently be the best dressed guest in 2018. Get excited because in 2018, outgoing evening wear, is all the rage.
Black Tie Required
If the invite stipulates black tie, you’re in for a night of glitz and glamour! Whilst you’re not required to wear a gown, it’s reasonable to assume most guests will be wearing a full length dress but a formal cocktail dress is also appropriate. Be inspired by our collection of black-tie wedding gowns featuring dazzling sequin by Theia, extravagant lace by Grace and Hart as well as fabulous form fitting silhouettes by Tadashi Shoji. This is the one dress code that makes wearing black to a wedding perfectly acceptable! The Gigi Bustier Gown by Rebecca Vallance is my personal top pick, it really is the show-stopping dress you need for a black tie wedding. Add a pop of colour with your shoes, accessories or lip colour to add a personal touch and keep your look on trend.
White Tie Required
Shopping for a white-tie dress, is possibly the most exciting. This invite requires full evening dress and is without doubt, the most formal of all dress codes; it requires that you make a real effort. Call to mind all your favourite dresses from The Oscars and The Met Gala and you’ve got a white-tie ball; they really are the fanciest of affairs! That means a tailcoat and white bow-tie for the gentlemen and a full length ball gown for the ladies. Whilst the rules for women are a little more vague, the main criteria is a full length gown, think old Hollywood glamour! Be inspired by dreamy tulle and dazzling crystals, princess-style gowns by Tinaholy, fitted bodices with decadent ruffles by C/MEO Collective and full skirts and long trains by Elle Zeitoune. If you hate boring dresses, this dress code is for you but keep in mind, you don’t want to upstage the bride!
Black Tie Optional
The wording on this invite suggests slightly more casual than black tie so this dress code is less restrictive than most, meaning you get to be more creative! You can wear black but you don’t have to! Go for a pretty, wedding approved look bedecked with romantic ruffles and frills and if the silhouette is uncomplicated, go for vibrant colour or bold prints. Be inspired by classic cocktail dresses by Rebecca Vallance featuring statement bows, decadent lace dresses by Self Portrait or fashion-forward, statement jumpsuits by Jay Godfrey. If you don’t like sequin, don’t worry, you can overload on jewellery instead! Browse our collection of contemporary jewellery by Amber Sceats for the perfect finishing touch! Personally, I love the Vogue Choker, it’s the perfect piece to add a bit of art deco inspired glamour to any outfit!
A cocktail wedding reception means no full length dress is required but you must be sure to keep the hemline of your dress around or below the knee. If it’s a Winter wedding, play with texture and to make a statement in style, consider wearing long sleeves by Pasduchas or a demure high neckline by Shoshanna for a chic evening look. For a Summer event, be inspired by velvet trims by Tadashi Shoji, dazzling knee length sequin dresses by Cooper St and delicate ruching by Shelli Segal, her metallic cocktail dress is the most flattering way to show off your curves! A pair of palazzo pants and matching jacket is also allowed for a cocktail event. The Intermission Blazer by C/MEO Collective is a truly unique choice. With this feminine and classy look, everything looks better with minimal, no fuss accessories, keep your purse small too, no oversized bags allowed!
If you’re not the typical, dress and heels sort of girl, this is the dream dress code for you! In writing, this dress code can be disguised as semi-formal or daytime/casual and basically anything goes, except jeans, shorts and tank tops of course. If you’re evening looks tend to verge on casual, we have something that will make a statement and you’ll still feel comfortable wearing! Be inspired by this season’s trending yellow colour pallette and choose a vibrant hue by Thurley or a go-with-the-flow style maxi dress by We Are Kindred or skirt and top combo is perfect for a relaxed, daytime event. Whether you plan to fill up on canapes, or really take advantage of the open bar, you’re guaranteed a great time at a semi-formal wedding!
Head to Toe Beauty Prep Countdown
So we’ve covered the best looks for every event and you’ve hired the dress of your dreams but it doesn’t end there. If you’re totally committed to looking your very best, your beauty routine should start approximately three months before the event. But don’t stress, we’ve got everything you need to consider right here. So diaries at the ready, it’s time to start planning now!
