It’s an honour to be invited to a wedding but along with the all excitement comes the stress of choosing an outfit. You want to look your best but what are the rules and how do you pick what to wear? By following a few simple guidelines you can remove all the worry and just concentrate on enjoying the day. 

The first thing to do is look at the invitation for clues on the kind of wedding it will be. If the day is to be formal, the invite will usually let you know the dress code – black tie events are becoming more popular but you will be told. For weddings in barns, farms or open fields, a more casual dress is the way to go. Church weddings followed by a hotel reception require something that is smart and stylish with a hint of fun. 

You need to be led by the season. Spring weddings require flexibility as it could be warm, cold or wet, but in summer you’ll need something lightweight and suitable for the warmer weather. For winter weddings, long sleeves and heavier fabrics are what you should shop for. 

Weddings offer a good excuse to wear pretty, feminine prints and there are plenty out there to choose from. Floral prints are always a good choice and you can go for tiny flowers or huge, bold fauna; either looks appropriate. If you are not sure about florals, then opt for a plain, pastel shade just avoid white and cream. Tradition dictates that these colours are reserved for the bride, unless she explicitly says she doesn’t mind. Black is the other shade to leave at home; considered the colour for mourning it really is a no-no. 

The style of dress you wear depends a lot on your shape. Tea dresses, maxi dresses, cocktail dresses and minis are all appropriate as long as they fit you beautifully. Remember that the bride is supposed to have all the attention, so don’t have too much leg or bust on show – save those outfits for the night club. There are lots of fabulous hemlines around and they all make a dress more interesting – look for handkerchief, asymmetric, dipped, ruffled and ruched. Try something that you wouldn’t usually go for, this is the perfect opportunity. Sleeves have become an interesting feature all on their own this year. Fluted, beaded, puffed, lacy and flutter sleeves are all on offer and they can make a dress look really special. 

If frocks are not for you, then a jumpsuit can make a great outfit for a wedding with careful selection. Go for a suit in a pretty shade and fabric – denim is not the right way to go. Avoid the kind of jumpsuit that exposes all of your back and try to buy a cut that isn’t too revealing at the front. Wide leg jumpsuits look elegant, especially with a pair of heels. Keep it classy and you will look divine. 

Remember that you will spend a number of hours in your outfit. During the day you will usually be standing around chatting, sitting down to eat and dancing to some old favourites. Make sure that what you choose will be suitable for all this and more. And that goes for the footwear too. Only pull on a pair of heels if you can last the whole time in them, after all, you took ages selecting the perfect shoe, so don’t whip them off after an hour. Wear venue-appropriate footwear so if the nuptials are in a field or on the beach, opt for lower heels or pretty flats. And don’t choose strappy sandals if it’s the dead of winter. 

Accessories can make or break an outfit. If you have gone for florals, then you don’t need too much more but earrings and hair-slides will add something special. For plain fabics then adding a striking necklace and eye-catching bangles will give you some sass. The biggest consideration is the bag. A huge tote will spoil everything, but you need something large enough for the essentials such as make-up, phone and money. A clutch is the sort of thing to go for, or a dainty grab bag. 

Lastly, think about taking a coordinating jacket, shrug or pashmina. You can never trust the weather and some venues are colder than you’d think. Choose something classic and you can turn to it again and again – its better than shivering in your stunning new outfit..

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