Need to know what to wear to a wedding reception? What you can wear to a wedding reception depends on several factors, including the location of the wedding and your relationship to the bride and groom. If you've been invited to a wedding reception but aren't sure what to wear, check out the tips below.
- Talk to the bride ahead of time, if possible. Ask her what kind of attire would be appropriate to wear to the reception. She’ll be pleased to be asked and you’ll avoid any awkward moments resulting from being the only one in shorts at a black tie wedding. If you don’t know her well enough, try doing a search for the wedding location, which should be on the invitation, online. You should be able to get a pretty good idea of how fancy a place it is from the pictures.
- For most wedding receptions, there are some basic rules. If you are in the wedding party, you will usually be in a tux. A regular male guest will generally wear a suit, especially if he will be giving a toast or playing even a peripheral role in the wedding.
- Casual wedding receptions give you some options. If the location is somewhere casual, such as on a beach or in someone’s backyard, and you have been assured the wedding is more casual, a pair of black or tan slacks and a button-down shirt is acceptable, along with a pair of nice shoes or boots. Do not wear sneakers or sandals at a wedding unless you’ve been specifically directed to wear something like this.
- Women have a bit more flexibility when it comes to what to wear to a wedding reception. A woman can wear a dress, a skirt with a dressy shirt or slacks and a blouse, along with high heeled shoes, flat dress shoes or strappy sandals.
Wedding receptions are a time to look nice. There are plenty of occasions where shorts and tank tops are acceptable attire, but a wedding is not one of them, unless you are instructed otherwise by the bride and groom.