3 Months Before
If you’re having trouble with your skin, now is a good time to book a facial and have a consultation with a specialist; if necessary, re-evaluate the products you are using and set your new routine in motion. You may also want to consider your eyebrows, perhaps you need to skip a few waxes in favour of tweezing to get the best shape. If you’re planning on slimming down or toning up, now is a good time to start adding some light exercise into your daily routine! Adding 20 minutes of cardio to each workout should do it (sorry)!
2 Months Before
We all wish we were born with beautiful sun-kissed skin but if your event is in the depths of Winter you may want to consider using a false tan. Experiment with application make sure you are confident to pull of a natural, streak-free look! If you’re having a professional spray tan for the big day, you should work with the same specialist in advance and agree on a colour that works for you and your skin tone. Organise your final professional tan spraying session, two days before the wedding.
1 Month before
Visit your dentist for a professional clean and try using a tooth whitening kit to create a picture-perfect smile. It’s also time to plan your hair, even if you don’t want to do anything fussy on the day, visit your hairdresser for a trim to keep it looking healthy. If you have rebellious hair and have been considering a keratin treatment for hassle free hair on the big day, now is the best time to do it! Trust me, you won’t regret it!
Your diet is also important in the last few weeks running up to the event, avoid eating too much sugar, salt, carbohydrates and of course alcohol, oh and drink lots of water! Any waxing should be done 3-4 days before the event and just because you might be wearing a long dress, that’s no reason to ignore your legs! Leave your manicure and pedicure to a day or two before; whether you’re getting them done professionally or doing it yourself at home!
How to be the Best Dressed Guest at Your Next Wedding
When it comes to wedding guest etiquette there are a few do’s and don’ts, so we’ve compiled a straightforward guide to make getting ready this wedding season a breeze! You’ll never worry about what to wear to a wedding, ever again.
- Follow The Dress Code
- It might seem obvious, but the dress code is given for a reason and the bride and groom want you to abide by it. Whether it’s black-tie, semi-formal or casual, embrace the dress code and let the location of the wedding help inform your decision!
- Don’t Wear White
- I repeat, do not wear white. Whilst traditions have evolved, wearing white is still considered a wedding faux pas and a guaranteed way to steal the bride’s thunder. You have a rainbow of colours to choose from, let her stand out in the crowd in white!
- Ditch The LBD
- It might be a classic but when it comes to weddings, forget it. Whilst some say wearing black to weddings is a major no-no, we think it’s ok if the dress code calls for it!
- Experiment With Jumpsuits
- A modern update on the traditional cocktail dress, jumpsuits have an effortlessly chic appeal that can be difficult to pull off at a wedding!
- Check The Guest List
- Find out what other guests are wearing in advance. It’s the easiest way to avoid showing up in the same dress as another guest. Unless of course you’re up for a game of ‘Who wore it better?’ If you do find yourself in this situation, make the most of it, get your photo taken together and complement her on her ‘amazing’ sense of style!
- Avoid Revealing Clothes
- It’s a family occasion so if you wouldn’t wear it in front of your own grandmother, then don’t wear it in front of the bride or grooms! To avoid any wardrobe malfunctions, comfort must come first. You don’t want to be yanking up your strapless dress all night.
- Wear Your Heels In
- This is a pretty standard rule when wearing new shoes. It’s a long day and you don’t want to be seen hobbling around, tempted to take them off at dinner. You also don’t have to wear heels! We’re loving the recent kitten heel revival, for an elegant and pain-free look!
- Don’t Share Photos Too Soon
- If mobile phones haven’t been banned, you’re guaranteed to be snapping away all day! Remember not to share any pictures on social media before the ceremony and don’t go overboard on the selfies. It’s a special day, be present and enjoy the moment!
As one of the lucky wedding guest attendees, it’s your duty to show up, dress up and look magnificent! So whether you’ve received your very first wedding invite or the majority of your squad are already hitched, our wedding guest style guide will navigate you through the rules to stick to and the faux pas to avoid; making you the best dressed and best behaved wedding guest in 2018!