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Sometimes when you get caught up in all the planning of a big event like a wedding, it's easy to just find gowns you think will be appropriate. But you really should put some thought into which gowns the ladies in your wedding party will wear and which tuxedos the guys will have. Once you've decided the style of your wedding, whether you'll be wearing formal or casual clothes will naturally fall into place. Here are some guidelines to follow for a typical formal wedding ceremony and corresponding reception.

Bridesmaids

Before you hit the road for your favorite bridal salon, you might want to actually stop by a couple nice department stores and check out their formal departments. You may be surprised if you find something you like at a fraction of the price you'd pay at a salon.

When it's time to pick out the gowns for your bridesmaids, you'll want to find something that will be comfortable for them to wear and that they won't feel out of place in. It is customary for all members of the bridal party to wear the same style of gown. But that isn't necessarily a rule. If you want, you can pick out one particular color that each bridesmaid needs to stick to and have them choose the style that fits her individually.

Groomsmen

It's much easier to find what would be appropriate for the groomsmen than it is for what would be appropriate for bridesmaids. Groomsmen normally wear the same style of tuxedo as the groom. Again, this isn't a rule, just what customarily happens. You do, however, want all your groomsmen at least wearing the identical tuxedo. To add a bit of style to your wedding, you may want to even consider having them wear bow ties that would match the color of the bride's maid's gowns.

The Mothers

The bride's mother traditionally picks out whatever gown she wants to wear. Then the groom's mother follows by choosing a gown of similar style. However, choosing the same style is a definitely fashion no-no.

The Fathers

The fathers of the bride and groom have what is possibly the easiest job of all of those in the wedding party. They can choose to either wear a tuxedo like the ones the groomsmen wear, or they can wear a nice suit.

The little people in the wedding party>/b>

If you have a little boy or girl in your wedding party, they can wear outfits like the bridesmaids and groomsmen, or they can branch out on their own a bit. For girls, a nice white frilly gown is always nice. And for the boys, feel free to let them wear shorts and tennis shoes. That will make them look quite adorable.

What should you wear during a wedding rehearsal?

Generally, wedding rehearsals are casual occasions. If you're in a wedding party and aren't sure what you should wear, ask the bride or groom. Generally for guys, a nice pair of jeans or khakis and a button-down shirt is appropriate. For the ladies, a nice blouse with slacks will do you just fine.