WTW: Okanagan wedding

What to wear to an Okanagan wedding

'Tis the season for outdoor nuptials, and we are in the midst of Okanagan wedding season.

With sunny days and long warm nights, this region makes an ideal and popular location for couples throughout Western Canada to tie the knot.

I was fortunate to join a wonderful wedding on a quintessential bright Okanagan day at Shylynn Ranch near Falkland recently . The ceremony was on a grassy field and the reception in an open-air, dirt-floored hall.

While magical in its setting, such events present unique challenges plus fashionable opportunities for what to wear.

The main benefit, as well as the main detriment, to an outdoor wedding is the weather. In the Okanagan, yes, it is hot.

But no matter what the thermometer reads, it’s still not appropriate at a wedding to show too much skin. Likewise, the warmth makes a clingy outfit undesirable.

So my suggestion is to look for a loose and flowy sundress or jumpsuit made in a natural fibre such as silk or cotton.

Unless noted on the invitation, the tradition of avoiding white or black still applies. Florals and stripes in pale to bright tones make great options.

Balance your desire for style with comfort. You will be in this outfit for several hours — standing, sitting, dancing, hugging, and eating.

Invest in undergarments that won’t show but that stay in place and do their job. Nothing worse than feeling itchy, pinched or sweaty while speeches are going on. Not to even mention the need to pull a strapless bra up. 

Bring along a matching pashmina or light cardigan for the evening when temperatures drop.

If the event will be on grass, think carefully about footwear. Wedges or block heels will prevent you from sinking into the field. 

However, if you are set on your stilettos, there are clear plastic heel protectors that add more base space to the bottom of the heel to stop you from spiking the lawn, plus protecting your shoes against damage. 

Sole Mates protectors are available at many stores, including Strut Footwear and Bliss Bridal in Kelowna.

Weddings can be long events, so if you know your feet will become uncomfortable in heels come nighttime, bring along a pair of folding flats to change into. 

As there is no guarantee of shade during the ceremony, cover any exposed flesh with sunscreen. And if you’re on grass, a quick spray of bug repellent around the ankles could save you from itching the next day.

Take as small a bag as you can. Schlepping a large bag with a summery outfit just doesn’t look right, plus you don’t want to have to fret about your tote on the field or under the reception table.

I prefer taking a petit wallet-on-a-chain or simple clutch with a wriststrap. Really, all you need to carry is a credit card, ID, lipstick, packable flats (if needed), phone/camera, and tissue.

Especially the tissue. Trust me.


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About the Author

Marla is best known for her 19-year career in the local charitable sector as a fund development and marketing manager with the Okanagan Regional Library, United Way, UBC Okanagan, and Kelowna Community Resources. 

In 2014, Marla and her husband decided to take a break from the work world, and, four years, later they are still enjoying Okanagan summers, winters in Mexico, and extensive travel. 

Marla has had a life-long passion for fashion, designing her own graduation dress and formal gown for the 1990 Miss Interior competition before age 20.

In 2014, she was named one of nine Style Ambassadors for a year-long marketing campaign at Orchard Park Mall. Her motto is “Life is short...you might as well go through it looking good."

If you have a style question or topic you’d like Marla to cover in this column, contact her at [email protected]

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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