Attire for the Bride and Groom

Before making any clothing decisions, you should know that there are five styles of weddings: very formal, formal, semi-formal, informal, and the “hey we’re drunk, let’s get hitched” style! These styles may change based on current trends, geographic areas, ethnic preferences, and family traditions.

For comfort, some newlyweds may wish to consider alternative footwear. For the Bride and her attendants, attractive white wedding sneakers decorated with white beads, sequins, ribbons, or simply white eyelets are popular alternatives. For men, formal looking black walking shoes (New Balance makes these type of shoes) can be purchased at most shoe stores.

1. Bridal Gowns

When selecting a Bridal gown, Brides should remember that the back of the dress will receive a lot of attention. A Bride will be facing away from her guests more than half of the time at the wedding ceremony, and half of the time at the reception.

At very formal weddings, the Bride’s gown may be in a stately white, ivory, or pastel tint. Her veil is usually long or full, and may double as the train. Long gloves are sometimes worn with a short sleeve dress. An elaborate bouquet, simple jewelry, and pale hosiery are also popular.

For semi-formal weddings, the Bride may choose a long stately dress of white, ivory or delicate pastel tints. The headdress is often finger tip length, and the accessories are similar to those worn in a very formal wedding.

At informal weddings, a floor length or current fashionable length of white or delicate tints in simple trainless style is sometimes chosen. The veil is usually short to elbow length. A simple bouquet is often selected.

For very informal weddings, the Bride may wear a suit or street dress. A bridal hat or short veil may be used, with a simple corsage, white shoes, and gloves.

2. Bridesmaid Dresses

For very formal weddings, gowns worn by Bridesmaids are often floor length, with short or long sleeves, elaborate fabrics, cap or hat headdress, gloves, floral bouquets, and shoes to match.

At semi-formal weddings, dresses are usually not quite as long as those seen at very formal weddings. Fabrics may not be as elaborate. The headdress and accessories are the same as those seen at formal weddings.

For informal weddings, dresses are often street length if the Bride wears floor length. They may also be the same length as the Bride’s dress. A hat or small headpiece with or without a short veil to match the Bride may also be included. Small Bridesmaid bouquets are quite popular.

At very informal weddings, Bridesmaids often wear suits or dresses similar to the Brides. A hat may be worn, and a corsage (instead of a bouquet) may be used.

3. Maternal Fashions

Weddings are sometimes just as exciting for the Mothers of the Bride and Groom as they are for the newlyweds themselves!

At very formal weddings, Mothers often wear floor length evening or dinner dresses in harmonizing colors. A small hat or veil matching or contrasting the dress may be worn. Gloves, a small handbag, and a corsage may complete the ensemble.

For semi-formal weddings, Mothers may choose a slightly shorter length dinner dress.

At informal weddings, Mothers sometimes wear an elaborate street length dress with appropriate accessories.

For very informal weddings, Mom may wear a street length dress or suit similar to the attendants with a head covering and corsage.

4. Grooms

It is just as confusing to select formal wear for the Groom and his attendants as it is to purchase a new car, or even an electric shaver (Remington has over 20 models)! .

At formal weddings, the Groom may choose to wear a black tailcoat with matching pants. A white waistcoat and bow tie accented with black patent pumps or oxfords is another option. A wing collar shirt is usually selected.

For winter semi-formal weddings, the Groom is often seen in a black dinner jacket with matching trousers, vest, and white tuxedo shirt with turned-down collars. At summer semi-formal weddings, these same Grooms may be fashioned in a white dinner jacket with black trousers, cummerbund, white dress shirt, and black shoes.

At informal and very informal weddings, a dark gray or navy business suit may be chosen, or a white linen jacket with oxford gray trousers.

Or you could simply wear a tuxedo with ruffles from the 1980’s!

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