It's reaching that time when the invites for Spring (and Summer for those well-organised brides!) weddings are beginning to land. As a guest, once you've got over the potential expense of the weekend-away-hen-do and the Selfridges gift-list you can get down to the really exciting bit of what to wear. Weddings scare a lot of people. In our casual and dressed down society we don't tend to have a wardrobe full of occasion wear to draw from which means we don't really know what our dressed up style is. But, this can be a good thing, as we can reinvent ourselves and try something different to our usual style. For clues look to the bride and groom, how traditional are they?
So, first things first, colours. White and cream should definitely be a no-go. No bride will thank you for attempting to steal her limelight (and if she's not thinking it, others will be). Likewise black can be frowned upon by an older generation who are used to associating the colour with a more sombre event than a wedding. Try and find out the colour theme (invitations usually hold a clue) and avoid that shade too. Pastels are the usual fail safe and every high street shop at every budget will have you covered if that's what you fancy. Personally, I'm a fan of a bright print at a wedding. You'll look summer ready as well as camouflaging any red wine spills or chocolatey hand prints of the smaller guests on the day. If prints feel a little scary then lace is a chic alternative.
On to your outfit, make sure you decide a budget and stick to it. It's very easy to be swayed by the matching shoes / bag / hat and spend far more than you had planned, or can afford. Look to see what you already have and work with that too. So, let's start at the top with headwear. Of course you don't have to go with a hat if that's a bit mother-of-the-bride for you. There are plenty of other options out there. I'd steer clear of the fascinator as these can be a little unfashionable and haven't recovered their reputation since Princess Beatrice got a slating for hers at the wedding of William and Kate! A much nicer alternative is a hair flower or beaded headband, both being much cheaper and more stylish than your average hat too. The outfit - the key is to be comfortable - and pretty much anything goes! From a '70's style flowing maxi dress (try ASOS), to an on-trend midi (Topshop), as long as you don't go too short you can't go far wrong. There's also the option of a trouser suit or jumpsuit for those not wishing to go down the dress route. And there are some amazing styles out there. Try Reiss, Whistles and Ted Baker for some of the best on the High Street. Try to ensure you're weather ready too. The unpredictable UK weather could mean a scorching April and a cool August so layer up with a jacket to suit your outfit or a stylish umbrella in white (John Lewis) or a funky print (try Orla Kiely) in case of showers. And finally accessorising! The best bit! You'll be on your feet for a big part of the day so shoes should be comfortable as well as stylish. Go as high as you dare or with a chunky block heel or wedge to give you height as well as the comfort. Metallics are a brilliant choice to add a bit of sparkle but also very wearable and can be dressed down with denim afterwards too. Depending on the neckline you've chosen, a statement necklace is ideal for a plainer top, whereas something more fancy needs larger stud or drop earrings to balance it out. Shorter sleeves allow you to stack sparkly bracelets up your arm or to go with a simpler pearl style.
Whatever you go for, the very best accessory for any occasion is a big smile!