Light colored suit for evening August wedding.

My wife and I are attending a Saturday, 4:30pm wedding in early August. The wedding is being held in a church with a reception (dinner & dance) to follow at 6pm. The reception is being held at a meeting center designed specifically for such events. The center’s web site describes the place as “elegant, yet inexpensive”. I believe the reception is being held in one of the meeting center’s ballrooms (as opposed to one of the meeting suites). The bride will be in a traditional wedding dress and the men in the wedding party are wearing tuxedos.

My wife and I are not in the wedding party. My wife is planning to wear a full-length champagne-colored gown with sequins and matching jacket. She bought the dress 6 months ago in preparation for this wedding and, at first, I thought she was dressing too formal due to the 4:30pm wedding time in the middle of summer. But now, after researching where the reception is being held, I’m beginning to think she called it right.

Since the wedding starts at 4:30pm and it won’t be getting dark in this area of the country until about 9:00pm, am I OK with a light colored suit or must I wear a dark suit? I have both in lightweight wool and both are comfortable for summer wearing. I’d prefer to wear the lighter colored suit, which is a sand/khaki color. I was thinking of wearing a cobalt blue shirt and appropriate tie to compliment. However, as I mentioned above, I am beginning to think that maybe I should have a more formal appearance and I’m now wondering if I should go with the darker suit (charcoal).

The invitations, while nice, are not exactly “elegant” and they make no mention of the formality of the event.

Does the lighter color suit “work” in this situation? Thanks!

Rebecca Black, Etiquette By Rebecca

Dear Wedding Guest,

I believe your wife’s dress is too formal. This would be great if she was the mother of the bride, but she is just a guest. It may appear as if she is trying to be noticed, especially since the invitation didn’t state ‘black tie’. So, it would probably be best if she wore a cocktail dress.

You are fine in your lighter colored suit. This is appropriate for warm weather.

Best wishes,


Thank you!

OK, now I’m in trouble with my wife for posting my question without consulting her first. She says I have improperly described her dress. She says it doesn’t have sequins. She said it is more appropriate to describe it as glitter (the sales tag describes the dress as “bamboo glitter”… I assume bamboo is the color).

I’m told that I should have also added that, while my wife and I are not in the wedding party, we are family to the bride. She is our niece. So, my wife would be “competing” with her sister (MOB). We sent a photo of the dress to her sister and she gave the dress thumbs up. However, the photo does not convey the glitter all that well.

Despite my early concerns on it looking too formal, my wife has made it clear that she is wearing that dress. So, with that in mind, will I be OK in the sand colored suit or should I opt for the charcoal?

Thank you so much for your feedback.

Rebecca Black, Etiquette By Rebecca

It seems as if you men are always in trouble with we women doesn’t it? I’m sorry. But, I was thinking that she probably wanted to wear the dress. We women love to dress up. And, if her sister says that it is alright, then we will go for it.

You will be fine with your suit.



Thank you again!!! I am feeling more comfortable with the lighter colored suit and that is, indeed, what I will wear.

Interestingly, my wife just got an E-mail from her mom and mom and dad are planning to wear beige! We are going to be a sea of beige at that table.

BTW and FWIW, I don’t wear suits as an everyday thing so I actually look forward to wearing one for special ocassions as well. I even enjoy an opportunity to pull the tuxedo out of the bag when needed. If this weding had been black tie, you wouldn’t have heard any complaints from me. 🙂

Regards, and thanks again!