Wedding season has arrived, and with it comes the decision of what you’ll wear to the most important day of your friend’s life. As potentially the only single person among your friends who is truly happy for them, you have already been asked countless times about your attire for this outstanding occasion. You’ve likely made it known that you don’t want to buy a new outfit when you already own plenty of acceptable options. If a tuxedo is required, however, there are plenty of ways to make it look like you didn’t spend more than $100 on the whole ensemble. Here are five tips to help keep the cost down:
#1 Find a deal on a blazer (or anything else)
#2 Get creative with color
#3 Rent or borrow accessories
#4 Buy an outfit that can be worn again
#5 Consider an alternative to pants
If you’re planning on attending a barn wedding, or just want to be prepared in case a surprise invitation is extended your way, then read on! The best thing to do is to dress in layers. If the ceremony will take place in an unheated barn, it’s always smart to have a jacket or shawl ready just in case the temperature drops unexpectedly. But if it is still warm outside, this can lead to overdressing for the reception that follows. On the other hand, if you show up without enough clothes on and end up having to borrow something from someone else when the party gets rolling, it could look tacky. Just choose dark colors for your attire. Barns are often decorated with colors like red, yellow and orange. While these colors don’t necessarily clash with others (unless they are purple), they can look garish against each other or against lighter colors like white and khaki—and as such should be avoided during wedding season!
Don’t wear anything too fancy—you’re going to a barn wedding after all! It’s not necessary to wear anything particularly formal but stay away from things that would look out of place at a casual event. In addition, avoid wearing loud patterns like plaids and florals that could distract from more subtle patterns found on decorations inside the venue. Wear soft fabrics like cotton instead of stiffer materials that might chafe against your skin while dancing vigorously or sitting through endless family speeches from distant relatives you may not even remember meeting before.
Be sure to bring boots if necessary: usually if there is dirt involved at all (like during an outdoor ceremony or reception), then you should bring shoes appropriate for trudging through it—but this isn’t true of every type of venue so double-check first!
At one time or another, we’ve all been to a barn wedding. This informal gathering—often held at a farm, which is made of more than just the barn—is meant to be fun and casual. Think of it as an excuse for friends and family to get together under a sunny sky on a beautiful day, but with less planning and no need to wear heels.
What should you wear? Think of your barn wedding as an opportunity to dress up while staying comfortable at the same time. A relaxed environment calls for relaxed attire. If you’re going in with neutral tones like jeans and a blue T-shirt, keep them that way even if you’re running around behind haying equipment or riding horses all day. But don’t forget about those layers! It gets cold in the winter here in the north, so arm yourself with wool sweaters before meeting your fellow wedding guests for drinks on the patio at sunset (an outdoor setting is important for your outdoor dance party).
Be versatile without being boring! Best of luck!
Choose dark colors
Planning a barn wedding? You’ll be glad to know that there’s a wide spectrum of colors you can wear, and it’s all dependent on your personal preference. The most formal option is to wear all black or navy, which will make you look slim and chic and like an actual adult. If you’re feeling more funky, you can choose a dark color such as forest green or brown, but keep in mind these are less formal options. Darker colors can be a good idea for evening weddings because the lighting won’t reveal dirt and stains as much. In any case, don’t fret over what bright colors to wear; if people love your brightly-colored clothes at the reception (or in this case, barn), they’ll let you know.
Dress in layers
Your body may be prepared for the sweltering heat of an outdoor wedding in July, but nothing can prepare you for the temperature drop at sunset. A barn wedding is a special occasion, so you want to wear your finest—however, it’s also important to stay comfortable and make sure you’re still able to dance all night long. To avoid ending up shivering on the dance floor, plan your outfit with a few extra layers in mind.
Layers are key. You’ll want something to wear over your dress (or suit), a sweater or jacket that’ll keep you warm while dancing around campfires late into the night, and then finally something light that will help you stay cool during brunch back at the venue after the ceremony is over.
Bring a coat if it looks like rain. Even if it isn’t forecasted to rain on your big day, don’t forget that dark clouds sometimes mean rain later in the evening—and not just at night! Even if there aren’t any clouds overhead when you leave for your wedding, check an hour before sunset and decide whether or not you’d like to bring an umbrella or light poncho just in case. If it is raining when you leave for your reception, try driving instead of walking; cars provide protection from wet weather so long as they aren’t convertible models with their tops down!
Wear shoes that are easy to take off and put on throughout the night. Your feet will swell up throughout the day as blood rushes through them; having trouble getting your shoes off later could lead to soreness or even blisters! Also consider switching out those stilettos for wedges or flats toward the end of festivities; no one likes seeing their best friend’s girlfriend pitch forward onto her face because her feet have been killing her all night long!
Wear boots if necessary
If you’re hosting a barn wedding, you know it’s going to be cold. Just think of the weather report: temperatures will be low (or low enough not to require a jacket). The wind will be whipping and the grass will be damp. The best way to manage all this is to wear appropriate footwear. And there’s no better option than boots.
Beyond being functional and sensible, boots can also have style, depending on your preferences (and your groom’s personality!). For example: if you want something that’s rugged but fashionable, try Dr. Marten’s leather lace ups or Chelsea boots. If you’re looking for something more understated, like the kind of boots worn by everybody from cowboys to lumberjacks, go for Vans sneakers or Muck Boots. And if you’d rather keep things simple—say, with knee-high Docs—consider a pair of Fjallraven Kånken (“boat shoes”).
Dress in soft fabrics
With the temperature soaring this time of year, choosing the right fabrics becomes essential. Like most weddings, you’ll be standing or sitting outdoors in a variety of conditions (including sunny days and lightning storms). Some fabrics will make you feel like an overheated furnace while others will keep you comfortably cool. What you wear to a barn wedding should be both comfortable and easy to move around in. If you’re choosing between two items that are equally comfortable but one is more expensive than the other, go for the cheaper option—you’ll be able to wear it more frequently than just for this occasion.
Dress up but stay comfortable
I’m sorry, but it’s true. You might feel as though you’re in a weird position right now, sitting on your couch with a large tub of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream and an intimidatingly big pile of wedding magazines and catalogs next to you. But don’t worry! I am here to tell you that you can still look totally awesome for your barn wedding. And the best part is you don’t even have to break the bank doing it!
The most important item to keep in mind when packing for a barn wedding is the weather. Barns are made of wood and are outdoors, so if it’s raining or too cold, you’ll want to be covered up. If it’s warm enough to not need a jacket outside but cold when you go inside the barn, take a cardigan or wrap with you.
The other thing to consider is that experiencing a ceremony in a barn means spending time on your feet—often on grass or uneven ground—throughout the day. So comfortable shoes are crucial. Your outfit will likely get dirty at some point (it’s almost impossible not to at least get grass stains on your shoes), so wear something simple enough that you can get stains out easily (avoid white and light colors) and don’t mind ruining.
If possible, pack one pair of heels for dancing with straps so they won’t fall off (you’re probably going to want to change into flats at some point). If heels aren’t an option for whatever reason (or if this tip doesn’t apply to you), bring an extra pair of flats with different colored laces than you wore during the day; it helps keep track of which pair goes with which outfit!
What to Wear to a Barn Wedding
Congratulations on your engagement. It’s a special time in your life and you should be excited, but there is still so much to plan! If you’re getting married in the fall, winter, or early spring, it’s important to remember that you’ll likely be getting married in the cold.