Explore The Digital Issue
bride and groom kissing; an indian bride and groom holding hands at a pre-ceremony event
the digital issue

How to Plan the Perfect Wedding Wardrobe With Your Partner

Two stylists provide their expertise on how to curate outfits for every wedding-related event.

For many couples, what they'll wear on the actual wedding is usually the only fashion consideration they make when planning their upcoming nuptials. And while selecting a ceremony gown and tuxedo is an extremely important task, for those who are currently planning multiple events, there are several other outfits you need to consider. From what you'll wear to the engagement party and the rehearsal dinner to outfits for the bachelor or bachelorette party and post-wedding brunch, your complete wedding wardrobe is an opportunity to showcase your personal style and create a cohesive look from start to finish.

With all this in mind, it's normal to feel a lot of pressure when attempting to curate the "perfect" capsule wardrobe. Not only will you need to coordinate with your partner, but you also have to consider your personal aesthetics, each event's theme, where they'll be held, and the level of formality, among other things. Before you get completely overwhelmed, though, we'd like to highlight that these supplementary outfits provide you with the freedom to test out new fashions and reflect your status as the bride or groom. It's also your chance to incorporate pops of color, seasonal fabrics, or trending accessories that may not be suitable for your actual nuptials. Sounds fun, right?

Ahead, we spoke with two stylists for their expert advice on planning the ultimate wedding wardrobe. Here's everything you need to know, from when to buy your outfits to styling tips to remember. 

Meet the Expert

  • Hope LaVine is a bridal stylist based in Santa Monica, California. She’s also a content creator that provides brides with wedding inspiration and advice via her TikToks, quizzes, and Pinterest boards.
  • Raina Silberstein is a fashion stylist and luxury personal shopper based in Los Angeles, California. She helps clients define their personal style and build a wardrobe for work, special events, and more.
bride and groom wearing light and sandy hued outfits in the desert; bride wearing a floral dress and a groom wearing a causal suit


What to Consider When Planning Your Wedding Wardrobe

Before you start shopping for your wedding wardrobe, both Rania Silberstein, a fashion stylist and luxury personal shopper, and Hope LaVine, a bridal stylist, recommend deciding on an overall creative vision. That way, you can select outfits that complement the vibe of your events while also taking the season, level of formality, and event design into consideration. For instance, if you’re planning a party on the beach, “an overall relaxed style may be best," Silberstein says. "Opt for lightweight textiles like a linen suit or take cues from the coastal color palette. Planning a downtown city celebration? Neutrals and shine make a chic formula along with sleek silhouettes that mirror the architecture.” 

Silberstein also advises couples to use their personal style and everyday wardrobe as inspiration. “If you often choose bold styles in your wardrobe, forgo traditional options like a white gown or black tuxedo,” she explains. “I would avoid trying something entirely new and out of your personal comfort level, whether that is a color, pattern, texture, or silhouette.” That’s not to say you can’t experiment with your ensembles, but the key to creating a fantastic look is by bringing together fashion elements you already love with a few statement details. 

Lastly, you’ll want to think about wearability. “I would want to invest in high quality, gorgeous pieces that I would wear in new ways,” LaVine says. “I think your wedding wardrobe should be pretty interchangeable—a corset you wore for your bachelorette, then wear on a Friday date night with the spouse. I think if we invest in better quality pieces up front, then we will have it in our closet forever.”

women wearing a striped slip dress and a man wearing a tan suit

PHOTO BY ADRIANA RIVERA; Design by Mehroz Kapadia

When to Buy Your Wedding Wardrobe

While it’s highly recommended that you buy a wedding dress or suit several months before the big day, the shopping timeline for your other celebrations isn't as restrictive. Specifically, Silberstein suggests that couples purchase their outfits in the same season as their events. “By sourcing your outfit closer to the event date, you discover relevant styles, colors, and textiles for the time of year,” she notes. “Resort styles may appeal for your summer tropical welcome party, while rich velvets are beautiful for a winter engagement event.”

She further notes that everyone should book their venue spaces before deciding on their outfits, as the location “will set the tone for the entire event from the design elements to the overall vibe. The wedding attire should complement the vision too.” Finally, once you’ve secured dates for your events, Silberstein and LaVine both recommend finalizing your outfit about two to three weeks beforehand to allow for any potential outfit changes, alternations, and delayed shipping.

