Tuesday, April 26, 2011

What Should I Wear for a Summer Wedding?

     Now that wedding season is fast approaching, not only do we have to think about picking up a wedding present from the bride and groom's gift registry, but we also have to worry about what to wear! The Kate and William's royal wedding is only days away and I'm attending a good friend's wedding at the end of May, so I thought it's only fitting to feature a Fashion Blog on What you should Wear for a Summer Wedding

     First thing's first, decipher that wedding invite! What does that mean?! Deciphering the wedding invite simply means decoding the dress code of the wedding, especially if the invite doesn't clearly state it [some wedding invites clearly instruct the attendants on what they should wear.] What determines the dress code of a wedding? Ask yourself these few simple questions based on the information that's on the wedding invite: 

(1) Date -- When will the wedding take place? Which means month and day. This will give you a good idea of the weather that day so that you can plan accordingly. 
(2) Time -- What time is the wedding? Morning? Afternoon? Night? 
(3) Wedding Ceremony -- Where will the actual ceremony take place? Indoors? Outdoors?
(4) Reception -- Where will the reception be? Indoors? Outdoors? 

Answering these few questions will help you determine what to wear on the day of the wedding. After you've answered these four questions, it's now time to categorize the wedding into one of three types of weddings: 

(A) Black Tie Wedding 
(B) Daytime Wedding 
(C) Nighttime Wedding 

And thanks to the founders of WHO WHAT WEAR Katherine Power and Hillary Kerr's new book, What to Wear, Where, it has simplified this entire process by giving its readers GOALS for each specific type of wedding. But one thing's for sure, weddings call for dresses -- NO EXCEPTIONS!  Except for maybe skirt-suits, but we're all young and trendy so why not opt for something as easy and effortless as a dress? And since these are summer weddings, that usually means warmer weather, so you don't have to worry about layering with jackets, coats, sleeves, and hosiery. In other words, bare those shoulders and wear the highest of heels! A wedding is something to celebrate after all.  

Black Tie Wedding
"The goal is to create a memorable outfit that addresses the formality of the event." 

     Black Tie events simply mean that it's a step up from cocktail party attire.  This is most likely the dress code that will be required of the guests to the royal wedding in England, but this dress code is also common in the U.S. and usually specified on the wedding invitation. In addition, black tie weddings usually take place during late afternoons to nightfall, so that should give you some clues of its formality. Therefore, when you think of black tie the words floor length gown, elegance, and even drama should come to mind. I'm only 5 feet tall so I don't really own any floor length formal gowns. So in that case, opt for shorter dresses with a modest hemline. The safest bet for a black tie wedding, believe it or not, is by choosing a dress that has the color black integrated in there somewhere. However, with that said, this doesn't necessarily mean that your color palette is very limited to that one color. You can also wear dresses in jewel-tones, metallics, and any solid colors. And if you do end up choosing a solid colored dress, that will give you the freedom to play around with your accessories like some fabulous jewelry and evening clutches. As for your shoe options, black or metallic heels in either gold or silver are your best bet. 

Daytime Wedding 
"The goal is to create an outfit that's cheerful and celebratory, ideally something similar to what you'd wear to a Daytime Religious Occasion -- but DRESSIER." 

     Daytime weddings are my absolute favorite kind of wedding, because it usually means that everyone has a lot more time to P-A-R-T-Y. The last two weddings that I've been to while I was in college were daytime weddings that transitioned late into the night and they were a lot of fun. But since the actual wedding ceremony will take place during the day, regardless of whether it will be indoors or outdoors, you should go for dresses in lighter, but dressy fabrics like chiffon or silk in fun silhouettes and necklines. And since the atmosphere of a daytime wedding is more playful than all of the other wedding types, especially if it's held outdoors, you should opt for dresses in very colorful and fun summer prints like florals or paisleys. Your shoe options should resonate with that colorful palette as well! But if you must go with something more neutral, opt for brown/nude/beige, because they're much more daytime appropriate as opposed to black. 

Nighttime Wedding 
"The goal is to create an outfit that is similar to what you'd wear to a fancy cocktail party." 

     Compared to black tie weddings, nighttime weddings are generally a step down, which can only mean one thing -- cocktail attire! Nighttime weddings are also very fun because they usually begin later in the afternoon and go well into the night, which can also be very romantic. And I usually associate the words cocktail attire with asymmetrical and one shoulder dresses or strapless dresses with a sweetheart necklines. You can have a lot of fun experimenting with your nighttime wedding ensemble, because these type of weddings are not as strict and particular as black tie weddings. So go for shorter dresses [but you can also wear maxi dresses] in solid festive/neutral colors or patterns and have fun with your accessories from earrings, bracelets, necklaces, and evening bags. But I do recommend going without a necklace with a one-shoulder dress, because unless done correctly, it tends to look too busy and over the top. As for your shoe option, any style will do -- platform, gladiator, peep-toe -- just as long as you coordinate it with the rest of your accessories. Just remember the THIS or THAT Rule of Thumb: If you are wearing a cocktail dress that has a busy print, your accessories and shoe option should be very modest and toned down. On the other hand, if your cocktail dress is plain, have fun with your jewelry and shoe options. Trying to do both can be tricky, but doable with the correct combinations. 


     So have fun and have a glass of champagne or two. Weddings are a celebration of the greatest thing of all, which is love. So choose your dress, shoes, and accessories wisely so that you can have fun and not worry about your outfit or worse, your outfit mishap. 

Love, KB

Black Tie Wedding 
dress #1 dress by Miss Minuet 
necklace by Erica Lyons 
gold metallic heels by Nine West 
silver metallic heels by Gianni Bini 

dress #2 dress by Miss Minuet 
necklace by Natasha 
classic black pumps by Steve Madden 
black peep toe pumps by Gianni Bini 

Daytime Wedding
dress #1 dress by Forever 21 
vintage pearls 
blue suede pumps by Steve Madden 
vintage espadrilles

dress #2 dress by H&M 
brown platform sandals by Gianni Bini 
vintage espadrilles 

Nighttime Wedding
dress #1 dress by Miss Minuet 
classic black pumps by Steve Madden 
black peep toe pumps by Gianni Bini 

dress #2 dress by Chelsea & Violet 
black gladiator heels by Steve Madden 

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