What To Wear To A Southern Wedding: Best Attires

As a guest, you might be wondering what to wear to a Southern wedding, and here are three factors to help you create an outfit. We will help you understand the dress codes, how to dress for comfort while still following the etiquette, and finally, how to dress according to different seasons when attending a Southern wedding. 

You can also browse our blog for more dressing tips for different weddings and situations. If you’re also bringing a younger guest, here is what should a teenager wear to a wedding

what to wear to a southern wedding


What To Wear To A Southern Wedding As A Guest


Dress code

Refer to the dress code indicated on the invitation to the Southern wedding you’re attending. For example, the Southern wedding might follow formal attire, where female guests will look appropriate in long evening dresses and male guests in suits and ties. 

What if the Southern wedding follows a semi-formal dress code for its guests? Shorter but relatively formal dresses like midi and cocktail dresses should be appropriate in a semi-formal Southern wedding.

The male guests can then opt for a buttoned shirt or lose the tie and wear their suits less formally. However, it’s worth noting that even if the dress code is casual for the Southern wedding, you still want to avoid T-shirts, workout clothes, and very revealing outfits both as a female or male guest. 



The weather in the South can get relatively humid, especially in the summer. The wedding might also be held outdoors where you’re more exposed to the sunlight and the elements. 

Keep this in mind when deciding on what to wear to a Southern wedding to ensure that you’ll remain comfortable throughout the day. While still keeping formality and modesty in mind, opt for clothes that are not too tight against the body to avoid heat retention. 

You’re also better with breathable fabrics such as cotton or linen, especially for male guests that will be wearing suits or long-sleeved shirts. Another factor that can influence your comfort during a Southern wedding is the color of your outfit, so both male and female guests should wear light colors, especially in daytime weddings against the Southern heat. 



The Southern wedding can be held in the summer, so you must dress accordingly when attending one. Furthermore, even if it’s not summer, remember that it gets sunny in the South and hot day and night. 

For a Southern summer wedding, make sure to wear cotton or linen. Southern weddings held during the cooler months or after Labor day, on the other hand, can have the guests consider velvet or wool as their outfit fabrics for comfort. 

You can also consider bringing additional accessories like sunglasses, hats, and shawls, especially if it’s an outdoor Southern wedding. And for the shoes, wear a comfortable dress pair, and female guests can consider flats over heels, especially if the wedding is outdoors with challenging terrain. 

Read what to wear to a desert wedding for outfit ideas that you can apply in a hot Southern wedding. 


Is It Okay To Wear Black To A Southern Wedding?

It’s okay to wear black to a Southern wedding as it’s a suitable color, especially in weddings that follow a formal dress code or those held in a formal venue. If you’re attending an evening wedding, dark colors, including black, are appropriate. 

Therefore, if the Southern wedding invitation calls for formal to semi-formal dress attire, it should be safe to wear black. However, there’s nothing wrong with asking the couple beforehand just in case. 

Some people might view black as a color for mourning, which is inappropriate for the wedding. However, there are also non-traditional weddings where the bride or wedding party wear unconventional colors, so you must avoid black if it’s what they’re wearing. 

That being said, please be mindful of wearing white to a Southern wedding. Like in other weddings, white is usually reserved for the bride, and it will be disrespectful to wear the same color as her as it might seem like you’re upstaging her. 


What Is Southern Formal Attire?

According to Southern Living, the black-tie is the most formal dress code in Southern weddings. This means that female guests should wear floor-length gowns, and male guests must wear full tuxedos.  

Some Southern weddings might also mention a formal dress code where black-tie is only optional. So it is not as grand, but female guests must still wear formal cocktail dresses and men in formal dark suits. 


What Is Southern Cocktail Attire?

The Southern cocktail attire is also interchangeable with the semi-formal dress code. This means that women can wear cocktail dresses, and men can opt for suits that don’t have to be as formal as the ones they’ll wear in a black-tie event. 

When in doubt about the Southern wedding dress code you’re attending, don’t hesitate to clarify with the couple or hosts. That being said, maintain formality and being low-key as basic etiquette being a wedding guest.  



And that’s it! We’ve just discussed tips on what to wear to a Southern wedding where different dress codes and seasons influence your outfit as a guest. 

The dress code is usually formal or semi-formal, and being held in the South; you must prepare for the hot climate. We hope this helped you know what to wear; leave us a question if you have any. 

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