(Closed) As a guest, what do you wear to daytime/church wedding with night reception?

posted 7 years ago in Etiquette
  • poll: To daytime church wedding with nighttime reception, I usually:
    wear the same daytimey dress to both : (17 votes)
    30 %
    wear the same nighttimeish dress to both : (18 votes)
    32 %
    wear a holy grail day-to-night dress (please post pic) : (9 votes)
    16 %
    switch dresses in between : (13 votes)
    23 %
    other described below : (0 votes)
  • Post # 18
    569 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: June 2013


    I don’t think there’s anything wrong or showy about changing in between. I thought it was expected of guests to do so. I believe in dressing for the occasion…so at a daytime ceremony at a religious establishment, I’ll wear a modest day dress and for an evening reception, I would change into something more appropriate, depending on their dress code.

    If there wasn’t an opportunity to change, then I guess I’d rather be overdressed (but covered up with a shawl, bolero or similar) at the church than underdressed at the reception.

    Post # 19
    3339 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: April 2013 - Rhode Island

    @Shkragoldfish:  I guess I misinterpreted your tone.  I can be overly touchy.  I’m sorry.

    Post # 20
    140 posts
    Blushing bee

    I always thought it was still safe to wear short sleeve or sleeveless dress (not strapless!), hemline a bit above the knee and neckline with minimal cleavage…. its hard to wear a full length gown and cover up with the scorching summer days in Australia.

    I have a black tie wedding to go to with a church wedding in the morning and then a fancy function at night, so I plan to stick to the same dress. I’ll only change if something gets spilt on it or it gets dirty in the day.

    Regardless if it says black tie or not, I’ve seen girls at church weddings wear dresses from short sleeve tight fitting, strapless short, strapless long, maxi and just normal short sleeve. No matter what, there will always be that 1 person who will wear something different to everybody else..

    Post # 21
    432 posts
    Helper bee


    According to etiquette you can certainly wear a knee-length cocktail dress to a black tie event. However, the fabric and style should differ from a daytime dress. Elaborate beading, very formal fabrics (silk satin, brocade, velvet) are not suitable for a morning or early afternoon event as they are clearly evening fabrics.

    I always change for formal weddings that have a morning or early afternoon ceremony and a dinner component. I only attended one wedding in my entire life that was what I would consider truly informal (linen suits for men and light summer dresses for women) where nobody changed clothes as the sun set, everything else involved hats, skirt suits, dresses and morning dress for the gentlemen, and long frocks and dinner jackets in the evening.

    Post # 22
    3035 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: May 2015 - Walnut Hill Bed & Breakfast

    I usually wear a cardigan to the church with my dress. Most weddings start in the afternoon and are more summery-casual so I usually go for a sundress type dress. But I live in southwest pa where as long as you’re not wearing jeans or workout gear, you’re considered ‘dressed up’. 

    Post # 23
    2968 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: September 2014

    I’ve been to several weddings that had daytime ceremonies and then evening receptions. At all but 2 of them I changed into a different outfit for the reception. The two that I didn’t change for, were more casual type of receptions. One was at a restaurant on the beach and the other was at a casualish restaurant/venue so the outfit I wore to the ceremony was fine.

    I usually wear something lighter colored or brighter colors- with little to no accessories and lighter makeup- basically wear what you would wear to church or expect people to wear to church.

    At the reception depending on where it is/dress code that is expected, I would wear either a cocktail dress or a gown. Both options would be more formal and more appropriate for an evening event, than what I would wear to the ceremony.


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