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Wedding Dress Code Decoded: What to Wear to Every Type of Wedding

So here’s the sitch: You were suddenly invited to be a “plus one” to a wedding this weekend and have absolutely no idea (and no time to plan) what to wear! This may seem like a typical rom-com movie scene where the girl impresses everyone with her charms and wit but you can’t exactly pull that off if you're not dressed appropriately.

You don’t really want to be remembered as that one guest who unintentionally outshined the bride by showing up in a ball gown to a laid-back, casual chic, beach wedding, do you? That’s where we come in to give you a few fashion dos and don’ts on what to wear to every type of wedding you’ll be attending this wedding season and beyond.


But first, let us fill you in on the ground rules for dressing for a wedding:

Rule 1: Don’t ever wear white or black to a wedding unless it was requested or is part of the dress code. 

Rule 2: Be mindful of the location and the dress code, especially for religious/traditional concerns.

Rule 3: Being underdressed is worse than being overdressed, play by the rules and actually wear a long dress to a “black tie optional” dress code.


Now that we’ve got that out of the way, here are some of our wedding guest attire picks that will suit every wedding ceremony you might find yourself attending. Never be clueless again!


Church Weddings

This is one of the most common wedding ceremonies you’ll ever come across especially here in the Philippines. As mentioned before, be mindful of what you’ll wear especially if you will be attending a Catholic Church wedding. Your best bet? Go for mid-length dresses with sleeves to cover bare arms and legs without compromising comfort or style.



Lake Studio long sleeve midi dress



Magda Butrym Tarragona pink dress



Maria Lucia Hohan Olivia metallic dress


Beach Weddings

Another local favorite, beach destination weddings are basically the alternate to a quintessential city wedding. When you have beautiful places like Balesin, Amanpulo, and Palawan within arms reach, the beach and its perfect sunset view will definitely be a treat for celebrating special occasions such as a wedding. For this, have a little fun with your look by sporting florals, ruffles, fringe details, and flowy dresses. Oh, and don't forget to accessorize to your heart’s content!


Cult Gaia Isabel ruffled tea dress


Johanna Ortiz Amorini jacquard jumpsuit


Johanna Ortiz Siglo de Las Luces silk dress


Garden Weddings

For a more intimate setup, couples tend to go for garden weddings to celebrate with their family and friends without putting too much effort on the venue. With many different garden locations available around the Metro, this has also been a practical choice for couples who want to enjoy the beauty of the outdoors without necessarily having to go the extra mile. Garden weddings usually take place during the day so a dress in pastel hues will be your best bet.


Marchesa Notte foral embroidered midi dress


Roland Mouret asymmetrical embroidered dress


AMEN sequinned dress


Black Tie Wedding

Usually, this takes place in a luxurious hotel or a grand hall. When the couple asks for a “black tie” dress code, think of Hollywood red carpet-worthy looks to make sure you fit in. Pro tip: Wearing black to an event as grand as this won’t be a bad idea. If you’re planning to wear something close to white, opt for nude or champagne tones to avoid the whole upstaging the bride fiasco.


Galvan satin halterneck gown


Marchesa Notte off-shoulder maxi dress


Zac Posen Marianne gown


Photos via Net-a-Porter, Moda Operandi, and Farfetch. Lead photo via BHLDN Weddings