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Be My Wedding Guest: Dress Nicely…

The date of your friend’s wedding is happily circled on your calendar and you have started to scout for that perfect outfit. However, you still have no idea what to wear.

The etiquette for the right wedding attire for a guest over 40 can be very different depending on the wedding’s style. However, clues are available to help you make the right decision. An invitation that is formally crafted is an indication that the wedding you’ll be attending will also be formal. An invite with casual wording will call for a nice casual outfit. The invitation can also have direct instructions.

The location of the wedding is also a good basis. A dress that easily gets caught in the wind will not be appropriate for an outdoor wedding. High heels should be avoided, as these easily sink in the grass or in the sand. A breezy dress will help keep you cool in a hot location rather that a suit. A more dressy and tailored outfit can be used in a wedding held indoors such as a five-star restaurant and country club.

Daytime wedding attire for guests

For the Woman over 40

· a dress with a floral design
· a sweater set coupled with slingback shoes and a nice skirt. A light coloured suit – avoid anything that looks too formal.
· a beautiful hat that blends with what your are wearing.

For the Man over 40

· In weddings during the summer season a light-coloured suit, especially seersucker or linen.
· Warmer clothing is appropriate for winter weddings. Selections include wool suits, a slightly dark blazer with charcoal pants, and possibly a sweater and tie below a blazer.
· A dress shirt, dress and tie pants can be used. A blazer can be used for added touch.
· A dark suit is best suited for a formal wedding. Tuxedoes should be worn before 6 pm.

Evening Wedding
Female Over 40

· Dress like as if you are going to dinner or theatre.
· Wear a not too sexy cocktail dress that is fun to dance in. Black is good.
· A cocktail suit or a dressy suit
· To look more sophisticated wear darker colours.
· Beads or sequins should be avoided if not specified especially if it is not a black tie affair.

For the Man Over 40

· Dark suits are always acceptable
· Blazer and slacks matched with a nice tie can be worn in a casual or semi-formal wedding.

Black-tie optional

Female Over 40

· A cocktail dress reaching the floor

For the Man Over 40

· A tuxedo is the perfect thing to wear in this occasion.
· The guest should dress as formally as possible.


- Anything white is discouraged especially those that do not have prints. Those that choose to do so should make sure they do not upstage the bride.
- Anything dark during a daytime wedding
- Jeans
- Anything too revealing or sexy
- Anything with holes, stained or torn and anything too small or too big.
- Anything strapless or sleeveless in a no-no especially to a religious wedding. A wrap should be brought to cover bare shoulders.

Proper Etiquette for Wedding Guests

· Never be late! Try to attend at least 15 minutes before the stated start time of the wedding ceremony. This will give you time to be get settled and find a seat.

· Guests should avoid taking photographs of the wedding. Professionals photographers have already been hired and it is important to preserve the sanctity of the ceremony.

· Bringing a gift during the wedding day is not required. Guests actually have a full year to send their wedding gift to the couple. Bringing it will only create a problem for someone assigned to carry it.

· The gift is still a must even if you fail to attend the wedding.

· Bringing extra guests will only be allowed if it is specified in the invitation. Serving every person in the wedding reception will likely be expensive for the couple. Bringing uninvited guests is very rude.

· The wedding reception may be a nice time to have fun getting drunk and mingling too much with people you barely know can be seen as impolite.

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