Music For Scotland | how to be the best dressed wedding guest in 2023 (2024)

Weddings are such an amazing and exciting time for everyone involved - it's a celebration of love and commitment between two people, how could it not be? As a guest, it's important to recognize that this is a very special occasion that requires a certain level of formality and respect. Showing respect for the couple can be as simple as dressing appropriately for the wedding. Turning up in sweatpants - unless it's a themed wedding - is never acceptable.

Believe it or not, the way you dress at a wedding says a lot about how you understand the significance of the occasion. Wearing inappropriate attire can send the wrong message and take away from the overall experience. It can even be offensive to the couple or their families in some cases. That's why it's crucial to dress in a way that shows that you appreciate the event and want to be a part of it in a meaningful way.

Dressing appropriately is also a way to show respect for the wedding venue and its traditions. If the wedding is taking place in a place of worship, like a church or temple, it's best to dress conservatively and avoid revealing or provocative clothing. On the other hand, if the wedding is in a formal venue like a ballroom or fancy restaurant, dressing in formal attire is a must.

Dressing appropriately helps ensure that you feel comfortable and confident. Wearing clothes that are too casual or too formal can make you feel out of place and awkward but finding the right outfit can make you feel confident and at ease, which will allow you to fully enjoy the wedding.

So, dressing to impress for a wedding not only shows respect for the couple and the event but also makes sure you feel comfortable and confident. Taking the time to understand the dress code and dressing accordingly is a great way to show your appreciation for the couple and their special day.

Music For Scotland | how to be the best dressed wedding guest in 2023 (1)

Why being the best-dressed wedding guest matters

Let's admit it, we all want to look our best at weddings. And while it's not a competition, being the best-dressed wedding guest can be a great way to show respect for the couple and their special day. After all, weddings are such important and emotional events, and the couple has likely put a lot of effort into planning the perfect celebration.

By dressing your best, you're showing the couple that you care about their wedding and want to make a positive contribution to the event. It's a way of saying, "I value your special day and I'm excited to be a part of it!" And let's not forget, looking great can also boost your confidence and help you feel more comfortable and relaxed throughout the wedding festivities.

But being the best-dressed wedding guest is not just about impressing others. It can also help you avoid any potential embarrassment. Imagine showing up to a formal wedding in jeans and a t-shirt, or wearing a white dress that looks too much like a wedding gown. These faux pas can make you feel uncomfortable and draw unwanted attention. By dressing appropriately and following the dress code, you'll be sure to avoid any awkward moments. So, take some time to plan your outfit, follow the dress code, and enjoy the celebration!

Common wedding dress codes

Wedding dress codes can be a bit confusing at times, but they're important to understand if you want to dress appropriately and show respect for the couple and the occasion. The good news is that most weddings will have a dress code, so you'll have some guidance on what to wear. Let's take a look at some of the most common wedding dress codes.

First up, we have black-tie. This is the most formal dress code you're likely to encounter at a wedding. For men, it typically means a tuxedo, while women should wear a formal gown or a co*cktail dress. Black-tie weddings are usually held in the evening at upscale venues, so it's important to dress to impress.

Next, we have formal. Formal dress codes are a step down from black-tie, but they still require guests to dress up. Men should wear a dark suit and tie, while women can wear a formal dress or a dressy suit. Formal weddings are typically held in the evening at upscale venues, but they're a bit less formal than black-tie events.

Semi-formal dress codes are less formal than formal dress codes, but they still require guests to dress up. For men, a suit and tie are still appropriate, while women can wear a co*cktail dress or a dressy skirt and blouse. Semi-formal weddings are usually held in the evening, but they can also be daytime events.

Finally, we have casual dress codes. Casual dress codes are the most relaxed of all the dress codes, but that doesn't mean you can wear whatever you want. Men should wear dress smart trousers - like chinos -and a collared shirt, while women can wear a sundress or a skirt and blouse. Casual weddings are typically held during the daytime, and they may be held outdoors or at more laid-back venues.

