Guest Looks for a Semi-Formal Wedding

  • Publication date: 06/24/2023

Step right up, folks, to the grand spectacle of semi-formal weddings! Before we dive into the rabbit hole of semi-formal attire, let's get our bearings straight. So, what is semi-formal? Picture yourself at the crossroads of casual and formal wear, and voila - that's the semi-formal zone. This dress code hails from 19th-century Western etiquette, where it was originally coined as "stroller" for daytime events and "black tie" for evening gatherings.

Photo by @adiracollectionuk

Fast forward to the present, and it's the go-to semi-formal dress code for occasions that call for a sprinkle of elegance without the frills of a full-on black-tie event. So, if you've received an invitation to a semi-formal wedding, you're in luck! You're about to show up and show out in style, while still maintaining a relaxed vibe. Now, what does semi-formal mean for your wardrobe? Let's find out!

Semi-Formal Wedding Attire for Men

Photo by @pauwmannen

Alright, gents! When you hear semi-formal wedding attire for a male, don't break out in cold sweat thinking you've got to dig out a tuxedo. Semi-formal is all about striking a perfect balance between elegance and comfort. You can let your personality shine through with a dash of creativity while still keeping it classy. So, what is semi-formal for men? Here are 15 fashion-forward yet tastefully curated looks that will have you stealing the spotlight.

  1. Charcoal Grey Suit: Pair a well-tailored charcoal grey suit with a crisp white shirt. Add a tie in vibrant colors, such as cobalt blue or emerald green, to add a splash of personality.
  2. Navy Blazer Ensemble: Combine a well-fitted navy blazer with khaki trousers. Add brown loafers, a crisp white shirt, and a tie in a subtle pattern. This is a perfect semi-formal wedding attire for men for a daytime, outdoor wedding.
  3. Velvet Turtleneck Combo: For a winter wedding, don a black velvet blazer with matching trousers. Pair this with a sleek black turtleneck for a sophisticated, monochromatic look.
  4. Linen for Summer: Embrace the heat with a light-colored linen suit. Paired with a pastel shirt and loafers, this look is breezy and stylish for an outdoor summer wedding.
  5. Classic Black and White: You can never go wrong with a classic black suit and a white shirt. Add a bold red tie for a dash of color that speaks volumes.
  6. Tweed with Chinos: Wear a tweed jacket with chinos and a bright white shirt. Combine it with chinos for a look that seamlessly crosses the gap between formal and informal.
  7. Burgundy Elegance: Make a statement with a burgundy suit. Pair it with a black bow tie and patent leather shoes for a look that is both stylish and sophisticated.
  8. Navy and Grey Mix: Combine a navy blazer with gray trousers for a stylish contrast. Pair it with a white shirt and a tie in a subtle print for a polished look.
  9. Pinstripe Perfection: A sharp pinstripe suit with a solid color tie screams sophistication. Pair it with a white shirt and black oxfords for a classic look.
  10. Bold Patterned Blazer: Wear a patterned blazer with solid pants. To complete the outfit, wear a white shirt and a tie that matches the trousers.
  11. Windowpane Check: Wear a suit with a windowpane check pattern and a slender tie. This aesthetic is both modern and sophisticated, making it ideal for a modern wedding.
  12. Double-Breasted Sophistication: Don a double-breasted blazer with tailored trousers. Pair it with a light-colored shirt and a tie in a complementary color for a refined look.
  13. Brown and Pastel: A brown suit paired with a pastel shirt creates a warm, inviting look. Add dark brown shoes and a tie that complements the shirt to complete the outfit.
  14. Navy with a Twist: A navy suit paired with a polka dot tie and matching pocket square is classic with a twist. This look is both charming and sophisticated, perfect for any semi-formal wedding.
  15. Tuxedo Fun: Opt for a classic tuxedo but add a fun, bright-colored bow tie. This look balances tradition with personality, perfect for the man who wants to stand out in a crowd.

Semi-Formal Attire for Women

Photo by @sarahrosesummers

Ladies, it's your turn to shine! When we talk about what is semi-formal for women, it doesn't mean you have to be confined to just semi-formal dresses. Skirts, jumpsuits, and even tailored pants can make a stunning statement. Think vibrant, think chic, think elegant, but above all, think comfort. Here are 15 outfit inspirations to get you on the right track to semi-formal fabulousness.

