I’m back! As I last shared, it’s been an overwhelming (both trials and joys) the past few weeks in my personal life and my blog needed to take a moment on the back burner. I’ll go into detail and share more on what all has been going on here soon, but today is a fun post to compose as two of the joys that occurred in my life recently were: one my best friend’s weddings (I was a bridesmaid) and another best friend’s engagement! So, I’ve got wedding talk on the brain!
I’d bet that one of the most commonly asked questions by both male and female wedding attendees is, “what should I wear?!” And you know what? For good reason! There is such a broad range of wedding styles these days that sometimes it can feel extremely overwhelming to know what is appropriate to arrive in. However, I believe it’s important to understand what the bride & groom have in mind in terms of their overall vision and aesthetic of their wedding and I think it’s always proper etiquette to dress accordingly to any event you are so graciously invited to! So when The Black Tux reached out to me to join in sharing guest dress guidelines and ideas, I was thrilled to collaborate on some tips on how to make dressing for your next wedding a breeze!
Here are my personal top 3 tips:
Study the invitation
What kind of invite is it? Online or paper? Modern or traditional? Is it an ‘invitation suite’ (multiple cards enclosed) or one simple card? Is there a formal mail-in RSVP card or is it done online? When and where is the wedding? What is the venue like? Are there intricate details that would lead you to believe the bride and groom have a specific vision in mind?
These are the questions you can begin to ask yourself when receiving the invite to your loved ones’ special day. Chances are, these details will begin to answer a lot of your questions regarding attire. For example, if there aren’t many details on the invitation and it’s viewed online, I would assume it’s a very casual celebration. On the flip side, when I receive a full invitation suite, I know the bride errs on the side of tradition and has likely spent a lot of time in truly hand-picking her invitations.
Many weddings on the formal side state the requested attire – win! But ultimately, you must utilize whatever details are given in the invitation. If the couple includes a wedding website, you can click-through for more information on the venue. If not, Google it! Even if a wedding venue is unfamiliar or not even a traditional venue at all, chances are there is at least one photo image somewhere on Google. Do your research and take the time to really know more about the day that your dear friends or family are working so hard on throwing so that you may attend and enjoy yourself!
Give yourself options
When you feel like you’re ready to start “pulling” a selection of an outfit, remember that it’s okay to have multiple choices. If I’m purchasing a new dress, I head straight to Nordstrom. Their selection is superior and their return policy is amazing, so I often purchase a few dresses at a time to give myself time to decide on ‘the one’. In this process, I may opt for a range of dress code as well. Seeing fabrics, textures, and details on dresses in person is crucial as these are what can make an outfit be more casual vs. more formal. As you can see in my selections above, there are just slight differences that bump up a dressy casual dress from a semiformal dress. Those extra little details are important! And if you have options to see both in person and on you, you can narrow it down. I promise you’ll be much more confident with your final selection this way!
It never hurts to ask
Our wedding was black tie optional and I received a lot of inquiries on what that meant. And gosh, I loved it! It showed me that our guests were not only excited to come to our wedding because they were thinking about it and planning for it in advance, but they genuinely wanted to be respectful and appropriate to us as the bride and groom and to our families as they joined us in such a sacred and cherished day in our lives. I felt so incredibly honored by each and every inquiry I received! It also provided an opportunity for a ‘catch up’ conversation with each guest that asked which was so special amidst a stressful season of wedding planning!
So really, it doesn’t hurt to ask. In fact, I encourage it! The bride and groom will not be offended, they will be touched that you care so much! Again, you must remember how much they are putting into this big day (time, work, finances, etc.) and it’s all because they want YOU to be able to celebrate with them! So sometimes that requires us to humble ourselves and our wardrobe choices and/or preferences and simply ask if what you have in mind works or if they’d prefer something different. Some bride and grooms may not even care! But worst case scenario… they prefer something different! And you know what, I think that is OKAY. Ultimately, it’s their wedding! And we should all feel so honored to be included in it!
So…. you’ve selected a dress, it’s bride & groom approved and you’re ready to kill it on the dance floor! Yay! Now, let’s talk about your man….
This is where The Black Tux comes in!
Heres the good news: mens attire is a whole lot more simple than women’s. After all, dress trends change seasonally but suits remain pretty constant, give or take a few different ‘cuts’. Bad news: most guys don’t own the good stuff! Whether they’re casual by nature, their work doesn’t require it, they haven’t wanted to invest (quality suits are a whole lot more expensive than dresses!)…. men are often the ones that come up short in the wedding guest attire scene. I get it, men! And I got you.
The Black Tux is a magical site that is all about renting a sharp suit or tux for any special occasion. It can be used for one rental to an entire groomsmen party group rental! They have everything from casual suits to white tuxedo jackets, so they truly have you covered. You take your man’s measurements, select his ‘get up’ (down to his accessories and shoes, if you choose!) and they send it to you in the mail a week before your event! They guarantee your fit, so if something isn’t quite right… they’ll fix it right away. How wonderful is this?!
Though I didn’t use them for our own wedding, I’m now wishing we had! Trust me, traditional tuxedo rental is less than an enjoyable experience (and really expensive), so I am truly thrilled to pass this along to any brides or those attending weddings coming up!
Want a breakdown on what is appropriate for your man to wear? Suit? Tie? Both? Tux? The Black Tux has this extremely handy guide for y’all below. It’s the perfect detailed reference guide and is sure to help you pick the perfect outfit for you AND your man!
And even if you find yourself not attending any more weddings in 2016, you can better believe you’ll begin seeing all kinds of engagements happening this fall and upcoming holiday season… so now you’ll be so ready to take on the 2017 wedding season by storm! And speaking of the holiday season… let’s not forget about company Christmas parties! All these rules apply for those events as well!
After all this dress guide prep, you’ll be ready to proudly start the conga line and take a photo with Grandma OR proudly shake hands and cheers with the CEO any time of year!
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