Wedding guest clothing guide - SunsetFashionLA experts' opinion


Witnessing a wedding take place or showing up on your friend's big day should not be your only concern about being a wedding guest. Your wedding guest attire should showcase your fashion flair and make a lasting impression on everyone you'd meet that day. To help you understand what perfect outfit for wedding guest to turn up in, we've prepared this very detailed guide of outfits to wear to a wedding as a guest.

It contains details on how you can rock the perfect ensemble and still look appropriate. We highlighted the different dress codes of wedding guest look and how the location and time of the wedding can inspire (or determine) your outfit choices. We also mentioned how you can dress the part in any setting and different seasons. We dedicated a section to getting women to slay in women's wedding guest dress outfits.

There's even more! But left for you to find out. Let's dive into creating a fine line between being the best-dressed wedding guest and stealing the spotlight from the happy couple.

Understanding Wedding Dress Codes

An outfit can align with your impeccable style, but when it's not in line with the event's expectations, your entire look may be a flop. Below, we explained the common codes of dresses to wear to a wedding as a guest. Keep reading to learn more!

White Tie Wedding:

This wedding code calls for the utmost formality. Not just at weddings, but when attending any event tagged "White tie", you should be ready to prepare for the crème de la crème of elegance. You definitely don't want to be the only one looking underdressed or too simple, so feel free to get your looks up a notch. For ladies, this is the wedding where you can dazzle in floor-length ball gowns, accessorized with exquisite jewelry and glamorous updos.

Black Tie Wedding:

The black tie wedding guest dress code screams sophistication and timeless elegance. Here you should think of creating a sense of refinement and adding an air of luxury to your wedding guest wear. You can wear a chic evening gown, a stylish cocktail dress that hits just below the knee, or even a formal jumpsuit.

Formal Wedding:

Although formal wedding guest outfits look sophisticated, they do not reach the formality of the black tie attire. An example of formal wear for wedding guests is a floor-length gown in a rich fabric, like silk, chiffon, or velvet, and in a classic color like deep jewel tones, navy blue, or black. You can also wear a formal cocktail dress, but it has to fall below your knee.

Semi-Formal Wedding:

What to wear to a wedding as a guest on a semi-formal code should be somewhere between dressy casual and cocktail attire. It should not look too casual like everyday wear and not as serious as the previous dress codes we discussed. Overall, the outfit should be more of a cocktail attire. Some of these wedding guest clothes include a chic cocktail dress, a tailored jumpsuit, or a skirt paired with a stylish top.

Casual Wedding:

Hardly do weddings come in a casual code, but if they do, you can tune in for a more flexible and relaxed vibe. Even when the casual dress code calls for comfort, you shouldn't overstep it by wearing joggers or sweatpants. A sundress, a flowy midi skirt paired with a blouse, or stylish pants with a dressy top, is much better since regardless of the code, the wedding is still a special event. 

The Importance of Location and Time in Wedding Guest Looks

Among other important factors that play significant roles in determining what outfits to wear to a wedding as a guest, the location and time of the wedding are most crucial. They can guide your outfit choices and impact the overall outlook of the event.

Beach weddings call for a more relaxed and airy style. You can opt for lightweight fabrics such as elegant sundresses or flowy maxi dresses. Pair with comfortable footwear like sandals or wedges that are suitable for walking on sand. Garden weddings offer a charming setting, hence, your look should be in harmony with the beauty of nature. You can choose floral or pastel-colored dresses in knee-length or maxi styles. For traditional church weddings, a more formal outfit for wedding guests is expected. Women can opt for modest yet elegant outfits, such as knee-length dresses or tailored suits.

Daytime weddings are usually more relaxed, hence, they allow for creativity in your outfit choices. Evening weddings call for more formal and elegant attire. Darker and richer colors create a sophisticated ambiance. Women can elevate their style with chic cocktail dresses, floor-length gowns, or stylish pantsuits. Glamorous accessories like statement jewelry and clutch bags can add a touch of elegance to the ensemble.

Seasonal Considerations for Wedding Guest Dress Outfits

Some seasonal elements can impact your outfits to wear to a wedding as a guest. Because of the weather conditions, the outfit you wear may vary to ensure that you feel comfortable at the event. Here are some tips you need to dress appropriately for weddings as a guest in the different seasons:

Spring Weddings:

Spring weddings are known for their blooming appeal; the vibrant colors and the fresh atmosphere is a giveaway of the season. For your outfit; opt for light and airy fabrics such as chiffon, silk, or linen. You can wear florals or pastels to vibe with the season's charm. Don't forget to carry a cardigan or wrap with you, just in case the weather becomes a bit chilly.

