Fashion Challenge: What to Wear to a Spring Wedding

Dressing for a wedding can be challenging. This is one event where a dress code is still in effect.  There are a lot of rules and traditions about what to wear, and variables like the time of day.  Weddings are highly social events, where you’re going to mingle with a lot of people–distant family, office co-workers, your friends’ parents–and you want to make a good impression.  The makings of a stressful situation are definitely there.

But generally, you can figure out what to wear to a wedding.  Note the time of the ceremony, the plans for the reception, and any clues on the invitation ( like “black tie” or “cocktail attire”) and you can show up looking lovely.  As long as it’s not spring.

Spring weddings pose a special challenge: the weather. I had the pleasure of attending a lovely wedding last weekend.  The wedding took place on a Saturday night.  It snowed.  But two days before we had enjoyed two days of 80 degree weather.  It’s hard for a girl to plan an outfit around erratic weather!

You may get lucky and have perfect 75-degrees-and-sunny weather on the big day.  But it’s smart to have a backup plan in the spring.  Here’s what to do.

Don’t stress. 

Have a lovely time at the wedding–but remember–this night is not about you. It’s about the bride and groom.  Sure, you want to look good for yourself, and for your date, but it’s the bride that everyone will focus on like a laser when she walks down the aisle.  You’re there to watch.  Doesn’t that take a weight off your shoulders?

Some rules just have to be followed.

Don’t wear white.  Overtly sexy is out.  If in doubt, don’t wear black.

And don’t wear anything that screams “Look at me!” No neon orange, no Pucci prints, no eyecatching bold vertical stripes.

Dress for the venue.  Don’t worry about getting there.

To the Spring Snow Wedding, I had planned on wearing a pale green wrap dress and black patent heels.  When I realized that the temperature was going to be 30 degrees on wedding night, I considered switching to a winter dress, but I didn’t own anything I really liked and I certainly hadn’t purchased anything appropriate for the occasion–I didn’t expect it to snow in late March!  I tried adding a black cardigan over the dress, but it just didn’t look right.  I pulled out the invitation and saw that the ceremony would be in an old church, we’d drive to the reception, and then be indoors at the reception the rest of the night.  So I wore my warmest winter coat over my spring-y dress and hoped the heat was blasting at both places.  (It was.)

Shoes are a minor exception.  I wouldn’t wear sandals or peep-toes in the snow.  Your feet will freeze, or get wet, or both.

Layer.

Add a cardigan.  Or a jacket.  (Or be ready to take one off.)  Tights or pantyhose can add warmth.

Spring dresses are lots of fun!

It’s true, dressing for a spring wedding can be hard.  But–it’s so much fun to be dressing for spring after a long winter.  Enjoy it!

For more tips on dressing for a spring wedding, check out my answers to the top 10 questions I received from readers about dressing for a spring wedding.

Recommended Reading:

What to Wear to a Spring Wedding: Your Questions Answered. The pressure’s on to dress right for weddings, since they’re one of the few occasions where a dress code is still in force. Here are answers to the top 10 questions about what to wear to a spring wedding.

5 Things I Love About Shopping Online, and 3 Things I Wish I’d Learned Sooner. I’m a devoted online shopper. Here’s what I love about shopping online, and here are 3 things I wish I’d known sooner.

Quick Fashion Tip: Spend to Your Weakness.

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