Six ways to determine the wedding guest dress code

If you have been invited to a wedding this summer, knowing what to wear and planning in advance will mean you can relax, look forward to the day, and celebrate the happy occasion with the couple’s friends and family.

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Traditionally, wedding invitations come with a dress code informing the recipient whether the occasion is formal or casual, but let’s take a look at what you should wear if no dress code is specified.

The invitation

The clue could be in the invitation itself. If the invitation is elegant, professionally printed and produced and in a formal style, you may be expected to dress in a similar fashion. If the invitation is more informal and relaxed in design, you can probably expect a relaxed service and celebration.

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One wedding that is sure to be formal is that of Lady Gabriella Windsor, who is getting married next month at Windsor Castle.

Get advice

If you don’t feel comfortable asking the couple, try to contact a member of their family who you know is involved in the wedding preparations and see whether they can advise you on the appropriate dress. If you don’t know anyone, use your research skills and reach out to a family member or close colleague.


Once you know the location for the service and reception, look at the website of the venue. This will often have pictures of previous events and occasions to give you an idea of what sort of event you can expect. If you know the service is taking place in a church, you will want to dress appropriately; alternatively, if the happy couple has chosen an outdoor venue, a more casual look should be acceptable. Fashion brands such as have a great variety of dresses for all types of occasion.


Even if the wedding is in the summer months, this does not always mean that the sun will be shining; however, it does usually mean that the theme of the wedding guest dresses will be summery, whatever the weather.


Another clue could be the time of day for both the service and the reception. If it is a wedding breakfast, dress for the daytime, while a later service will usually mean that the celebrations will go on long into the evening.

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