Summer Weddings:

Summer weddings are warm and sometimes humid, so ensure you prioritize comfort while maintaining a stylish appearance. Lightweight and breathable fabrics like cotton or linen are ideal here, to make you feel cool. Choose bright and bold colors or playful patterns of summer dresses, as they are the tone of the season. Sundresses and maxi dresses are popular as wedding guest wear in summer.

Autumn Weddings:

Autumn is the time for you to showcase the rich and earthy tones of the atmosphere in your attire. It's advised you dress in layers to accommodate fluctuating temperatures. Cozy fabrics like velvet, tweed, or satin are also preferred. You can wear darker or deeper shades like burgundy, forest green, or navy in these fabrics.

Winter Weddings:

The cold feel of the winter season demands outfits that keep you warm. Wool, cashmere, or velvet are some fabrics you should wear for added warmth. Darker colors like deep red, navy, or emerald green also work well for this season. 

Women's Wedding Guest Attire

To ensure you look elegant and appropriate in your ensemble at the occasion, there are some specific elements you need to pay attention to:


The dress you opt for should match the formality of the wedding. The length is a common discriminator for the different wedding settings. For instance, for semi-formal occasions, you should wear knee-length or cute midi dresses while at formal affairs, floor-length gowns are best preferred. Your dress color shouldn't be the same as the bride's; most commonly the bride wears white so, avoid wearing white.

Skirts and Blouses:

If you would rather go with separates than a dress, a skirt and blouse combo can be a stylish pick. Both the skirt and blouse should match each other and complement the formality of the event. Feel free to play with textures and patterns to add interest to your outfit. Your skirt length should also be appropriate and avoid anything too short or revealing.


You may have to do a lot of dancing and walking around at the wedding, hence it's best you choose comfortable, yet stylish shoes that match your outfit. Heels are a popular choice but go for a pair that you can comfortably walk and stand in for an extended period.


Accessories accentuate your wedding guest attire. The jewelry you wear should complement your outfit and the formality of the event. It's best to keep it simple than outshine the couple with your pieces. 

Dos and Don'ts of Wedding Guest Attire

Dressing appropriately and tastefully will allow you to celebrate the couple's special day in style while respecting the wedding's ambiance. Here are some rules you should keep to at a wedding:

  • Pay attention to the wedding invitation, it may give you an idea of the formality level and any specific guidelines you need
  • Remember to adhere to the dress code specified on the invitation. 
  • Avoid wearing white or ivory, as these colors are typically reserved for the bride.
  • Consider the venue and time of day for the wedding beforehand. 
  • Accessorize thoughtfully to complement your outfit, but avoid anything too flashy or attention-grabbing that may overshadow the couple.
  • Bring a shawl, wrap, or jacket to keep yourself warm in case of chilly weather, especially for outdoor weddings.
  • Give respect to the many cultures and traditions you may encounter at the wedding and its settings 
  • Remember, the key is to strike a balance between style and appropriateness while considering the seasonal elements to ensure you look great and feel comfortable as a wedding guest.


In this guide, we went through what to wear to a wedding as a guest, starting from the dress code, the importance of the wedding location, the time and season of the year, and a few do's and don'ts that you should have at your fingertips.

It's not enough to know all these without shopping for your wedding staples from a credible vendor. SunsetFashionLA is an online fashion store that we recommend for buying all your wedding guest pieces. From the dresses to the accessories, they have a ton of options in their collection for you to choose from. They have some juicy discounts that we bet you don't want to miss out on. Head on to their store to find out more about these.

Frequently Asked Questions:
What are the types of wedding dress codes?
The types of wedding dress codes include white tie, black tie, formal, semi-formal or cocktail attire, and casual attire.
Is it acceptable to wear red as a guest to a wedding?
It can be acceptable to wear red as a guest to a wedding, but it's best to avoid wearing a shade that may draw too much attention or overshadow the bride.
What should you wear to a black-tie wedding?
For a black-tie wedding, women should wear a formal floor-length gown or an elegant cocktail dress, while men should opt for a tuxedo or a formal suit with a black bowtie.
Can you wear white to a wedding?
Traditionally, it is not appropriate to wear white to a wedding as it may compete with or be mistaken for the bride's attire; hence, it's best to choose another color.
What should you wear to a beach wedding?
To a beach wedding, opt for light and airy fabrics, such as a flowy sundress and wear comfortable shoes like sandals or wedges to easily navigate the sand.
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