Simple wedding attire checklist for guests

Hello beautiful,

Wedding season has started, although  ‘expensive season’, yet exciting seeing your loved ones’ big day! All what we got to think about is what to wear! We don’t simply want to outshine the bride, but dress smart enough, yet comfortable so we are able to last all day in the same outfit. I personally would pack a cocktail dress for evening, if attending both the ceremony and reception, so you have the option to change later!

If you are seeking any advice, you might get overwhelm with googling a wedding season – what to wear!  There is the great lists of rules to follow! Quite time consuming and scary to read!!! So many different things to think about when it comes wedding attire! But I do wonder, is it really necessary?

Whether we like traditions or not, culture differences, like attending British or Czech weddings in my case! At the end of the day, each wedding is different and everybody have their own expectations! Traditionally, we’ve seen formal dress codes on the invitations, such as white tie, black tie, optional black tie or cocktail for instance! As we seen the traditions are still kept in the royal circles with recent Pippa Middleton’s wedding. However, the trends in nowadays feels more relax! But don’t get offended if the bride and groom have specific requirements for you to wear!

To make it all easier, I had put a simple checklist to follow and few rules that will help you to select the best appropriate dress! Including a story that teached me a lesson and inspired this article. I had also compare and add some points below about what I am wearing, and basically criticise the look too! These pictures originally weren’t intended to be head to toe wedding outfit, clearly you can see I don’t even have a pair of heels on! I love how they turned out though and thought this is a perfect example to simply summarise what’s right and what’s not, when it comes to wedding outfits! I believe, I am saving you from reading through the insane lists on google! I did browse it all myself,  few hours later this article was born!

So the dress above is dress I bought for a wedding about 6 years ago! I never actually wore it. All these years, it’s been sitting in my wardrobe! I definitely think wedding do really cost me some pennies. The good news is that it’s from H&M. With my hair up (this was a quick fix), gentle sweet earrings, no necklace, the dress itself doesn’t need any more accessories, the cleavage isn’t too revealing and actually feels quite elegant, the black panel makes it appropriate for not being all in cream colour, I think this is a lovely dress to wear to a wedding!

Although, I have couple of points I don’t like! One of them is, you might notice, my nail colours don’t match fingers and toes. I am quite lucky, as thanks to my work, I got to have my nails painted in popular nail colours, whenever I can, it’s a bonus really. But make sure that’s sorted, because dress like this could be so beautiful but without paying attention to little details, it could just be a faux pas. The one concern I might have is perhaps the length of the dress could be little bit longer too! I would finish this look with lovely sandal heels, black because of the panel, and also a sweet clutch bag, even a cross bag such as Drew or Nille Chloe Bag for instance would just add the final touch! I would keep make up to a minimum and very natural, no bright lipstick, just nude!

And finally, here are the rules that helps me to decide what to wear together with checklist I follow before I choose what to wear!


  1. RULE: Don’t outshine the bride – don’t wear over dressy outfit that will reveal you cleavage or shout out: “Look at me”! That involves the colour choice too! There is no right or wrong colours, even red or black is appropriate, but always avoid white, unless the bright and groom would like you to wear it, however it shouldn’t ever be simple white! Use the checklist below to help you make the early decisions!
  2. RULE: Dress according to a season – not all wedding happens in a wedding season! It could also be a festive wedding, beach wedding, church or barn wedding. You want to feel like you fit in and made an effort!
  3. RULE: Stick to one piece if you can, don’t wear separates on your friend’s big day!  I know it’s more comfortable and easier to find separates, but I made the same mistake in the past! If you look back, one piece just looks better on pictures too and again, it seems you put time and afford into finding the perfect dress!
  4. RULE: Fascinator isn’t the solution – yes, it is lovely and tradition to wear a head piece, especially for formal weddings, however it ‘s not mandatory! I would focus on your dress and accessory first, rather a small thing such as a fascinator! Make sure your hair is nicely done too! If you have a fascinator hat that compliments your attire, then why not, but nothing worse when you match the wrong head piece.

Checklist – ‘check twice, buy once’:

  • Check the invitation – the style of the invitation should already tell you what wedding is it going to be like, it usually says about the dress code too and other details.
  • Check the venue on the internet – the best way to know what to wear is to look at the actual venue! It will majorly help with shoe decisions too.
  • Don’t buy dress too early or last minute – From my own experience – I was a maid of honour for my closest friend’s wedding, found a stunning dress from Whistles about 9 months prior to the wedding. I thought, it was the perfect dress. Not revealing, gentle lace (completely ok to wear lace to a wedding, its fashionable and classy), length to my ankles, which is great for maid of honour as it is not full length and not too short either, also in blush pink colour, which is great to blend it to the surroundings mainly on the pictures, so the bride can shine! Thanks to the cut and material, it simply was just perfect dress.Well, by all means, we then went wedding dress shopping and my friend had decided she doesn’t want classic white dress, but will go for old fashioned pink colour that we found! Boo-boo, what an error I made! She looked stunning, so it was all worth it! However, I then went last minute dress shopping, end of the season too (end of July/beginning of August), it is just terrible time to shop for dresses! No size selection left, not even nice styles around and when you busy with life too, how can you make a great decision! I had about a month to choose, which really goes down to about 3 days in the month when I was free, narrow it down to one day spend running around in Birmingham that clearly should have a bigger choice! I was so stressed that I purchased quite expensive dress! Well, I do love the dress and the brand too! But in that time I just panicked! I din’t really have to spent that kind of money, especially when it was already a second purchase! In the ideal world, you actually go shopping together with the bride to avoid this situation, however me living in the UK, wedding is happening in Czech, plus Czech weddings don’t really do bridesmaids, unless it is one of the most glamorous and expensive weddings.

So please, learn from my mistake! If you are maid of honour or bridesmaid, make sure the bride has her dream dress first! And don’t presume it will definitely be a white dress too! Also, plan the time right, start looking earlier rather later, so you don’t end up with SALES on your hand (you could save some pennies, but trust me, you don’t need the stress).

  •  Don’t wear a new pair of shoes! Weddings are not the time to wear a new pair of shoes, although I know all of us do that, unless you know that the style won’t rub your feet! Wedding is a time to celebrate and dance as much as you can! Do yourself a favour and get a nice pair of heels, either little bit earlier so you can break them before the day, or choose a nice and clean pair you already own!
  • Make sure to match with your partner! Most likely you will be attending a wedding with your husband or partner! The best thing to do is if you both made the effort and match your outfits! Meaning, you don’t wear dress that feels relaxed and he is head to toe in white tie!
  • Ask friends who are attending the wedding! In case you don’t know the bride and groom that well, and your partner isn’t helpful (because he is form Mars), ask your common friends what they are planning to wear or whether there is something you should avoid, in case the bride hate some certain colours or so!

I hope this article is helpful!

Is there anything else you would add to the list? I believe, the best way to master every wedding season is to talk to people and know their opinion, so I’d love to hear yours below. Let me know what do you think of the dress I am wearing too, it is on my ‘maybe rail’, so shall I keep it or not?

I will see you after the jump.

With Love,

The best places to look for dresses:

Net-a-porter – brands to look at is Self Portrait & Zimmermann
Perseverance at Stripes or Selfridges
Whistles (You can now shop Whistles wedding gowns too)