Figuring out what to wear to a spring evening wedding
Wedding season is upon us. I don’t know about you, but weddings always present a fashion quandary for me, no matter what is or isn’t hanging in my closet. I attended a wedding this past weekend, and although I wasn’t planning to do a post about “what to wear to a wedding,” I decided that if I experience that much uncertainty about what is appropriate, then it might be something that others experience when it comes time to get ready for the big event.
You might assume that wedding guest attire dilemma syndrome surfaces upon receiving a wedding invitation. Not with me. My wedding outfit anxiety sets in on the DAY OF the wedding. Sounds ridiculous, I know. Wedding invitations are typically received six weeks before the wedding date, giving plenty of time to plan just the right wedding guest outfit.
But here’s the thing. When I receive a wedding invitation, I envision what I have that will be just the right thing to wear. At that time, I am certain that I have a wedding-appropriate outfit to wear, one that I like and suits the season. Then, for a reason I haven’t yet identified, the day arrives and said perfect outfit doesn’t seem so perfect anymore.
This recent wedding presented a few specific circumstances that my wedding guest outfit needed to address:
- We are full-fledged into spring, so a spring-appropriate look was necessary.
- The wedding celebration began at 4:30 pm, straddling late afternoon and early evening into night timing.
- The weather, although clear and sunny, was windy and cool, becoming fairly cold after sunset, and the festivities were outdoors. How to look cute and keep warm was a focus of the outfit plan.
On the day before the wedding, knowing that I’d be more comfortable covering up as much as possible in the cool temps, I considered the possibility of wearing pants to the wedding. Not really sure if this was a “Do” or a “Don’t,” I consulted my personal stylist: Google.
Most search results told me that women should wear a dress to a wedding.
However, my style intuition told me that every wedding guest attire rule doesn’t necessarily apply in casual Northern California wine country the way it would in cosmopolitan cities. I REALLY wanted to wear a dressy pants outfit and be comfortable and warm.
Not wanting to disrespect the bride and groom who had asked guests to wear cocktail attire, I decided to stop efforts to rationalize the pants idea.
I chose to wear the dress I’d worn to my niece’s wedding in October. At that time, I’d worn the dress with black sheer stockings because I’d recently had a varicose vein procedure on both legs and they weren’t in “bare leg” shape. This time, however, I decided to go for the bare leg look – more spring-appropriate – and added a lightweight shaper underneath for a layer of warmth.
Going bare legged presented another issue. My legs haven’t had much exposure to the sun so far, so they are pretty white. I decided to give a try to Sally Hansen Airbrush Legs. It turned out to be a great solution to giving my legs a little color and smooth finished look. Even my spider veins were less noticeable. The instructions say to spray into your hand, apply to legs, and wait 60 seconds before putting on clothing. They also say that the color won’t come off until it’s washed off with soap and a washcloth. I was surprised to find this to be true! I didn’t remove the leg makeup until the next morning in the shower, and there wasn’t a trace of it on my clothing or bedding.
I didn’t get a photo of my outfit during the wedding, so I’ve replayed two from the October wedding.
As it turned out, there were women both young and not-so-young wearing pants outfits. They looked warmer than I felt for sure!
In retrospect, I think I learned that listening to my style instinct is valid. I definitely could have worn a pants outfit or dressy leggings and a cool jacket or cardigan and looked very elegant and appropriate.
I’m not sure that my wedding guest attire anxiety won’t surface in the future, but I am sure I’ll pay attention to my style intuition.