Although the bride's attire is the most important outfit of the day, your outfit as a guest is important as well. You don't want to be known as the inappropriately dressed girl at the wedding, who everyone can't stop staring at because her skirt is barely covering her backside or her cleavage is out of control. All eyes should be on the bride and groom, not on you!
Here are a couple of key rules to keep in mind when you are getting dressed for someone else's nuptials:
1. White is only for the bride! This may seem old fashioned, but it's simply common courtesy. Even if the bride is non-traditional and you think "she would totally be okay with it!," leave the little white dress at home for this one day. If you need to go with a light color, stick to things like blush pink or light browns.
2. Follow the invitation's lead. Many invites will give an attire requirement such as "black tie" or "cocktail" or "casual." Make sure you follow these directions! If an invite says black tie and you arrive in a sundress, you're going to be wildly out of place. Black tie means formal: floor length gowns (or a very fancy short dress) and suits for men. If an invite says "Cocktail," think of going to dinner at The Four Seasons. You wouldn't wear a ball gown, but you also wouldn't show up in a plain cotton dress and flats. Casual means you can get away with sundresses and sandals and khakis or a sport jacket for the guys.
Also look at the colors of the invite! If it's covered in coral pink and turquoise, it's best to avoid these as you'll look like part of the wedding party if you match.
3. This isn't the time for skin tight and super short. Although the dance floor is a great place to catch the eye of that cute groomsman and show him your moves, you don't want to look like you're only here for the dance floor. Weddings are a time when lots of pictures are going to be taken and if you're in a spandex mini dress, you're going to stick out in a bad way in the bride and groom's wedding albums. You can still be cute and sexy without dressing for the club.
3. Stick to only one "sexy" piece (and keep it pretty mild). Your friends' wedding isn't the time to whip out your shortest Vegas dress. If you're going to show quite a bit of leg, keep the top half of your outfit conservative. And vice versa. If you're going to show cleavage, it is best to have a longer length on your legs to even out the amount of shown skin.
4. Jeans. They are a no-go always! Not even if you plan to "dress them up" with heels and a dressy blouse. Never. Never. Never. If you don't love dresses, jumpsuits are always a classy option!
5. All black from head to toe. There's nothing wrong with a little black dress, but be sure to lighten it up with bright shoes or statement jewelry. You don't want to look like you're in mourning. Also, all black is usually the attire of the wedding coordinator, caterers, etc. You may end up looking like you're working the event rather than attending.