Weddings are often very grand affairs these days with brides and grooms going to great lengths, and expense, to make their special day memorable. Ceremonies do not have to be held in a church any more, which means a great deal of flexibility for the happy couple, but a lot of added pressure on the guests to make sure they are dressed appropriately.
One rule does remain constant. Unless you’re the bride, white is off limits. Even if you know the bride is wearing another colour, white has such strong connotations at a wedding, it is best avoided.
Traditional country wedding
Take your inspiration from the quintessential English rose garden. Pretty pastel colours and floral prints are chic and traditional, and many designers are combining the two in classy prom and tea dress styles – perfect for some vintage glamour.
This style works best when accessories complement but do not dominate. Choose a fascinator rather than a large hat and wear nude tones on your feet. Flats are fine – think cute ballet pumps – but heels are always elegant and feminine, the main driver behind this look.
Complete the look with fairytale accessories to add a bit of sparkle for the occasion. Think delicate and diamante and you can’t go wrong. Matching your jewellery and your bag pulls your outfit together.
Keep you make-up understated, too. Neutral shades look great with this style, but feel free to sweep some bronzer over your face to avoid looking too washed out.
If your bride is a city girl, you’ll need to dress appropriately for a more modern wedding. Look for a tailored style and dress to impress. Simple can be classic, meaning you should be able to reuse this outfit again and again, just update your accessories to change the look.
Peplums are bang on trend at the moment and make a statement, though you might prefer cleaner lines for more longevity. If you like to wear colour, this is the style for you. The brighter the better! The lack of fuss in the design means colour is in.
A sleek outfit means a great opportunity to go wild with a hat. This is your opportunity to have some fun, so make it count!
Carry a classy clutch bag and make a statement with your jewellery. Nothing dresses up an outfit like an oversized necklace, so break out your sense of adventure. This is a great look for all ages and shapes.
Make-up can be bold too, but highlight eyes or lips, not both. If you’re wearing a pillar box red lipstick, keep the rest of your face minimal with just a little mascara, otherwise opt for heavier eye make-up but keep lips neutral.
These days, you’re just as likely to be invited to a beach wedding as you are a church affair, so be prepared to swap your heels for flip flops.
The whole event will be informal, but no doubt you will still want to make an effort for the couple’s big day. A beautiful, patterned maxi-dress is your ‘can’t-go-wrong’ solution. If you don’t mind baring your shoulders, strapless or halterneck is acceptable for this sortof wedding, but choose a version with sleeves if you prefer.
For a shorter alternative, opt for a soft, drapey fabric – nothing too close fitting – and your effortlessly chic look is almost complete.
Whether your dress is long or short, keep a pashmina in a coordinating colour to hand to keep you warm, especially as the sun sets and the temperature drops.
Hats are not really the order of the day with a beach wedding, but if you like headwear for a wedding, you might like to dress up with a pretty headband or flowers in your hair for a good alternative. Jewellery can be chunky and wooden, or layer up lots of narrow bangles.
Make-up can be shimmery and metallic with silvers and golds across eyes and cheeks. Keep your lips subtle to avoid looking too ‘done’.