Weddings 101: What To Wear To Every Kind Of Celebration

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    Ah, weddings. These joyful celebrations are as much a testament to love and commitment as they are to how universally confusing dress codes can be! Even if you didn’t make the bridal party cut--which presents a slew of sartorial challenges on its own--figuring out what to wear is guaranteed to be a conundrum. We get so many questions about what’s appropriate, but on-trend and flattering, without being too in-your-face, we figured it was time to make our own go-to guide. Depending on where the nuptials take place, from a civilized city affair to a beachside bash, we’ve put together a what-to-wear primer for any locale. Click through our slideshow for the pieces that you’ll love, honor, and cherish even long after summer wedding season is over.

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    A backyard wedding might hint at a more relaxed vibe, but you don’t want to be the most underdressed guest! Keep it safe in Rachel Comey’s Aten Dress ($633) in Ether, which features a flattering silhouette and a muted print.

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    Feel free to get a little playful when it comes to your jewelry. One easy idea? An armful of gold bracelets, like Jules Smith’s Surf Bangles ($105).

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    Add a splash of color with Serpui Marie’s Woven Rectangle Clutch ($281). It’s the right size for holding all the essentials: cell phone, lipstick, and--if necessary--Kleenex!

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    Polish off your ensemble with Sam Edelman’s Sutton Wedge Sandals ($125). You’ll be able to mingle with ease in these on-trend yet comfortable shoes.

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    Seaside nuptials call for a carefully considered outfit, since you have the elements--sun, sand, and surf--to take into account. Choose a brightly colored, lightweight frock, like Tibi’s Silk Color Block Long Dress ($675), which will move with the ocean breeze.

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    A chic pair of shades is essential--unless you want to duck under a palm tree for shade all day. Oliver Peoples’ Kiley Sunglasses ($310) are a classic, fail-safe choice.

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    The rest of your look should be pared-down for a beach affair, but you can turn up the glamour with an embellished purse, like Sondra Roberts Beaded and Raffia Clutch ($69).

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    You won’t mind a little sand in your shoes if you’re wearing K Jacques’ St Tropez Epicure Multi-Strap Leather Sandals ($260). These strappy flat sandals are easy to walk in, as well as slip on and off.

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    For a country club soiree, err on the side of conservative. Choose a feminine dress with a demure silhouette; we like the romantic details on Vivienne Westwood Red Label’s Dress ($1020, 323.951.0021).

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    Add one pretty bangle, such as Jennifer Meyer for J.Crew’s Edith Jeweled Cuff ($178), for a little extra flair.

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    Keep your clutch simple. Try a structured version in a pretty pastel hue, like Vince Camuto’s Clara Shoulder Bag ($198) in Lichen Marcos.

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    A pair of wedges is great, especially if the ceremony’s taking place on the lawn. Try Valentino’s Leather-Trimmed Chantilly Lace Espadrilles ($495) to give you height and avoid sinking into the grass!

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    Since weddings in the city are often trendy cocktail affairs, go for something with a decidedly cosmopolitan vibe. You can’t go wrong wearing Zara’s sleek Combination Frilled Dress ($100).

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    A striking accessory really pops against a black and white palette. We suggest Alexis Bittar’s Drop Clip Earrings ($295), since these clip-on baubles look decadent but easy on the ears as the evening goes on.

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    Stick to the minimalistic theme with Reece Hudson’s Bondage Minaudière ($1295). This edgy carrier comes with an attached cuff bracelet--a conversation starter if your dinner table’s full of strangers.

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    Complete your outfit with Christian Louboutin’s peep-toe Rampoldi Heels ($895). The ankle strap offers extra support while you’re taking over the dance floor at the reception.

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    If your friend’s having a wedding at a vineyard, you’re in luck (and not only because you’ll be surrounded by lots of fine wine). Less formal than a city wedding, but certainly dressier than a beach ceremony, countryside nuptials beg for attire that’s in-between and comfortable. We suggest Rebecca Minkoff’s versatile, silky Jet Dress ($368) in Mint.

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    BCBGMaxazria’s Floral Chain Headband ($68) will give your look just the right touch of glitz, ensuring you stand out without overshadowing the bride.

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    We love the vintage flavor of Reiss’ Luna Embellished Flower Clasp Clutch ($210) in Rose Gold. Bonus: its chain shoulder strap means hands-free sipping during cocktail hour.

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    A rustic setting isn’t the place for towering stilettos, which is why Ann Taylor’s Gemma Exotic Leather Peeptoe Slingbacks ($128) are a fine choice. They’ll lend texture to your look while remaining appropriately understated.

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Clara Shoulder Bag

Clara Shoulder Bag

Vince Camuto, $198
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Edith Jeweled Cuff

Edith Jeweled Cuff

Jennifer Meyer for J.Crew, $178
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Leather-Trimmed Chantilly Lace Espadrilles

Leather-Trimmed Chantilly Lace Espadrilles

Valentino, $495
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Drop Clip Earrings

Drop Clip Earrings

Alexis Bittar, $295
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Bondage Minaudière

Bondage Minaudière

Reece Hudson, $1295
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Rampoldi Heels

Rampoldi Heels

Christian Louboutin, $895
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Gemma Exotic Leather Peeptoe Slingbacks

Gemma Exotic Leather Peeptoe Slingbacks

Ann Taylor, $128
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Luna Embellished Flower Clasp Clutch

Luna Embellished Flower Clasp Clutch

Reiss, $210
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Floral Chain Headband

Floral Chain Headband

BCBGMaxazria, $68
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Kiley Sunglasses

Kiley Sunglasses

Oliver Peoples, $310
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St Tropez Epicure Multi-Strap Leather Sandals

St Tropez Epicure Multi-Strap Leather Sandals

K Jacques, $260
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Beaded and Raffia Clutch

Beaded and Raffia Clutch

Sondra Roberts, $69
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Silk Color Block Long Dress

Silk Color Block Long Dress

Tibi, $675
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Woven Rectangle Clutch

Woven Rectangle Clutch

Serpui Marie, $281
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Sutton Wedge Sandals

Sutton Wedge Sandals

Sam Edelman, $125
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Surf Bangles

Surf Bangles

Jules Smith, $105
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Aten Dress

Aten Dress

Rachel Comey, $633
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EXPLORE: Vince Camuto, Zara, BCBGMaxazria, K. Jacques, Reece Hudson, Serpui Marie, Vivienne Westwood Red Label, Valentino, Tibi, Sam Edelman, Alexis Bittar, Ann Taylor, Christian Louboutin, Jennifer Meyer, Jules Smith, Oliver Peoples, Rachel Comey, Rebecca Minkoff, Reiss, Sonda Roberts, Shopping, Weddings, Summer Weddings, Shopping
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