Understanding the dress code is crucial if you want to dress appropriately for a wedding. The most common dress codes are black-tie, formal, semi-formal, and casual. Take the time to familiarize yourself with the dress code for the wedding you're attending, and you'll be sure to make a great impression.

How to determine the dress code

If you're unsure about the dress code for a wedding, don't worry, it's a common concern. The easiest way to determine the dress code is to look for it on the invitation or the wedding website. If it's specified, then you're all set. But what if it's not mentioned?

In such cases, you can use your common sense to gauge the level of formality expected at the wedding. Start by considering the venue and the time of day. A wedding held in a formal ballroom or an upscale hotel may call for more formal attire than a beach wedding or a backyard wedding. Similarly, a daytime wedding is usually less formal than an evening wedding.

Another factor to consider is the couple's personal style. If you know the couple well, think about their fashion sense and their taste in decor. This can give you a good idea of what to wear to their wedding.

If you're still unsure, it's okay to ask the couple or a member of the wedding party for guidance. They'll be happy to help you dress appropriately and feel comfortable on their big day. Remember, it's better to ask for clarification than to show up dressed inappropriately.

Music For Scotland | how to be the best dressed wedding guest in 2023 (2)

Choose the Right Outfit

  • Formal Wedding Attire

Formal weddings are usually grand affairs, and dressing appropriately is key to showing your respect for the occasion. If you're attending a formal wedding, you'll want to choose your outfit carefully.

For men, a tuxedo is the most appropriate attire for a formal wedding. However, if you don't own a tuxedo, a dark suit with a white shirt and a tie will do the trick. Black, navy, and charcoal gray are all great options for a formal suit. Make sure your shoes are polished and your tie is tied properly.

For women, a long dress is the most appropriate attire for a formal wedding. This could be a floor-length gown or a formal co*cktail dress. Choose something elegant and sophisticated, and avoid anything too revealing or too casual. Opt for fabrics such as silk, satin, or chiffon, and pair your dress with high heels and some statement jewelry.

It's important to keep the wedding venue and the season in mind when choosing your formal attire. If the wedding is being held in a church or a cathedral, make sure your outfit is respectful and modest. If the wedding is taking place in the summer, you'll want to choose a lighter fabric that will keep you cool.

Overall, the key to dressing appropriately for a formal wedding is to choose something elegant and sophisticated that fits the tone of the occasion. When in doubt, it's always better to err on the side of formality.

  • Semi-Formal Wedding Attire

Semi-formal wedding attire offers a little more flexibility in terms of what you can wear compared to formal attire. Men can opt for a suit or a sports jacket with dress pants in a neutral color such as navy, charcoal, or black. They can pair it with a dress shirt, tie, and dress shoes. It is important to keep in mind that the suit should be well-tailored to ensure a sharp and polished look.

For women, a co*cktail dress is a safe bet for a semi-formal wedding. It can be a knee-length or tea-length dress, depending on your preference. It is best to choose a dress that is not too revealing, as it is still a formal event. You can also opt for a dressy skirt and top combination, such as a blouse and a midi skirt. It is essential to choose appropriate footwear to complete your outfit, such as closed-toe heels or dressy flats.

  • Casual Wedding Attire

The most confusing and risky of them all, casual weddings are becoming increasingly popular and offer more flexibility in terms of attire. However, it is important to keep in mind that casual does not mean sloppy or overly casual. Even if the dress code is casual, it is still a wedding and an important occasion that requires some effort in dressing appropriately.

For men, chinosand a dress shirt or a polo shirt is a good option. Avoid wearing jeans or shorts, as they are too casual for a wedding. For women, a sundress or a skirt and top can be appropriate. Keep in mind that the length and style of the dress should be appropriate for the occasion. It is also a good idea to avoid overly revealing or beachy attire.

In general, it is always better to err on the side of being slightly overdressed than underdressed. If you are unsure about the dress code, it is better to ask the couple or the wedding planner for guidance to ensure that you are dressed appropriately for the occasion.

