Last week we addressed the basics of wedding dress code like the difference between White and Black Tie, if you missed it check it out here. This week I thought we should touch on the newer trend in wedding attire where couples will ask you for something more specific and often more creative like "Beach Formal" or "Roaring 20's."
When my brother got married we hemmed and hawed over how to word their request for summery and bright semi formal attire for his Key West wedding. We tried desperately to come up with a phrase but each one sounded cute but we knew no one would really understand what they wanted. So we were very straight forward, click here to see.
Last year I designed invitations for a fun couple getting hitched in a Gothic themed wedding near Halloween, they wanted to invite their guests to dress for the theme but wanted to go without fake blood and Freddy Krueger masks...we went with a very direct and to the point request see that here. I encourage couples to spell out exactly what they expect of their guests but that's advice not always taken. If that's the case...here's a little advice when choosing your outfit.
I find this scary, for so many reasons and because there is honestly so many variables especially location. Casual can mean jeans or a really casual dress but I think the most universally acceptable way to go is wearing something casual and elevating it with the rest of your accessories that way your outfit can go either way. You can definitely wear jeans but I would go with a dark wash, this is not 1988 so keep that light faded wash for running to the grocery store. Dress it up with heels (as long as you won't be in a field or on a beach) and I always think a loose and casual blazer with a simple flowy top is fabulous. But the location can also really determine what kind of casual: on a beach go with a sundress and sandals or in a barn jeans and boats are great.
So you want to dress up like a formal wedding....but be able to walk in sand and deal with wind and sun. I would most definitely recommend a long light dress like a maxi dress but make sure the fabric isn't too casual, something a little dressier. Patterns are great as are colors. Bring a cardigan or light blazer in case of wind and chilly temps when the sun goes down. Obviously leave the heels at home, and whatever you do, do not wear heels, get to the beach and take them off...you are not a 17 year old attending a prom...footwear is required at all times, plan accordingly.
Assume this is taking place in a garden or garden like setting...so florals and greens galore. I think a tea length dress in pastels and/or florals is spot on. You can probably get away with a nice flat or wedge will also work since you will most likely be tooling around on grass. A woven rattan clutch is a great addition and will add texture. You can even wear a hat but keep it low key, you don't need to go over the top and sparkle is definitely NOT necessary.
The Roaring 20's or Gatsby is a super popular theme in weddings right now...tons of Art Deco invitations, metallic foil and vintage typefaces are floating around the wedding world accompanied by flapper dresses and headpieces. The best thing you can do here is pick 1 or 2 elements of the style and incorporate it into your ensemble, you don't want to look like you're wearing a costume. So think feathers like a boa or fringe, lots of sparkle and beading, rows and rows of pearls or gold or silver chains, a hair accessory like a comb, headband or a vintage headpiece and a trapeze or A-line mini dress.
Ah, the ever popular rustic elegance...if you hear someone describe their wedding using this phrase, ask just how rustic they expect. I've had bride's describe black tie affairs that we're going to take place in a barn to the opposite extreme including men in jeans, cowboy boots and a button down. If it's the later and more casual think pairing denim with sequins and heels....like a great gold skirt and a worn denim button down is perfect with a softly textured clutch and casual hair!
In two weeks...what NOT to wear to a wedding, ever.