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A guide to choosing the right attire for different types of weddings

Weddings may be formal or casual, and how you dress for a particular wedding should be based on this factor. It wouldn’t be appropriate to wear a formal evening gown to a casual beach wedding, or a pair of flip flops to a black-tie wedding. These are very obvious dress-etiquette rules, but it doesn’t always have to be so straightforward.

What you choose to wear should match the tone for the event. The general guidelines are not to wear white or black, never turn up in a pair of jeans, your dress shouldn’t be shabby nor should you look unkempt. Let us now look at what type of dressing would be appropriate for different types of weddings that you may be attending in the future.

Casual weddings

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These weddings are usually held at an informal venue, say a beach or a garden. Most daytime weddings are casual events. Though it says casual, you shouldn’t dress for it like you would when you go camping with friends. Make sure that your choice of attire is cheerful, but elegant. Women would look good in pretty dresses, printed skirts or trousers and a nice blouse. Men can wear casual pants with a cotton shirt. Though the wedding is casual, you shouldn’t wear jeans (especially the worn out variety). Also choose appropriate footwear that matches your ensemble. Make it look as though you took some effort to dress up.

Semi-formal

This is a tough choice, as it is difficult to draw the line between what is semi-formal and what is formal or informal. You can opt for dressy, but not too formal, or choose a formal attire with simple details. For example, a knee-length dress in satin or chiffon would be fine, but not a full length evening gown. You could also wear well-tailored trousers with a printed or silk top. Match your accessories to your outfit, but keep them simple. Men can choose their tuxedo in a dark or light color, as either would be appropriate.

Formal weddings

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You will clearly recognize a formal wedding from the tone of the invitation and the venue where it will be held. This is the occasion to show off your expensive full-length evening gown with the elegant accessories you chose to go with it. Embellishments and prints are fine, as long as they are classic and add sophistication to the dress. Pair it with matching heels and you are all set. Men are expected to be dressed in a tux, a crisp shirt and a matching tie.

Black tie weddings

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This is often confused with formal weddings, as the dress code is pretty similar. Take a cue from the name, and sport a black tie and wear a tux as well as a vest. Women can choose formal gowns and add accessories that are classic and elegant.

Whether you have to attend casual or formal weddings, and whether the wedding is in summer or winter, we at Best for Bride, have all the right choices for you to pick from. Visit our selection of evening gowns today and make your pick.

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Your guide to being the perfect wedding guest

We have time and again seen advice on wedding etiquette for the bride and groom, as well as the rest of the wedding party. However have we ever taken time to think of what the couple expect from the guests who attend their wedding? Do they or don’t they have to follow certain etiquette rules as well?

The answer is Yes! Just like the married couple, the guests too have to conform to some basic rules, to ensure the wedding progresses smoothly and without hassles. We will cover these over the course of this article.

#Rule 1

Confirm your participation ASAP

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Your role begins with receiving the wedding invitation. Quickly confirm whether you will be attending or not. This makes the rest of the wedding planning much easier for the couple. Do it in the format that is suggested on the card. Whether they ask you to reply by message, mail or phone, stick to it so there is no confusion later. A card with an RSVP regrets only message is the only exception, where you have to respond only if you wish to decline the invitation. Read more on it at the Wiki link to RSVP invitations.

Here’s the tricky part. What if you aren’t sure you will be attending? You should still inform the couple of your situation and give them a specific date by which you can confirm.

#Rule 2

Get the gift right

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It is customary to give a gift to the couple, and the best gifts are those listed on the couple’s registry. It is unlikely that this information will be provided in the invitation. So, check with the honor attendants or the couple’s parents to find out where they are registered, or look at their wedding website if any. They should ideally provide you with a reasonable number of options. So, make your pick as early as is possible, and either take it with you to the couple’s home prior to the wedding or have it sent directly from the store.

#Rule 3

Dress appropriately and be on time

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Make sure you find out what type of wedding is planned and dress accordingly. It would be inappropriate to attend a formal event in casual clothes or the reverse. Pay specific attention to details on whether it is black-tie or formal, so you stick to the dress code. Don’t choose a dress that clashes or overshadows that of the bride and groom. Arrive at the venue well ahead of time. It is suggested that you be there at least 30 minutes early. If you are forced to be late for some reason, join the group at the back and don’t cause any confusion.

#Rule 4

Be kind and gracious with your comments

Every couple wants to hear that they’ve had a beautiful wedding. Even if you think otherwise, keep your thoughts to yourself. Congratulate the couple personally when you get the chance. Don’t make any snide remarks, and don’t embarrass the couple or the rest of the wedding party in any way. Try to wait till the bride and groom leave before you depart. Should it be impossible, inform a member of the wedding party that you have to depart and don’t forget to mention that you’ve enjoyed being part of the wedding.

Find the right dress to wear for any type of wedding this year at our link for evening gowns and special dresses on Best for Bride.

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All you wanted to know about engagement parties

Your engagement is great news; one that has to be shared and celebrated with your near and dear ones. You could always share the news over social media or telephone, but the traditional way of breaking the news to those who are closest to you is with an engagement party.

Are you unsure about how and when you should plan your engagement party? Here is a round-up of all you have to know, so you can begin planning.

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Who hosts the engagement party?

Traditionally, this was done by the bride’s parents. Nowadays, there is really no set rule on who throws the party. At times it is the bride’s parents, or otherwise the groom’s parents. It isn’t too unusual to find the couple themselves hosting the party these days or even their friends doing it for them.

When is it held?

An engagement party is the occasion to officially announce your engagement. So, the earlier it is planned, the better. It is good to have the engagement party before you get too busy with wedding planning. This allows you to enjoy it fully, without worrying about the wedding. If you want to keep your engagement a surprise, an engagement party is the best occasion to announce this big news to all those who matter to you. Just make sure that the hosts or those who already know don’t spill the beans before the day.

What kind of a party should it be?

There are no set rules here. You could have a formal party, or choose to go with one that is casual and relaxed. Outdoor garden parties are great for celebrating engagements, but you could also have it at a club or in a hotel if you choose to. Traditional engagement parties were notorious for being serious and boring. But with a little creativity you can transform it into a fun-filled event. To get started, check out this article on The Huffington Post.

Who should be invited?

Engagement party etiquette was that only those in the wedding guest list were invited to this function. But, nowadays it is up to the hosts and the couple to decide who attends. You can either have an intimate gathering of your close friends and relatives, or a bigger affair where you invite co-workers, neighbors and associates as well. Couples may even choose to have more than one party for each group, but this depends on whether you have the time and the budget for it.

What do you wear?

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Your attire for the day should depend on the formality of the event and the venue. For a formal party choose an elegant evening gown that helps you stand out. For a casual outdoor affair, shorter dresses with interesting details would be a good choice. Your fiance should also choose his attire based on the same factors.

Are toasts part of the engagement party?

Yes, it is customary to toast the newly-engaged couple at the party. It can be done by their parents, or whoever hosts the party. The couple may also choose to raise a toast to the host of the party, if they aren’t hosting it themselves.

Now that you know all that you need to, on engagement parties, get ready to plan it. To find a suitable dress for this fantastic evening in your life, check out our collection of dresses for special occasions at Best for Bride.