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What to wear to every fall wedding

·3-min read
Fall Weddings
Fall Weddings

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After a few years of postponements and cancellations, wedding invitations for IRL gatherings are likely rolling in. But when you’ve been out of the game for so long, you might be confused on what to wear for a fall wedding — especially when dress codes seem to have relaxed. Still, there are a few hard-and-fast rules: Never wear white; don’t try to upstage the bride or groom; and make sure you’re comfortable in your outfit — you don’t want to worry about a dress riding up on the dance floor or find yourself hobbling in shoes before the reception even starts.

Still, the best way to decide what to wear to a wedding is to glean what you can from the wedding invitation: Your outfit will look a lot different if the ceremony is during the daytime on a Sunday at a country club or restaurant, rather than in a mansion or banquet hall on a Saturday evening. Even more, the exact time of fall is important, too: Instead of solely taking venue and dress code into account, consider the weather for the big day. Fall temps can vary drastically by location and time of year: I’m heading to a late October wedding in Georgia, where it’ll be at least 20 degrees warmer than most places in the Pacific Northwest. Guests’ outfits should reflect that.

Ahead, what to wear to every fall wedding based on the dress code (and then some).

Casual/Daytime 

If the vibe is casual, you’re in the clear to wear something shorter in a breezy fabric like cotton or jersey rather than silk or Viscose.

Hill House Ellie Nap Dress, $150

Credit: Hill House
Credit: Hill House

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Mango Flowy Shirt Dress, $79.99

Credit: Mango
Credit: Mango

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Asta Resort Dolce Dress, $124

Credit: Asta Resort
Credit: Asta Resort

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Where It’ll Be Hot

If the wedding is in the South toward the beginning of fall, make sure you take that into account with either material or length.

TOVE Studio Ceres Organic Cotton Midi Dress, $574

Credit: TOVE Studio
Credit: TOVE Studio

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Reformation Kosta Silk Dress, $218

Credit: Reformation
Credit: Reformation

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Mango Belt Pleated Dress, $79.99

Credit: Mango
Credit: Mango

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Where It’ll Be Chilly

If it’s later in the fall in a location known for erratic weather, be prepared: Something with sleeves is always a great option to stay warm.

Ronny Kobo Wrap-Effect Mini Dress, $274 (Orig. $498)

Credit: The Outnet
Credit: The Outnet

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Zara Satin Effect Asymmetric Dress, $119

Credit: Zara
Credit: Zara

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Reformation Ledger Dress, $278

Credit: Reformation
Credit: Reformation

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Cocktail/Semi-Formal

Cocktail attire is the most common wedding dress code, so it’s probably the one you’re most familiar with. A short or mid-length dress or pantsuit in a dark hue usually does the trick.

KSUBI Black Suspense Minidress, $220

Credit: SSENSE
Credit: SSENSE

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& Other Stories One-Shoulder Satin Dress, $129

Credit: & Other Stories
Credit: & Other Stories

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Dissh Seren Two-Tone Dress, $141

Credit: Dissh
Credit: Dissh

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Formal: Black-Tie Optional 

Black-tie optional dress codes always seem a little bizarre to me: It’s a bit of an in-between code that accepts floor-length gowns and tuxes but doesn’t exactly require it. I like to respect the ambiguity of the code by going for a dress that’s long without actually touching the floor.

BEC&BRIDGE Annika Cowl Maxi Dress, $280

Credit: Revolve
Credit: Revolve

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Reformation Barrow Silk Dress, $378

Credit: Reformation
Credit: Reformation

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Sir The Label Lucelia Cut-Out Dress, $460

Credit: Sir The Label
Credit: Sir The Label

Black-Tie

There’s not a lot of room for interpretation here: Black-tie generally means a long gown, so use the opportunity to bring out all the stops.

Katie May In A Mood Dress, $298

Credit: Revolve
Credit: Revolve

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NBD Maracuya Gown, $288

Credit: Revolve
Credit: Revolve

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Bec & Bridge Kehlani V Dress, $300

Credit: BEC + BRIDGE
Credit: BEC + BRIDGE

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