What factors determine finding the ideal dress for a special occasion? Etiquette, our shape, the type of event? Each of these aspects contributes to what, where and how we dress, and the accumulative effect of the many details results in us not only thoroughly enjoying the event, but also displaying our good taste in choosing the right dress for the occasion.
Unfortunately, there are not many times when we can take our most beautiful dress off the hanger, and relive the childhood memory of parading in front of the mirror in our mother’s long dress. But getting all dressed up and celebrating gives us such a buzz that has to be enjoyed to the last drop. Nothing compares to a wedding for excitement and thrills! The wedding unlocks the romantic in each of us, we celebrate together that which we bid farewell to at the hen party and the stag night, we fall on each others necks, sometimes literally, we indulge ourselves with food, and we dance till the wee small hours to all kinds of music. On this day not only are our emotions heightened, but there are a multitude of colourful programmes, and all these come together to give that certain piquancy to our appearance on the big day.
If you are uncertain what to take into consideration when choosing your outfit, then look no further and we will share the most important points with you.
What kind of dress suits the occasion?
A wedding is still a special occasion even if it is not held in the most elegant castle with the strictest code of conduct. That’s why, if there is no set theme or other dress code, that we can safely say as a general principle that with something between “Informal” and “Semi-Formal” you cannot go far wrong. On this basis an elegant or cocktail dress is recommended for women and a suit for men.
The style and location of the wedding, the location of the ceremony, or the fact that the young couple request a certain dress-code can all have a further influence on the choice.
In case of a church wedding, for example, choose a knee length skirt, and the top should not be very low cut. Maybe you will have something to confess after the wedding, but it shouldn’t be your clothes!
If the bridal couple choose a theme wedding, for example, gatsby style, and it is indicated on the wedding invitation that this is the required look, then this is not the moment to be a rebellious teenager: put on your stole and feathers and fly back to the twenties.
Styles and cuts to save for another occasion.
You surely have some dresses hanging in your wardrobe that would make the first person you meet want to rush up the ailse with you, but as a guest the emphasis should always be on restrained elegance. Keep the brasher, more flamboyant dresses for another day, under no circumstances should you create the impression that you want to steal the show. Avoid those styles which cover very little, or those in which you look like a disco ball. No-one wants to feel as dazzled by your dress as if looking at the sun. If you still find it difficult to forget the more sensational dresses then choose a low backline, or dropped shoulder dress – your skin is still on show, but the effect is both tasteful and feminine.
The above “Forbidden List“ of etiquette rules would not be complete without mentioning the taboo colours. White, black and red are all the bride’s colours, so save yourself some looks of disapproval, and choose other colours from the pallette.
Which dress to choose in keeping with the venue?
The venue of the wedding is one of the most determining factors when choosing the dress. A wedding in a castle or a manor house will always require a more elegant look, while a lakeside, a wine cellar or another place close to nature will have a much more relaxed approach to the rules about clothing.
If you can, check out the dress code with the young couple including details regarding suitable footwear. Many rustic, green areas were not designed for high-heeled shoes, and it could ruin your day to strut over gravel or grass as if walking on fire.
Dress code guidelines
It is becoming more and more common for the couple so specify the dress code on the invitation. In Hungarian culture it is not so widespread to have dress code set by large scale events, and therefore it may seem a little strange at first sight that others decide what we should arrive in. The dress code, however, has a very practical message as it helps us neither to overdress, nor underdress for the occasion. What are the most important and most well-known categories? Top of the tree is the White Tie which covers the most elegant form of dress, for women this means a long formal evening dress, for men tails, shirt, waistcoat, bow-tie, and black patent leather shoes.
The Black Tie category is next on the list, if this is written on the invitation then the women should wear an evening dress, while the men arrive in tuxedo and bow-tie. Next in line is Semi-Formal which means a cocktail dress for the women, and a dark suit for the men. The term Business formal can be widely understood, but in general it suggests a business or elegant appearance for both sexes. Informal requires elegant and restrained dresses for women and for men the expectations are the same as for Semi-Formal. Moving down to everyday wear we use the term Smart casual to cover a more elegant version of our everyday clothes, and Business casual which contains elements of both Business formal and Smart casual. Finally there is the category Casual which stipulates the rules regarding our everyday wear.
It is worth noting that the borders of the above categories can be easily blurred, and we often describe variations within one style. Unless you are actually invited to a Royal wedding the strictest most formal rules are not valid for a wedding, however if the couple have a specific request it is very important to honour this.
The ideal length of the dress
The ideal length of the dress starts exactly where your teeny party clothes ended, that is you should definitely vote for a dress which ends just above your knee, or at the knee. It is not only more elegant but also much more comfortable than a mini. It is very awkward to be caught in every photo trying to fix your dress: believe me there is not one flimsy little dress that will stay there, where it was when you left home, when you’re dancing til dawn!
Maxis look very well at the ceremony, but it is worth considering that it is not so easy to move freely in a long dress, especially a tight one when you hit the dance floor. If, however, this style lies closest to your heart, then choose a wider style which allows you to move, and won’t leave you stifling in the hottest Summer day. Leave narrow mermaid styles for another day unless you want to waddle like a penguin from one place to the other. Absolutely beautiful, just not for dancing feet!
Vote for comfort!
The Hungarian bridal party surely knows how to celebrate in style! We can sing the Pálinka Song fit to win a Grammy Award, every retro song has us on our feet dancing away, we celebrate the alcohol too when drinking a toast, and we still manage to have a little more filled cabbage rolls when we are full to the brim. In order to be able to enjoy every moment of the day we need to choose a dress we feel comfortable in. The dress that is tight in the morning, or the shoes that squeeze our feet as we set out the door are definitely not the best choice. Bring a change of shoes for dancing, have a couple of plasters just in case, and never choose looking good in the photos over feeling comfortable during the day.
Have a great time and feel self-confident!
No matter what trends dictate, don’t let yourself be chained by them. The wedding is equally about having a good time as about being elegant, so if you prefer sporty clothes in your everyday life, you don’t have to put on a costume because that seems to be what the expectations dictate. If you choose a dress that looks smart on the outside, but which you are not comfortable with, that will show immediately.
The bridal couple probably know your taste, and they would much prefer that you stay true to yourself rather than being stressed all day.
If you would like to browse through our dresses, then please check out our Daalarna website.