  1. Floral Fun: A knee-length floral dress paired with strappy heels is perfect for a daytime, outdoor wedding. Add a matching clutch and delicate jewelry for a complete look.
  2. Silk and High-Waist: A silk blouse tucked into a high-waisted midi skirt creates an elegant silhouette. Pair it with heels and statement earrings for a refined look.
  3. Jumpsuit Chic: A classy jumpsuit can be just as elegant as a dress. Pair it with statement jewelry and high heels for a sophisticated look.
  4. Winter Velvet: For a winter wedding, wear a velvet blazer dress. Combine this with thigh-high boots and a hefty statement necklace for a cozy and elegant collaboration.
  5. Summer Maxi: Get the most out of the summertime temperatures by wearing a light, flowy maxi dress in a bright print. Pair it with sandals and a wide-brimmed hat for a breezy and elegant look.
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    Photo by @ariviere
  7. A sophisticated little black dress is a wardrobe essential. Combine it with bright-colored accessories, such as red heels and a matching clutch, for a classic-meets-modern look.
  8. Sequin Sparkle: For an evening wedding, opt for a sequined cocktail dress. Pair it with strappy heels and minimalist jewelry to let the dress shine.
  9. Satin Elegance: A satin slip semi-formal dress for a wedding is an effortlessly elegant choice. Pair it with a statement clutch and strappy heels for a sophisticated look.
  10. Tailored Pantsuit: A tailored pantsuit can be just as elegant as a dress. Pair it with a lace camisole underneath and pointed-toe heels for a look that is both powerful and chic.
  11. Peplum and Pencil: Wear a pencil skirt with a peplum shirt. This design is both attractive and trendy, making it ideal for a daytime wedding. For a flash of color, pair it with heels and a purse in a vibrant hue.
  12. A high-low dress in a bright color is both fun and classy. Combine it with heels and an intriguing necklace for an eye-catching outfit.
  13. Lace and Fascinator: A lace midi gown coupled with a complementing fascinator is a trendy and one-of-a-kind appearance. For a full look, pair it with heels and a clutch in a corresponding color.
  14. Chiffon Jumpsuit: For an exquisite and modern look, choose a chiffon jumpsuit with a waist-cinching belt. For a full look, pair it with high heels and a bold necklace.
  15. High-Neck and Tailored Trousers: For a fashionable and sophisticated look, pair a high-neck shirt with tailored trousers. To finish the look, add high shoes and minimal jewelry.
  16. Polka-Dot Wrap: A polka-dot wrap dress is both flattering and captivating. Pair it with strappy shoes and bright red lips for a beautiful and lively appearance.

What is Semi-Formal Wedding Attire: FAQs

Photo by @milla

Now, let's get down to the nitty-gritty and answer some frequently asked questions about semi-formal wedding attire.

Is semi-formal attire for women the same as cocktail attire?
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Well, yes and no. The two often overlap, but there are some differences. Cocktail attire leans more towards dresses that are party-ready and a tad more glamorous. Semi-formal attire, on the other hand, strikes a balance between elegance and comfort. Think stylish, but not over-the-top.

What shoes will go with semi-formal wear?

Shoe selection depends on both the outfit and the venue. For women, anything from strappy sandals to chic pumps can work. For men, loafers, oxfords, or brogues are safe bets. But remember, comfort is key – you'll likely be on your feet a lot!

Can a semi-formal wedding attire for a female be with jeans?

While we love a good pair of jeans, they typically don't make the cut for semi-formal wedding attire. Stick to dresses, skirts, or tailored pants for a look that's both stylish and appropriate.

What to wear to a semi-formal wedding with kids?

Dressing kids for a semi-formal wedding can be fun! Little boys can rock a mini version of a men's outfit, like a shirt and blazer with khaki pants. Little girls can wear a cute dress or a skirt and blouse combo. But remember, comfort and mobility are crucial - you don't want their outfit hindering their fun!

That's the scoop on semi-formal wedding attire! So go forth, dress up, and enjoy the festivities with style and grace!

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Natali Grace Levine Editor-in-Chief

Manages The Wezoree's content strategy
Writes and edits articles for the Inspiration Blog