Daytime Dress: Tibi Sleeveless Maxi Dress, $550.00
Cocktail Dress: Halston Heritage Sleeveless Drape Front Dress, $375.00
Evening Dress: Raoul Katoucha Long Gown, $698.00
Wedding season is upon us, and I am loving every minute of the madness. This week, two of my good friends are getting married. In a month, le hubs and I will celebrate our two-year anniversary. This summer, we have even more weddings to attend. The question on every attending fashionista’s mind: What do I wear?
As a previous bride, I have two ‘Top Tips’ related to a few ‘General Rules.’
Top Tip One: Don’t try to upstage the bride. You can’t no matter what, but be sweet and save that mah-jor outfit for a different occasion. This relates to General Rules one, two and three. Stay away from bridal tones and keep your dress relatively simple. The best way to upstyle is with jewelry — a fabulous opportunity to pack a bangle stack or rock those extra-long earrings.
Top Tip Two: The bride has spent hours and hours planning for this big day, and with today’s standards and costs, has probably forked over thousands upon thousands of dollars. She wants her wedding to be a certain way. There is most likely suggested attire on the invitation: follow it. (No, I don’t think of it often, but I do remember those who ignored the suggested attire for my wedding — and the two who came with wet, just-from-the-shower hair and applied-in-the-car makeup.) First of all, prettify yourself with tasteful hair and makeup. This is a highly documented and very special day, and the memories and photos will be cherished by the bride and groom forever. Second, read the entire invitation. If you have questions about what “semi-formal attire” or “garden cocktail” could mean, contact the couple. Whatever it says, err on the side of fanciness. This relates to General Rule four. It’s better to be a bit overdressed than underdressed — for all occasions, but especially weddings. With just a fabulous pair of wedges or a gorgeous pair of earrings, you can spice it up enough without going overboard.
If you’re looking for inspiration, ShopBop has a great breakdown of dresses. Get inspired by their Day to Night, Cocktail and Formal categories. If you’re looking for a budget buy, you can get an idea of what you like and then shop retailers like J.Crew, T.J.Maxx or Express. I advocate for choosing classic shapes you can wear again, and go for colors that work for other occasions. Jewel tones and your classic black are good bets — just accessorize to make it work.
In sum: dress up, but not as nicely as the bride, and you’ll be great. Don’t be the person she remembers for arriving late in a cotton dress with wet hair . . . ahem.