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How to Dress for a Civil Wedding - Ideas for Guests

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How to Dress for a Civil Wedding - Ideas for Guests

Formerly, there was a big difference between dress codes at a civil wedding and religious weddings. The religious ceremonies were considered much more formal and therefore at these events the bride and groom and the guests were better dressed. Today the wedding protocols are becoming more confused as in civil events it is increasingly common to see brides in long dresses and the guests very dressed up. In any case, if you want to get it just right and know how guests dress at a civil wedding in oneHOWTO we reveal all.


White is banned. As is the case at a religious wedding, white is reserved for the bride and we should not use this color if we are invited to a wedding to keep the bride in center stage.


Don't wear black. If you are invited to a civil wedding black is not the most appropriate color. It is still associated with mourning, so better choose another color and avoid black in our attire. However, you can combine a black dress with very colorful accessories such as shoes, handbags, chunky necklaces, cardigans and shawls.


Day civil wedding guest dresses. If the civil wedding is during the day, then you'll need more laid back attire,going for semi-formal type of clothing. Let's take a look at some tips for both women and men.


A good look that will be spot on will be a knee length cocktail dress. Choose a dress that is either just over the knee or just under it. Patterned dresses will look great, especially if the wedding is in spring. Slight necklines should be fine, but don't go for something too daring, remember it's the bride whom has to be the center of attention.

You can also go for a jumpsuit, though you should bear in mind that those that look best for day weddings are those in pastel colors and that are shin length instead of long jumpsuits.

A long, chiffon pair of trousers will also look great with an elegant shirt or matching top. Though you should accessorize a little bit more if you do go for this look.


In the boys' case, they don't have as much of a margin, they must go in a suit and tie. However, there are some things they can do to tone down the look, such as not wearing the same blazer and pant suit and rather combining two different tones. Folding up the rim of the trousers is also a good idea to give the outfit a special touch if the wedding is very informal. In this case, as it's a day wedding, men can choose light colored suits, beige, browns and blues will look great. Bowties are also acceptable instead of ties. Combine with the blazer or accessories.


Night civil wedding guest dresses. If we are guests at a civil wedding ceremony that will take place at night, then we can dress up a little bit more, but remember you can't take the spotlight from the bride or groom.


If you're looking for a night civil wedding dress, our advice is to opt for a long dress. Go for monochrome dresses that enhance your figure, but don't go for anything excessively tight or revealing either.

If it is a more informal wedding we could also use a knee length dress or a long skirt and a fancy shirt too. Again, a jumpsuit will also be a good alternative. In this case, go for a full length, bell-bottomed jumpsuit in a fine fabric such as satin, you'll look amazing.


Yet again, men will have to go with a suit and tie. In this case, you can also create a combination of blazer and pant suit, for example, combine your trousers with a velvet blazer, especially if the wedding is in winter. Again, a bowtie is also fine to wear.


Hairstyles for a civil wedding. Accessories such as picture hats and headdresses are also welcome in a civil ceremony if this is held in the morning, although it will depend on the type of civil wedding. That is, if the wedding is very informal perhaps leave out the picture hat. You could opt for a braided updo or a bohemian braid that will look formal and spontaneous at the same time. What you should avoid is standing out too much with your look, today is the day when the bride must shine brighter than all others. Do not forget this.


Outdoor weddings. For the summer, fresh and elegant fabrics like silk or frill-line dresses with floral prints are very suitable for civil ceremonies. In the boys' case, they must go in a suit and tie. Let's take a closer look at different type of outdoor weddings that you may want to prepare fore.

Beach wedding

Wearing light colors is staple at this type of wedding. Cotton or light fabrics are also vitally important too. Remember to bring sunglasses and a hat that matches your outfit too. Make sure you ask the bride and groom about the dress code, in some beach weddings people are asked to all wear white, such as in the case of Ibizan weddings. Last but not least, make sure you keep your feet well cared of, as you will probably attend the ceremony bare-footed.

Country wedding

In the case of country weddings, there are also things you should take into account. Don't wear shoes with very thin heels, as you will probably get stuck the ground at some point or other. Make sure you also get hold of a shawl in case it gets cold at night too.


Now you know what to wear if you're a guest at a civil wedding, you may want to know how to apply makeup if you're a guest at a wedding or how to plan a civil wedding.

You might also be interested in how to dress for a baby shower.


If you'd like to read similar articles to How to Dress for a Civil Wedding - Ideas for Guests, we recommend you browse around our Weddings & Parties category.

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How to Dress for a Civil Wedding - Ideas for Guests