For the bride, LaVine suggests purchasing a wedding gown first before you focus on anything else. “After that, I like to switch back to more ‘high stakes’ looks like rehearsal dinner and reception (if there is a dress change),” she says. “After securing those outfits, I tend to prioritize the bachelorette party looks last. They’re a little easier to buy for and have tons of options out there.” As for the groom, LaVine recommends that his look should not only compliment the event's aesthetic but should also pair well with the bride's attire—meaning, the groom should purchase his outfits once everything else has been locked in.

How to Make Your Wedding Wardrobes Cohesive

A bride’s look tends to take top priority for most wedding events, but it’s important to put some thought into the groom’s pieces as well. Though being matchy-matchy isn’t the right choice for every couple, planning out looks together prevents any potential clashes and ensures complementary styles—this is especially important when you consider how highly photographed all of these events will be. According to Silberstein, you should start by selecting adjectives that best describe your desired aesthetic to help guide your wardrobe choices. For example, “If the special day is supposed to be fresh, bold, and relaxed, a whimsical floral dress and vibrant suit may be favorable,” she says. “By following this unofficial dress code, the partners guarantee a cohesive, personalized, and special event wardrobe.”

LaVine also suggests couples adhere to the same level of formality, whether that’s black-tie or casual, and a similar color scheme. “When wearing white to the wedding events, you really want to match your whites down to the tone—cool white, warm white, or neutral white. And if the bride is in ivory, we definitely don’t want the groom in white or anything drastically different,” she explains. "Pastels tend to be more casual, and jewel tones [feel] dressier. Neutrals work both ways, but it depends on the styling.” Aside from color, the experts go even further to share their top style suggestions for each event, as highlighted below.

For the Engagement Party

There’s no better way to show off your new relationship status than with an engagement party. Since this is the first of many wedding-related celebrations, LaVine suggests that brides keep their styles relaxed and playful. “I love a fun midi dress for a bride. It’s somewhere in between sophisticated and fun. Maybe the trim of the skirt has feathers, or the straps have pearls. For styling, you could also go with a fun shoe if your dress leans more simple,” she says. As for the groom, the stylist recommends going for an equally sophisticated look, like “a well-tailored black trouser, nice t-shirt or polo, and a loafer.” And to tie both looks together, the groom should consider matching his shirt with the color of the bride's dress or shoes.

For the Bridal Shower

Bridal showers are typically daytime events, which means a light color palette, textured fabrics, and romantic silhouettes are all appropriate sartorial choices. Silberstein says, “If the bride is attending a tea party event hosted by her family and friends, a white long-sleeve lace midi dress with nude ankle strap heels would be an elegant choice.” In this case, she also recommends advising guests to wear pastel hues to guarantee great photos and a cohesive theme. As for accessories, “This would be such a special day to wear family heirloom pieces or something of sentimental value. Especially with all of your family around you,” she adds. 

Though a groom’s appearance may be brief at this event, he should still dress in a complementary outfit. A button-down shirt and dress pants, in a similar color scheme or texture as the bride’s ensemble, would be perfect for this occasion.

a couple wearing cowboy-inspired attire; a couple walking on the beach; a couple holding hands in formalwear in the desert


For the Bachelor and Bachelorette Parties

Whether you’re having a joint celebration or separate events, get creative with your bachelor and bachelorette party ensembles. “This is such a great time to play around with different styles and types of looks,” LaVine notes. “For my brides, I love seeing some different pieces like a blazer dress, a jumpsuit, or a two-piece set. We can get super creative here and have fun.” She also notes that brides can include at least one statement piece, like "a fun heel wrap-up, feathers, or bows.” For the groom, LaVine recommends trying out different fabrics, opting for linen pants over jeans, or a leather jacket instead of a blazer. “Obviously, grooms don’t typically try and wear white their whole bachelor trip, but you can still stand out with something fun, like a floral or a chic neutral-on-neutral look,” she says. “Cream jeans and a cream t-shirt make for a very versatile outfit that can be worn for any bachelor trip moment.”

