What To Wear To A Wedding….When You’re Not A Guest! The Celebrant

by | Fashion Wisdom, Industry Education, Wisdom


Ms Herringbone

Australian Bush Wedding

Photo by Luke Lornie

It’s often a challenge to sort out what you’re wearing when you’re a guest at a wedding. Is there a dress code? Is the ceremony indoor or outdoors? Will you need comfy shoes for walking/dancing/diving for the bouquet? Is there a theme? Tough right?

Spare a thought for those at the wedding who aren’t guests. If you thought you had it tough, what about the people who need to fit in but not stand out? Those who need to be professional but not over-dressed. Those who may also need to climb a tree.

We sat down with some industry professionals to find out how they approach dressing for the big day. This stylish lot have provided some fabulous tips and advice when working with vendors for your big day. We’ll be asking a celebrant, photographers and the band for their thoughts on this fashionable issue!

THE CELEBRANT – Meriki Comito, Simply Celebrant

Australian Celebrant

Photo by Pro Shot Photography

1. How do you decide on your outfit for a wedding? What are the variables that you would take into account?

I always discuss the dress code, style and colour theme for the ceremony with the Bride and Groom and then offer them some options as to what they might like to see me in. I also try to take into account the location of the ceremony, as well as the colour of the bridesmaids gowns and the groomsmen’s attire, to try and complement the entire event as a whole. Celebrants in particular also end up spending a lot of time in front of the camera with the Bride and Groom and could possibly spoil a gorgeous photo if their cleavage was the focal point of the ring exchange, or the signing of the registry! Jingly jewellery can also become distracting, as can sparkly pieces that reflect too much light.

2. Have you ever been asked to wear something unusual or “themed”?

Not yet! But I love to dress up – whether that be formal, cocktail, or fancy dress! So I would definitely NOT be opposed to wearing whatever the Bride and Groom deemed appropriate for their day – A Fairy Godmother perhaps? Just saying…

3. Do you have a piece that is a particular “favourite” or the perfect “fallback”? 

Like most ladies out there, any new purchase is my favourite! And although my husband is constantly telling me that I need to stop buying dresses, a new one always seems to find it’s way home with me each time I head out to “pick up a few things from the shop”…. But a simple and stylish black cocktail dress is always the perfect choice for any ceremony, with no particular theme or dress code.

4. What advice or tips would you give both couples and other professionals? 

Brides, in particular, often spend months planning their wedding down to the tiniest of details, so I strongly believe that a celebrant’s own choice of attire on the day, without consulting the Bride & Groom first, could be detrimental to the styling efforts of the couple. There are already many professional industry service providers out there who understand completely how important it is to be dressed appropriately at a wedding, so my advice to couples, is to never feel uncomfortable about imposing a strict dress code onto your service providers in order to attain a streamlined visual impact.

Meriki Comito of Simply Celebrant is a professional and experienced younger celebrant in Melbourne, who is genuinely passionate about creating and presenting ceremonies that truly reflect every couple she meets. Meriki is an Australian Bridal Industry Award Finalist and member of the Australian Federation of Civil Celebrants. 

  • [email protected] Over Function says:
    April 11, 2013 at 11:19 am

    Feel passionately about this. Thirteen years in business and I continue to be shocked by what I see some vendors turned out in when they rock up to venues. Photographers (sorry but it’s true) are a common offender…at black tie formal weddings in five star venues I have witnessed one shooter rock up in very old skinny jeans half way down his backside, a faded black t-shirt and an old flannie shirt tied around his waist. He had never leave the surf hair to match. Stand out in a crowd of tuxedos and formal long dresses? You bet. Then there was the shooter who turned up in what can only be described as a bad house dress – it was old, worn out, and to make matters worse…really short. Teamed with a really scruffy pair of flats. Every time she bent down to shoot we got to see her underwear. So not a good look. Then there are the styling companies we see arriving at venues as we’re leaving from an earlier event, turned out in jeans, shorts, minis, plunging necklines, thongs, maxi dresses, you name it…everything but anything remotely professional. Interestingly clients will complain to us, and share their distress at how vendors rocked up, but they won’t tell the vendors themselves because by then it’s just too late…and they worry if they say something to the shooter it will impact on their shots. No guessing just how many people they then go on to tell not to hire that particular vendor. Professional attire is not that hard…truly.

    • mary-Lou says:
      May 12, 2014 at 1:43 pm

      Hi there,

      I’ve been asked by some friends to perform the duties of a celebrant at their wedding. The wedding is set in Bali, and the bride and groom will be very dressed up, classic wedding style.

      I’m not one for dressing up, and have gone down the road of having a simple dress made out of a black kimono, with colourful patterns running along the bottom.

      What are your thoughts on wearing black at a wedding? I’m definitely running it by the bride and groom, just wanted to get some other professional opinions on the topic to calm my nerves a little.

      Would love to hear from you.

  • Suzie - Lovely Day Pictures says:
    April 11, 2013 at 12:34 pm

    I am SO glad that you’re covering this. I do video and photography for weddings and need to look smart but not too much like a CIA agent (ie, all black). I need pockets, I need to climb trees (I like how you mentioned that in the article) I need to be protected from the sun and kneel both in dirt and on a dance floor. I usually wear black jeans and a pretty blouse, but I can’t wait to hear how other people handle the situation.

  • Manisa says:
    April 25, 2013 at 9:18 pm

    Cute dress, Meriki! It goes really wonderfully with the lilies as well 🙂

    Suzie – check out our answers (as photographers) to these questions. I agree, it’s tricky when you need your outfit to cover all those bases.

  • Meriki Comito says:
    October 2, 2014 at 12:33 am

    I just came across this post again & saw your comment!
    Thanks Manisa! xx


  • Friday Roundup - Polka Dot Bride says:
    January 11, 2015 at 12:57 pm

    […] Advice – First Look – To Wait or Not To Wait 4. Expert Advice – What to Wear To A Wedding When You’re Not A Guest – The Celebrant 5. Expert Advice – Journal of a Wedding Photographer – Rock the Role of […]



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