Most people have attended intimate, traditional indoor weddings in varied venues suited to the style and preferences of the soon-to-be bride and groom. Still, receiving an invitation to an outdoor ceremony can be refreshing.
The ambiance of the starlit skies and romantic lighting combined with the soft breeze as guests dine and dance gives way to an enchanting celebration of the couple’s happy day. While the experience can be intoxicating, it too can depend on the season and weather conditions leading to dressing code conundrums.
Guests find themselves in a predicament of finding the appropriate dress, often doubting their first choice. Is it to be presumed that a beach wedding means casual wear or that an elegant location held in the evening means formal attire?
Is outerwear appropriate for warmth, or will it clash with the outfit and the occasion? Since more variables differ with outdoor venues than inside nuptials, it’s wise to seek professional help from a place like The Mint Julep Boutique, where trusted stylists can give reliable feedback.
Consider some suggestions the experts offer so you can make a more informed decision with your next wedding invitation.
Is There An Wedding Outdoor Dress Code
When attending a wedding held outside, the elements will be considered, including the temperature and the event’s location. If you are walking on grass-covered terrain or sand, this will help you determine what shoe will work best with your dress.
If it’s warm, you’ll want a lighter, more breathable cotton or linen fabric, but cooler temperatures will mean adding a shawl or perhaps a suitable heavier option.
As a rule, the wedding invitation will include the dress code to follow, making the plight somewhat easier. If this isn’t the case, reach out to the couple or one of their loved ones for clarification.
You don’t want to be the only one to show up dressed inappropriately. Find out the dos and don’ts of wedding guest attire at https://www.weddingshoppeinc.com/blogs/weddings/15-dos-donts-wedding-guest-attire/. What dresses fall under the dress code categories? Let’s learn.
● The white-tie event
The belief is that outdoor weddings are more casual, but that isn’t always true; many are incredibly formal and elegant. If your invitation specifies the affair will be “white-tie,” that’s an indication it will be highly formal.
The attire is across the board spelled out, with dresses being evening gowns that fall to the floor, accessorized by stunning jewelry and the option of satin gloves. Heels are recommended, but it’s always encouraged that guests wear shoes that make them most comfortable.
● The black-tie affair
The black-tie affair doesn’t reach the same height of formality as the white tie, but it’s still incredibly formal. The recommendation for a guest is to purchase a gown in a luxurious material like chiffon, lace, velvet, or silk or again opt for a full-length option.
Again, women often adorn their dresses with opulent jewelry pieces to accentuate the dress.
● A formal wedding with black tie as an option
With a formal wedding, mostly it’s encouraged that women still consider wearing floor-length gowns, but there is the flexibility of choosing a luxurious tea-length option.
With this dress code, ladies have another choice, especially beneficial if the weather is less than conducive to wearing a gown, you can select a dressy pantsuit.
● The cocktail affair
This is among the most favored wedding dress codes whether the venue is inside or outdoors, meaning you’ll likely run into this more often than not. Once you get a few dresses for this occasion, you’ll become a pro.
Of course, when attending a wedding, you should always opt to dress up for the occasion. That means the style of the dress should be on the fancier side of the scale, but you’ll also find a vaster range available in this category, including varied lengths such as mid, tea, or knee lengths.
● The semi-formal event
The semi-formal wedding is somewhat formal but leans toward casual. It’s another favored option for dress codes. The styles are ones you might see more often in the daytime than in the evening. The dresses will fall to midi- or knee length, with floor-length gowns considered overdressed.
Sometimes, you can choose a dressier jumpsuit or even a maxi dress, particularly if the weather is less than favorable, or a pantsuit.
● A casual wedding attire
Many people associate casual attire with an outdoor wedding. As we’ve seen, that’s not always the situation, but in many cases, couples opt to keep the wedding simple. That doesn’t mean it’s the chance for guests to wear jeans – it is still a milestone event, and fashion etiquette is the expectation.
Women should choose a fashionable slip or sundress with a shawl, depending on the time of day and the temperature.
With a casual wedding, color palettes are more relaxed though you want to avoid getting into the fluorescents to distract the attention away from the main event. Go here for colors you don’t want to wear to a wedding.
● Dressing for the seasons
Each season comes with its own color palette, weather considerations, and likely wedding theme. It’s fun to complement that with your attire.
- The fall: Select hues of rusts, oranges, and golds during the fall season, choosing a dress that has sleeves due to the temperatures beginning to get a little cooler if the wedding is held in the evening.
- The winter: If there are blizzard conditions, no one will be attending a wedding. However, winter weddings will often be considerably cooler events, even when held in a warmer climate. The priority is to layer with the warmest material on top, perhaps velvet.
You’ll also want to go with deeper tones like jewels or black. A jacket, like a peacoat, should be considered part of the ensemble and matched accordingly.
- The spring: Light, brilliant hues, and florals are the foray into spring. It’s the romantic time of the year, and dresses should reflect that romanticism with more pinks and yellows or pastels. A shawl will still the chill left over from winter.
- The summer: The expectation should be that it will be hot, meaning you’ll need a dress that can breathe with light fabric and soft colors. Choosing either chiffon, linen, or lace will offer breathability, and sleeveless or strapless gowns are stunning with a sheer shawl.
The biggest faux pas with any dress code and for every season is to wear white to a wedding when you’re not the bride. That’s a definite no.
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