What Colors Not To Wear to a Wedding: A Guide to Wedding Attire No-Nos

So you have a wedding (or several) coming up and you’re starting to plan your outfits… you want to look awesome, but what colors should you not wear as a guest? 

Well, firstly I am a big believer in guests wearing more or less what they want to a wedding. I got married very recently and had no problems with any of my guests’ outfit choices – I didn’t think about it too much!

HOWEVER, there are a few hard and fast rules about what colors not to wear to a wedding.

The first ground rule is to check the dress code, hopefully, this will give you some guidance on the style of the event and therefore give you an idea of what is appropriate.

Still unsure? Here are some more handy tips and pointers to help you decide what to wear…

What Colors Not To Wear to a Wedding

White Is OUT. Always.

Please don’t wear white to a wedding! Even if it is the most relaxed and informal wedding on the planet with a chilled bride, I still believe that guests should not wear white to a wedding.

Even if the bride is not the biggest fan of tradition and is not wearing a white gown herself, I still don’t think a guest should wear white. Let the bride have her day!

If the white outfit has some other color on it – for example a white dress with a light floral print on it – you may be okay. But tread carefully. If it’s a dress that is mainly white and could be considered bridal in any way… best to avoid it and find something else.

What About Pastel Colors?

Before choosing to wear any ultra-light color to a wedding, you should test it first. Some pastel shades can look white in the sun or under the bright light of a camera.

We recommend steering clear of all off-white shades and cream tones… eggshell, beige, ivory, champagne… you’ve guessed it, they could all appear to be white.

You simply don’t want to be accused by anyone of stealing any kind of thunder from the bride on her big day.

Be Careful with Black

Wearing black to a wedding could be seen as controversial to some; it certainly used to be.

If the wedding is a daytime event held mainly outside in the sunshine, perhaps avoid wearing an all-black outfit. You might find yourself getting too hot in dark colors anyway! It’s deemed far more appropriate if the wedding is an evening affair.

And if there is a black-tie dress code… then you’re all good to go forth with your black dress of choice!

Avoid the Bridesmaid Dress Color 

This can be a tricky one, but you really don’t want to look like you are trying to be part of the bridal party…. awkward! So it’s best to avoid wearing a dress that could be considered the same shade as the bridesmaids.

But how do you know what color the bridesmaids are wearing? If you are unsure, you can always try asking the bride or a member of the wedding party.

If that doesn’t feel right, have a close look at the wedding invitation or website… you will often see details of the color palette within the design there. 

What About Gold and Glitzy Colors?

Think about what type of wedding you are attending. For the most part, wearing a loud shiny gold dress or a sparkly glittery metallic number may be a little bit much to wear as a guest. It could be seen as flashy or distracting… and nothing should distract from the happy couple on their big day.

So if you do have a new sparkly sequined loud outfit that you love, perhaps think about saving it for another party or event – maybe this outfit could be perfect for the bachelorette party?

Having said that, there are some occasions where it’s okay to wear something that shines. For example, I was at a New Year’s Eve “party” wedding last year where many guests chose fabulous loud sequined gold and silver outfits. And it totally worked!

Wearing Denim Is a No-No

We get it, some weddings are super relaxed. However, we think it’s just never appropriate to wear jeans, not even to the most casual wedding. 

If you really love pants, choose a pair of suit trousers or a chic pantsuit – just leave your denim pants at home… please!

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