Weddings are hard to dress for in general, but it is a lot harder to find an appropriate outfit when there is a theme involved. Dressing for a wedding is difficult because you don’t want to be underdressed and you don’t want to outshine the bride. You also don’t want to wear an outfit that clashes with the color palette of the wedding, and you don’t want to spend too much money.

You also need to remember that weddings mean a lot of pictures, so you need to make sure the outfit you choose is something you won’t be embarrassed of years down the line. Below is an outline of what you should wear when attending a garden party themed wedding.

Dress or Skirts Only

If you are a woman, it is an unwritten rule that you cannot wear pants- no pantsuits or dress slacks allowed. Instead, you must wear a dress or skirt. Your skirt or dress should be at least knee-length, but it is recommended that the length hits around mid-calf. In terms of the fit of your dress or skirt, it is not acceptable to wear something too tight. In fact, flowy dresses and A-line skirts are pretty typical for garden party themes. In terms of color, you should stay away from white (it’s a wedding, after all), bright red, black, and other neon colors. It is best to wear more muted or pastel tones, floral patterns and polka dots are also okay.

Accessories

Garden party themed weddings are lavish affairs, but they are not quite as formal as black-tie events. Accessories are necessary, but only certain accessories are a perfect fit for this theme. You should leave your pearl necklace and flashy diamonds at home and opt for smaller gold or silver necklaces. Bracelets are okay, but not necessary since they could get in the way or snag on the table cloths. Earrings are expected, but make sure to avoid big hoops.

Garden parties are special because you can wear accessories, like fancy hats that are normally not acceptable at other weddings. It is also important to keep in mind that this type of wedding is predominantly outside, so there is a greater chance that you will lose any dropped jewelry and accessories in the grass.

Shoes

Just like you are expected to wear a dress or a skirt, you are expected to wear heels. It is not acceptable to wear sandals or tennis shoes, so be prepared to walk in heels all evening. Not all heels are acceptable, though. Particularly, you should avoid too-high stilettos; they are not comfortable to wear for a long period of time and are too harsh for the soft atmosphere at garden parties. You should also avoid wearing bright reds and other neon colors, as well. Wedges are okay, so long as they are neutral-colored, and you have a fresh pedicure. The best option would be to wear low pumps that are closed-toe and in a neutral color like a nude or light pink.

When dressing for a garden party themed wedding, remember that the theme is in place for a reason. It is the bride’s day, and if you want to make sure that she has the best day then you should follow these guidelines.