It is that time of year when the wedding invites come streaming in. And nowadays, weddings are not always as simple as the traditional champagne toast and embarrassing dad dancing under a marquee. From three-day hedonistic feasts on Mediterranean islands to hiring entire medieval chateaus perched above the vineyards of southern France, weddings have become seriously stylish affairs and throwing on any old last season outfit will not suffice.
As well as packing for what needs to be seen as a mini break, getting your ensemble right for the main event is priority. Take note of the dress code on the invite and heed my advice below...
Falling under the umbrella of country weddings includes that chateau in France, the villa in Tuscany or castle in the Lake District. If it isn't in a city or near the sea, consider it a country wedding.
As the majority of the event is likely to be spent outdoors and on grass, there is no point wearing high stilettos. A chunky mid heel is ideal offering a little height and glamour, and a whole lot of comfort and practicality. A skirt and top is a chic alternative to a dress and a midi hem both sophisticated and demure, and always have a jacket to hand for when the sun goes down or the wind picks up. Both bold colours and pastels work equally well and florals are a perfect fit for rural settings. It is always best to steer clear of pure white and ivory for obvious reasons.
For the gents: Depending on the formality of the wedding, a linen suit or pair of smart slacks, shirt, tie and blazer will look the part, and finish with suede Derbies or loafers.
Clockwise from top left: silk top: Agnona, necklace: Larkspur & Hawk, pink clutch bag: Nina Ricci, jacket: Saloni, skirt: Vilshenko, heels: Chloé
A city wedding usually calls for the achingly cool and super chic, whether in a contemporary or traditional setting. A bold coloured and/or patterned dress is an effortless yet statement making option which is upbeat, urban and elegant. Go for nipped waist and full skirt for a contemporary edge and team with a plain cropped jacket for a sophisticated finish.
You can really go to town with your shoes and go as high as your pain threshold will allow. Again, bold colours and patterns are the perfect fit. But just remember, with such bold pieces make sure the rest of your outfit is subtle and minimal – so just one key accessory and a fuss free clutch.
For the gents: A slick well tailored suit with a shirt and colourful tie and some quirky Derbies or patent Oxfords will cut the mustard.
Clockwise from top left: jacket: Herve Leger, bracelet: Balmain, dress: Peter Pilotto, clutch bag: Jimmy Choo, shoes: Charlotte Olympia
Perhaps the trickiest of dress codes to decipher is that of the beach wedding. With sand, wind and sun to contend with and also the laidback attitude that often comes with a beach wedding, getting the right balance between practicality and glamour takes some clever dressing.
A chic and floaty maxi dress or long skirt and silky top will work for both the more casual, and smart of celebrations. For ease you can wear with flats if it is less formal, or wedges will give some added elegance. Then either amp up the glam levels with your accessories or keep it cool with a more boho luxe approach.
For the gents: Even if the invite says shorts, no ones wants to be undressed at a wedding, so a pair of linen trousers and shirt with a louche blazer and boat shoes is a failsafe option.
Clockwise from top left: white jacket: Balmain, necklace: Ben Amun, cuff: Alexander McQueen, dress: 3.1 Phillip Lim, clutch bag: Jimmy Choo, shoes: Saint Laurent.