The year 2020 was a big one for virtual events of all kinds. From trade shows to baby showers to weddings, they ranged from professional to personal—and all showed that it was entirely possible to make a once in-person occasion occur completely virtually. Add weddings to that list, too. Celebrating the union between two loving people is customarily something people do together. There’s plenty of fun, laughter, joy, and all-around merriment. It’s definitely the type of occasion you want to experience in person.
But when necessity begged for something different, the virtual ceremony was unveiled, so to speak. It allowed happy couples worldwide to share their happiness with their loved ones—all through the magic of the internet. But what are the protocols surrounding this newfangled type of event? Do you need to dress up? Do your makeup? Get your hair done? Get a manicure and a pedicure? Simply put, it all depends. You definitely don’t want to wear the comfy clothes you’ve lived in for the better part of the year. But you don’t necessarily need to go all out either. Here’s what to wear and what to keep in mind.
One of the many factors that set virtual weddings apart from the in-person variety is sheer visibility. No one can actually see what you’re wearing fully unless you make an express point of showing off your outfit on camera. Otherwise, you could wear a pair of slippers with that fancy dress, and no one would be the wiser. Still, there’s something enjoyable about getting all dressed up for a special event—even if you aren’t actually leaving the house.
That doesn’t necessarily mean running out and grabbing fancy special occasion dresses unless you absolutely want to. Otherwise, think dressy in a more practical sense. A chic blouse with some ornate or eye-catching features, like jeweled accents or ruffles, is a great option because it’s right in line with the magnitude of the special event. Or wear your nicest little black dress and add some elegant jewelry for a more formal wedding.
Some couples might prefer that all attendees follow a certain dress code. That’s likely to be the case if they originally had planned an in-person event and were forced to make it a virtual affair instead. There’s a lot for them to contend with in that case, and it may bring some measure of “normalcy” if everyone is all dressed up. It lends the virtual event a sense of authenticity that might help the happy couple feel more at ease than changing up their big day.
So if the dress code requests black tie, definitely go all out and make the most of the moment just as you would if you were attending in person. If it’s more of a casual, beachy vibe, a light cotton summer dress makes an appropriate choice for the occasion. For a cocktail event, try a classic little black dress.
Sure, you look wonderful in white, and it happens to be your color, especially on camera. But on this day, the couple exchanging their vows is likely rocking some white of their own. Whether it’s a dress or a tuxedo, that white ensemble is theirs to own on the big day. Wearing a white dress or top will quickly and very obviously serve as an unwelcome distraction, and that’s not something you want to be guilty of when you’re there to celebrate their special moment!
Think of it as the golden rule of wedding fashion. If you do want to wear something light, think pastels. Soft peaches, baby pinks, and quiet blues are all perfect choices, whether you’re wearing a blouse or a knit dress.
Attending a virtual wedding is a great excuse to break out the fancy accessories. You don’t need to wear the fanciest dress in the world, but simply adding something sparkly or playful to your ensemble can take your outfit from simple to stunning in an instant. Have fun with your options. Try on a chunky necklace that sparkles from every angle. Add a pretty hair clip that you reserve for those extra-special occasions. Try those dazzling drop earrings that would make any red-carpet maven envious.
Wearing fashion scarves in bright colors or fun prints is an easy way to brighten up your look. Use a patterned scarf to complement a neutral dress or top, choose one shade from your printed outfit and make that your scarf color of choice. The idea is to tie it all up in a cohesive way. You’ll feel just dressed up enough for the event.
If you’ve been invited to a virtual wedding, the bottom line is that you should always find out in advance about the dress code. If the couple requests something specific, stick with it. Otherwise, assume it’s a dressy event and use it as a great excuse to have a little fun with your outfit.