2014 wedding guest style guide

Wedding season is upon us, my friends. It seems to get longer and longer each year. From May through October you can count on attending at least a few weddings each year, especially if you're in your mid-20s or 30s. I pulled together 11 options to serve as inspiration for your next soiree. My number one requirement when choosing a dress to wear to a wedding is comfort. Basically, I plan to be doing a lot of eating and dancing and therefore I need a dress that's going to hide my food baby, and not look risque on the dance floor. Keep reading to see my picks for 2014 wedding season. 

2014 Wedding Guest Fashion Guide

FYI - all of these dresses pictured are in the $50 - $200 range

Top row: In order of less formal to more formal (left to right) all of these dresses are super comfortable, flattering for every figure and are going to look great as your swirling and twirling around on the dance floor. The first two are most appropriate for a daytime wedding but could also transition to evening with the right accessories and heels. They key to all of these dresses (maybe with the exception of the red one) is that you won't be tugging it up every five minutes and all can accommodate a reasonably-sized food baby. 

Bottom row: These dresses are intended to be for more formal weddings. Most weddings aren't black tie so you can get away with a short dress, however, sometimes you just want to wear a long gown (because how many times do you get to do that in your life if you're not a celebrity?) What makes these short dresses a bit more formal is the silhouette, they aren't as loose and flowy, but they're also not skin-tight. I basically in love with all three of these long gowns too. The black one is Aaah-mazing. 

Some key things to remember when planning what to wear to your next wedding:

  • Avoid all shades of white (ivory, cream, off-white) or anything light silver that could possibly be misinterpreted for white at a distance. I know this seems like an outdated rule, but it's not. Could you get away with a white/black color block dress? Maybe. But it's not worth trying. My advice is to just avoid the color all together. This is the bride's day, she will be in white, you should not.
  • The invitation will guide the formality of the wedding. First, look at the time, is it a 1 p.m. ceremony with a reception immediately following? Chances are, if the reception starts anytime before 5, it's a less formal affair. Second, look at the venue. Is it at a barn, banquet hall, or country club? The location of the ceremony and/or reception should help you determine how fancy or casual the event will be. Lastly, look at the actual design and quality of the invite, did it come with hand tied bows, hand written calligraphy and a sheet of tissue paper? Those are signs that your event is going to be a formal one and a long gown or fancy cocktail dress (in a dark or royal color) is the way to go.
  • Bring back-up shoes. Cute pumps or strappy heels are essential when you're a wedding guest (you can probably only get away with wedges at a picnic/bbq style wedding) but I can promise you, your feet are going to hurt by the end of the night. Have a pair of simple flip flops or ballet flats packed in your bag and you'll be all set when it's time to bail on your fancy shoes. 

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