Best Handbags for Wedding Guests. A beautiful handbag can be the perfect addition to your wedding guest outfit. In fact, some might say it’s imperative. A handbag is essential for stashing those important little items that you may need throughout the day, and it provides the perfect finishing touch to your fancy finery. A darling crossbody purse or a shimmery little clutch punctuates your outfit and draws all the separate elements together in one fell swoop.
So in the midst of all your wedding attire planning, deciding on a great handbag is crucial. And so today, I have rounded up 15 outfits with handbags to show you just how you can rock yours. These handbags will go with pretty much any wedding outfit so don’t stress if you can’t make up your mind! There’s a little something here for everyone.
What kind of bag do you wear to a wedding?
When it comes to picking out the right bag for your wedding guest outfit, here is something you should bear in mind: big purses, totes, or other oversized bags are not your best option. You want small to medium-sized purses, something that complements your outfit but doesn’t overwhelm it, and something that tucks neatly out of the way when you are sitting or standing. A big purse is not only a hassle to carry around but it’s just not the “thing” when it comes to wedding guest attire. Keep this in mind and stick to small crossbody purses, clutches, and handbags.
The best handbag for a wedding outfit is one that coordinates well with the rest of your attire; isn’t overly big; is a little fancier than your everyday purse, and has some embellishment or detailing that elevates it to semi-formal status.
But before you relegate yourself to diamante encrusted clutches, keep in mind that a summer wedding differs greatly from a winter wedding, and what you wear to each will vary! So a bamboo birdcage purse or a rattan-style bag can work for a summer wedding outfit (especially a beach one!) but definitely not a winter one. Keep this in mind as you go through these pictures!
Where to Buy ?
While I won’t be linking every purse featured in today’s post, I wanted to include a short list of places where you can find beautiful wedding-approved handbags, as well as a favorite pick from each. I know how frustrating it is when looking for a particular item not knowing where to start or what places to look so hopefully this cuts down some of the guesswork (and stress) for you!
- Kate Spade. When it comes to beautiful clutches and small purses, few beat out Kate Spade. I love this beautiful “burgess court chain clutch” that will elevate any wedding outfit instantly.
- COACH Outlet. Nothing beats a classic Coach clutch, and the Anna Foldover Crossbody Clutch is proof.
- DSW. I love an affordable option and this DSW crossbody bag, which comes in three colors, is just perfection.
- Neiman Marcus. Home to dozens of high-end designer-labeled bags, there is a lot to choose from at Neiman Marcus, but I think the Flora Bella La Paz Clutch Bag is just darling as well as the Marc Jacobs Colorblock Leather Chain Crossbody Bag, which pairs with pretty much anything.
- Nordstrom. Nordstrom is another place that has lots of options but you might have to do a little digging to find wedding-level clutches or purses. I really like the Aneka Pleated Shine Clutch as well as the Stripe Envelope Clutch.
Now that you know where to look for handbags, here are 15 wedding guest outfits I have compiled to show you not only the types of handbags that are most popular for wedding attire but how you can style them along with your outfit to achieve the perfect look. Let’s get started!
↓ 15 – Clutch
Here is a perfectly dreamy ensemble that shows the potential a beautiful fold-over clutch can bring to an outfit. When wearing a rich, deep tone like wine red or burgundy, using a contrasting (but complementary) colored clutch perfectly highlights it to perfection and draws the eye. In this case, the gold of the clutch contrasts with the deep wine color of the dress while the nude heels elongate the leg and provide the perfect backdrop to the richer tones of the ensemble.
↓ 14 – All-Red Wedding Guest Outfit
When wearing monochrome, it’s always a good idea to use pieces of varying tints. In this case, we have the red lace dress and the dark pink pumps with a handbag that brings both colors together! It’s the perfect blend, it never overwhelms, and it highlights this lovely lady’s complexion to perfection.
↓ 13 – Evening Clutches
Soft, ruffled dresses are the perfect wedding attire, whether it’s a summer wedding or a fall wedding. I love this whimsical, tiered dress in soft, faded pink as well as the round handbag. The shape of the bag visually balances out the floaty layers of the dress, and the simple, dainty heels provide the perfect finishing touch. A handbag like this one is great if you have a few extra times that a tiny clutch won’t be able to hold. Overall, this feminine ensemble is so sweet and just the right flavor for a wedding!
↓ 12 – Navy blue, gold-accented purse
Great for a spring or summer wedding, this blue-and-white ensemble, accented with navy, is refreshing and different. While I love a floral dress, sometimes it’s nice to see a deviation from regular spring wedding attire. In this case, the look is all about simplicity. And the accessories really stand out, as well as the footwear. These striped heels echo the slim stripes on the dress, and is perfectly complemented by the navy blue, gold-accented purse. Add some red lipstick and diamond stud earrings and you have yourself a lovely look!
↓ 11 – Crossbody purse paired with a ruffled mini dress
Designer bags are a popular choice for many wedding guests. After all, how often do we get the chance to really dress up (in a non-professional setting, that is) and show off our love of handbags? If you have a brand-name purse or designer bag you have been dying to show off, now is your time! For this look, we see a calfskin brown crossbody purse paired with a ruffled mini dress. The effect of the brown against the two neutral tones of the dress is simply stunning.
