WeddingPreneurs: Dress code for weddings and events
Last week I shared tips about the dress code for meetings, today I’ll discuss dress code for weddings and events. I’ve seen many interpretations of “business attire” from my assistants and from vendors working on my events, and I have to say, people can be very creative! Let’s be clear on how you should look professional when you work at events.
My rule is, always wear something that reflects the formality of the event / wedding. I wore a long gown at a white tie wedding, and I was not a guest; it was not the most comfortable solution for me working at the wedding but my couple specifically requested that I wear something glamorous like their guests. And so I did!
If you have a long or elaborate setup involved and maybe you need to lift boxes or move décor around, I would suggest that you bring a change of clothes. That way, you can take care of the setup in casual clothes (as long as guests are not around) and then change into your event outfit when you can take a break before showtime. I always make sure that I have a 10-15 minutes break during the hectic day where I can change, hydrate and be ready to go. It shouldn’t be too close to the start of the event because that’s when a lot of last-minute things will happen. Do it 2-3 hours before the start time just to be safe. However, be very careful about the time frame: if you fear you won’t have enough time to change, don’t take any risk and arrive already dressed. There’s nothing worse than having to change (or putting makeup) late in the day and the ceremony is almost starting. The wedding is not about you and you don’t want your wedding couple to wait because you’re not ready!
Generally speaking, a dark business suit or dark separates will work fine at the wedding / event. I usually wear black, dark grey, navy, or even dark brown if those are appropriate colors. I also try to match the color palette of the wedding or the event, without going too crazy. The pop of color could be wearing a blouse or a top under my jacket, otherwise I’ll go with a neutral ivory or white top, or even monochromatic with all black if that’s the case. Besides being my favorite color, black makes things easier when it comes to coordinate. A big no? White at weddings, unless it’s a white wedding / event and your client requires that everyone wears white.
It would be best if your jacket had enough pockets for your tools: phone, walkie-talkie, timeline, etc. What I do is wear a cross-body purse with a compact wedding kit for my couple. In the bag I carry bobby pins, hairspray, mirror, safety pins, sunscreen, tissues, a lighter, a flashlight, floral pins, tape, pens, scissors, mints, and my business cards. Maybe I have even more in that bag…! Having these basic items with me all the time ensures that I can assist my couple or their guests immediately without having to go retrieve my wedding kit which is maybe in a different room or area of the venue.
It’s best to wear comfortable shoes at the event since you will be running around and, in certain cases, you will need to be very quick at moving from one area to another. With high heels it will be pretty challenging to do all this and you can even get injured. With that said, you don’t have to sacrifice style. You can opt for nice, classy ballet flats or, shoes with 1-1.5 inch heels. Add foam insoles so you can be on your feet for an entire day without having your back or ankles (or feet!) scream for help. The best heel is block heel which gives you more support than a kitten heel or a stiletto, of course.
Discuss outfit guidelines
If I have assistants working with me, I suggest the colors to wear so we all have a consistent look. Remember, the way you dress is a reflection of your brand, and your team should follow the same rule.
I have a Protocol for Assistants where I clearly specify the dress code for the event day. This includes what to wear at the event, desired skirt length, type of shoes allowed, etc. I also mention how to cover tattoos, what to wear as far as jewelry, how to keep hair and nails in order, and makeup. That way, nothing is left to chance and my assistants know exactly how I want them to look when they work with me.
If you’re interested in knowing more about my Protocol for Assistants, you can download it on my blog HERE.
Always discuss outfit guidelines when you connect with the vendors before the wedding / event. Let them know what the dress code is and what your client expects them to wear. I had very demanding clients who requested all the vendors to wear black jackets regardless of their role.
A coaching client of mine recently complained about a photographer from a past wedding who showed up in shorts and t-shirt. She told me: “I was shocked, this photographer has been working in the industry for more than 5 years. How can he not know that shorts and t-shirts are not allowed at black tie weddings?” Well, maybe that particular photographer never worked at a black tie wedding, or the planners he worked with in the past never told him what to wear in order to look professional. So, in order to avoid surprises on the event day, make sure your team and all the vendors are on the same page. Don’t assume anything!
~~~ TAKE ACTION ~~~ Put together some general guidelines for your assistants and your vendor team that they should follow when they work with you. Take advantage of my Protocol for Assistant above or make your own
~~~ LEAVE A COMMENT ~~~ Did you experience a “dress code” disaster at one of your past weddings / events? Share your story here!
Need more assistance with your attire choices? Let’s chat! Schedule your FREE Clarity Call with me HERE and let’s discuss your wardrobe!
Holistic Precision Life Coach, Brain Wellness Coach, and Life-Work Balance Strategist for busy professionals. I blend well-being principles with epigenetics, neuroscience, positive psychology, and mindfulness techniques to implement effective behavior changes.