What to wear to a wedding reception: rules, outfits


Stylistically, weddings are not straightforward, traditionally formal affairs—when everyone wore their Sunday best, a little booze came and that was it. Marriages can happen these days CarelessClearly formal or even themed (shudder) – ranging from the unusual: ‘Hawaiian dress’, to the hyper-typical: ‘wear pink stripes’.

Arguably even more confusing is finding out what to wear to a wedding reception, If you’re only attending for half the day, can you make half the effort? Not at all

The only saving grace here is that because you’re avoiding all the pomp and ceremony, you can have fun with your dress, as much as an upbeat, positive occasion. But, unless you’re also entertained, fun isn’t infrequent. There needs to be a degree of restraint in your attire, even if it is lacking in your mannerisms by the end of the evening.

Wedding Reception Style Tips

know the dress code

The invitation is likely to contain all the important information that will help you decide what is appropriate to wear as a wedding reception guest. It can be specific – Lounge suitFor example, or, vaguely ambiguous – ‘party dresses’.

The latter may require some background research, such as asking someone close to the groom for a more accurate interpretation. “And if the invitation says a certain outfit is ‘optional,’ it usually means the bride and groom really want you to wear it,” says Christopher Modu, formal wear expert and creative director of the British sewing brand. kit blake, So do it, in other words.

A subtle check can spice up an otherwise boring gray suit. reees

respect the hosts

A wedding reception is not an occasion for style rebellion. No, at least, unless it leans towards conservatism. Sure, if the hosts are playing, say, some specific period style, you don’t need to be obliged to fit in. It’s reception only, which is essentially just one big party.

That said, this isn’t the time to debut your new lime green two-piece and shiny velvet slippers (after all, there’s probably never time for that.) Attractive though it may be to dress like a pitty peacock. ‘Never look like you’ are trying to provoke the bride and groom.

consider the context

If you want to suit, then the cream linen sewing Can make for solid wedding reception attire. That is, if the wedding reception is taking place at some beach. in the Centre of the City? Not so much.

As well as the time of year and the general dress code, the venue of the wedding should play a big part in what you choose to wear. If it’s a country property, feel free to ditch your Glen check suit and trustworthy brokers. If the hip and happy couple has booked a converted industrial building for their reception, it’s a sign that you can embrace more fashion with modern tailoring.

suit supplyIt’s okay to have your stitches ready if the occasion requires it. suit supply

formal hug

“When attending a wedding reception there is a temptation for men to wear ‘fancy’ clothes that they don’t normally wear,” says Modu. “For example, you see men in loud, busy shirts. And there’s always a guy in an electric blue suit. It’s a look that’s more suburban estate agent than sophisticated wedding guest.” Dress, Sure. But it’s not Harry and Meghan’s big day—keep it short, unless the invitation is a friendly morning.

Calm, well-cut tailoring will always surpass the charming in terms of elegance. You are not there to divert attention from the groom. And besides, if the wedding is casual enough, you can do something personal by skipping the tie and wearing an open-collar or grandfather collar shirt.

What to wear to a wedding reception – three looks

all-out sharp

reeesA waistcoat is a great option, and it will ensure that you are smart with the jacket. reees

Let’s start by saying that wearing your work suit to a wedding reception can be acceptable, if it is tailored properly. a well fitting suit Can serve you well for a wide range of social occasions, especially if it’s in a versatile navy or grey.

Where you can make a difference is everything. wear a thin striped shirt; a non-formal knitted tie; A smart wristwatch, and some polished Derby. Make sure your tie knot is on point — complete with a small dimple — and try on with your aesthetic. If you want to jazz up your ‘regular’ suit, it’s the little things that make a difference.

If the wedding reception is just the excuse you need to buy a new suit, choose something that gives you a lot. Think lightly structured, single-breasted and patch pockets, which will allow you to wear the jacket on its own, separate from the trousers.

lay back tailoring

reeesGive some life to a staple navy suit with an open-collar shirt. reees

Since you won’t be facing the more formal gatherings of the day, you won’t need to go out as often and wear a dress shirt and tie in the evening. So, while you can still choose to wear a suit, you can opt for a more laid-back top half – a knitted polo Or the grandfather collar shirt, perhaps.

It will transform the suit, and instantly give it a more casual, attractive edge. This removes any ‘business’ sense that the suit might otherwise have – which is ideal if you’re not generally comfortable wearing it, or don’t want to look too full.

An easy way to nail a dressed-down suit is to go tonal, that is, choose a knit or shirt in the same shade as the suit. It’s a neat way to wear this stitch, especially if you opt for dark brown or black shoes that skip the pocket square.

smart different

common valueInsulates particularly well to neutral heat. common value

One way to look smart yet simple is to wear differents. That is, a suit jacket with a mis-matching pair of trousers. There’s a trick to it, but worn well, there’s no easy way to look cool at a wedding reception.

Sewing apart allows a degree of creativity that a regular suit does not. You Can Get Fancy With Your Fabric Combination – Pair With Moleskin corduroy, or brush cotton with wool. Do the same with colors and patterns, though we’d recommend keeping things modest there. The Prince of Wales, worn with pinstripes, is a no-go.

Classic combinations include navy worn with light blue, or neutrals – think beige and brown. And because it’s more tailored on sewing, separates well with tees and knits, if you want to go down with even more ease.

major wedding reception pieces


A simple mid-tone suit in a light wool will suit most wedding receptions throughout the year. It’s formal enough for the occasion, and light enough to tackle the heat of the marquee or dance floor. Wear a tie if necessary, but consider something more interesting, bright or textured—a knit tie will always work. To give a lounge suit a more formal effect, try a contrast vestcoat in a plain silver-gray.

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White can be too much like office attire, so opt for a warm, bright shade without entering more extreme territory: sky blue, cream or pale pink will all elevate your presentation, while also looking elegant. Make sure your shirt has a structured, rigid collar to get the most out of the tie. Avoid shirts with extraneous detailing like contrast buttonhole stitching or piping.

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shirt options

If the reception is casual enough, you can wear a traditional collared shirt for something a little more casual and personal. A roll neck looks sophisticated with a suit in winter, while an open collar-shirt blends well with linen summer weddings, T-shirts and knitted polos are still more casual, but they can work for the right event with the right styling.

The rule to follow with all these options is to stick with plain neutral colors in tonal colors that chime in with the suit.

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Unless your suit is very light in shade, black oxfords either derby shoes Will work for most occasions, helping to bring the needed air of formality. Like the groom, this isn’t an opportunity to wear brand new shoes—unless you’re planning on staying in your seat; Nor are there open shoes – boat shoesDriving shoes, even black ones – apt.

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For all that is the watchword ‘formality’, a wedding reception is also an opportunity for a degree of self-expression that is not always afforded by work. The joy of the occasion may be reflected in the enjoyment in dressing: a pocket square, tie-pins, pocket watches and chains, cuff-links and the like are all appropriate. “It’s an opportunity to wear the kind of accessory you don’t see every day,” Modu says.

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