Fall is one of the most special times of the year to have a wedding. The sun sets earlier in the evening to a dramatic backdrop, the burnt orange trees create a glowing ambience, and there seems to be a distinctive feel of coziness.
Problem is, dressing for a fall wedding as a guest can be tricky. Summer has been and gone, which means strappy dresses are out of the question (unless you want to shiver throughout the wedding). It’s also not cold enough for a big fur jacket.
Each season comes with its own wedding style, and fall is all about the colors. Think rich jewel tones, neutral colors to match the leaves of the trees, and sophisticated dark tones.
Here is our ultimate guide on what to wear to a fall wedding!
Formal or Black Tie Fall Wedding
Formal or black tie weddings are probably the easiest to dress for. No matter the time of year, formal and black tie dress codes only mean one thing – a snazzy black tux or a long gown. The key to creating a look for a formal or black tie fall wedding is to utilize the beautiful colors of fall in your outfit.
For example, opt for a long cocktail dress in an emerald green, burnt orange, mauve, of sapphire color. It doesn’t even have to be a long gown, as female guests can also wear knee-length cocktail dresses or even a fancy pantsuit. If you’re bringing a male counterpart, find a pocket square in the same color as your dress to make yourselves look cohesive.
The only problem with formal or black tie fall wedding dress codes is the risk of looking like a bridesmaid, or even worse, the bride herself. Wedding etiquette states that guests should never wear white, as this is synonymous with the bride. It might be worth doing some research to see what the bridesmaids are wearing if you’re worried about accidentally matching the color or style of their dresses.
Semi Formal Fall Wedding
As the name suggests, semi formal wedding dress codes are somewhat in the middle between a formal or black tie wedding and a casual wedding. This means guests have a bit more wiggle room to relax with their outfits – think midi or knee-length dresses and pantsuits. For men, a tux is optional.
It’s all about balance with a semi formal fall wedding outfit. If you’ve opted for a fancy dress, pair it with flat shoes or slightly heeled sandals with minimal jewelry. If you’ve opted for a simple knee-length dress, go crazy with the accessories. If you’re wearing a simple black suit, choose a colorful tie!
As with all the dress codes in this guide, make sure to follow the general colors of fall. Pastels and bright colors are fun for spring and summer, but to fit the general ambience of fall, opt for neutral colors and darker tones. You could even wear black! (Yes, you can wear black to a wedding.)
Casual Fall Wedding
Casual wedding dress codes are the most fun to organize and wear. This dress code quite literally asks you to come as you are, which means you can allow your personality and personal dress sense to shine through. Of course, this doesn’t mean you should come in sweats and a hoodie!
Casual fall weddings are all about the colors and patterns. Where the other dress codes could probably benefit from muted tones, why not opt for floral patterns, tartans, colorful solids, and chiffon?
There’s a lot more room to be relaxed with the type of clothes you wear to a casual fall wedding. Men can wear black trousers and a color solid shirt (like a burgundy or sapphire) with or without a tie. Women can wear midi skirts with a pretty blouse, a nice jumpsuit, and virtually any type of dress that doesn’t go above the knee.
As for shoes, fall is all about cute boots. Pairing a dress (or any outfit) with brown ankle boots or knee-length heeled boots is stylish, practical, and fits the theme of fall perfectly. If the temperature is still fairly warm, brown (or gold!) gladiator sandals are simple yet effective.
Speaking of gold, casual fall wedding dress codes are the perfect time to use gold to your advantage. This is especially the case for outdoor evening weddings where the sun sets into an orange glow, as gold accents from jewelry and shoes can really make your outfit pop.
People will often forget about accessories when it comes to wedding looks, but in reality, accessories are just as important as a dress. Not only can accessories bring a look together by encompassing accent colors, but they can also create a sense of individuality. If you’re attending a formal or semiformal wedding where your clothing is respectful and classy, accessories can give a sense of personality.
The general rule of thumb with accessories is that less is more, so keep that in mind.
Here are some of our favorite accessories for a fall wedding!
Gold is a staple color when it comes to wearing jewelry in fall. Not only does it look stylish and classy, but gold matches the ever-changing leaves and sunsets. A gold necklace, bracelet, and earrings and make any look pop.
Like with the gold jewelry, a metallic bag can provide a fun yet stylish addition to a fall wedding outfit.
Here’s where it gets tricky. Fall can still be warm, or it can be chilly. Pair your outfit with a leather jacket, fur jacket, pashmina, or capelet to keep you appropriately warm and stylish.
As with jewelry, less is more when it comes to wedding makeup. Remember, this event is all about the bride and groom, so you don’t want the conversation to turn to your gigantic fake lashes. Instead, opt for a light and glowy foundation, gold or brown warm-toned eyeshadows, soft highlights, and a neutral lip.
Tip: If the eyeshadow is dark, choose a light lip shade. If the eyeshadow is light, choose a dark lip shade.