Whether for a groom or bride, members of the wedding party, or guests, figuring out attire for a wedding can be a complicated process. How do you balance practicality and aesthetics? Should there be a dress code? Do you even want it to be formal? We’ll help you work through these questions and more to figure out the attire that’s right for YOUR wedding!

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Selecting the bridesmaid dresses

The days of the bridal party all wearing the same dress in the same color are in the past! Allowing bridesmaids to pick out their dresses can ensure they feel confident and comfortable all night long. Some dress styles are not flattering on certain body types or your bridesmaids may not feel comfortable in a certain style of dress. This is supposed to be a day of making memories and having fun, so let the fun begin at the bridesmaid dress shopping experience!  

Some great options for bridesmaids’ dresses are:

  • Choose a specific color but allow your bridesmaids to select their style of dress.
  • Select a color scheme and let your ladies choose a shade within that color scheme.
  • Pick a theme for your wedding and they get to choose their style and shade to go along with that theme. An example we saw recently was a theme of wildflowers, and all the bridesmaids had really bright colors on, they were all so confident and glowing in their choices. 

A bonus of them getting to choose their dress and color is that they may even wear the dress again!

If you are still choosing who will be a part of your wedding party, here are 5 things to consider when choosing your wedding party.

What to consider when selecting your wedding gown

Although wedding gowns are stunning, they are often quite heavy. When you find your dream dress you may not realize how important comfort and movement are. Make sure that the dress offers the right support, try walking and dancing in it. Put it on a few times prior to your big day to get comfortable moving around. 

A great option that we see is a bride will have her impressive over-the-top gown for the ceremony and some photos afterward, and then she switches into an alternative outfit for the reception. Something that is a little more fun, flirty, and comfortable to dance in later in the evening. This could be a white pantsuit, a more flowy dress, or even one full of sequence. Keep the glam, just ditch the weight so you can get your dancing on! 

If you choose to keep the wedding gown on all night, make sure that the bustle has more than one button. Due to the weight of the dress, one button typically won’t hold it. Have someone you trust on hand to help you get your dress bustled, and make sure they practice a few times before the wedding day. 

Selecting shoes for the bride, groom, and wedding party

Here in Texas, we see a lot of cowboy boots under the wedding gown, but we understand that’s not the same everywhere. Generally, brides and bridesmaids will wear heels that look wonderful with their wedding attire, however, they typically are not comfortable enough to wear for the whole day. 

Just like switching to a different wedding dress for the reception, changing out shoes for the whole wedding party can be a great idea. We don’t know how many weddings we’ve been to where there is just a pile of shoes that everyone took off due to them being uncomfortable. 

Some great options to switch to are:

  • Converse
  • Cowboy Boots
  • Crocs

Guys, do yourselves a favor and do not rent shoes. They are awful, uncomfortable, and cheap. We can’t even count the number of times we’ve had to do emergency fixes on men’s rental shoes.

Should you use online formalwear companies?

We are big fans of online formalwear, especially when it comes to the groom and groomsmen. SuitShop is a great place to order a suit from and their prices to buy a suit are comparable to renting one. 

SuitShop will organize fittings online and ship the suits to each person. If you are nervous about the colors being correct, they will send you swatches for the suit, ties, and pocket squares so you can make sure everyone has the right color. 

A good suit that is tailored to your body will leave you looking really sharp and there’s no doubt it will come in use at some time in your future. 

Other options for the groom and groomsmen’s attire

There are many options available for men if a tux or suit isn’t the right vibe. Keeping a consistent outfit for the men is more typical and looks clean, although you could add some variations of colors with the dress shirt, tie, and pocket squares.

Some great options for groomsmen attire are:

  • Dress pants and shirts with suspenders and no jacket
  • Beach wear such as khaki pants and a white button-down shirt
  • Dress pants and a dress shirt with a vest and no jacket
  • Blue jeans with a dress shirt and vest or tie

Keep in mind what the temperature is going to be outside in order to make sure your groomsmen are comfortable and don’t get overheated in the summer months!

Here are even more details for selecting the groom/groomsmen suits.

Invitations/wedding website for dress code attire

If you are concerned with what your guests wear to the wedding, make sure you are specific on your wedding invitation or website about the expected attire. Specify the dress code you want your guests to wear, and even recommend a color scheme to take out the guesswork. 

Common wedding dress codes are:

  • White Tie Attire – pretty rare, think royal wedding
  • Black Tie Attire – full tuxedos and floor-length gowns
  • Black Tie Optional Attire – tuxedos, dark suits, fancy cocktail dresses, nothing too revealing or above the knee
  • Cocktail Attire – dark suits, fun, colorful attire, cocktail dresses, or a little black dress
  • Dressy Casual – button-down shirts and dress pants, elegant sundresses
  • Beach Attire – khaki pants or shorts with a nice dress shirt, breezy flowing gowns or skirts
wedding attire
Photo by Carson Vara on Unsplash

How do you know what attire to wear as a wedding guest?

As a guest, it can at times be confusing what you are expected to wear to a wedding. When feeling unsure about what to wear, check the wedding invitation or the wedding website to see if any information is listed there. If you talk to the bride or groom often, don’t hesitate to ask them what the style of the wedding is. 

When all else fails, check out the wedding venue to get an idea of how formal it may be. Do not wear white or a baseball cap. Be mindful of the bride and room and don’t be overly flashy. You don’t want to take the attention away from them.

We recommend starting your wedding planning off by deciding your overarching formality level. Then go into the color schemes and the style. Have fun with it and make sure that it fits in with your style and vibe. There shouldn’t be pressure to fit in with what is traditionally done, or what others are telling you to do. It is your day, so make sure you and your wedding party are comfortable and able to have a great time. 

We are here for any support along the way, whether you need help planning a timeline or choosing music, we have a variety of resources on our website. Also don’t forget to check us out on all social media platforms for more wedding tips!

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Our Guide to Wedding Attire



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