What to Wear to a Wedding

man in black formal suit with white necktie beside green bush in shallow focus photography

You’ve been invited to a wedding, and it’s the first time, now what? Well, for starters, you’re not going in jeans and sneakers. Weddings are formal or semiformal events. So, take a close look at the actual invitation. Most times it will spell out what kind of wedding attire for men and women is expected.

The Invite Says Black Tie

This pretty much means you need to wear a tuxedo. If you are like 99 percent of people who don’t have one, then plan on renting one. Do this early enough so that you can get the fitting done and pick the right suit for the event and have it in time. You can rent a tuxedo online as well as in person at a tuxedo rental in St Louis and elsewhere. If online, make sure to allow enough time for the shipping, and you will need to do your own measurements unlike if you go in person and that’s taken care of at the venue. So, plan ahead.

Instead, the Invite Says Semi-Formal

Now things get a bit squishy. Ideally, the wedding couple want guests to be dressed up, but they don’t want to burden people with the cost of a full tuxedo and event dress. So, semiformal allows people to wear their formal best without having to be in a full formal attire setup. This doesn’t mean wear your Monday cubicle office rumbled outfit from last week’s work shift. Ideally, you should have a casual formal suit that is a solid color for both jacket and pants, along with a good business shirt, nice tie, and properly contrasting shoes to finish the look. Fortunately, if you don’t have any of that, you can also rent a semiformal suit from a tuxedo provider just like a tuxedo. Again, if online, you will need to do your own measurements as there is no fitting provided. 

Invite Says Dressy Casual

One thing is for sure with this type of event – you don’t need to wear a tie. Dressy casual is basically a nice blazer, button shirt, slacks and shoes other than sneakers or flipflops. You can be comfortable and relaxed, and there’s no need to worry about wearing your jacket buttoned up. However, don’t show up in jeans and a t-shirt. The idea behind dressy casual is pretty much going to draw the line at a polo shirt (in fact, you’re better off with a nice Hawaiian shirt versus a single-color drab polo short). Most people will still wear a comfortable light blue button shirt with slacks and blazer to frame up the top. 

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The Invite Just Says Show Up

Let’s think about this for a moment: you’re going to a wedding which is someone’s special day. Yes, there was no dress code specified on the invitation, but it is still a wedding ceremony. The best way to play it safe on this unknown is to assume at least dressy casual anyway. That way, even if you don’t have a tie, you will still mix in with the crowd versus looking like college kid sore thumb sticking out.

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