Barn weddings can be beautiful–an old barn converted into a wedding venue holds a certain allure. But what to wear? Whether you’re a man or woman, I’ve got you covered with ideas for the perfect outfit.
So, what should you wear to a barn wedding? As a general rule, barn weddings are pretty rustic, so nice earthy tones are great for both women and men. In spring and summer, brighter colors are also welcome. Usually, barn weddings are casual affairs, so a mini or midi dress for women, even boho style ones and floral prints, are welcome. Maxi dresses also work well. For men, nice pants and a dress shirt or a suit matched with funky shoes are a great option.
Below you’ll find specific outfit suggestions, as well as lots of tips for what to think about when choosing your outfit.
I’ve also included some ideas if formal wear is required!
What To Wear To A Barn Wedding
Below you will find some ideas for different outfits, as well as things to consider (such as the theme of the wedding).
And do read those parts of this blog before you decide on an outfit, as there really are some important considerations.
Barn Wedding Outfit Ideas For Female Guests
Traditionally, barn weddings are more casual affairs, so full ball gowns aren’t required unless specified on the invite.
Instead, more rustic and boho-inspired numbers tend to come out to shine.
In summer, a sun dress isn’t out of place.
Funky touches, such as a nice hat or a cool pair of boots, are also welcome.
If you want to make it fancier, a mini or midi dress instead of a full-length dress is recommended.
Earthy tones, as well as some bright colors in summer, form the usual palette for a barn wedding.
Floral prints, as well as more outrageous prints, can also be worn, though bold prints are usually not recommended for more traditional weddings.
With that in mind, here are some dresses to consider for a barn wedding!
This tulle and lace cocktail dress in a nice pink or purple (or any color but white or champagne, really) is formal enough to wear to a party yet fun enough to wear to a casual wedding.
Another tulle and lace dress to consider is this one. It’s got a nice off-shoulder cut.
If you’re looking for something a bit more traditional, this off-shoulder satin cocktail dress could be just the ticket! It has that Southern feel to it and would be perfect for a spring or summer wedding.
Another dress that’s also quite traditional is this sassy A-line dress with a v-neckline and spaghetti straps. Perfect for a summer wedding!
For something a bit more playful and short, this lace and tulle number will certainly make you stand out in a crowd. Wear it with a nice pashmina, throw, or jacket.
Want something full-length? A maxi dress with a floral pattern is perfect for a barn wedding. If you want something with a bit of sleeve, then this is another floral option.
For something a bit more intricate, this floral maxi dress is a good option.
You can choose a tasteful peach or a fun yellow. If you prefer something a tad more modest but with fun sequin detail, then check out this maxi dress.
If you’re after something more elegant, this full-length dress with a daring (but not in-your-face) v-line open back is a good option.
While elegant, you could get away with wearing it to a semi-formal wedding.
Should the wedding be a formal one, then this full-length dress with spaghetti straps and a nice slit is a good option.
Barn Wedding Outfit Ideas For Male Guests
As mentioned in the section above, barn weddings often have a rustic feel, and the dress code is therefore usually semi-casual, as opposed to formal.
That said, there’s always the exception to the rule.
If it says it’s white tie, you will need to wear a black tail coat, white dress shirt, white shirt, a white bow tie, and black trousers.
Black tie is slightly less formal and requires a black, midnight blue, or black dinner suit.
The suit can be two-piece or three-piece and is worn with a white dress shirt and black bow tie.
You can see an example of a white tie outfit here (and buy it, should fancy take you).
If it’s a more traditional barn wedding where the dress code is casual, you can have a bit of fun with your outfit!
Earthy tones usually work well with barn weddings that are nature-inspired. However, in summer, bright colors and pastels are also great options.
For casual attire, khaki pants with a shirt and a blazer can work well. Or dress pants and a shirt.
You can also wear a suit, but make it more casual by pairing it with funky footwear, such as a pair of fancy sneakers.
You can have fun with quirky shirts and waistcoats, too. Jeans, on the other hand, even if worn with a shirt and blazer, are a bit too casual.
Unless, of course, the wedding has a cowboy theme and it’s recommended you wear jeans and cowboy boots!
As earthy tones are all the rage for a fall or winter barn wedding, this rust colored suit or this green one would work really well. You don’t have to go for the full three-piece outfit.
