• Mon, Jun 27 2011

What To Wear To: A Gay Wedding

In “What To Wear To” Paul Venoit will be providing us regular advice on what to wear to offbeat occassions. This one is especially timely as given the recent passage of the same-sex marriage bill in New York, you may be attending a lot more gay weddings in the near future.

Wielding your wardrobe for a special event is challenging at the best of times. The items in your closet are too long, too short, too 80s, too “what was I thinking,” – but too straight? Yes, now you can add that to the clothing conundrum, because gay weddings are popping up faster than a sugar daddy on Viagra. And as a guest, you want to look your best.

Whether the nuptials are (ironically) conservative or err on the wild side, there are a couple of “couple styles” that may dictate your ensemble. Here, a few stripped down guidelines to get dressed for a gay wedding:

Same Sex And the City


Let’s say your GBF’s wedding is in NYC. Forever with its finger on the pulse of everything hot and fashionable, guests are–of course–expected to follow suit. Across the pond, the royal wedding did a brill job of bringing back “the fascinator,” so it’s no wonder replicas are extremely popular. One might argue that the Big Apple was ahead of this curve too, but Carrie’s version in SATC2 was more of a Big flop. If Liza isn’t doing it, chances are you shouldn’t be either.

For men, a classic black suit by Zegna or Tom Ford is always popular with the other gents, if you know what I mean. If you must, jazz it up with cuff links, a printed shirt or bright patterned socks.

Gals, this is your chance to be more lady, less Gaga. A classic black cocktail number with killer heels will always turn heads on the dance floor. Add a little jeuj with an embellished clutch or statement jewelry. After all, a gay wedding always makes a statement!

Brokeback Marriage


Tough as it is to shake the images of Jake in his Wranglers, as a guest at a western-style wedding, you have to leave your flannels at home. Here’s how the West should be worn. Chances are, a wedding like this will be low-key and intimate. If it’s in a garden or a converted barn, you don’t want to over (or under) dress. That means no tuxedos, and no jeans either. A safe bet for men would be a nice day suit in gray or navy. Alternatively, you can wear a slim cut pair of khakis with a sharp shirt and sport jacket. A little gingham on your tie or pocket square adds a little western flair without overkill. Always wear dress shoes. You can save the cowboy boots for later. Ladies, in this environment you can get away with floaty sundress, wedges and a shrug in case the evening gets chilly.

The Grunge of my dreams


For a couple that rocks, your outfit can be a little loud, too. In this case, conventional clothing can seem out of place, and fashion trends are the last thing on anyone’s mind. If it doesn’t detract attention from the men or women of the hour, those who should could squeeze into a tasteful pair of leather pants. But, guys, if you want to have your cake and eat it too, make sure to pair them with a dressier velvet blazer and tshirt. Girls, wear them with a dressy, drapey top to mix up the textures. Still feeling stuck? You can’t go wrong with basic black separates from head to toe, and a little hardware never hurt, either.

Fairytale Wedding

If you’re a guest at a wedding that would make Sir Elton John himself swoon, and if his song ‘Freaks in Love’ is the soundtrack, then you pretty much have free creative license when it comes to wardrobe. However, for longevity’s sake, an impeccably tailored suit is a great place to start. For a little flair, put on a bold, checkered jacket, or eye catching socks or a bow tie. Ladies can opt for a slinky or sparkly dress with sky-high platforms, or say ‘I do’ to a sharp tuxedo jacket with sequin shorts. Here, there is always room for animal prints, feathers and flair. Just remember–you can be creative without being outlandish.

Now that you’ve made the guest list, technically, the hard part is over. No matter what, the goal is to not outshine the brides nor out-groom the grooms. There is only room for one (or two) queens, and today you aren’t one of them. Remember– love looks good on everyone. So wear your heart on your sleeve and make the happy couple proud!

You can learn more about Paul via his website or by following him on twitter.

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  • Alisa Lillico

    Thanks, Paul…..although my gay friends wouldn’t let me out of the house inappropriately attired ;-)
    Great article, keep climbing the ladder of success!

  • stacy

    Gee thanks. I wouldn’t know what to wear to a wedding. Gay, straight or otherwise. Can you next write about what to wear to a black wedding? Let me guess – big hat, bring your own fried chicken? SMH.

  • jena

    I’d probably wear the same thing to a gay wedding that I would to a straight wedding, because OMG! They’re weddings. Two people get married. Just because one is between two people of the same gender doesn’t mean you need to glitter&eyeliner yourself to the 9s. What the hell is this article.

  • Marcy

    Can you please do what to wear to an early fall wedding? I have a wedding in September and want to subtly outshine the bride.