What to Wear to a Wedding Reception

'Tis the season of weddings! Actually, that's every season, from the perfect summery ceremony to a winter wonderland, which means it's never too soon to plan your wedding reception/ceremony look. Early planning means less stress once the date rolls around and more time to focus your attention on finding the couple the perfect gift. But, figuring out what to wear to a wedding reception can leave you standing in front of your closet for hours on end—and that's where we come in.

Finding the perfect reception look depends, of course, on the location and time of year of the event. Is it outdoors? Is it indoors? And will it take place in the summer, spring, fall, or winter? Once you narrow that down, you'll feel less overwhelmed with your options. And while each season/occasion calls for slightly different pieces, there are a handful of things to always keep in mind: Don't wear a white dress, stick with sleek and comfortable shoes, and opt for a compact clutch. Ahead, shop our roundup of wedding-reception essentials for women.

Dresses

Depending on the location (and dress code), pick a dress that's equal parts elegant and comfortable. Skip a white frock, and instead, opt for sleek colors, such as black, pink, blue, or a floral print (perfect for a garden reception).

Shoes

Again, this one depends on the location/occasion. If you're going to a garden ceremony, it might be best to skip the heels so that they don't get stuck in the dirt. Elegant flats are a great choice for this. Otherwise, strappy heels or chic mules are a great choice to pair with your dress.

The pearl detailing elevates simple black mules.

These are available in four wedding-approved colors.

Purses

You don't need to bring much with you when attending a wedding reception, so skip the oversized tote and instead, pick a small, compact clutch that holds only the essentials: your wallet, keys, cell phone, and lipstick for touch-ups.

This one doubles as a crossbody bag, too.

Jewlery

Get creative with your jewelry at your next wedding reception. Either pick the dainty, minimalistic styles that add a subtle shine to your look or try statement earrings or a bold necklace (outfit permitting, of course).

This dainty choker is an essential in your jewelry box.

For some serious sparkle, look toward these.

Next up, what you should never wear to a wedding.