The Fashionista is in: wedding attire

A guide to appropriate summer-wedding guest apparel.

A long tulle skirt and black heels are an easy style to wear to summer weddings.

Chelsea Gortmaker

A long tulle skirt and black heels are an easy style to wear to summer weddings.

by Shannon Ryan

Doesn’t it seem like everyone you know is getting married? It sure seems like that to me. And the majority of those weddings take place during the summer — the season of love. You’ll presumably be attending more than one this season, so that means you’ll need to update your event wear.

Rules definitely apply when getting dressed for the event, so take note of the do’s and don’ts I’ll toss your way.


When choosing dress color …

The rule of no white to a wedding is a hard-and-fast rule — it’s simply courteous. It’s the bride’s day, so let her be the focus of all the eyes. Avoid really any shade of white, including cream, ecru and bright white. All other colors are fair game, though sticking to one that’s fitting for the season is the loveliest way to make an appearance. Choose from a fresh palette of the colors on reserve for spring or summer 2013. Dismiss winter’s moody hues of black, charcoal, oxblood and plum, opting instead for a rich fuchsia, bright crimson red or citrusy orange. All of those are vibrant, bold and optimistic — complementary to the weather indeed.


On dressing for the time and place …

There are two types of ceremonies — those in the afternoon, which tend to be quite casual, and evening soirees, which are more formal. Taking into account what time the wedding takes place is key to your outfit’s success. During the early afternoon, it is perfectly appropriate to don a floral sundress or a pastel maxi; however, during the evening it’s not. Opt for a chiffon cocktail dress or a silk shift dress in a more saturated hue for a night wedding.

Nowadays many weddings call for a wardrobe change between an insouciant daytime ceremony and a lavish evening reception. Determine how much to dress up or down according to the time and venue of the wedding. But by all means, do dress up for the occasion. The warm weather and blasé summer attitudes are not excuses to wear denim shorts and a tube top to a wedding. Even a low-key barnyard affair calls for a skirt or at least a pair of tailored trousers. A true fashionista doesn’t stray from decorum. Show the marrying couple that you understand the significance of their wedding, and dress to impress.


When selecting accessories …

Because the weather is a delight and your skin has a healthy glow, you’re probably going to be wearing a weightless, flowing dress, and your accessories should follow a similar style. Cumbersome baubles look inappropriate with an airy ensemble, so swap your chandelier earrings for a classic pearl or a polished stud. A little bling goes a long way in the summertime.

In terms of footwear, a bright pair of sandals or strappy heels is the perfect partner to a summer dress — flip flops are not OK. For a more elegant affair, select a strong stiletto or a pair of peep-toes. And if you’re attending an outdoor wedding, you may want to opt for wedges or flats that won’t get stuck in the grass or sand.