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6 Tips to Decipher the Dress

Wednesday Jul 16, 2014
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Strapless signature Zac Posen Petal- Detailed bodice with fitted body defined by curved seaming in satin, $195
Strapless signature Zac Posen Petal- Detailed bodice with fitted body defined by curved seaming in satin, $195  (Source:David's Bridal)

It's summer and that means wedding bells are ringing. Have you been invited to a wedding, but aren't quite sure what to wear? Deciphering an invitation can be tough. The "rules" are different for different times of day, as well as different formalities. In general, you'll want to wear a dress (doesn't need to be full-length unless it's a very formal wedding) and just about any color goes except for white.

Our friends at David's Bridal offer some key do's and don'ts for ensuring that you look your best without stealing the thunder from the blushing bride(s).


Short athletic neck dress with full gold party skirt, $149  (Source:David's Bridal)

  • If you have to ask if it's appropriate, it probably isn't. Do use good judgment if the invitation doesn't specify the formality of the event.

  • Don't wear white because it competes with the bride, unless you ask her first, as a courtesy. There are plenty of other colors available. This rule may seem outdated, but it's actually just good etiquette to not contend with the bride on her special day.

  • Anything too sparkly will make you look overdressed. Don't wear black or sequins during the daytime.

  • Don't worry about wearing the same colors as the bridesmaids or mothers. You can't possibly coordinate with everyone in the wedding party.

  • Club wear, overtly sexy clothing (strapless, see-through, etc.) doesn't belong at a wedding. A pastel suit or soft floral dress for daytime or a little black dress for evening (after 6 p.m.) will take you almost anywhere.

  • Casual can mean a pretty sundress (for a coastal or beach wedding) but rarely means something as sloppy as jeans or shorts.


    This article is part of our "Gay Marriage" series. Want to read more? Here's the full list»

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