↓ 10 – Handheld clutch
The neutrality of this handheld clutch is a fantastic choice when thinking about investing in a pricier evening clutch. Rather than buying a super colorful or loud-printed clutch, choosing a neutral tan or beige means that you can pair it with just about any outfit for any formal occasion. In this case, it pairs beautifully with this pale pink embroidered dress that is so stunning on it’s own, you need few accessories. A statement pair of earrings and some nude or metallic heels will tie the look together nicely. A clutch like this one would also go fabulously with any of these Cutout Dresses.
↓ 9 – Pink Lace Dress and Crossbody Purse
For a spring wedding, a baby pink lace dress is just darling. Add the pièce de résistance of a designer bag and you have yourself quite the eye-catching look. When wearing soft colors like this, you want to avoid footwear that will break up the look, so stay away from black heels and stick to nude heels or even a darker shade of pink for a semi-monochromatic look. If you like this look, do check out these Cute Lace-up Dresses That are Trending These Days.
↓ 8 – With Blue Lace Dress
Here is another favorite of mine. I love rich, deep colors paired with brown – particularly, deep blue. It is the perfect contrast and shouts stylish elegance. For this look, a deep blue lace dress makes for the perfect wedding outfit, whether it’s in spring, summer, or even fall. (Though you might have to add a coat or light jacket.) From the statement earrings to the simple elegance of the larger clutch, this chic ensemble is feminine and stylish and super wedding-worthy.
↓ 7 – FOr women Over 50
When accessorizing an eye-catching floral dress like this one, you want a simple, elegant and neutral handbag to tie together with the look. I really love this simple purse that slips over the shoulder. If you are like me and always worried you’ll misplace a small clutch, having a handbag with a nifty strap is so helpful! Where it sits next to the body is flattering too, because this wrap dress highlights the waist and the bag helps draw the eye to that area as well.
↓ 6 – Green Jumpsuit and Tan Handbag
Here is another example of a rich color contrasting with a brown handbag. The mix of textures is quite fabulous too: the draping fabric of the jumpsuit contrasts nicely with the quilted, almost shimmery handbag. The long necklace and choker pairing finish off this stunning outfit and tie the whole thing together beautifully. For heels, true nude or metallic style heels to echo the jewelry up top.
↓ 5 – With Jewel Tones
In all the hustle and bustle of attending a wedding, it’s good to remember that you can bring your own personal sense of style to any look and use the opportunity to wear things you normally don’t get the chance to. In this case, some shimmery satin heels and a pleated chiffon dress in a contrasting tone of yellow. Both are jewel-toned and beautifully accented with a small black rhinestone clutch. The overall effect of this outfit is just stunning!
Shop the handbag here:
↓ 4 – With Ruched Puff Sleeve Dress
Before anything else, let’s address the big no-no about this picture: the model is wearing white! And unless you have express clearance from the bride about that, you should really steer clear of white frocks… nobody wants to upstage the bride, after all. But this gal is rocking some serious bling by way of a knockout purse, which is why we are here. Plus, it really is an adorable dress, and you could probably find one similar to it or just like it in another color.
Shop the handbag here:
↓ 3 – Wedding Handbag for Mother of the Bride
As mother-of-the-bride, an off-white dress or one in a light beige or tan is perfectly fine. This statement-making dress is perfectly complemented by a color-block messenger bag of black and white. The overall look is neutral and chic and super stylish. Finish off the ensemble with some metallic leather sandals and you are ready to go.
↓ 2 – Accessories to Wear with a Wedding Guest Outfit
The perfect handbag is the ultimate accessory for wedding guest attire. We know this. But what other pieces would be complementary or help tie an outfit together? In this case, a beautiful felt hat pairs beautifully with the Chanel quilted handbag and this floral lace dress. Because less is more, the model doesn’t pile on the jewelry, but lets the individual pieces speak for themselves.
↓ 1 – Bamboo bag
Finally, we come to this beautiful summer wedding outfit of a floral Bardot dress and a bamboo bag. Note the extra detail of a scarf tied onto the bag and those light brown chunky heels. The overall effect is just darling.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Which handbag is most popular?
A. When it comes to the most popular handbags, nothing really beats out the top dogs like Birkin or Chanel. These designer labels and brand names really dominate the popular handbag space. That being said, if you are an avid collector of purses and brand-name bags, a wedding is kind of the perfect opportunity to show it off. It will elevate your whole ensemble and make even a plain outfit look special.
Q. Can you wear white purse to wedding?
A. Yes, but keep it small, and be sure it isn’t a part of a white monochrome outfit if you catch my drift! While wearing white is definitely a faux pas, a white purse or handbag is just fine. You can also try off-white or a purse that has blends of material, like straw or bamboo, or a bejeweled purse, etc.
I hope you found this post helpful and inspiring in your bid to accessorize a wedding guest outfit! What kind of purse girl are you? Do you love a bedazzled clutch or a mini backpack? Let me know in the comments below!
R.H. Elias is a freelance writer, aspiring author, and freelance transcriptionist. She is a homebody all the way and loves curling up on a cold, rainy day with a good book and a warm cup of tea. Her favourite pastimes include reading, writing, and watching period films. She currently lives in Puerto Rico.