What does one wear to a wedding? Finding the perfect dress for the bride is a well-documented struggle, but, as a chic attendee, you have to strike the best balance between being neither underdressed nor overdressed. No matter the dress code, the privilege of being invited to a loved one’s wedding comes with an exciting pressure to nail the right look. In the same way that love stories are told differently, so are weddings. If your tastes lean towards the extravagant, consider that traditional dress codes of ‘no black, no white’ can be tastefully broken. Whether you’re the mother-in-law, maid of honor, or the single friend, we’ve collated wedding-appropriate style notes and pieces for (almost) every kind of guest to consider.
Discover this and more wedding guest outfits in the Best Dressed Wedding Guest.
As one of the most important guests, the mother of either half of the couple celebrating is definitely one to watch at the ceremony. And she must appear in memorable fashion. So, opt for a flattering modern take on the occasion dress in this lilac Gozel Green crepe dress, and punctuate your look with a sculptural hat. The geometric detailing on the sides adds to the volume of the fit-and-flare skirt while offering a unique twist on the feminine style. If it’s a classic look you’re after, the Fulani Embroidered Kaftan Dress brings effortless elegance to the table while playing with menswear accents, such as the shoulder construction that references the traditional agbada robes of Nigerian men. Alternatively, play with texture, lengths, and proportions when you pair the Adejare Jacket with the Amaka Skirt (both by Emmy Kasbit) or the Samurai Pants by Viviers. The jacket’s burgundy jacquard matches the wine-hued geometric motif of the Amaka Skirt, the side slits of which will be a welcome aid when dancing at the reception.
The maid of honor
As an esteemed guest who’ll appear in several of the wedding pictures and support the bride throughout the day, you also have a sartorial duty to make a stylish and comfortable statement at once. Taibo Bacar’s Flower Dress is an ideal complement to a white bridal gown. The shorter length and floral embroidery keep the dress distinct and allow for more movement as you titivate the bride’s train or run after a bouquet. The Mozambican designer’s Bond Dress from the ‘Bacar’s Garden’ collection is a playful yet regal piece apt for an afternoon wedding under the sun. If florals and frills are too conventional for you, opt for rich color and subtle design details from Gozel Green and Andrea Iyamah. The bodycon silhouette of the Kamala Dress is further accentuated by a pleated ruffle across the shoulder and hip, updating the frills and fit of the standard bridesmaid dress. Finally, the Sassy Girl Hollow Set is comfortable and slightly subversive, made from a stretchy lightweight crepe and finished with skin-baring cutouts.
They say new love is found at weddings, so the single friend, who’ll probably find themselves mingling and dancing all night, might approach the wedding with much intention if she’s open to sparks flying. This is the single friend’s moment to show off their good taste and catch the right eye. The trick is to consider a look that will do the heavy lifting for you. You’ll look resplendent and memorable in the draped Taiwo Dress. This hand-dyed cotton dress can be customized with romantic bows tied with the sashes at the shoulder and waist. Alternatively, opt for the charming Ijeoma Shirt Dress or color-blocked mini by Pepper Row.
This guest would prefer to spend less time shopping around for an outfit and more time finding the perfect gift for the couple tying the knot. She’s looking for an easy-to-style yet remarkable suit, matching set, or blazer that will be replete with a pair of shoes and accessories in her closet. The Siganar Suit by Niuku and Lisa Folawiyo’s Batkara Layered Coat are the gold standard for the suited-up guest: exceptional design grounded in the practicality of tailoring. Pair the coat with formal slim-cut pants in a complementary hue or with the Antique Baroque Leggings. The green fringe details on Emmy Kasbit’s Amara Set make it appropriate for outdoor summer affairs. Elevate this casual set with heels and an exaggerated fascinator.
As a rule breaker who opts for pieces that turn heads, the maximalist is less concerned with wallflower style but views a special outfit as integral to expressing joy and celebration. If this is you, say “more is more” in Studio 189’s Crossroads Mermaid Skirt and Viviers’ Glooming Cloud Top. The partially sheer nylon top features scalloped edges and a triangular, pelerine-style shape creating a dramatic hourglass silhouette when paired with the fishtail skirt. Contrasting textures and form through skirt-and-top suiting offer a distinct yet formal approach to wedding attire. Layer this Osagie Shirt Dress by Fruché over a bright, ruffled skirt. The Frivolous Frill Skirt from Viviers and Cynthia Abila’s Okoroshi Skirt are signature pieces designed to stand out and ensure you’re the ultimate stylish guest.
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