How to Rock Glasses at Your Elopement or Wedding
Note: While this article is written for couples planning elopements or weddings, it contains information that can also be helpful for other special occasions or photography sessions such as vow renewals, engagements, anniversary sessions, or fun parties with your community
To Wear Glasses or Not?
As someone who wears glasses 100% of the time, I am firmly on Team Glasses. And as a professional elopement and intimate wedding photographer, I have had the privilege of working with so many couples who have rocked glasses on their wedding day as part of their personal style. I love working with these couples, and I love the confidence, poise, fashion, and even playfulness that the perfect pair of glasses can bring to a wedding outfit.
If you’re on the fence about wearing glasses to your own wedding, think about how your glasses fit into your self-image. Are they something that you only wear sometimes, but usually leave behind for special occasions or adventures? Or are they something that you wear all of the time? When you see yourself in your mind’s eye, are you wearing glasses? Do your glasses (or choice of frames) express something about yourself that you enjoy? Have they been with you through thick and thin? Do you find them comfortable and enjoy wearing them?
Don’t worry too much about whether your usual pair of glasses goes with your wedding clothes just yet - with all of the eyewear companies that are available to us these days, both in person and online, you can absolutely get a new pair of frames to specifically go with your wedding outfit (in fact, I recommend it!).
Choose Your Outfit First
You’ll want your glasses to go well with your wedding outfit, so it makes sense to choose your outfit first. Once you know what you’ll be wearing for your wedding, you can keep the aesthetic in mind when you go shopping for glasses, bring a fabric swatch or wear the same color while you try on glasses frames, or even take a photo in your wedding outfit to use for “virtual try-ons” when choosing frames online.
If you’re pinched for time and need to choose glasses and outfit within the same timeframe, choose a general color or colors for your outfit first (i.e. “I think I’ll probably wear a white dress”), and then choose your wedding glasses, since the colors will the most important element when it comes to making the outfit and glasses look great together.
Treat Yourself to a New Pair!
Okay, maybe you’re lucky and your usual glasses already go fabulously with the outfit you’ve selected for your wedding. That’s great!
But even then - this is your permission to go out and get new glasses for your wedding!
Almost everyone gets special new clothing and shoes for their wedding - it’s part of the festivity of the day - so why should glasses be any different? And with glasses available these days at an extremely wide variety of price points (from $7 online to thousands for a designer pair with the fanciest lenses), it’s an accessible choice for couples at any wedding or elopement budget. Your glasses should help you see AND be a part of your wedding outfit that you enjoy!
What Goes with White?
You don’t have to wear white on your wedding, but if you do - be it a gown, suit, romper, or other form of finery - it will be important to make sure your glasses go well with it. To make sure they do, you can wear white clothing while you go try on frames in person, bring a swatch of fabric with you, or even take a photo in your wedding outfit to use for “virtual try-ons” when choosing frames online.
Which frame colors go best with your white wedding clothes will be entirely up to you, but some good colors to start with would be white frames, clear frames, pale colors, and metallics.
Intentionally Match or Contrast the Colors
Matching isn’t your only choice - you can also choose a contrasting color for a bold look! Say, a white dress with bright red glasses, a black suit with striking white frames, or even a rainbow pair of glasses (at the time of this writing, there are some great rainbow options on Zenni Optical). Trying on new glasses, whether in person or online, can be such a fun and playful experience - try on a variety of options and see what you like best!
It’s entirely okay to be playful with your choice of glasses for your wedding — it may be a solemn occasion, but it certainly shouldn’t be joyless! Feel free to play around with colors and designs that are more extravagant than you’d choose for a more casual occasion. It’s a one-of-a-kind day, and everything you’re wearing should feel special to you!
Try Them on First
I’m always a little surprised by which glasses frames look best on my face, as opposed to which look best on the shelf. This can be done in person or virtually, so don’t let a lack of time stop you from trying on your new glasses before you order them. This can also be a great time to see if the frames go with your wedding outfit (or its dominant colors), or even to view the frames with the style of hair or makeup that you’re envisioning for your elopement or wedding day!
Do We Need Anything Different for an Elopement?
In general, the answer to this is no! The same glasses that will suit you for a more traditional wedding will also be perfect for an elopement.
Depending on your location and activities, however, there may be some special considerations.
If you’ll be in the bright sun for much of the day, you may choose to bring prescription sunglasses as well. I recommend having a separate pair of glasses for this (rather than relying on lenses that transition from light to dark), so that you can choose for yourself when your glasses will be light and when they will be dark. Festive frames can be a delightful choice for your sunglasses as well!
And if you’ll be going on any adventures that may be particularly risky to your glasses (such as rock climbing or water sports), you may wish to select a pair of glasses that will stay on particularly well or that won’t be too difficult to replace if they take a tumble (at least while you're doing those activities).
Special Cases: Transitions Lenses and Light-Sensitive Eyes
Lenses that transition from light to dark automatically can be super handy in your day-to-day life, but may not serve you as well on your wedding day. While there may be times during your elopement or wedding that you would benefit from having sunglasses, there are also parts of the day when dark glasses would get in your way or be detrimental to your photographs. In particular, it’s important to wear clear glasses during your wedding ceremony, so that you and your partner can see each others’ eyes while you say your vows, and it’s also very helpful to have clear lenses while you’re taking special photos together, so that your eyes will be visible in the images.
A great solution for those with light-sensitive eyes is to have two pairs of glasses, one with clear lenses and one with darkened lenses. This way, you can choose for yourself when to wear each pair. This also lets you choose two different frame designs, since the same pair of frames may not look best with both clear and darkened lenses.
If you routinely wear sunglasses or transitioning lenses, and decide to wear clear glasses for your wedding, try to get your eyes used to them in advance, so that you don’t feel overwhelmed by the brightness of the sunlight on your wedding day (which can also make you squint or your eyes water). Sometimes if we get used to wearing dark lenses outside, our eyes can become more light-sensitive as a result. But this is usually reversible, and over time you’ll find the clear glasses to be more comfortable. Give it a few days, and you’ll notice a substantial difference.
Go Forth and Rock Glasses!
I hope this article has empowered you to go forth and wear an awesome pair of glasses on your wedding day! They can be such a fun and fashionable item, and truly express your personality. If you have any questions, or if there’s anything you’d like to see added, you can feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org .
Are you excited about your new glasses and now you’re looking for the perfect elopement photographer? Hit me up! I’m a photographer of elopements, intimate weddings, and funky outdoor weddings based on the U.S. West Coast. I help couples elope in the San Francisco Bay Area, Yosemite, Joshua Tree, the Redwoods, the Pacific Northwest, and throughout the country - wherever I’m needed.
Your #1 sidekick for your elopement or intimate wedding - I help you build an authentic celebration that you’ll remember for rest of your lives, and take phenomenal pictures for you to share with your loved ones and look back on many years from now.
I specialize in small, unconventional celebrations including adventure and hiking elopements in the National Parks, San Francisco City Hall weddings, intimate home and backyard weddings, and nature-forward outdoor community weddings. Hit me up for engagement, anniversary, and vow-renewal sessions as well!