Music For Scotland | how to be the best dressed wedding guest in 2023 (3)

Accesorise properly


Choosing the right shoes is an essential part of accessorizing for a wedding. It is important to select shoes that complement your outfit and are comfortable enough to wear for an extended period of time. For a formal wedding, men should wear black dress shoes, while women should opt for elegant heels or dressy flats. For a semi-formal wedding, men can wear dress shoes or loafers, and women can choose heels or comfortable flats. For a casual wedding, men can wear dress shoes or sandals, and women can opt for cute flats or wedges.

Remember, comfort is key when it comes to wedding shoes. You'll likely be on your feet for hours, so it's important to choose a pair that won't cause discomfort or pain. Additionally, be mindful of the terrain of the wedding venue. If it's an outdoor wedding, you may want to avoid heels that could get stuck in the grass or sandals that may not be suitable for uneven ground.

When it comes to accessorizing for a wedding, there are a few important things to keep in mind. First and foremost, your accessories should complement your outfit and the formality of the wedding. This means that you should choose pieces that are appropriate for the dress code and the venue.

When it comes to jewelry, less is often more. Choose pieces that are elegant and understated, such as a simple necklace or a pair of stud earrings. Avoid wearing anything too flashy or attention-grabbing, as this can be distracting and take away from your overall look.

Your hair and makeup should also be appropriate for the occasion. For a formal wedding, consider an updo or a sleek hairstyle, and choose makeup that is subtle and sophisticated. For a more casual wedding, a loose braid or waves and natural-looking makeup may be more appropriate.

Finally, don't forget about your bag or clutch. A small bag can hold your essentials and complete your look, but it's important to choose one that is appropriate for the dress code and complements your outfit. A simple clutch in a neutral color is always a safe choice, but you could also opt for a statement clutch that adds a pop of color or texture to your look. Just make sure that it's not too large or bulky, as this can be impractical and take away from your overall appearance.

DON’T Overdo it

Dressing appropriately is not only a sign of respect for the couple and the occasion, but it can also make you feel more comfortable and confident throughout the wedding. However, it is equally important not to overdo it. You don't want to draw too much attention to yourself by wearing attire that is too formal or flashy, which could potentially take away from the couple's special day.

On the other hand, underdressing can also be a mistake. You don't want to show up in attire that is too casual or revealing, as it may come across as disrespectful to the couple and their guests. It is always better to dress slightly more formally than too casually.

So, if you are unsure about the dress code, it is always better to err on the side of caution and dress a bit more conservatively. It is better to blend in and not draw too much attention to yourself than to stand out for the wrong reasons. Remember, the wedding day is not about you, it's about celebrating the couple's love and commitment to each other.

It's important to remember that a wedding is a special event and dressing appropriately is a way to honor and respect the couple's big day. Even if you don't put much significance behind the way you dress, others do - rightly or wrongly. Understanding the dress code and choosing the right outfit can help you feel confident and comfortable while also ensuring that you don't stand out for the wrong reasons. Accessorizing properly with shoes, jewelry, and a clutch can elevate your outfit, but it's important not to go overboard. Ultimately, being the best-dressed wedding guest is about striking the right balance between looking stylish and appropriate, without stealing the spotlight from the couple.

And don't forget to pack those flats for the ceilidh dancing!

Music For Scotland | how to be the best dressed wedding guest in 2023 (2024)


What do people wear to weddings in Scotland? ›

If you're not comfortable wearing a kilt or a tartan outfit, you can still dress formally in a suit or a formal dress. In conclusion, a Scottish-themed wedding calls for traditional Scottish dress for men, including a kilt outfit, and for women, a formal dress or a Scottish-inspired outfit.

What to wear to a wedding as a guest in 2023? ›

The Fall 2023 wedding guest dress line up has lots of earthy tones with some darker florals mixed in and soft silhouettes.

How to be the best dressed wedding guest? ›

Also, we've got you covered with more wedding guest dresses and jumpsuits here and here!
  1. Don't wear white. ...
  2. Try to avoid wearing the bridal party's colors. ...
  3. Consider the season. ...
  4. Don't go *too* casual. ...
  5. Dress up your pants. ...
  6. Cover your shoulders when applicable. ...
  7. Avoid going overboard. ...
  8. Don't go against the dress code.
Dec 15, 2023

Can you wear black to a wedding 2023? ›

In 2023 it is perfectly acceptable to wear black to a wedding. The idea that black is a "rude" color to wear to a wedding is a rather outdated concept.

