FOR YOUR GUESTS: Wedding Guest Style Guide / by Kelly Golia


Let's face it: being a wedding guest can be a lot of work! As a guest, most times you dedicate at least an entire weekend to your loved one's nuptials, hand pick the most special gift off of their registry, travel (sometimes really far!) to be there, and invest in the perfect outfit for the occasion. It's all of course worth it once ugly crying through happy tears during the ceremony (Anyone else? Just me?) , but it's hard to deny the amount of thought that goes in to being a wedding guest. 

I've been to a few weddings in my day, and no matter how early I start thinking about the most important part (my outfit, duh), I inevitably find myself scrambling to figure out what to wear with just a couple of days to go. "Does this still fit?" "Will I be able to dance in this dress?" "Will anyone notice that I wore this to last month's wedding?"... you get the point.

Lucky for you, I'm joining forces with The Black Tux, provider of online tux rentals, to share my top tips for what to wear to a wedding, along with their ultimate style guide for guests. Brides & Grooms - don't be afraid to share this with your guests to give them peace of mind! Your wedding website is the perfect place to post information about your wedding's dress code, and your guests will appreciate your thoughtful planning.


1. Plan for the weather. Sometimes weather is predictable. Most times it is not (especially here in New England... don't get me started). The best example I have is this: two years ago I was invited to two weddings, one week apart. One was the first weekend of September, the other was the following weekend. The first wedding was 95 degrees, humid, and hot as heck. The second wedding? 50 degrees, rainy, and outdoors. This was just one week apart, people! It sounds obvious, but check the weather and be prepared. If you're traveling for the wedding, be sure to pack layers, just in case. If the ceremony will be outdoors rain or shine, bring a clear umbrella so as not to block the view of the guests behind you. Throw on a shawl if the temperature gets too cool. Guys, you can usually ditch your suit jacket after the ceremony if it gets too hot. The more prepared you are, the more comfortable you'll be.

2. Do not, under ANY circumstances, wear white. This should be common knowledge, but it blows my mind when I see a guest wearing white at almost every wedding I go to. Your 16 year old cousin probably doesn't know better, your 86 year old great aunt should know better but might not care, but either way I'm telling you right now. No white. Period. Reserve it for the bride, and let her have her moment. Even pale blues or pinks are questionable, so remember: if you're wondering if your dress looks like it could maybe, possibly be even a little bit white, don't take that risk. 

3. Coordinate! If you're attending with a date, have some fun with it. Don't go overboard, but making sure his tie complements the color of your dress will make you look put-together, not to mention adorable. Don't have a date? Coordinate with the wedding venue or decor. A fall wedding calls for rich, berry-inspired hues, while blues and other cool tones are perfect for a summer beach wedding. 

4. Have a backup plan. This one goes out to all my ladies. Pack a pair of flats. I don't care how seasoned a professional you are at wearing heels (I am not, by the way), your feet will thank me for this one. Wear the heels for the ceremony (don't forget heel protectors for a ceremony on a lawn!), and swap 'em for more comfortable flats after dinner. Keep a light sweater tucked in your bag in case the AC is blasting in the reception space, and pack some makeup in your clutch for quick touch-ups throughout the evening.

5. Follow the dress code. Check the couple's wedding website or invitation for dress code. Most will include a quick line about attire. Casual? Semi-formal? Black tie? These can all mean different things to different people, but The Black Tux has created this fool proof guide to decode it all for you. Ladies - if you're not ready to splurge on a fancy gown for a formal wedding, I know people that have had a lot of success with Rent the Runway. And fellas, honestly The Black Tux makes it SO EASY for you. Suits are expensive to buy, and I remember having extremely limited options when looking to rent for my husband and his groomsmen. The Black Tux has so many more options than what I've found at tux rental shops near me, and the price is pretty comparable. Check them out and let me know if you end up using them!


I hope this helps, wedding guests! Enjoy your celebrations, and let me know what other questions you have about attire (or guest etiquette in general). Cheers!

This post was created in partnership with The Black Tux, however all thoughts and opinions are my own.