Autumn weddings can be tricky when it comes to choosing what to wear as the weather at this time of year can be very unpredictable. This season can bring mild, sunny days but it is equally prone to damp, chilly conditions. One advantage is that the weather will be cooler than in the summer, so you can dress up in more formal clothing - should you wish to - without worrying about getting too hot. This gives you a little more choice.
So, if you’re heading to a wedding this autumn, but you’re not sure what to wear, keep reading.
Choosing the right clothing
When planning what to wear for the wedding, it’s a good idea to first take note of the details given on the invitation to determine how formal your outfit should be. If in doubt, ask. The venue is important too. Are you likely to spend a long time waiting around outdoors, or in a cold, draughty church?
Wear what you’re comfortable in
A wedding is a special occasion, and a celebration for the family and friends of the couple to enjoy. The key is to choose something you love to wear, ideally because it looks good and feels comfortable too. Many wedding guests spend all day and evening in the same outfit, so comfort is of prime importance.
Can you wear red to a wedding?
Colour is a major factor when deciding on clothing for any wedding. Red is in fact an ideal colour to wear when attending autumn nuptials, as it reflects the tones found in autumn foliage. Rich, jewel-hued shades like amber, amethyst, emerald, garnet and ruby are also perfect for an autumn wedding, as they echo the strong shades of the leaves that will no doubt be scattered everywhere.
An an example, ladies could wear such shades as a one-colour dress or just as part of the outfit, while gents may like to add a richly coloured tie, handkerchief or waistcoat to their ensemble.
Can women wear trousers to a wedding?
These days, women can wear whatever they are most comfortable in for a wedding. A smart outfit that includes trousers can look every bit as good as a dress or skirt-and-top combination. If it feels more comfortable - especially when you might be wearing it all day, in a range of different environments - go for it.
The layered look
An outfit consisting of layers of clothing is perfect for an autumn wedding as it gives you the option of removing a layer if it’s too warm, such as at an evening reception, or you can add one if you feel a chill, such as while waiting in church.
For ladies, appropriate options include a dress and jacket, skirt, blouse and smart cardigan, or a pair of formal trousers plus a pretty top and a shawl.
For gents, a suit may be the order of the day, but the jacket can always be taken off if necessary. If it’s a cold day, a smart overcoat could be worn over the top. Men could even don a waistcoat too for added versatility.
Such outfits are very adaptable, and you could wear as many layers as you please according to the conditions.
Do I need a different outfit for the evening?
Anything goes nowadays when it comes to an evening wedding reception. The bride may choose to stay in her wedding dress - after all, it’s the one day in her life that she will wear it. Many bridal gowns have the addition of a loop to be worn around the wrist or a button at the back, to be used for keeping the train out of the way when the dancing begins.
As for guests, it’s perfectly acceptable to stay in the same outfit you wore for the ceremony itself, and many of those attending are likely to do this. It may be, however, that you don’t go to a lot of weddings and would relish the opportunity to buy and wear something new. If this sounds like you, then why not?
What suit should I wear to a wedding?
Firstly this depends on your gender, as women can also wear suits to weddings. Either a skirt or trouser suit is equally appropriate, especially when worn with a pretty top, such as a floral blouse.
Men have the choice of so many types of suit nowadays. Two piece suits include single or double breasted designs in all kinds of fabrics, some of which are heavier than others. For an early autumn wedding during fine weather, a summer linen suit would look the part, while a wool-based suit would be ideal for a ceremony held at the time of year when autumn quickly turns to winter.
For a more formal wedding, you could even wear a suit that includes a dinner jacket and team it with a bow tie. Occasionally couples do request that attendees wear formal dress, so if this is the case, why not seize the opportunity to try something new?
When to wear a three piece suit
Three piece suits can look ultra-stylish for a wedding and also provide you with an optional extra layer. If you want to look more formal for the ceremony, you can remove the waistcoat, as well as if you feel a little too warm at the venue. For the evening, a pair of tailored trousers and a crisp shirt - with or without a tie - will suffice, but you could always add the waistcoat for a more sophisticated look if you want to.
Waistcoats have become highly popular in recent years. There are a range of different styles available, and you can buy them as part of a three-piece suit or separately. The groom and best man often wear a waistcoat that complements the colours of the bridesmaids’ dresses for a wedding, and there’s no reason why you couldn’t do something similar and pick a contrasting colour you love.
A waistcoat in the same fabric as your jacket and trousers can help give you a tailored, streamlined look, while a contrasting waistcoat can add interest to an otherwise plain outfit.
Wear it well
Whatever you wear, wear it well. Choose something that you love, and that you’re comfortable enough to spend all day in. Above all, a wedding is a celebratory occasion - something to be savoured, treasured and enjoyed.