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Wedding Guest Outfit Ideas


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Attending as a wedding guest is always exciting, but figuring out what to wear can be a bit daunting. As a Baltimore wedding photographer, this is a topic I have to think a lot about! Whether the invitation calls for business casual or black tie attire, I’ve got you covered with the outfit ideas for each dress code.

Dressy Casual

Dressy casual wedding attire is a balance between professional and relaxed. It’s perfect for daytime weddings or laid-back celebrations.

For Women: Opt for a knee-length dress in a cheerful color or a skirt and blouse. Try floral prints or pastel shades. Pair with comfortable heels or flats and minimal jewelry.

For Men: A blazer paired with chinos or dress pants works well. Choose a dress shirt in a light color and skip the tie for a relaxed, polished look. Finish with loafers or dress shoes.

Semi-Formal/ Cocktail

Semi-formal attire is one step up from business casual, suitable for afternoon weddings that transition into evening.

For Women: A cocktail dress or a classy midi dress is ideal. Fabrics like chiffon, silk, or satin add elegance. Accessorize with statement jewelry and heeled sandals.

For Men: A suit in a neutral color like navy, gray, or charcoal is perfect. Pair it with a dress shirt and a tie. Polished dress shoes complete the look.


Formal attire is sophisticated and elegant, ideal for evening weddings and upscale venues.

For Women: A floor-length gown or an elegant cocktail dress in rich fabrics like velvet or lace is perfect. Think bold colors or classic black. Complement with elegant jewelry and high heels.

For Men: A dark suit and tie or a tuxedo is appropriate. Choose a white dress shirt and finish the look with polished dress shoes.

Black Tie

Black tie weddings call for your most sophisticated attire.

For Women: A floor-length evening gown is a must, with luxurious fabrics and embellishments. Add sparkling jewelry and a clutch bag. High heels are a must.

For Men: A classic black tuxedo with a black bow tie is required. Pair it with a white dress shirt, black dress shoes, and cufflinks for a polished appearance. No colored shirts!

Creative Black Tie

Next, creative black tie. This dress code allows for more personal flair while maintaining the elegance of black tie.

For Women: Choose a unique evening gown with bold colors, patterns, or interesting cuts. Statement jewelry and fashionable heels add personality to your look.

For Men: A tuxedo with a twist, like a colorful bow tie or a patterned cummerbund. You can also experiment with different textures, like velvet. Complete your tux with black dress shoes and a pocket square.

And remember traditional rules of no white dresses, and matching the assigned color scheme if you’re part of the wedding party or family of the couple! Changes depending on culture and the couple’s preferences should be of highest importance. No matter the dress code for the wedding guest, the key is to balance style with appropriateness. 

Want my exclusive list of wedding guest outfits? Browse all categories here.

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