What To Wear To A Wedding

Are you going to a wedding? Perhaps you’re the mother of the bride or groom? If so, you will want to make sure you look your very best.  Here are some tips to help you get your outfit right so that you not only look and feel fabulous on the day but also when you look back on the photos in years to come.

What type of wedding is it?

There are so many different options for weddings these days that it’s worth giving some thought  to the type of wedding it’s likely to be.  Is it a formal church wedding, an informal beach or garden wedding, or perhaps a small select gathering at an up-market  hotel? You will want to ensure your outfit is appropriate for the style and venue . This is particularly important when it comes to footwear. Stilettos may be elegant for a formal church wedding followed by a reception in an hotel but, if it’s a relaxed, informal wedding in a marquee in a field, a wedge heel may be more practical.

Time of year/ weather

This glorious weather won’t last forever so even for a Summer wedding, it’s a good idea to have a jacket, bolero or some sort of wrap that goes with your outfit that you can slip on if it gets chilly, particularly if any time is going to be spent outdoors.


Michaela Louisa – Lovely for a fairly relaxed Summer wedding

If you’re the sort of woman who likes to hide behind black, you might need to have a bit of a re-think. According to Debretts, black is simply not appropriate for a wedding. If you do want to wear it though (Why? There are so many other fabulous, flattering possibilities!), you will need to add other colours to stop it looking too funereal.  Wearing white/cream/ivory (particularly if it’s lacy) is a also no-no. You don’t want to look like you’re competing with the bride!

If you’ve had a colour analysis you will understand the colours that work best for you and have picked up some useful ideas about which to put together.  If you haven’t had a colour analysis (what are you waiting for?)  go for a colour you like and have received compliments on in the past.  Unless you are a member of the bridal party, you don’t need to worry too much about fitting in with colour themes but you might want to avoid anything too vibrant and heavily patterned that could upstage the bride.



Subtle colours can work too!

The more simple and understated your outfit, the more fun you can have with accessories.  They don’t all need to match.  If you’re wearing a hat, bag and shoes,  aim for two to be matching to give a feeling of cohesion without looking too match-matchy, which is considered rather dated these days. Accessories don’t need to be the same colour as your outfit either, but they should complement it.

Keep your bag fairly small.  Large totes look out of place at a wedding.  A dainty shoulder bag will be the easiest  to handle when it comes to juggling champagne and canapés.

Feel free to indulge your love of hats/fascinators but don’t feel obliged to wear one if they’re really not your thing, they are not de rigeur these days (unless it’s a Royal Wedding, of course!).

Always make sure you’ve “worn in “ your shoes beforehand so that they are comfortable for the big day. Apparently the Queen employs someone with similar sized feet to do this for her but the rest of us can achieve the same effect by wearing our shoes with socks around the house for a few days.

Mother of the bride

You are the second most important woman on the day!  You may be catching up with relations you haven’t seen for years. You may even face seeing your ex and his new partner. Whatever the situation, you will want to know you look fantastic and be able to look back on the photos with pride. No pressure there then!

As mother of the bride, you are probably going to want to err on the more formal side.  You won’t go wrong in a tailored dress with accompanying jacket. If you’ve always had a hankering to wear a big hat – this is your opportunity!  Just make sure that the brim will enable you to get within kissing distance of guests. Take a look at local milliner, Deborah Dalton’s advice on choosing hats.

Structured and sophisticated. Perfect for a more formal wedding

If you’re someone who normally lives in jeans and would feel uncomfortable in a tailored dress and heels  though, don’t try to go too far out of your comfort zone. You may be happier in a trouser suit or a soft jersey dress in a relaxed fit with a low wedge or kitten heel.  The most important thing is that you should feel attractive and relaxed in what you wear so that you can enjoy the day.

You take precedence over the mother of the groom when it comes to choosing what colour to wear. In the interests of good relations though, try to make a decision early enough to give the MOG  plenty of time to find her own outfit. If there is a particular colour theme for the wedding, it’s nice if your outfit can complement it but don’t feel that you have to go for a colour match.

I know a lot of women get anxious about what to wear to their daughter’s/son’s wedding because they don’t want to let them down. If this is the case for you, why not ask their advice? Whilst your son may not be very forthcoming (I can just imagine the blank look if I asked mine!) his fiancee may well be flattered to be asked. I think you’ll find that their main concern is that you will feel relaxed and happy on the day in whatever you wear.

If you’d like some expert, impartial advice on the colours, styles and make-up which will make you look and feel your very best not only for the wedding, but every day,  why not treat yourself to an image consultation?

The outfits pictured here are all available from Fab Frocks Boutique.