A Guide on What to Wear to a New Year’s Eve Wedding

What better way to ring in the new year than in style? Here's a guide on the best fits for a New Year's Eve wedding.

By Monica Mercuri

What to Wear to a New Year’s Eve Wedding
Photo by Copper and Coal Photography

The First Look ✨

  • Determining what to wear to a New Year’s Eve wedding doesn’t have to be difficult, in fact, this is the prime time to get glammed up.
  • The dress code and locale of the wedding ceremony will help determine the length of your dress or if extra sparkle is needed.
  • If sequins and embellishments aren’t for you, try a jumpsuit or pants suit in metallic hues so you still shine at the NYE wedding celebration.

Few occasions call for a red carpet moment, but a New Year’s Eve wedding ceremony is the best place to pull out all the stops to ring in the new year and toast to the newly married couple. While it’s not tradition to go over the top glitz and glam with the potential of stealing the attention from the bride and groom, it’s safe to assume the December 31 date was chosen for a reason—and that includes allowing guests to shine on their big day.

When deciding upon New Year’s Eve wedding guest attire, color palette and style should be considered, but also think about what will make you look party-perfect from cocktail hour until after the ball drops. Here are some tips on what to wear as a guest to an NYE wedding.

A Guide on What to Wear to a New Year’s Eve Wedding- SR Photo Credit // Kelsey Halm Photography

What’s the Dress Code?

Defer to the invitation to determine what the dress code is for the wedding. A New Year’s Eve wedding can be more formal, so you can wear a full-length dress, long sleeves, or even pack on accessories like beads and sequins. If the invite says semi-formal or black tie optional, you can pull out all the stops with an outfit that is worthy of a red carpet. But the best way to go about picking out your outfit is to also consider the vibe of the celebration and the location. If it’s cocktail hour, it’s okay to go with a short dress; if it’s a black-tie event, wear the long dress.

Do Wear Black

Normally, all black can be frowned upon for a wedding. It’s not a funeral, after all. But, since it’s New Year’s Eve, a black dress with some beading and or sequins is a festive fun way to celebrate.

Do Not Wear White

New Year’s Eve weddings are formal and festive, but you still have to be mindful of not wearing white. White is reserved for the bride and groom. Unless the New Year’s Eve wedding invitations ask for guests to wear white, it’s best to stay away from it and wear another color.

Avoid Casual Materials

Stay away from casual materials, including knit and cotton dresses. And avoid wearing summer dresses, since those tend to be more flowy and casual looking. Make sure your dress isn’t too short and revealing. If you do go more low key, dress it up with shimmering accents.

It’s Okay to Wear Pants

The tuxedo look is in for both men and women and works for any New Year’s Eve wedding. There are even some cute satin or velvet jumpsuits that you can dress up for a winter wedding.

Add Sequins and Shimmer to Make Your Look Shine

A Guide on What to Wear to a New Year’s Eve Wedding- SR Photo Credit // Danto Photography

According to David’s Bridal, wearing crystals and adding a keyhole upgrade a dress to semi-formal. Keep the sparkle going by carrying a shimmering handbag and wearing shoes to match. When in doubt, a safe bet is always a sequin-embellished dress.

Twinkle Twinkle and Shine Bright

If sequins aren’t for you, there are other ways to add a hint of sparkle. Metallic colors are in, especially on New Year’s Eve. Whether it’s silver, gold, or even rose gold, metallic dresses with subtle amounts of sparkle or textures like velvet make a bold statement. Get even more creative by finding a dress that has fringe or even feathers around the bottom of the dress or pants. Plunging necklines also add to a look to give it just the right amount of glam.

Staying Warm at a New Year’s Eve Wedding

When it comes to a cold-weather New Year’s Eve wedding, you’ll want to make sure you look stylish yet stay warm. Opt for long sleeves or wear a stole, wrap, or cover up like a caplet to keep you warm and fashionable. If you plan to wear a short dress, shimmery tights are another way to go.

However, if the wedding is being held in a tropical destination, you’ll be warm already, so show those shoulders and legs.

Zola’s resources can help your guests navigate everything from dress code to what to purchase from your registry. Zola is here to help make it an effortless experience as you plan your wedding and as your guests prepare to celebrate your day.

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