What To Wear To A Fall Wedding

Updated January 29, 2019

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We know that choosing what to wear to a fall wedding can be a frustrating task. You don’t want to upset the bride (more importantly, you don’t want to upstage the bride). But, you still want to look amazing.

Plus when it comes to fall, you never know what type of weather you’re going to get (Hurricane? Maybe. Blizzard? Why not?) so we put together this little guide to help you look your fabulous best at your fall weddings.

What to Wear to a Fall Wedding:


  • Dress up. A pretty dress is fine for both afternoon and evening weddings.
  • Wear nice heels or flats, depending on what makes you most comfortable (flats might be easier to maneuver outside).
  • Embrace bright fall colors. Marigold, maroon, purple, turquoise, dark green would be beautiful.
  • Check with the bride to see what color the bridesmaids are wearing. You don’t want to look like you’re in the wedding party.
  • Bring a shawl or pashmina to an evening wedding in case it gets cold.
  • Consider a pretty fall suit in a lightweight wool like gabardine.
  • Accessorize. Find a statement necklace in coordinating colors to your outfit.
  • Wear something you feel sexy in, but stay modest.


  • Wear white, off-white, or ivory.
  • Wear basic brown, which can look very sad at a wedding.
  • Wear flip-flops or casual shoes. Dress to impress.
  • Wear shorts, revealing tops or dresses that are too tight or too short.
  • Wear anything alarming or attention-seeking, like giant hats or neon orange dresses. Go for a more muted appearance.

What to Wear to a Fall Wedding: Dressing Tips

Dress for the Time and Place

Aside from color, time and place are the two most important things to consider when attending a fall wedding. Is the wedding taking place on a farm? In a ballroom? On a vineyard? If the wedding is taking place outdoors, bring a shawl or scarf to keep warm.

You might also want to remember things like bug spray in case you spend the entire wedding outdoors. For an afternoon fall wedding, you can absolutely wear a dressy sundress. Evening weddings require more dressing up, so choose a tasteful cocktail dress or a suit. Another thing to consider is that the weather may get cooler as you move from the ceremony to the reception site, so plan accordingly. Ultimately, use the clues on the invitation to help you determine the time and place of the wedding, which in turn will tell you how dressy your outfit should be.


Collage of outfits to wear to a fall wedding.
  • 1. Rasberry Iced Tea Dress, ModCloth, $47.99
  • 2. Surplice Neckline Dress , Forever 21, $24.80
  • 3. Theme Cocktail Dress, Piperlime, $69.00


 Evening Fall Wedding Outfits
  • 4.  Strapless Dress, $78.00
  • 5. One Shoulder Dress, Jessica Simpson, $44.80
  • 6. Chiffon Ruffle Tube Dress, Arden B., $59.00

Dress To Impress

Even though the crisp fall weather might not require heavy coats and gloves just yet, dresses are still the way to go for a fall wedding. Stay away from shorts, skorts, jeans and sandals.

Remember the Importance of Color

Blue Fall Wedding Outfit

Probably the most important item on our do’s and don’ts list is color. Just stay away from the whites, including cream. It’s also a great idea to check with the bride to see what the wedding colors are. You probably don’t want to be mistaken for a member of the wedding party or blend in too much with the scenery.

How to Dress for Fall Wedding: Choose Complementary Accessories

Dress up your outfit with colorful accessories. You can bring a shawl in pretty fall hues to keep warm. You might also consider wearing flats to an outdoor wedding to keep from sinking into the mud. For an indoor wedding during the fall, you can wear pumps or peep toe shoes, but stay away from sandals because they are more appropriate for a summer wedding.

Fall Wedding Accessories
  • 7. Women’s Teal Paisley Wrap, Overstock.com, $17.58
  • 8. Not Rated Women’s Hypnotize Flats, Shoes.com, $41.65
  • 9. Carlos by Carlos Santana, Famous Footwear, $34.99

Also, don’t forget a small clutch that coordinates with your outfit. Pack necessities in it like your phone, a little bit of cash, your lip gloss, and a compact!

