Whether you have one wedding to attend or a collection of invitations this season, the question of what to wear is never an easy one. From “White Tie” to “Beach Formal,” finding the right ensemble can cause some serious wardrobe anxiety, and not just for the ladies. Sorry guys, you’re not off the hook—your outfit has to stand up to the dress code, too.
There are a few simple rules every guest should follow, regardless of the wedding’s formality. First and foremost, no one—except the bride—should wear white. That also goes for the wedding events before and after, too (unless, of course, the invitation specifically states to do so). If there’s a religious affiliation and it’s going to be at a church, be respectful by covering your shoulders with a jacket or shawl if you’re wearing a sleeveless dress. And keep your hemline cocktail-length or longer. When in doubt, go by the classic fashion motto: It’s better to be overdressed than underdressed.
We created this handy cheat sheet to help decode the most common dress codes, so you can relax and enjoy the main event.