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How to pack for a weekend wedding

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By Anne L. Fritz

From Bright Smile Beautiful You 

Just before Kate Middleton and Prince William told the world of their engagement, they attended a friend's wedding. Middleton, as usual, was impeccably dressed for the daytime ceremony in a blue dress, black blazer and a festive hat, as is tradition in Britain. Here are a few guidelines for attending a weekend wedding of your own.

Pay attention to the dress code. If the wedding is black-tie, opt for a formal gown that's long; if it's black-tie optional, the dress can hit at the knees or longer. Cocktail attire generally means just that -- wear a favorite party dress that's knee-length or shorter. Headed to a daytime wedding? Choose a dress that's pretty, but more conservative, like the now-famous blue dress Middleton wore when announcing her engagement.

Don't upstage the bride. To let the bride have her moment in the sun, avoid wearing anything white or cream -- those are her colors, and therefore off limits. Other looks to avoid: anything overly flashy or sexy, white-feathered headpieces or tiaras, and leopard print. Take a cue from Middleton and wear a bright color, which feels more celebratory and will pop in the photos.

Get your dress there safely. If you have to fly to your destination, consider carrying your dress on board in a garment bag. Oftentimes, the flight attendant will store it in the first-class coat closet for you. This will ensure that your dress doesn't get lost in transit and will prevent wrinkling.

Be prepared for all kinds of weather. Rain, wind and cold are just a few of the elements that you might be faced with -- even if the ceremony and reception are indoors, you still have to navigate between venues. Pashminas, faux fur stoles and a fitted black blazer like Middleton's are a few options that never go out of style. In addition, you may want to pack two pairs of shoes. If any part of the wedding is on sand or grass -- something you may not know until you get there -- you'll want to trade your stiletto for a sturdier wedge heel.

Anne L. Fritz is the former style director for Life & Style Weekly and has been on staff at Woman's Day and Working Mother. She has contributed to Marie Claire, Glamour and Prevention, and she is the founder of The Jet Set Girls, a website about girls' getaways.

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