What To Wear to a Fall Wedding: 3 Stunning Dress Code Ideas

So, you have been invited to a fall wedding later this year but you’re not sure what to wear?

With the changing of the leaves, the transforming seasonal colors, and the cooler climate, it’s a beautiful time of year for a wedding. But when it comes to wedding guest attire, a new season brings new challenges. 

We have put together this handy guide to help! We discuss good options for both female and male guests and hopefully give you some inspiration, no matter the dress code.

Fall Weather

Firstly, let’s remember that fall weather can be unpredictable. You could be looking at a warm, beautiful Indian summer day or it could be a day with crisp sharp chilly vibes. 

Of course, your decision on what to wear to a fall wedding will be determined by the location of the event – California in fall will of course be a very different temperature to upstate New York!

The biggest piece of advice is to check out what the weather was like in that location at the same time last year – and, of course, be prepared for varied weather conditions.

Color Palette Options

With a new season comes a new style, and it’s time to pack away the soft pastel colors you might have worn for a spring wedding. 

You could draw inspiration from the changing colors of the leaves around you, and go with an autumnal palette such as deep orange, mustard yellow, olive, or maroon. Richer jewel-like tones are also beautiful – think emerald or sapphire!

But that’s not the only way to go – a pop of color always works for a wedding guest – bright red, yellow or even a Fuschia pink could be fun. 

Heavy prints also work all year round so don’t be afraid to go bold with a floral print, they are not just for summer!

And don’t forget you can go for an elegant black option when choosing what to wear to an autumn wedding. More discussion on whether you can wear black to a wedding here (clue: you can!)

Dress Code

When making your decision on what to wear to a fall wedding, first look at the invite for any indication of a dress code.

This will determine how smart and elegant you’ll be expected to be, whether it’s a black-tie celebration or more of a “smart casual” affair.

Here we discuss different common dress codes for fall weddings:

Black Tie Fall Wedding

In some ways, a formal dress code is easiest as ladies you’ll be wearing something fancy or an elegant cocktail dress. It doesn’t have to be a floor-length gown – although you’ll find some beautiful options out there, and hey it’s nice to get dressed up – right?

Simple styles and silhouettes work for a classic look and you can choose accessories that are more subtle for a formal affair.

Guys will be expected to wear a tuxedo, although it doesn’t have to be black. A deep midnight blue for example could be a bit different like this one here, or we’ve seen some lovely velvet tux jackets that are perfect for autumn and winter weddings

Semi-Formal Fall Wedding

For a semi-formal wedding, male guests don’t need to choose a tuxedo, but perhaps a dark suit in one of the common fall shades of dark blue, green burgundy, or even brown. 

Men can jazz up their outfit choice with a brightly colored tie or pocket square, or perhaps a new pair of brightly colored shoes – there is more room to get creative when the dress code is less formal.

If the wedding is happening in the later fall months you could think about a suit in a heavier more wintry fabric, like wool, tweed, or cashmere. We adore the brown tweed look: 

For female guests at a semi-formal fall event, you don’t need to choose a gown – a cocktail dress will work perfectly – just don’t go for one that’s too short!

Pantsuits and jumpsuits also look fantastic so shop around for something that perhaps you wouldn’t normally choose – experiment with new looks and colors!

Remember, darker tones work better for evening weddings and you can have some fun with larger statement jewelry and colorful accessories, too.

Casual Fall Wedding

A casual wedding dress code gives you more freedom as a guest, so you can perhaps opt for comfort over style.

A floral print midi dress like this or a jumpsuit with a low block heel would be perfect. Or a pantsuit in one of those gorgeous autumnal shades of deep emerald or orange with a high heel – gorgeous!

And for the men? With a casual dress code, both a jacket and tie become optional. A button-up shirt and chinos (with or without the blazer) will work well. And we say be bold with your color choices!

Cover Up Options

When deciding on what to wear for a fall wedding – remember what we said about the weather. You simply don’t want to be cold.

Layers are a good way to go – so if you’re wearing a dress, think about what you’ll be wearing on top of it – whether it’s a blazer, jacket, pashmina, or a bolero. Don’t let this be an afterthought – if it gets chilly and you’re outside, you could be wearing this for most of the day!

There are some elegant cover-up options to think about for more formal weddings, for example, a beaded or lace capelet will work well for long dresses. We also love a cape, but just make sure it’s dressy enough and not a woolen fabric that will look too casual. 

You may also want to think about a scarf or even some elegant gloves for a later fall wedding. And one top tip is to wear skin color tights underneath your dress/jumpsuit for an extra layer of warmth. You can always take them off if it’s not that cold!

Rain Rain, Go Away 

We don’t like to think about rain on anyone’s wedding day – but it could easily happen at a fall wedding and it REALLY is better to be prepared for it!

If the forecast says that rain is even remotely likely, and part of the event may be outdoors, then please please take an umbrella with you!

The couple may provide umbrellas but it’s better to be safe here and save your hair, makeup, and outfit from getting wet.

You could purchase a fabulous umbrella that matches your outfit – that’s right, you can be stylish and dry!

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