Shine it Up: Jewelry

For a fall wedding, you can use darker lipsticks as well as a jewel-toned eyeshadow, like emerald green. As a rule of thumb, don’t go over the top with makeup. You should accentuate either your eyes or your lips, not both. Think pretty and natural, rather than the heavy makeup you’d wear for a night out on the town.

For jewelry, you can feel free to wear earrings and a necklace as well as a bracelet or bangles. Similar to our makeup philosophy for a fall wedding wear, jewelry should be modest but fun and fashionable. Statement necklaces are okay, just pair them with lighter earrings.

Fall Wedding Jewelry
  • 10. Three-Row Faceted Ovals Bracelet, NY&C, $19.95
  • 11. Faceted Bead Drop Earrings, Express, $22.90
  • 12. Chain and Beads Bib Necklace, $22.95

By following these tips, you’re sure to find the perfect outfit to wear to a wedding this fall.

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By Catherine Brock

As a Southern California transplant now living in the Midwest, Catherine has turned layering into an art form and accepted that UGGs actually do have a place in the stylish lady's wardrobe. She's been featured in Woman's World Magazine, DrLaura.com, Refinery29, Wellness.com and has made appearances on ABC7 Chicago, FOX2News St. Louis, KCAL9 Los Angeles, Fox19 Cincinnati, WGN TV Chicago and WCPO TV Cincinnati.

21 replies on “What To Wear To A Fall Wedding”

Showing a great maci dress would’ve been helpful in this article. With unpredictable weather or a strict religious ceremony a maxi will keep you covered and warm. And you can still look fabulous without upstaging the bride if you go with a simple dress, day or night.

This is a great list.. and also you can stay on trend my wearing flesh colored fish nets to add a little more warmth and also remain very, very chic.

Great list.

I have a question about hose. I’m attending a November outdoor afternoon wedding in Washington D.C. I’m wearing black heels with a partially opened toe. Are hose fashionable now? If so, what type should I wear?

Ladies, please do not wear a mini dress or skirt to a wedding. It might seem ok while you’re standing, but as soon as you sit down to eat you’ll show *everything*. Trust me, I experienced this at a wedding in August. *shrudder*
(Save the mini for the after-party!)

Question. I have a fall wedding and I have a cocktail dress that I wore for a summer wedding, but it has torquoise blue, black and gold in it. It has straps which are knotted on top of the shoulder, straight cut across the top of the back, sweetheart neckline and it falls to the knees. Is it appropriate to put on black hosiery or tights and pair it with black pumps and throw on a black blazer or shawl? Or is that too casual??

Good suggestions for a fall wedding…………..bright colors, complementary accessories,shining jewelry all put up a great collection for fall wedding………thank you for your great list

I love these tips and the dresses. I recently attended a wedding where a woman wore stretch leggings under her right-above-the-knee-length dress. It destroyed the look of the dress and made it look incredibility causal and sloppy, especially for a wedding. – I asked her why she wore them (nicely, just out of curiosity) and she said she thought her legs might get cold. Is this reasonable? Would you do it? Any tips for those weddings when its too cold and you need to ruin your outfit with a coat over your shoulders and one over your legs?

I am a fashion designer and just for ladies out there that are wondering on shawls for fall wedding the colors for 2013 fall shawls are purple, lilac orange gold, coral, dark green and champagne beige. Hope this helps. I read the budget fashionista often – love the content rich details and ideas.

Heeeeeelp! I know it was suggested to stay away from wearing whites and creams… How about a light peach dress to wear for next weekend (mid-October)? It’s perfect! i have the best accessories to go with….it’s just the color that concerns me a tiny tiny bit!

Can I wear a little black dress without hose and maybe dress it up with colored pumps? or just stick with black pumps, hose, no hose? it is an early October wedding in Michigan.

Great Information About wearing about choosing color for the dress !! lovely dress and beautiful accessories. i like it very much. As an Indian Girl I knew more new thing about wearing dresses. Because Indians usually wear sarees for wedding. Thanks a Lot 🙂


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