The first thought on receiving a wedding invitation will likely be warm and cherished feelings for your friend or loved one. Chances are that this will be followed with a distinct and palpable anxiety – what do you wear? /

It’s no easy feat picking out an outfit for a wedding. Some couples have a clear idea of what they want their wedding to look like well in advance, so the invitation might well list the chosen colour scheme. So if they’ve asked than men wear blue and women green, it’s best not to deviate. Sometimes they’ll be more specific prerequisites to abide by, though typically a colour suggestion will be the limit. It’s expected of guests to make an effort and dress smartly, yet as weddings become less formal, the couple may be fine with smart casual rather than formal wear.

The bride and groom are, without doubt, the stars of the show, but the maid of honour and best man take on important roles. Their outfits will probably reflect this, with a complementary accessory, such as a repeating floral scheme on the bride’s side, and a similar tie or cufflinks for the groomsmen. Weddings aren’t an everyday occurrence, and it can be hard to justify buying a tuxedo, suit or other evening wear with only the intention of wearing it for one day. Though there might already be a suave suit in your wardrobe already, there’s a certain joy in buying a new number for a wedding.

Renting is still a popular option, and as the groom may very well be wearing a rented tux himself, it’s a route worth considering. Bespoke options, on the other hand, offer complete peace of mind, from the cut and colour to the reassurance that it will fit like the proverbial glove. with the intention of wearing it again. Though a stylish dress will make people stand up and take note, the secrete lies in accessorising, so think jewellery, pill box and other hats and shoes. The scheme specified on the invitation may not be your colour, so using accessories to ensure you at least get a splash of colour on your person is a great way to keep the couple happy while not making yourself feel awkward in your outfit.

When it comes to the mother of the bride, there are a number of options befitting her important role in the proceedings. While we’re not advocating that anyone upstage the bride, there’s a certain expectation that her mother makes an impression. One option to consider is for choosing a dress from the same designer, or with a similar cut and style, to complement her daughter. Matching colours is also a darling way to put across a familial theme.

The emphasis will likely be on what the bride is wearing, but that doesn’t give guests the excuse to not put in any effort. There are colour schemes and levels of formalities to consider and when in doubt, just remember that there’ll be photographs and video documenting everything, so it’s best to make an effort.