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What to Wear to An Evening Wedding

So, you've been invited to a wedding and are fretting the age-old question, 'what to wear'? And to top it off, it's an evening wedding....are you sure you have something in the closet to fit the occasion? Or should you grab the credit card and hit the shopping mall?

The so-called rules for a wedding differ depending on what time of the day the wedding is being held. One must take into account whether or not the wedding ceremony will be formal or informal, yet in general, you'll want to wear a dress. Pants and /or a suit are also acceptable for a woman. The one thing to remember is that any color but white is acceptable- you DON'T want to be wearing a dress that is the same color as the bride's wedding gown. It may seem old-school, and in fact, it is. Yet it's also good etiquette; no need to be competing with the bride for title of the most gorgeous white dress at a wedding when it's her wedding.

Rules? What rules? What in the world are you talking about??

If it's an informal evening wedding ceremony, a cocktail dress is just what the doctor ordered. In case you're not sure, a cocktail dress is a 'fancier' dress; not a sun dress- a simple little black dress, (not full-length) will do. The same attire holds true in the case of the wedding ceremony being semi-formal. And remember, just because we recommend you wear black to the wedding, doesn't mean you can't wear another color of your choice.

If it is a 'casual' wedding, you will still want to err on the side of caution; best to wear a simple sun dress. Please, please, please- don't wear shorts, jeans or anything that you wouldn't wear to a job interview. 

In the event that the wedding ceremony will be a formal evening and/or black-tie affair, it's recommended that you go with a cocktail dress (though there is nothing that says it can't be a short cocktail dress). To top it off and make it formal/black-tie-ish, make sure bling it up a bit, with some beads, accessories and a wrap (it probably gets a wee bit chilly in the evening to be wearing a cocktail dress, no matter where you live).

If you find yourself invited to an ultra-formal or white tie (yes, such a term exists) wedding ceremony in the evening, you will want to have a long gown with extra bling-  diamonds, possibly dangling earrings, furs, etc. In the case of jewelry for a white-tie wedding, more is better, and whether you like the style or not, larger/longer is also better. Of course, we are certainly not telling you that you need to dress in a style or manner that you don't enjoy. When it comes for what shoes to wear to such a ceremony, pumps are a good choice.

What about hats and/or gloves?

Though it may be a bit rare to see hats and/or gloves at a wedding ceremony, it is still perfectly acceptable to wear one, the other or both. Hats make for a good choice if it might be windy at the ceremony.  It's best not to wear full-length gloves (either to the elbow or shoulder) with any dress except one that is strapless or sleeveless. Of course, if the wedding ceremony is religious (although this would be doubtful, if it's an evening ceremony), give the sleeves or strapless dress a miss.  What's more, although we call it a 'white-tie' wedding, we could also call it a 'white-gloves' wedding; white gloves work best at an ultra-formal event. And remember to take the gloves off when eating.

Finally, a clutch or small purse makes for a great accessory at an evening event; this is true for weddings, as well.

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