Another suit that would work well for a fall or winter wedding is this burgundy one.
As mentioned, brighter colors are often welcome at a barn wedding, so this blue suit would be an ideal fit.
It’s not a too outrageous color, either, but if you like, you could go purple or pink!
If it’s a summer wedding, a nice light blue suit would be just right. If you prefer one shade darker, this one will do the trick.
Looking for just a blazer? Why not choose between an orange one for any season, a light green one for a spring wedding, or a pink one for a spring or summer wedding?
What Not To Wear To A Barn Wedding
Unless it specifically states that formal attire is required, you should not show up to a barn wedding in tailcoats and ball gowns.
As previously mentioned, going the other way and showing up in jeans is also a no-no unless the invite specifies that it’s OK.
Likewise, while a casual dress is welcome, a mini-skirt and tank top is taking things too far in the casual direction.
Footwear that’s going to be destroyed if you have to trek through grass is another no-no.
Other Barn Wedding Outfit Considerations
Check The Invite
The first thing you need to do is read the invite.
Does it state that it’s a white tie or black tie event?
Or that the clothing is semi-casual or casual?
If it says nothing and it’s a barn-style wedding, then you can assume that it’s not required that you wear formal dress. I.e., it’s not a black tie or white tie event.
Is There A Theme?
Secondly, is there any mention of a theme? If it’s a Western-inspired wedding, for example, you can show up wearing cowboy boots.
It may even mention you should dress in accordance with the theme.
Many people have wedding themes where they don’t require you to dress according to the theme, but you can still be inspired by it.
Like, say, wearing a cowboy tie instead of a regular tie, cravat, or bowtie.
Some barn weddings have no particular theme–the couple just like the barn they found for their wedding.
Yet others have a theme completely unrated to the barn–such as a Harry Potter-inspired wedding.
Most people who choose a barn for their wedding and don’t have some outlandish theme to go with it, however, are aiming for a country-inspired wedding.
Which, in turn, usually means casual or semi-casual wear.
Thirdly, consider the color palette.
Does the invite state specific colors for you to wear? If it does, adhere to it.
Also, note that women aren’t supposed to wear black (funeral wear), cream, champagne, or white (bridal wear).
Men aren’t supposed to wear black jeans or black shirts but can wear a black suit if it’s a black tie event. If it’s not black tie, opt for navy or dark grey if you want to wear something dark.
Consider The Season
Then, there’s the season to consider.
Darker colors are usually welcome in fall and winter, as well as bright reds and oranges, while spring and summer call for pastel colors and bright colors at large.
Speaking of seasons, you’ll want to dress in layers if possible.
A church, or barn, can get drafty, and if dancing outdoors, it might get a tad chilly at night.
On the flip side, there might be heaters that work all too well in keeping the venue toasty.
A nice pashmina or throw, as well as a jacket or coat for the ladies, and a blazer or suit jacket for the men are good to have on hand.
And ladies, if you wear a long dress or skirt, you can always sneak some stockings or tights into your purse to put on if you get cold.
Even if wearing sandals, you can wear tights without feet, so that no one will see you’re wearing them…
Consider The Logstics
Consider that you might have to track through some mud or dusty paths to get to a barn.
And if the reception is outdoors, stilettos are likely to sink deep into the grass.
You may therefore want to bring shoes you can walk in to get to the barn if parking somewhere dusty or muddy, as well as considering more practical heels for any time spent on the grass.
If formal dress is required, women are expected to wear heels, but there’s no saying they can’t be practical heels!
And by the end of the day, your feet and overall health come first, so if you think you’ll injure yourself wearing stilettos, opt for more “practical” footwear.
It may sound boring, but there’s plenty of footwear that’s both practical and beautiful.
Can you wear pants to a barn wedding?
You may be able to wear pants to a barn wedding, it depends on the formality of the dress code. It is generally best to ask the couple or check in advance.
Check out my other wedding attire guides:
- What To Wear To A Wedding At A Winery
- What To Wear To A Wedding In Las Vegas
- What To Wear To A California Wedding
Hey, I’m Allison – a recent bride, an expectant mother and the chief editor here at Everlasting Occasion. Here I document all the knowledge and experience I accumulated while researching and planning my dream wedding and ahead of our new baby. Here, I try to answer those many questions couples have when planning their dream wedding, while equally, helping expectant parents ahead of their new arrival!