Bridal Fashion

What You Should Actually Wear To A Wedding

09 July 2017

Sure the promise of an open bar and watching boozy aunts getting low to Bruno Mars is something to be eagerly anticipated…


On the other hand, trying to figure out what to wear to a wedding can riddle many a lass with anxiety.


The questions are endless; what does a ‘lounge attire’ dress code mean, is a dress with a white floral print inappropriate, can I wear flats!? Then you realise you also need to sort out the god-damn gift and make sure your boyfriend stays on his leash throughout the evening (given last time he broke the musician’s guitar with his drunken antics, it’s a must). So weddings, while fun, can be just a wee bit stressful.

In celebration of our brand-spanking new bridal range, we’re taking all the questions out of wedding attire etiquette, so you’ll actually know what to wear to a wedding. You’re welcome.


Dress Code – Casual

The most casual of all the dress codes (in case ‘casual’ didn’t give that away), remember that it’s still a wedding so no ripped jeans, thongs or band tees, please. Casual weddings are generally non-traditional; so maybe they’re having afternoon drinks or it’s a lunchtime soiree. It’s usually quite low-budget and small – but this doesn’t mean ‘no fun’, some of the most fun weddings I’ve been to have been more casual!

Dress Code – Smart Casual

Very similar low-key, small vibes as a casual wedding; you can be pretty experimental with your look. Think cute racewear. Your hair can be worn in a slew of different ways and you can have a bit more fun with your accessories

Dress Code – Beach Formal / Lounge

The least common of wedding dress codes, in my long career of wedding attendant, I’ve only been to one wedding which stipulated ‘lounge’. Most of the time weddings with a beach formal or lounge dress code are destination weddings; so think Euro vacay, European summers. Relaxed, feminine, and styled.

Dress Code – Cocktail Attire / Semi-Formal / Dressy Casual

More formal than casual or smart casual but still generally a pretty non-traditional wedding. Think glam accessorise, bling, feminine and a heel. But make sure it’s a comfy heel as these sort of weddings generally have a LOT of dancing! Probably the most common of wedding dress codes, cocktail also rears up as ‘semi-formal’ or ‘dressy’ on some invitations. You can have a bit more fun with your style for cocktail dress attire, think more prints and textures, pantsuits, and even a skirt with a nice top is a great option! Just ensure you’re not showing too much skin and keep your hemline between a few inches above your knee to a midi length.

Dress Code – Formal Attire / Black Tie Optional

More luxe and sophisticated than the above but you can still have a bit of cheeky fun with your look. Think glam fabrics, OTT accessories and colour. 

Dress Code – Black Tie

OTT glam. A black tie dress code calls for long dresses, getting your makeup done, and generally just dressing up. Play with colour, necklines and sleek silhouettes.

Dress Code – White Tie

Ahhh the fancy AF wedding that some people have, spending a hefty Northern Beaches house deposit on. It’s great to attend one of these affairs at least once in your life, if not just to see the pure opulence and extravaganza the weddings generally are. Sometimes a less formal wedding might have this dress code but that’s pretty weird. Sitting on a hay bail in elaborate gown doesn’t seem right. Think chic and polished. As a general rule white tie stipulates a floor-length (or close enough) dress. Try to keep the prints at a minimum and it’s best to don a pair of heels. Keep the accessories clean and opt for either a chic chignon or soft curls.

The main things to remember when choosing your outfit for a wedding are as follows:

  • If you’re unsure, check with the bride!
  • Don’t wear white or anything in the white family. Just don’t do it. Unless the bride request everyone does. This happens sometimes, the pics are awesome.
  • Don’t wear anything too tight or something that shows too much skin. Weddings are (generally) classy, nice events. Keep it covered.

Other notes:

  • Don’t be late to a wedding. Ever.
  • Don’t ask to bring a date. If they were invited they would be on the invitation.
  • Have fun! It’s a party celebrating love, enjoy!

Need more inspiration? Shop Showpo’s range of wedding guest dresses today!

Kelly McCarren.