What To Wear to a Traditional Wedding?

Bride, groom, bridesmaid and best man in traditional wedding garb A long flowing white dress; the Rolls Royce decked out with flowers and a sweet little church in the spring countryside. There is something safe, certain and utterly romantic about traditional weddings.

Perhaps it’s the sense of comfort in the fact that you are following a tradition laid down by generations before you and pride that you are the latest bride to be married the way your grandparents were before you.

Whether you are religious or not you can still have a traditional wedding with all the pomp and glitz that goes with it and you’d be in good company as the majority of weddings in the UK are traditional ceremonies. They are timeless, elegant and follow a culture that’s steeped in history. Plus of course there are no end of options to suit traditional weddings, from dresses to venues; most places in the UK will cater for your every need!

Traditional Wedding Dresses

Long and flowing is what I imagine traditional wedding dresses to look like. Perfectly romantic and pure and in shape very much like a lily – if you turn any of these dresses upside down you’ll see what I mean.

This Florentina Taffeta and Lace Bridal Dress has all the elements of a traditional dress with a fitted, embroidered bodice that leads onto a full pleat skirt and a flowing train. The detailing on the lace panel is just exquisite and the bridal skirt is gloriously long with swathes of luxurious material giving the skirt voluptuous fullness and depth.

traditional taffeta and lace full wedding dress traditional strapless full length wedding dress

Another eye-catching and stunningly gorgeous dress is the Arabella Organza Strapless Embellished Bridal Dress. The bodice of this gown is delicately embroidered and embellished with crystal beading and then softly pleated down to a full flowing plain skirt with long train. It’s a beautifully elegant dress that will ensure you get an attentive and shushed audience as you glide effortlessly down the aisle.

There are so many stunning full wedding dresses to choose from and no matter how many years go by, the full length, full skirted bridal gown has never gone out of fashion yet!

Traditional Groom Outfits

The classic groom outfit would be a morning coat, crisp white shirt and subtly patterned waistcoat for the romantic period drama look that is just right for sweeping your bride off her feet – think Mr Darcy on his wedding day to Elizabeth Bennet and you’ll get the picture!

Moss Bros have captured the look perfectly with the Arundel wedding jacket and Valentina waistcoat. You can even follow their style tips for an individual look or stick with the traditional. One thing’s for sure though, you just can’t go wrong with a well cut, tailored morning jacket.

Moss Bros Classic Groom's Wedding Outfit marks and spencer grooms morning suit

Normally the correct etiquette when it comes to classic morning suits is that the waistcoat will either match the bride’s dress or the bridesmaids and a matching tie or cravat is worn (if you want to be fully traditional then go with the cravat as it’s much more dressy). Team it all up with something like this Marks and Spencer 1 Button Morning Jacket with tails, buttoned cuffs and a breast pocket. The trousers don’t have to match the jacket – pinstripe trousers like the ones in the picture with a dark morning jacket is perfectly acceptable and also rather dapper!

Traditional Bridesmaid Dresses

The history of the bridesmaid is steeped in superstition as their main duty was to ward off evil spirits! The tradition goes back to Roman times when the wedding attendants would dress in matching outfits as the bride and groom so that the evil spirits wouldn’t know which was the happy couple, which is why most bridesmaids traditionally wore outfits that closely resembled the bridal outfit. That tradition still carries on to a certain extent today, with bridesmaid dresses that match the style and cut of the wedding dress.

The Evie Coral Satin Bridesmaid Dress is one such dress in a beautiful classical full length style that is very complimentary and flattering and one that your bridesmaids will thank you for! A team of wedding attendants in these dresses will look stunning!

traditional full length satin bridesmaid dress in coral traditional full length taffeta bridesmaid dress

For a simpler style try the Alicia Fuschia Taffeta Bridesmaid Dress with its fitted and pleated bodice giving way to a full length flared skirt in a beautiful, shimmery taffeta material that simply glides softly over you for that perfect silhouette shape!

No evil spirit could get past these enchanting and gorgeous angels!

Flower Girls and Page Boys

We think that historically the flower girl and page boy may have been included to add a little adorability factor and there is no doubt that they are the cutest ones in the bridal procession! Traditionally they are dressed in miniature versions of the bride and groom’s outfit, with the flower girl in white, carring a little bouquet and laying petals on the floor for the bride and the page boy in full suit, accompanying his little partner.

Tigerlily is a name we all know in children’s clothing and they are the designers behind this Ivory Butterfly Bridesmaid Dress. It has a full net skirt and pretty little bodice with butterfly embellishments. A sash waist ties to a full bow at the back. She’ll feel like she’s living her very own fairytale romance in this sweet little dress!

tiger lily girls butterfly bridesmaid dress pageboy waistcoat and suit

This Pageboy Champagne Waistcoat Suit Set from BHS is very reasonably priced for the entire outfit and who could resist such a smart young boy looking so irresistibly cute! He’ll feel like a pop star with all those camera flashes pointing at him!

The page boy has a very big job to do in presenting the rings on a cushion to the groom (if he’s up for it) and leading the whole bridal procession both coming in and going out of the wedding venue. It’s a man’s job on little shoulders, so make him feel important and special in a cute and traditional page boy outfit in the same colours as the grooms. You can have the pageboy’s waistcoat match the bridesmaid dresses for continuity and with such a range of patterned and plain waistcoats on offer, this shouldn’t be hard to do. Other than that, a white shirt and dark jacket and trousers are other essentials. You may also want to dress your page boy in white or cream to match the flower girl, although his parents wouldn’t thank you for that!

Traditional Wedding Wear for Male Guests

Choosing what to wear for a traditional wedding is fairly straightforward. Steer clear of bright colours or lavish designs and opt instead for subtle tones and a smart suit. Black is the traditional colour but these days any colour of suit is fine so long as you don’t team it up with trainers or jeans! A waistcoat isn’t essential and you certainly don’t want to be confused with the groom! So if you are to wear a waistcoat, just check first that you don’t colour clash. Moss Bros have a large range of suits and waistcoats to hire if you don’t think you’ll be wearing the outfit again. They also stock a wide selection of quality men’s suits to buy off the peg from many of the leading brands like this classic silver grey suit from Savoy Tailors Guild.

Men's formal suit from Savoy Tailor's Guild wedding guest suit for men by ted baker

However every man should have at least one suit in his wardrobe and a wedding invitation is as good a time as any to invest in a good suit that will last quite a few more special occasions. This Ted Baker Timeless Classic Tonic Suit is just perfect. Black is good for any occasion and this suit is made from 100% wool so you’ll feel comfy all day long and may even catch the eye of one of those gorgeous bridesmaids!

Traditional Wedding Wear for Women Guests

Women spend ages agonising over wedding wear and of course anything we may have in the back of the wardrobe simply won’t do as someone may have seen us wearing it at another occasion! No, the outfit simply has to be bought for the occasion. The first thing you should do is check what the bridesmaids are wearing so that you don’t buy a dress of the same colour. Next, check the season. Winter weddings will require an outfit with plenty of coverage whilst spring and summer means you can show off that lovely tan you’ve been topping up!

purple dovetail cocktail dress

A cocktail dress is perfect wedding wear for a female guest. Debenhams designers Pearce II Fionda have created this Purple Dovetail Cocktail Dress that is wonderfully glamorous and gorgeous! Worn with heels and a little shawl this dress is sure to be a knockout on the day!

The traditional wedding is favoured by all the Royals including the latest happy couple to get married, William and Kate, so carry on in the fine tradition and make yours an unforgettably stylish wedding!