It's happened to all of us: We stand in front of the closet, debating about what we should wear to the fall wedding we've been invited to. Should you wear a casual outfit? Should you dress for the weather outside, or the weather inside? Fall weddings can definitely pose a problem for guests. The key is to take your cue from the invitation.
Look closely at the invitation you were sent for clues about the formality of the venue. If the wedding is taking place in a church or banquet hall, you will likely need to dress in business casual attire or something slightly more formal. If the wedding is taking place on the beach or in a casual setting, you can dress slightly casually as well. In no instance, however, should you arrive to the wedding in completely casual clothing such as shorts, ragged jeans or sweats unless the bridal party explicitly tells you this sort of clothing is acceptable. The invitation will also indicate if the wedding is taking place in one location or several locations, and if the events are taking place indoors or outdoors. This will help you determine if your clothing should be warm, cool or layered to go between multiple climates.
It's acceptable for women to wear black to weddings, as long as a colorful note is included in the ensemble, such as a bright scarf or pashmina. Black dresses are also more appropriate for indoor weddings that take place in the evening. You may look out of place wearing your black dress to a daytime, outdoor wedding. Bronze, gold and copper tones are particularly welcome for fall weddings as they pick up the tones of the outdoors. Look for dresses that are tea length or lower. Very short skirts are slightly too racy for most weddings. Sweaters are appropriate for outdoor weddings, as long as they're complimented with skirts or other slightly formal wear.
A suit made of dark fabric is a perfect complement for a fall wedding, no matter whether it's held indoors, outdoors or a little of both. You can remove the jacket if you're too warm, or put it back on if you're too cold. If the wedding is less formal, a color-coordinated ensemble of jacket and slacks is also appropriate. Ties allow you to inject some fall color such as yellow, orange or red into your outfit.
If the wedding is taking place outdoors, find out whether the venue will be covered, paved or both. If the wedding site is not paved, remember to leave the high heels and calfskin shoes at home. The ground in the fall can be soft and soggy. If the venue is not covered, bring a waterproof jacket, hat or umbrella with you to the wedding. The fall weather can quickly turn from sunny to wet and it's best to be prepared for anything that comes your way. If possible, look for jackets that match your outfit, to give you a put-together, polished look.