Wedding Guest Outfits Dos and Don’ts 


A wedding invitation – a cause for celebration! But amongst the excitement, a question often pops up: “What should I wear?”, and I’m sure we’re not alone when it comes to the panic internet search for the dos and don’ts for wedding guest outfits. But fear not! Below we decode wedding guest attire to help you look sharp and feel confident on the big day no matter the wedding venue.


The Wedding Guest Dress Code

Wedding invitations typically include a dress code, so, consider this your roadmap to outfit success! Here’s a breakdown of common dress codes to help you choose the perfect wedding guest outfit.

  • Formal Wedding Guest Outfits: Elegance is the name of the game for formal weddings. Women can choose a sophisticated cocktail dress, a dressy pantsuit, or a long gown in luxurious fabrics like silk or satin. Men should opt for a dark suit and tie, or a tuxedo for a black-tie event.
  • Semi-Formal Wedding Guest Outfits: Finding a balance between formal and casual is key for semi-formal weddings. Women can choose a dressy knee-length or midi dress, a skirt and blouse combination, or a jumpsuit that exudes effortless style. Men can opt for a suit and tie, or dressy slacks with a collared shirt and dress shoes.
  • Cocktail Wedding Guest Outfits: Dressy yet festive. Women can choose a knee-length or cocktail dress in a fun print or vibrant colour. Men can opt for a suit and tie, or dressy separates like a blazer and dress pants.
  • Casual Wedding Guest Outfits: Comfort is a priority, but style shouldn’t be forgotten for casual wedding outfits. Think dressy separates, tailored trousers, or a smart blouse for women. Men can opt for chinos with a collared shirt or a blazer for a touch of formality.



6 women wearing different styles of wedding guest outfit



Wedding Guest Outfits for Women

Looking your best for a wedding celebration is about feeling confident and comfortable. Here are some tips to navigate wedding guest outfits for women.

  • Embrace the Dress Code: The dress code is your golden rule. Stick to the suggested level of formality to avoid your wedding guest outfit being underdressed or overdressed.
  • Shorter is OK, Skimpier is Not: While shorter hemlines are acceptable for some dress codes, ensure you maintain a tasteful and classy look.
  • Colour Coordination: While white is typically reserved for the bride, wedding guests’ outfits should avoid colours that are too close to her palette. See more on this below.


Wedding Guest Outfits for Men

Looking sharp for a wedding celebration is a way to show respect to the couple and the occasion. Here are some tips for wedding guest outfits for men.

  • Suit Up: Suits are a safe bet for most wedding dress codes as there are many different styles and colours. Opt for classic colours like black, navy, or grey.
  • Tie One On: A tie elevates your look for formal and semi-formal occasions. Choose a tie that compliments your shirt and suit colour and if you’re attending with your partner why not try a little colour coordination with your accessories?
  • Shine On (Subtly): Pocket squares and cufflinks can add a touch of personality, but keep them subtle and classy.


2 men hugging in the wedding guest outfits - wearing matching blue suits



What Colours to Avoid as a Wedding Guest

  • White (and Similar Shades): This is the bride’s day, so your wedding guest outfit must steer clear of anything that might be mistaken for her wedding gown. Some brides could be fine with guests wearing lighter shades such as ivory and cream but it is best to avoid them to be on the safe side!
  • Black (Unless Specified): Black can sometimes be too sombre for a wedding celebration. If the dress code is black-tie, black is perfectly acceptable, otherwise, choose colours you feel comfortable in.

Bonus Tip: When in doubt about choosing your wedding guest outfit, consult the couple directly or a close mutual friend for clarification on the dress code for their wedding.



newly wed couple smiling and running whilst confetti is thrown by wedding guests



Considering a Wedding at Mount Pleasant Hotel?


At The Mount Pleasant Hotel, we understand that every wedding is unique. Our Malvern wedding venue provides a beautiful backdrop for your special day, and our dedicated team will ensure your wedding guests feel comfortable and stylish throughout the celebration. We can help you create a wedding that reflects your style, from the wedding décor to the dress code.

With this guide as your compass, you’ll navigate the world of wedding guest outfits with confidence, whether you’re attending a wedding or planning your special day!

To take some stress out of preparing for your big day, why not download our brochure to see our full range of packages?

Now that you know what you’re going to wear; plan what you’re going to say with the perfect wedding speech.