The dress is the most obvious part of getting ready for a wedding day, so let’s start there. When most people think of a wedding, they think of a white dress, but it’s always a good idea to check with the bride-to-be before assuming what color or style she’ll want. If she expects you to wear a traditional white dress, find one that’s soft, flowy, and falls along your natural waistline. If the dress is special, look for one made from fabric you love and something you feel comfortable wearing on your wedding day.

When it comes to dressing for a wedding, it’s important to consider how formal the event is. While the wedding invitation may provide some insight, it generally doesn’t say much about how formal or informal the wedding is. A wedding that is both casual and classic, for instance, may call for dressier than you’d wear to a black-tie event, while a wedding that is super-formal may call for attire even more formal than you’d wear to a business meeting. Whether you must go all-out fancy or wear something more comfortable, dressing for a wedding can be tricky. Chances are, you’re going to want to look as glamorous as possible—and no one wants to show up to a wedding looking awkward and out of place.

Weddings are expensive, time-consuming, stressful, and, as the saying goes, a once-in-a-lifetime event. (And by that measure, you’re going to want to dress your best!) But, with so little lead time, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed—especially if you’re on the fence about what’s appropriate as a guest and looking to spend as little as possible.

Here we’ve compiled some useful tips and suggestions on getting a wedding dress.

Follow The Dress Code

A wedding is a once-in-a-lifetime event. This special occasion only happens once, so it is important to look your best. The key to looking your best is following the dress code. Since dress codes vary, it is best to follow expectations for the bride, groom, and guests. Focus on how you are going to dress and not what others are wearing. The wedding hosts typically provide formal attire, so all you need to do is show up looking your best. If you’re not sure what to wear, check the invitation, or check with the hosts to find out. Just remember, a wedding is very formal, so it is important to look your best.

Dress For The Season

Every season of the year has different styles—and the same goes for weddings as well. Spring, for instance, means pastels, daisies, and wearing bright, happy colors. Summer means bright colors, warm weather, and beachy styles. Winter means heavy fabrics, furs, and layers of jewelry.

Dressing for a wedding season can be more than simply throwing on a dress and fancy shoes. The invitation and theme tell you what to wear, but beyond that, you need to pick colors, patterns, and accessories that fit in with the time of year. Spring and summer weddings are generally more casual, with earth tones, pastels, and geometric prints being popular. Fall weddings look more casual as well, with warm colors and tweeds being popular. Winter weddings are often formal, with black, white, and metallics being popular.

Don’t Wear All Black.

We all know black is slimming. It hides our flaws and makes us look slimmer and taller. But black on the wedding day is a mistake. Why? Because black absorbs light, it will be impossible to photograph. So, ditch the black and go for a chic, colorful dress instead.

Don’t Show Too Much Skin.

Summer’s here, and you should be planning your outfits for the wedding that’s coming up this summer. But before you break out your strapless mini dress, you’ll want to consider how you want to present yourself. Not everyone likes exposing too much skin at weddings, and many traditions and cultural expectations in American society hold that women should not show too much skin at a wedding. So, dress conservatively to avoid offending people, but don’t get so conservative that you miss the opportunity to look your best.

Do Consider Your Footwear

Finding the right heels, flats, sandals, or boots can be really tricky when there are so many different styles and colors to consider. And, of course, choosing the right shoes for a wedding requires you to consider the whole family, since one family member’s shoes won’t look right in anyone else’s. After all, you’re going to need your footwear to be comfortable enough to wear all day, stiff enough to remain on your foot, and stylish enough to complement the rest of your ensemble. Your footwear is the first thing people will notice. Whether it’s heels, sneakers, sandals, or a more comfortable option, the style you choose can set the tone for your entire wedding look.