Face it. When you get an invitation to a destination wedding, you will more than likely be a bit more enthused about the actual destination than the wedding you will be attending. You may immediately have a trip in mind that is full of leisure with flip-flops and bathing suits, or even an adventure where you will be able to see the sights in comfortable, casual clothes. Don’t forget though, you will be there to go to a wedding, and yes, you might be on vacation, but that doesn’t mean that you can wear regular tourist clothes to the actual ceremony.
The best clue that you will get regarding the dress code should be the actual invitation. If the actual ceremony will be really casual and allow for things like shorts and flip-flops, it should tell you. Likewise, if it will be a black-tie event. Even if there isn’t a set dress code, many invitations to destination weddings will have clothing related info on them, like warnings regarding humid climes or warmer temps. If the happy couple drops hints about the weather being 100 degrees, you can almost certainly count on the dress code being a bit lax and more of a polo shirt event than a tux one.
We all know and expect for pictures to be taken at weddings (even by drones these days), and a destination wedding is no exception. Make sure that the way you are dressed will not stand out as either too underdressed or too overdressed in the wedding photos.
For the Gents
The dress code for guys tends to be a bit easier than the one for the ladies. Unless it is specified as being a black-tie event, men’s performance clothing, such as a wrinkle-free dress shirt that will wick moisture away from the body, nice slacks, and a sports coat should be ok for nearly any ceremony. Madras and seersucker should be alright for summertime and beach themed weddings, but try to avoid things like Hawaiian shirts and humongous palm leaves. Regardless of the shirt you wear, make sure you have it tucked in unless you happen to notice that the groom doesn’t have his shirt tucked in. Even if you are at a mega casual ceremony, don’t rock your flip flops unless your invitation specifically says they are ok to wear.
For the Ladies
If the wedding you are going to is on a beach, the beach wedding attire you should stick with is a sundress and possibly sandals. Anything else will call for a dress that will hit somewhere in between the middle of your calf and up to about 6 inches or so above the knee. This is actually a good rule of thumb regardless of where the wedding will be taking place. As far as colors go, black will be alright as long as the wedding is held at night or indoors, but make sure to accessorize with little pops of color. Remember that a wedding is supposed to be more of a celebration than a funeral. Pantsuits can also work but avoid career separates at all costs.
If you still aren’t positive when it comes to what you should wear to this destination wedding, ask the maid of honor. This is the person who traditionally answers all of the gift and attire related questions because it enables the bride to concentrate on actually planning the wedding. Not that you can’t ask the bride, just don’t wait until the last minute to do so.
Getting It There
If you won’t be able to purchase the attire for this destination wedding at the destination, you will need to bring it with you. Pack your wedding clothes in a garment bag and take it on the plane as your carry – on item. This will ensure that it doesn’t get lost in transit. You might also want to look for styles and fabrics that will travel well and be resistant to wrinkles (even though most hotels do have irons in the rooms).
If you follow these tips, you will look great at any destination wedding.