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Weddings are such enjoyable and important occasions. They bring family and friends together in a ceremonial celebration of love and happiness. As time marches on and our lives become ever more hectic and fast-paced, these bridal get togethers have never been so important. They allow us the rare opportunity to relax for the day and really think about what matters in life; love, family and friendship.

However, receiving a wedding invite and getting prepared to go, can often bring an untold amount of stress and anxiety to the wedding guests themselves. Never mind arranging the time off work, the baby sitters, the travel arrangements, the wedding gift and of course the escalating cost of going to a wedding; the number one most stressful part of being asked to a wedding, is choosing and deciding on the outfit you are going to wear.

Choosing an outfit to wear to a wedding can be a really difficult process and not only for women, but for men and kids as well. You want to look your best, you want to look like you've really made an effort, you will be meeting up with people you have not seen in years so it would be awful to turn up looking worse for wear. In addition to all this, there is also the issue that whatever you do, you do not want to outshine the bride.

So where do you begin? Well start by planning everything down to the very last detail. Take a notepad and pen and work your way up from your feet to your head.

Consider the time of year of the wedding. If it is a summer wedding, you may prefer to wear sandals or sling backs, if it is a winter wedding, then boots could be appropriate. If you choose sandals, then you can opt for a summery skirt or dress, but you could just as easily get away with a trouser suit or pantaloons. With boots you may like to show them off with a short skirt or dress.

Next you should consider color. What color suits you best? Write off Black or White immediately. It is not appropriate for a guest to wear white, because if the bride opts for a white gown then you will clash. If is also not appropriate to wear all black as that is traditionally reserved for funerals.

Accessories can be glitzy and glam. Rhinestones, crystals, diamontes really do work well for accessorizing because they go with any color and can make you look far more dressy. Once your footwear and main outfit are decided upon you need to consider a jacket or shawl, a bag or purse, a hat or fascinator and whether or not you will be wearing a buttonhole or corsage.

Finally, your make-up and beauty rule should be considered of equal importance to the outfit and should be planned well in advance. Nails, hair, eyelashes, tan and make-up should all be thought out and appointments booked or products purchased at least ten days before the big day.

A light fake tan can give anyone a healthy glow and if you want to up your effort stakes you really should consider one. Unless you are really accustomed to applying fake tan you should always book an appointment to have this done professionally. m

Your hair is very important and unwashed or unkempt is a big no, no for a wedding day. Having it 'put-up' can be a lovely treat and will keep it looking neat and prettyall day long. If you are wearing a hat, consider how your hair will look once the hat comes off. A fascinator can be worn all day and night, but it may feel a little heavy by the end of the day.

Make-up can cover a multitude of sins and should always be worn. Go to a department store counter and request a make-over a few weeks before the wedding. You do not have to do this on the day, but it can give you some great ideas as to how you will do your make-up and it can refresh your time by offering you a new perspective.

A real eye-opener and must-have for wedding guests nowdays are a set of false eyelashes. Fake eyelashes widen your eyes, make you look younger, give a classy air to your appearance and increase your femininity. Strip lashes are very easy to apply at home and come in many fabulous designs and styles. As a wedding guest it is important you do not go for anything too bold and beautiful, but some minority feather plumes or a hint of sparkle can work wonders in setting off your perfect outfit.

So next time you are invited to a wedding, take the time to note down everything you want to do to ensure you look your very best on the big day. Some things you may not afford, but think outside the box and ask a friend to help you apply your make up or borrow a fascinator.

Most of all, relax and enjoy the day with your family and friends.