Wedding Guests Guide

You may have had their Save-The-Date card up on your fridge for months, so you’ve known the big day was coming. Maybe you just got the happy couple’s invitation for their wedding. “Black tie optional.” You check your mailbox the next day only to find another invitation. “On the beach.”

While those both sound like fun celebrations, you will likely be looking for very different attire. Don’t forget, you need to find the perfect gift for the lovebirds. At Cameron Village, we know weddings. We know some of the most important people aren’t even the bride and groom. Guests make the party happen! We’re here to help wedding VIP’s like you have a great day too.

The 5:00 pm Wedding

Nothing causes the wedding guest confusion quite like “5:00 pm” or “Black tie optional.” For men, it’s self-explanatory. You have the option of a tuxedo or not. Billy Rustin with Jos. A. Banks is an expert on men’s apparel and has been dressing men in Raleigh for occasions for many years. “Many men opt for a dark suit for a ‘black tie optional’ wedding. I like to recommend black or a dark charcoal gray.”

Rustin points men to the contemporary, tailored style wedding guests seek. “More of a European cut or slim fit.” The experts at Jos. A. Banks take pride in the heritage of quality and workmanship in their menswear and offer prices below competitors. You can find a suit to wear on many occasions after this wedding.


For women, options vary with what she feels looks best on her. At Kannon’s Clothing Women’s Sales Associates Joan Holder and Joanne Lewis are ready to help ladies look great at an evening wedding. Holder says, “They like us to help when they have a ‘black tie optional’ invitation. ‘Should I wear long or short? We try to direct them to what will look good on them, on their body type.” She shows a bright, elegant cocktail dress. Holder says they ask the guest what they know about the wedding. “Many don’t want to look like the mother-of-the-bride. They want to look like a guest. You don’t want to outdo the wedding party,”

Lewis shows a longer floral dress and a cocktail dress with just the right amount of shimmer embroidery. She says, “Many are looking for a ‘Sunday dress,’ meaning a dress they can wear again after the wedding.”

Beach or Outdoor Wedding

So many brides and grooms are opting outside and tying the knot in North Carolina’s natural beauty. Cameron Village has some beautiful options for an afternoon wedding in the garden, or a seaside ceremony where all the guests have their toes in the sand.

Palm Avenue, Raleigh’s signature Lilly Pulitzer retailer has the newest Lilly patterns perfect for an outdoor afternoon wedding. Sales Associate Alexis Currie at Palm Avenue knows wedding guests want to look their best even if it gets warm during an outdoor ceremony, “Short styles that are cool! If it’s Lilly, everyone is looking for a pattern.”

Martika Rush, Assistant Manager at Bevello says women are coming in looking for the perfect dress to wear to a beach wedding. She shows the store’s assortment of maxi dresses many in the company’s own boutique lines Bolte, bisouxx and BNDI, “We have a lot cool maxis that you could wear to the beach for the ceremony. Many have a raw hem or a beachier vibe.”

The Gift

You look the part of the perfect guest, but the perfect guest knows you can’t show up empty handed! Charlotte’s is Raleigh’s best place for wedding gifts. Store Manager Chelsea Vick knows what brides and grooms can use for the rest of their lives together or simply cherish as a keepsake.

Vick says Charlotte’s line of Matouk Milagro Towels embroidered with their initials are hugely popular for couples. “We carry Matouk in-stock so people can take it with them that day but we also do custom embroidery that brides often register for.”

Charlotte’s offers the latest in home accessories. Vick says, “We do custom pewterware and trays and our custom wedding albums are so special for brides.”

Cheers to the couple of course, but cheers to you too. Wedding guests really make the party!


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