If there’s one item I’ve shopped for relentlessly year after year, it’s that ever-elusive perfect dress to wear to a wedding. For many of us, weddings have become one of the only times as adults that we really get to wear something formal. It’s fun to get dressed up, but with so many guidelines to follow shopping for a proper guest-of-the-wedding outfit can be a real challenge. If we’re playing strict rules, no black. Nothing that would compete with the bride. And for heaven’s sake, no white! That said, many of these rules seem to be falling by the wayside as wedding traditions evolve for a new generation. I usually like to wear a classic silhouette in a bright color, but lately I’ve been allowing myself bold black-and-white prints, too! What’s your guest-of-the-wedding style: bohemian, glamorous, romantic, or fashion-forward? And what do you think about bending the old rules for wedding fashion? Would you ever wear solid white or black to a wedding?

image sources top to bottom: katie ermilio, atlantic-pacific, sincerely jules, dustjacket attic

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Comments (26)
  1. 1
    Molly April 21, 2013 at 11:17 am

    Third image is Julie Sarenena of Sincerely, Jules.

    • Jennifer Rose Smith April 21, 2013 at 11:26 am

      Thanks, Molly! We’ve added that link into the credits now. Cute site, too!

  2. 2
    Gina at Willow Day April 21, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    I want the first one now! But, the fashion forward and bohemian are contenders, as well! I love this selection!

    • Jennifer Rose Smith April 21, 2013 at 3:07 pm

      Thanks, Gina! Yes, that first one is from Katie Ermilio. She is one of my favorite new designers. Everything she does is so classic and pretty!

  3. 3
    Alisha April 21, 2013 at 9:54 pm

    YES! This is all I’ve been thinking about this week. (I have a wedding to attend next weekend.) ohhhhh and Katie Ermilio is fabulous!!

    • Jennifer Rose Smith April 21, 2013 at 10:04 pm

      Thanks, Alisha! Good luck selecting your outfit — and have fun at the wedding!

  4. 4
    Mary vK April 22, 2013 at 12:59 am

    Any idea who makes the long turquoise dress?

  5. 5
    Sadye April 22, 2013 at 8:31 am

    I’m firmly in classic glamour camp, but I think ultimately the most important thing is that it’s something one can dance in! The “no solid black” rule should be repealed for sure, if you ask me, and I wonder how long it’ll take for “no white” to fall by the wayside, even for more traditional-minded people, as more brides pick something besides a white dress.

    • Jennifer Rose Smith April 22, 2013 at 8:58 am

      Very interesting prediction, Sayde! I think you may be right. What I’ve noticed recently at weddings is that women of the older generation are starting to wear white/cream in the form of pantsuits or separates. But you still rarely see someone the bride’s age wearing all-white.

  6. 6
    Jenni D April 22, 2013 at 8:47 am

    I wore solid white to a wedding last summer, not knowing that it was a no-no among some camps (I mean, my own Grandma wore solid white to my wedding, so apparently that wasn’t a rule passed down to me!), and apparently the bride was PISSED. I had no idea until later, and I felt awful. I thought it was so silly and such a shame. Having guests wear whites and neutrals is becoming more and more popular, but there will always be those more traditional folks who put way too much stock in silly old rules.

    • Jennifer Rose Smith April 22, 2013 at 8:59 am

      Thanks for sharing this story with us, Jenni. Sounds like we’re still running a risk wearing all-white to weddings, especially with a more traditional crowd.

      • Lisa Gordon April 22, 2013 at 12:55 pm

        The solid white rule is dumb. The bride is wearing a wedding dress. No one will be confused. LOL 🙂

  7. 7
    Katie O'Keefe April 22, 2013 at 9:46 am

    Could I choose all of the above? I LOVE all of these choices. Although, I tend to wear something that goes well with the venue, but definitely leans towards a more demure, classic side.

    • Jennifer Rose Smith April 22, 2013 at 9:50 am

      Thanks, Katie. Agreed — looking at the venue choice for guidance is always a good idea!

  8. 8
    Meri April 22, 2013 at 1:28 pm

    I am getting married June 1, and my little sister – my maid of honor – will be wearing a white dress right beside me.

    That’s how I felt, too, Lisa – no one will be confused, I’m the one wearing a wedding dress.

    Can’t wait to have her up there beside me. (And, okay, I’m also anticipating the hilarious and snide comments from a couple older, more traditional family members. “She wore WHAT?!”)

  9. 9
    Zoe Gerry Bullard April 22, 2013 at 4:10 pm

    I have worn a black dress to a winter wedding, but accessorized with colored shoes and fun accessories. For the most part, I look for something pretty and understated – never anything so fashion forward that I would turn heads! I usually spend a ridiculous amount of time shopping for the perfect dress for a wedding 🙂

    I’m getting married in October and our attire is “festive cocktail.” I want people to wear something fun and colorful and jazz it up a little bit!

    • Jennifer Rose Smith April 22, 2013 at 6:31 pm

      Fall weddings are my favorite. “Festive cocktail” sounds like so much fun… I would definitely wear something colorful or maybe even sparkly if the invitation said that. Best wishes to you and it sounds you’ll have a fabulous wedding!!!

      • Zoë April 23, 2013 at 2:08 pm

        I hope our guests are thinking like you – I want to see sparkles! Thanks so much 😉

  10. 10
    Kate April 22, 2013 at 6:24 pm

    I don’t think the “no black” rule applies anymore – I’ve attended close to 20 weddings and worn black to several. (A bride who gets upset about somebody wearing a white dress to her wedding is a pretty lousy bride, but I don’t have any formal white dresses, anyway.)

    My all time favorite wedding guest dress was a satin, form fitted navy blue dress – simple but elegant. It was my “go to” until I ruined it with a red wine stain.

    As long as you can dance in it and it’s a dressed up version of your typical style, go for it!

    • Jennifer Rose Smith April 22, 2013 at 6:34 pm

      Agreed on making sure your outfit is “danceable”! Solid advice from someone who’s attending a fair share of weddings.

      • Kate April 23, 2013 at 7:03 am

        Thanks Jennifer! By the way, I absolutely love all your posts here on Camille Styles. Keep up the great work!

        • Jennifer Rose Smith April 23, 2013 at 10:28 am

          Thank you, Kate! That absolutely makes my day.

  11. 11
    Maddy January 21, 2015 at 7:07 pm

    Do you know who makes the dress pictured third on Julie Sarenena of Sincerely, Jules? Thank You!

  12. 12
    Danielle February 9, 2015 at 10:58 pm

    I would also like to know who makes the dress in the third picture! Thank you. 🙂