Wedding Guest Series: What to Wear to a "Formal" Wedding

Welcome again! During the month of May, I will be writing a "Wedding Wednesday" post dedicated to wedding guests called the "Wedding Guest Series." This series was inspired by and will be in collaboration with The New York School of Etiquette and Protocol. #DaphneSays we should take our garments into consideration when attending a wedding and left it to me to break it down so here goes.

Last week we talked about "semi-formal wedding attire" etiquette. Today's wedding fashion is all about the formal wear. Most wedding guests are accustomed to this category so it shouldn't be too hard to find something to wear but just in case you had any questions, here's what to wear. In addition, I've pulled some looks that you can click right into for more details and/or to purchase. Enjoy!


The safest route, if you're confused, is a long dress. No, not a casual summer cotton maxi dress. Veer towards dressy fabrics (as mentioned prior) that you would not wear on a regular day. I'd encourage you to explore with added texture in your accessories, like feathers, gems or embroidery. In terms of colors, formal wedding guest tend to be wear darker or more neutral tones, but I'm not opposed to some color as long as it looks chic. 

If it's a hot summer day and you'd prefer not to wear a long dress, a modest cocktail dress is acceptable. You might be able to get away with a shorter dress for a casual wedding but definitely not in a formal. Here are some ideas of what to wear.



Men should wear a formal dark suit. A tuxedo is not necessary but is acceptable as long as you don't show up looking like the groom (lol). Pair your suit with a white button down and dark/ neutral, conservative tie.  Some classic dress shoes are great, a nice watch, maybe a ring, pocket square and/or cuff links to accessorize.