Every time I toss out a line, I receive a lot of questions about wedding attire for guests, brides, bridesmaids, mothers of the bride/groom. Today, I’m doing a deep dive into all aspects of shopping for these happy occasions, along with some unsolicited advice — ha.
For the Wedding Guests.
My own wedding forever changed how I felt about being included in a wedding. It is a true gift! You are wanted there! It is costly and labor-intensive to be invited. Lean into it! Celebrate the love! One of the kindest things my guests did for me was take photographs. Of course there will be a professional photographer, but my favorite picture of my own big day came from my cousin, who snapped a photo of Mr. Magpie and I walking victoriously down the aisle after we’d said our “I dos.” I also treasured the photographs my aunts and uncles took of the table settings, flowers, etc. It tickled me that they liked the flowers so much they thought to photograph them! Following their lead: it is a kindness to snap photos of the elements you like to later send to the bride or mother of the bride.
I have also made a habit of emailing the parents of the groom as well as the bride the day after the wedding to thank them and underscore the elements of the wedding that you most enjoyed. It is a lot of work to put on a wedding! Good to be a gracious guest.
Below, some chic wedding guest attire ideas for the spring and summer seasons ahead.
01. BORGO DE NOR GOWN // 02. PAM MUNSON CLUTCH // 03. ACLER MIDI // 04. FARM RIO DRESS // 05. SOVERE LINEN DRESS // 06. AMINA MUADDI HEELS // 07. OSCAR DE LA RENTA EARRINGS // 08. LULU’S KNOTTED MULES // 09. SOLACE LONDON DRESS // 10. SILVIA TCHERASSI GOWN // 11. REBECCA DE RAVENEL EARRINGS // 12. SELF PORTRAIT KNIT MIDI // 13. CRYSTAL MULES // 14. EN SAISON GIANNA DRESS // 15. CULT GAIA CLUTCH // 16. MONIQUE LHUILLIER GOWN // 17. EARRINGS
I also came across some fun spring dresses at ASOS at good prices: this and this are spectacular!
For the Brides.
My advice: return to center. You will encounter too many details, enormous emotions, different opinions. Something will go wrong! Someone will irritate you! Someone will forget something, or something won’t be delivered on time. To all of this, remember to return to center. That is, at the end of the day, if you are zipping away in a car having successfully exchanged “I dos” with your husband, that’s all that matters.
One small suggestion: delegate the areas of the wedding planning you don’t deeply care about. That might be transportation, or the welcome drinks event, or vetting hair/makeup vendors! There are other people who enjoy those details (or who will happily own them for you).
Lastly, take this for what it’s worth / if it’s a possibility given arrangements for your day: my favorite part of my wedding day was the sliver of time between our ceremony and reception, where the coordinator had arranged to have a private room for us with an assortment of the appetizers our guests were enjoying at cocktail hour, plus champagne. I will never forget that quiet moment — just the two of us — where we could take a breath and soak one another up. Hearts on stilts.
A few mood boards to whet the appetite.
STAUD WELLS MAXI DRESS // TWEED JACKET // TIFFANY FOREVER BAND // JIMMY CHOO LOVE FLATS // JENNIFER BEHR EARRINGS // TOTEME CAPE // EMILIA WICKSTEAD JUMPSUIT // REBECCA VALLANCE GOWN // MANOLO MAYSALE MULES // CULT GAIA ANNIKA CLUTCH // SELF PORTRAIT TAILORED MINI DRESS // MANOLO LINEN PUMPS // EMBROIDERED HANDKERCHIEF // POSSE LINEN MINI DRESS
NEEDLE AND THREAD LISETTE DRESS // CUSTOM WEDDING DRESS PATCH // ETERNITY RING // HEART CLUTCH // HANGER // ALEXIA MARIA BOW DRESS // CECILIE BAHNSEN BETH DRESS // RING BOX // KATE SPADE BOW HEELS // ANNA OCTOBER GOWN // TULLE VEIL // JENNIFER BEHR MINNA EARRINGS // AJE IMPRESSION DRESS // SALONI CAMILLA DRESS // AQUAZZURA BABE SANDALS
For the Bridesmaids.
My main word of advice here is…be a yes woman. In nearly every other context, I wholeheartedly advocate for you to speak up, make your opinion known, etc. Not now, though. Wear the dress and be happy for your friend! Below, a guide to some chic dress options if your bride has given you a color palette and invited you to select your own gown, along with some really fun accessories/shoes. Some of the shoes are “inspired by” designer pairs — super fun at a great price! P.S. A Magpie specifically asked me for a burgundy bridesmaid dress. I like the options from Reformation — this in velvet!
01. NORMA KAMALI DRESS // 02. MONIQUE LHUILLIER TULLE DRESS // 03. ULLA JOHNSON EMMALINE DRESS** // 04. ULLA JOHNSON CAMILLE GOWN // 05. JONATHAN SIMKHAI GOWN // 06. SOLACE LONDON GOWN // 07. AMINA MUADDI HEELS // 08. MIGNONNE GAVIGAN EARRINGS // 09. LULU’S KNOTTED MULES // 10. HAZEN & CO POPPY EARRINGS // 11. J. CREW DRESS // 12. NICOLA BATHIE BABY’S BREATH EARRINGS // 13. PEARL CAGE CLUTCH // 14. CRYSTAL MULES // 15. ACLER DRESS // 16. CRYSTAL BROOCH SLINGBACKS // 17. GANNI TAFFETA DRESS // 18. CULT GAIA CLUTCH
**Major look for less moment: this Aqua style.
For the Mothers of the Brides/Grooms.
