Rachel Zoe’s Guide To Wedding-Attire Etiquette


Wedding season is upon us, which means tears of happiness, boogying ’til your feet hurt and plenty of flutes of Champagne, but it also means endless stress over what to wear. From the politics of sporting white to the appropriateness of a short dress in a black-tie setting, wedding-season rules can be difficult to navigate. Here, Rachel gives us her styling advice for 5 perfect ensembles.

Rachel's Expert Styling Advice

Can I wear a short dress to a black-tie wedding?

“Absolutely. But if it’s short, it has to be tasteful. The lines for black-tie dressing are blurred, and there is a lot of gray area, but you don’t have to wear a long gown. If you go for a short dress, make sure it’s special and has a lot of bells and whistles—lots of glitz and glam.”

Locket Suede Platform Sandals



Rouge Dior Brilliant Lipshine


Dior Beauty

Jet Drop Earrings


Kenneth Jay Lane

Python and Leather Box Clutch


Lee Savage

Embellished Cloqué Dress


Giambattista Valli

Is it okay to wear white or cream as a wedding guest?

“Since it’s the bride’s big day, I would veer on the side of extreme caution when it comes to wearing off-white, ivory or cream. Play it safe, and if you want to wear a light color, opt for blush pink or heather grey. If the color reads white, pick a different dress.”

Crystal Belt


Deepa Gurnani

Audacious Lipstick



Tiered Silk-Organza Dress


Burberry Prorsum

Maddy d’Orsay Pumps


Barneys New York

Burgundy Acrylic Clutch


Stella McCartney

What shoes should I wear to a beach wedding?

“A wedding on the sand is the perfect opportunity to wear gorgeous flat sandals with an ethereal caftan or bohemian dress. Even though you may end up barefoot, I would steer clear of flip-flops and go for a pretty slide or gladiator.”

Abstract Print Maxi Dress



Rockstud Flat Gladiator Sandal



Cream Baler Handwoven Leather Clutch



Shimmer Wash Eye Shadow


Bobbi Brown

Square Turquoise Ring



What does cocktail attire mean exactly?

“Since cocktail attire is open to interpretation (you can wear a short or long dress), dramatic accessories are key. Something about your outfit needs to feel special, so if you wear a simple dress, be sure to dress it up with interesting statement jewelry and strappy heels.”

Crystal Embellished Clutch


Crystal Ring



Colette Black Leather Cut-Out Sandal



Bronzer Powder


Le Metier de Beaute

Midi Slip Dress



What should I wear as a guest to a town-hall wedding?

“Wear your version of a chic tailored suit—whether it’s a jumpsuit, trousers and a button-up, or a pencil skirt with a tailored jacket, you can’t go wrong with polished separates.”

Liquid Eye Liner



Susi Pumps


Salvatore Ferragamo

Gabriella Sunglasses


Tom Ford

Tux Jumpsuit


Rachel Zoe

Sac de Jour Mini Crossbody


Yves Saint Laurent