Hot Summer Wedding Fashion and Etiquette

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How to sizzle as summer’s most stunning wedding guest!



Summer Wedding Etiquette Q&A


Q: Is it OK to wear a white/ivory/cream suit or dress to a summer wedding?

A: In this day and age, the rules on color are relaxed—even the bride may choose a pink, powder blue, or bold red wedding gown. The same is true for wearing white as a wedding guest. But you have to be clever how you do it: for ladies, think a white-based print or a white bodice on a block dress. Stay away from wedding-dress silhouettes and fabrics like lace, tulle, chiffon, and satin. Men have more freedom, and can wear a white or cream-colored suit without getting the evil eye from Great-Aunt Tallulah.

Q: Can I give a gift not on the couple’s wedding registry?

A: Wedding registries are the bridal couple’s “suggestion” of gifts . . . that they spent hours agonizing over which flatware pattern/bath towels/salad spinner would best complement their home. So when you buy from the registry, you are smartly buying a gift the couple needs and wants, and will love. (Can you say the same of that chip-and-dip bowl you’re eyeing?) If you know the bride and groom well, you can make an impact veering off-registry with a personalized gift or experience that will have special meaning.

Q: How do I know if my children are invited to the wedding?

A: It can be challenging for parents to attend a wedding without their kids, especially for an out-of-town event. But few head-count horrors trump someone showing up with extra guests, especially if no children were invited. So how can you clarify? For starters, check the invitation for clues. Does it say “The Jones Family” (a good indicator that children are welcome), or does it stick to “Mr. and Mrs. Jones”? Is there a particular number of seats reserved for your party? Modern invitations are spelling it out by sharing whether two or four seats are waiting for your party. If you are at all in doubt, ask the bride and groom if the invitation extends to your young ones.


Summer Wedding Fashion Tips


• • • Daytime Wedding • • •

Ladies, try floral patterns, airy styles, and classic sheaths with a duller finish fabric. Pair with more casual shoes and accessories.

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Men, try a lightweight slack, linen blazer, vest with no jacket, and a loafer shoe—tie optional.

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• • • Evening Wedding • • •

Ladies, go with more glitz, shinier fabrics, fewer patterns, and dressier shoes and jewelry.

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Men, stick with a suit. (Try a colored suit, like the blue one below, for less formal evening weddings.) Ties should be more elegant; think small patterns or tone-on-tone selections. Don’t forget the pocket square! Choose a dark shoe for more elegant evening events.

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• • • Formal or Black Tie Wedding • • •

Ladies, long or short dresses will work these days! But if you’re going short, make sure your ensemble has a dressier vibe. Embellishments are great here.

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Men, aim for a dark suit or tuxedo, and a simple but elegant tie. A sheen on the tie is a nice touch!

Mens_Suit_1_Formal Mens_Suit_2_Formal Mens_Suit_3_Formal


All images courtesy of Nordstrom

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