What to Wear to a Summer Evening Formal Wedding

by Josienita Borlongan

It is typical for couples to get married during the summertime, when they can enjoy good weather. People invited to a summer evening formal wedding should dress appropriately, with the occasion as the primary consideration as opposed to dealing with the warm weather. People should keep in mind the tone of the invitation when choosing an outfit for a summer formal evening wedding: that formal means formal, no matter what the weather and time of the day it is.

Women

Choose elegant long evening gowns or dresses for a formal summer wedding. Formal attire for women has to be long or at least at ankle length; anything shorter would be just semi-formal. Think of what pageant contestants wear during the formal gown competitions or think of ball gowns. Long prom or bridesmaids dresses would also qualify for summer evening formal wedding attire. Choose silk, chiffon, taffeta, Georgette and velour fabrics. Avoid cotton and polyesters, even when they feel comfortable. Do not wear pants; even the most fashionable pantsuits are not qualified for formal dinners. Choose any colors, except white---a color reserved for the bride. Avoid too much print; choose a solid-colored fabric instead, which is much more appropriate for the occasion. When in doubt choose plain black; with it, you can never go wrong. Since it is summer, you can wear spaghetti straps, sleeveless or strapless gowns. Wear a thin shawl or a bolero in case it gets a little chilly.

Men

Wear tuxedo-style dark suits with butterfly or long neckties. You can also choose non-tuxedos so long as you wear neckties. Dark-colored suits are preferable over light-colored ones. Black, dark blue or dark grey (almost black) colors are appropriate. Avoid wearing dark brown since it is not formal enough. Thin pinstripes are acceptable, thick ones are not. Think of the Academy Awards night as an inspiration. Wear a nice crisp black suit, white long-sleeved dress shirt with matching black tie. You can also put a matching silk handkerchief inside the left front top pocket of the suit to give it a more formal look. Avoid wearing dress shirts that are of different colors, white is still the norm when choosing a dress shirt for a formal occasion. Wearing a white suit is acceptable, only if you are a member of the wedding entourage and asked to wear one.

Shoes

Heeled dress shoes, close or open toes, are appropriate for women to wear. There is no need to wear stockings since the weather is hot and the dress is long. Silver, gold or platinum colored high-heeled shoes with rhinestones or beads are great choices for summer evening formal dinner. Avoid wearing flats, sandals with long intertwining straps, dress boots and flipflops.
Men should wear black polished dress shoes. Black socks should always accompany the black shoes. Men should avoid wearing boots, loafers, rubber shoes and black, soft leather shoes with rubber soles.

Jewelry

Women can wear a pair of earrings, such as studded or teardrop styles. Dangling earrings are acceptable, as long as they are not too huge. A couple of thin strands of dangling gold chains will do just fine as opposed to a dangling pair of earrings that are too ornate. Less is more; even in a formal occasion, a pair of diamond studs is simple yet elegant. You may opt to wear a tiara for a formal occasion, however avoid choosing a similar size and style worn by the bride. It is important not to compete with the bride's look, so choosing a tiara that looks like a simple hair clip with a diamond stud at the center would do just fine. You can wear a necklace if you desire, however not wearing one is also acceptable. When choosing a necklace, avoid long chains; instead, choose one that would go only a few inches below your neck but a few inches above the neckline of your dress. A matching ring and bracelet can finish the overall look.
Men can wear a tie clip, a pair of cuff links, a dress watch, a ring and a matching bracelet. Men can get away with only a dress watch, which is a necessity more than just jewelry.

Accessories

An evening handbag or clutch adorned with beads and rhinestones is an appropriate accessory to keep the cell phone, keys, lipstick and make up kit handy for women. Choose a color and style that would compliment your formal dress. There are handbags and clutches made of silks that would go well with any formal attire.
Men can wear dark leather belts with silver or gold-toned buckles. They can also opt to wear white or black suspenders, so that late into the night, when they can take off their jackets they still look stunning.

Resources

About the Author

Josienita Borlongan is a full-time lead web systems engineer and a writer. She writes for Business.com, OnTarget.com and various other websites. She is a Microsoft-certified systems engineer and a Cisco-certified network associate. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in medical technology from Saint Louis University, Philippines.

Photo Credits

  • Jason Hutchens/CreativeCommons, Nil Fretwurst/Public Domain, Mild Searwords/CreativeCommons, Martin Kozak/Public Domain, Eurico Zimbres/CreativeCommons