A post royal wedding post: what to wear to a Summer wedding.

May 9, 2011 § 1 Comment

It’s that time of year.  No doubt wedding invitations are flying through your letter box and you’re asking yourself, what the hell am I going to wear??

When requested to attend a Summer wedding – often outdoors – what to wear poses many questions; is the colour ok? Will the weather hold out? Is my skirt too short? You get the gist.  Last week I heard a very well to do gentleman confess to his wife that no one would be looking at her anyway so she needn’t bother spending much time deliberating over her outfit.  I could have knocked his living daylights out, especially since he proclaimed as such while wearing a socks & sandals combo (the ultimate crime), a move that will get you copious amounts of unwanted attention!  This post is dedicated to his wife, because YES people will be looking at you and wouldn’t you want to look your best?

After royal wedding frenzy, which I thought was fantastic by the way, most women will be caught up in the excitement.  My flatmates and I enjoyed a tea party fit for the Queen with cucumber sandwiches (minus the crusts), scones and lots and lots of bubbly.  I thought Kate (for I can’t quite get used to calling her Catherine) in Alexander McQueen looked classically stunning with a satisfying touch of vintage charm.  I was none to impressed with Philip  Treacy’s baroque antler creations worn by sisters Beatrice and Eugenie, and secretly hoped they might have battled it out at some point during the days events.  Aside from the royal wedding guests, whom the world watched shimmy down the altar there is a serious lack of unique inspiration.  When it comes to weddings, from the guests point of view, there is little help and more often than not you might end up somewhere between the high school prom and Cheltenham races.

It’s worth deciding what to wear at least a week in advance.  If you are lucky enough to utilize something in your existing wardrobe – great, but do try on the complete outfit so you know it still fits and doesn’t need a specialist clean!  Last Summer I had three weddings all within a few weeks of each other.  I had ONE dress and smashed my own ‘cost per wear’ record, simply changing my hairstyle or bag for each wedding.

The invitation may give some indication as to the dress code.  White tie requires the women to wear long dresses, with black tie length of dress is optional although it should be ‘dressy’ and formal dress will require a cocktail or long dress.  Smart-casual does not mean jeans!!  You may laugh but I have seen it!  I also witnessed a Father of the Groom change from a kilt & shirt into jeans and a white ‘wife-beater’ vest – I won’t forget it. If there is no formal request in terms of attire try to gauge the dress-code from the formality and quality of the invite.  If in doubt, ask!  Remember this is a VERY special occasion so it is always better to dress-up rather than to dress-down.    In terms of hair & make-up my advice would be to avoid tacky up-dos and heavy make-up at all costs!  Natural is best.   If you don’t wear skirts or dresses there is nothing wrong with wearing trousers.  I’ve selected a few different dresses here, here, here with corresponding hats, fascinators, bags & shoes.  Choose something which doesn’t make such a statement that you’ll never want to wear it again, keep accessories simple and heels low(ish).  Floral prints in pastel shades are a must for Summer weddings.  Add a wide chiffon bow to a classic floral printed shift dress if you’re strapped for cash and make your own wrist corsage.

There are a few rules that MUST be followed:

  • Tradition dictates that guests should NEVER wear white or cream unless requested.
  • If you decide to wear black, make sure you add a splash of colour in ‘acceptance’ of the wedding.
  • Avoid short skirts and too much cleavage – Gypsy weddings are NOT the norm.
  • Don’t ignore the dress-code, it has been given for a reason!
  • NEVER upstage the bride, subtlety is the key.
I hope you enjoy my mish-mash of inspirational styles below.

Don’t forget the confetti…

Remember to sign the guestbook…


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