What is the dress code of Scotland? ›

The plaid and kilt form the only national costume in the British Isles that is worn for ordinary purposes, rather than merely for special occasions. Highland dress is also the uniform of Scottish regiments in the British army, and kilts have been worn in battle as recently as World War II.

Do the Scottish wear wedding rings? ›

Usually wedding rings are worn on the right hand. In some countries, however, they are worn on the left hand, like in France, Italy, Sweden, Scotland and Belgium.

What color to wear at a wedding in 2023? ›

The most popular spring wedding colors tend to be natural or bright! For 2023, we're seeing an uptick in nature-inspired greens, as well as brighter pinks.

What should a 60 year old woman wear to a wedding? ›

Fit-and-flare Wedding Guest Dresses For Women Over 60

Fit-and-flare dresses whether knee-length or longer are chic and flattering. It has a defined waistline and fits closer to the body but is not too tight which makes it uncomfortable. This forgiving silhouette fits every body type.

How much do you spend on a wedding gift 2023? ›

There Is No Rule Regarding Cash Gifts

Wedding experts do, however, advise starting at $100. From there, you may want to adjust up to $500 based on factors such as your relationship with the couple, your budget and the cost of your attendance at the wedding.

How can I look rich and classy at my wedding? ›

Wear some discreet bling.

A few pieces of stylish jewelry can give your look rich elegance. If you can't afford the real thing, keep it classic. In lieu of a genuine Cartier "Tank" watch, do what lots of the wealthy do and get the cheapest, simplest Timex with a basic black leather band, small and discreet.

What to wear to a wedding reception evening in the female UK? ›

Embrace seasonal trends with floral prints, bold colours and lace, or choose timeless midi styles and floor-sweeping gowns. Complete your outfit with court shoes and a clutch bag to store your essentials. Our wedding guest dresses and jumpsuits will help you look and feel your best on the big day.

What do ladies wear to weddings as a guest? ›

Women wedding guests should wear full-length dresses, be it a ballgown, a sheath or an A-line dress. High heels are strongly recommended. Feel free to accessorize with opulent jewelry and even elbow-length white silk gloves.

What are guests wearing to weddings 2023? ›

Classic Black / Black Tie Summer Wedding Guest Dress

For evening weddings or black tie weddings, embrace a long, black maxi dress. Opt for a figure-hugging silhouette or a flowy gown and and some trend to it by opting for a cut out black dress or a halter dress.

Can I wear black to a wedding in the UK? ›

Black is generally appropriate for conservative or traditional weddings, too, just bear in mind the point we made at the beginning of this feature - a non-black dress is always the safer option (unless it's white, of course!).

Is it okay to wear red to a wedding? ›

Summary. To answer the main question of the article, yes you can wear red to a wedding in most circ*mstances. However, in some situations you may want to check with the marrying couple that red is acceptable to wear as a guest and it won't go against their culture or distract from their big day.

What are the colors for Scottish weddings? ›

In a traditional Scottish wedding today, the bride wears a white, ivory or cream colored wedding dress in the style of her choice. Bridesmaids usually wear matching dresses in the color/style chosen by the bride.

What to expect at a Scottish wedding? ›

A common sight and sound at many Scottish weddings, the skirl of the pipes as you follow the piper and are whisked from the ceremony and into dinner is a dramatic way to bring Scottish tradition into your wedding day. The playing of bagpipes is thought to bring good luck, and also to scare off evil spirits.

Do you have to wear a kilt to a Scottish wedding? ›

The groom, groomsmen, and many of the male guests will likely be wearing tartan kilts. It's one of the many Scottish Traditions that kilts are worn with pride at formal gatherings. You can expect to see everything from a casual fashion kilt worn to a full traditional kilt outfit.

What do female Scottish people wear? ›

The Tartan Pattern

It is an essential element of Scottish identity. Women are often seen wearing tartan skirts, dresses and shawls that proudly display their Scottish heritage.


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