Planning a themed night out? Add some playful corresponding details to your look. For instance, if you’re hosting a bachelorette weekend in Nashville, Silberstein says, “The bride can wear a white denim jacket and white denim mini skirt, set along with white cowboy boots to walk down Broadway in style."

For the Welcome Party

If you’re planning a wedding outside of your city, it’s common practice to host a welcome party for your guests. And since this is the first time you can really shine a light on your bridal and groom fashions, stick to silhouettes and color palettes that complement your venue or event theme. What's more, LaVine advises couples to embrace a casual dress code, as a welcome party is “a raw, stripped-down time to just show the couple and their love.”

She loves the idea of a bride in a maxi gown paired with a soft beauty look and the groom in a coordinating outfit, which may include a “quality khaki or cream pant and white button down, slightly unbuttoned, with a beautiful brown loafer.” Remember to be mindful of the season, though, as some colder months may call for longer hemlines and thicker fabrics

For the Rehearsal Dinner

The rehearsal dinner is another opportunity to preview your wedding aesthetics. “This night is truly connected to the next day, so I like to incorporate small elements of the bridal look into the wedding look,” LaVine says. “For example, if your bridal gown has lace on it, it would be really interesting to have a simple gown and add a touch of lace through a glove or long sleeve.” She also suggests that brides opt for an “effortless, yet put together” outfit that perfectly blends their bridal status with their personal style. Some elegant options include a floor-length gown, an embellished midi dress, or a satin jumpsuit. 

Although the bride commonly wears white on this night, there's no reason why the groom can't consider a more colorful look. Whether that’s adding a navy jacket on top of a white button-down or donning a jewel-tone suit, the bolder color scheme will make a bride’s white ensemble pop even more. As for accessories, LaVine says that the groom can keep it simple, opting for no tie, no vest, and leaving the top few buttons of his shirt open for a formal yet relaxed look. 

For the Farewell Brunch

After a late night of celebrating their nuptials, many couples will prefer a slightly more casual dress code at their post-wedding brunch. While the attire for this event can vary, you’ll want to prioritize comfort and opt for a look that's functional yet stylish. “For my brides, I always recommend comfort here! Whether that’s a chic bridal short and lace top, a jumpsuit, or a silk flow slip dress,” LaVine says. For the groom, attire suggestions also fall into the relaxed category. She suggests “a linen pant and button down, or floral or lace fun shirt with a quality jean” for a simple look that still feels wedding-worthy.

Additionally, Silberstein recommends that couples “begin their marriage in a matching monochrome color palette.” White or neutrals are typically the favored option, but consider incorporating a seasonal color into both of your outfits for a statement look that's still cohesive. Jewel-tone hues, like dark purple, burgundy, or forest green, are excellent choices for a fall or winter event, while spring and summer call for pastel colors like light pink, sky blue, or yellow. 

couple holding hands wearing tan outfits pre-wedding

PHOTO BY Photo by Julieta; Design by Mehroz Kapadia

Styling Tips

  • Get your outfits tailored. Silberstein and LaVine’s number one piece of advice is to have your outfits tailored and fitted to match your exact measurements. “It will make such a difference in your photos, your confidence, and your overall appearance," says LaVine.
  • Add personal touches to your look. “I always encourage my clients to personalize their outfits by adding elements like their partner’s name, wedding date, favorite quote, song lyrics, and more,” notes Silberstein. “I love the opportunity to incorporate a family heirloom in your wedding outfit. When you include something significant like a special brooch, vintage watch, or repurposed evening gown, it is an excellent way to honor loved ones on your big day.”
  • Consider creating a mood board. If you’re struggling to organize your outfit ideas, LaVine recommends creating mood boards for each wedding event. “This is a great way to plan your looks out one by one while seeing the big picture altogether,” she says. "You can easily screenshot items like shoes, jewelry, and glam inspiration, and that will also serve as an awesome packing list for your wedding week.”
  • Embrace fabrics and accessories. Use fabrics and accessories to take a look from formal to casual or vice versa. LaVine shares that materials such as linen, crepe, or tulle are great for a casual dress code, while silk, satin, or lace suit a more formal affair. She also notes that relaxed shoes, like sneakers or sandals, can help dress an outfit down, whereas fine jewelry, such as a pearl necklace or gold watch, can elevate a look.

Related Stories