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Wedding guest outfit etiquette: What to wear to a wedding

Deciding what to wear to a wedding is no mean feat, especially when the wardrobe guidelines are as long as the bride and groom’s wedding gift list.

Anyway, with the ever-increasing pressure to dress to impress this wedding season, CollectPlus has teamed up with fashion psychologist and Founder of Style Psychology, Kate Nightingale, to reveal the UK’s top ten wedding guest outfit rules, as well as the tricks we can use to get round them…

The do’s and don’ts of wedding guest fashion…

1. Wear a fascinator or hat

23% of Brits admit turning up to a wedding without one

To get round this old-age tradition without (completely) bending the rules, instead try a simple fascinator, or even look out for elegant hair slides, which can give a subtle nod to the traditional headwear rule. Or you could go ‘au natural’, by heading to the hairdressers for a fabulous up-do.

2. Choose appropriate footwear

21% have opted for heels that were too high in the past, whilst 20% have worn trainers to a wedding

There’s no need to avoid heels altogether, a wedge or block heel are the perfect alternative to a stiletto, so you can dance the night away in comfort.

3. Do not wear jeans

20% have ditched a suit for a casual look at a wedding

To avoid raising the heart rate of the bride and groom, opt for a linen suit to channel a smart and sophisticated look that’s still tailored but more relaxed than the traditional morning dress.

4. Avoid white

19% have matched the bride at a ceremony they attended

If you really are reluctant to let go of white, opt for a design which incorporates a floral pattern to ensure you don’t steal the bride’s thunder.

5. Black is also off the cards

18% have accidentally dressed more suitably for a funeral

Instead go for monochrome to break up the colour, or make like Victoria Beckham at the royal wedding and pair a darker dress with a pop of colour in the accessories, such as the shoes or handbag.

6. Stay away from casual

16% have previously worn shorts and a T-shirt to a wedding

To ensure you stay cool but don’t look like you’ve just arrived from the beach, try a short-sleeved shirt with tailored chinos to tick all the wedding guest etiquette rules.

7. Play it safe with fake tan

16% admit a pre-wedding spray tan went wrong

If you are adamant on achieving that ‘Yes I’ve just come back from an exotic getaway look’, then trial your fake tanning a month or so before the wedding to ensure it’s streak free on the big day.

8. Wear a tie

14% have turned up to a wedding without one, much to the married couple’s dismay…

Keep the bride and groom happy and earn your place as the best dressed guest with a bow tie and matching pocket square, as an alternative to a tie

9. Don’t copy the bridesmaids

12% of wedding guests have been asked if they are a bridesmaid, due to a misjudged outfit style

Whilst weddings are a great excuse to get dressed up, try to avoid prom dress style looks and instead, dial up the glam via the outfit’s accessories.

10. Wear waterproof mascara

7% unwittingly went for the ‘teary panda’ look in the resulting wedding photos

Or at least ensure you have a pack of tissues handy in your clutch!


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