I consulted with my mother — a true expert — for advice for mothers of the bride/groom. She has successfully steered five weddings to success. Below, her lovely thoughts:
“Enjoy every moment! Remember that this is your daughter’s wedding, and not yours. You want it to be as perfect as possible, but an expression of your daughter.
Make a file with a master list of services you will need, like church, reception site, invitations, caterer, musicians, florist, transportation, gown, hair stylist, makeup artist.
Have a clear understanding of the size and style of the wedding from the bride. Then give the number to groom’s side. There will always be people that will not be included. It might be that it gets too big if you include, let’s say, the parents work friends, or cousins, or children. Better to have thought that through well beforehand. My standard line was “I am sorry but Ann’s guest list is complete.” Another issue to tackle is the “plus one”, or possible girlfriend the brother has been dating. Talk with them before the guest list is complete, and make it clear how awkward and difficult it will be to add someone at the last minute.
The gift registry should be reasonable! There may be a few aunts, uncles, and grandparents who might be giving a big ticket item, but if the guests are young, there should be some affordable suggestions. Maybe they can bundle a few of the smaller kitchen items, or two people could make a purchase together.
Wedding attire: Please have the bride wear comfortable shoes! She will be standing on her feet for a long time! Also, in my honest opinion, do not put “Black Tie Optional” on the invitation! Go one way or the other, as it is awkward.
Please have the bride write her thank you notes within a few days of receiving a wedding gift. This serves as a timely confirmation from the person sending the present, and makes the job less onerous for the bride.
For the mother of the groom:
Plan the rehearsal dinner, usually for both of the families, the attendants, groomsmen, and out of town guests. If that is too large, then invite the out-of-towners to a gathering after the dinner.
Check with the MOB about color or style of dress.”
01. BORGO DE NOR TATI DRESS // 02. SELF-PORTRAIT PANELED CHIFFON DRESS // 03. AGUA BENDITA MAXI DRESS // 04. MARKARIAN MOIRE DRESS // 05. DAMARIS BAILEY ROSITA DRESS // 06. TUCKERNUCK EARRINGS // 07. MONIQUE LHUILLIER DRESS // 08. STAUD CALLUNA DRESS // 09. EMILIA WICKSTEAD BIRCH DRESS // 10. RICKI FREEMAN FOR TERI JON CAPE DRESS // 11. REBECCA DE RAVENEL EARRINGS // 12. SELF PORTRAIT EMBROIDERED MIDI // 13. MANOLOS // 14. MARKARIAN GOWN // 15. LELA ROSE SHEATH DRESS // 16. ALEXANDRE BIRMAN PILLAR HEELS // 17. LELA ROSE QUILTED MIDI DRESS
P.S. Our song.
P.P.S. Let your heart be light.
P.P.P.S. The whole sky is yours.
Leave A Reply
10 thoughts on “What You’re Shopping For: Wedding + Wedding Guest Edition.”
Such a gorgeous post with so many links I need to save! Thank you for putting this together. I can vouch for the double pearl Jennifer Behr earrings – I wore those to my own wedding last summer and they are gorgeous and reasonably priced for the quality, in my opinion. I also love that I can wear them for so many other occasions and always think of my wedding when I do!
I love this! Such a good buy. Pearls will never go out of style. I wear mine almost every single day. Glad you enjoyed!!!
I LOVE that Jonathan Simkhai gown… could you possibly recommend something similar but under $300?? Thanks Jen! Xo
It is stunning! Nothing immediately comparable, but here are a few dresses that tug on some similar strings for less:
As the burgundy dress-seeking Magpie, a hearty thank you for suggesting that beautiful dress from Reformation! Can’t wait to try it out!
I’m so glad you liked!! xx
Whenever I see a wedding/wedding guest collaboration, I immediately hit pause on everything else! Constantly looking — keep it coming! Currently struggling to find black tie for a March South Carolina low country wedding. As a resident of the low country, March can be bitter cold and rainy or warm and humid.
Yay! So glad! That is really tricky. Honestly you might benefit from ordering two options and then returning whichever you don’t end up wearing because that’s a wide swing. If it’s bitter cold, I would wear a long gown like this:
With closed toe shoes:
And a cropped fur jacket:
If it’s warm and humid, I would go with one of the linen/cotton gowns from Silvia Tcherassi or Agua Bendita, like these:
With a heeled sandal!
So many gorgeous dresses! I just learned earlier this week that couples can hire someone to take care of all of the outfits for the wedding (and engagement pictures + events leading up to the wedding)- what a fun job! Unrelated to weddings, I’m planning on purchasing two pairs of flats- black and nude- before end of day in time for a trip and recall reading on the blog about a pair of flats where a friend of yours had cut off the logo/charm to make them unbranded… I wasn’t able to find the post after lots of searching and am wondering if you recall the flats. Thank you in advance!
Hi! Such a good memory — it was this pair from Sam Edelman. She swears that without the logo/charm, they look just like a higher-end pair from The Row or something —