Proper Wedding Attire

There are several factors to consider when selecting wedding attire, including the wedding style, the formality of the location, the number of guests invited, the season, and the budget.

Over the years, general guidelines have formed to address dressing dilemmas for a variety of wedding styles.

Following are some basic wedding attire suggestions for the formal, semiformal, and informal wedding.

Formal Wedding Attire

Daytime Formal Wedding AttireThe formal wedding is long on tradition. For a formal celebration the bride wears a long white or ivory gown with a longer chapel or cathedral train, and a long veil. If the veil has lace, make sure it is the same type as the gown.

If the dress is floorlength in a formal wedding, the veil should be to her fingertips, if the dress is shorter, the veil should also be shorter. Heavy beaded gowns are saved for evening weddings.

The bridesmaids and mothers also wear long gowns at a formal evening wedding, while at a daytime formal wedding shorter dresses would be appropriate.

The groom, the attendants, and the fathers generally choose oxford gray or black cutaway coats, waistcoats, and striped trousers for the daytime formal wedding, while an evening wedding calls for black tailcoats and matching trousers with white ties and waistcoats.The evening dress code kicks in after 6 PM.

Semiformal Wedding Attire

At this type of wedding, the bride generally chooses a floor length gown with little or no train. That ensemble is usually complemented by a shorter veil. The bridesmaids follow suit in a length similar to that of the bride's dress.

The mothers generally choose a length that is shorter by day and longer by night.

Semiformal weddingFor men, strollers in grey or black with striped trousers are traditional daytime attire, while a black dinner jacket or tuxedo, cummerbund, and bow tie remain the traditional evening wear A white jacket is sometimes substituted during the warmer months.

Informal Casual Wedding Attire

When it comes to setting the standards at the informal wedding, your taste is as important as tradition. First, the bride's dress can be any length from short to long, or anything in between. A dressy suit is also appropriate. An informal wedding may not need a veil at all, she may wear a hat or flowers in her hair.

The only rule for the bridesmaids is that they keep their skirt lengths similar to the bride's. The mothers generally wear street length dresses.

The men are also presented with a wide array of dressing (including business suits or jacket and trouser combinations. Lighter colors are generally reserved for warmer months, while a dark suit remains the staple for the cool.
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