6 Things Guests Should Never Wear to a Wedding (2023)

Choosing what to wear to a wedding can be downright taxing, especially with as dress codes become more and more unclear. Whether an invitation calls for formal, cocktail, festive, or casual attire, wedding guests should remember a few universal style rules to prevent fashion mishaps. Here are six things you should simply never wear to a wedding, no matter what the dress code says.


(Video) 8 Things Men Should NEVER Wear to a Wedding

Clothing outside of the dress code.

According to Julie Sabatino, a wedding fashion stylist at The Stylish Bride, "You show up to the wedding to honor the couple. Your appearance should reflect that." Make sure your ensemble is respectful and appropriate for the event. Take the extra effort to ensure you understand what you should and shouldn't wear to a particular ceremony. You don't want to be the girl in a long ball gown while everyone else sports a cocktail dress. If you can't figure out exactly what "beachy chic" or "festive casual" entails, reach out to a bridesmaid (not the bride) for help.

Anything loud and flashy.

One of the biggest rules of dressing for a wedding is to never outshine the bride and groom. Avoid sequined ball gowns, sparkly tiaras, sky-high platform heels, or other articles of clothing that will draw attention away from the bride. A wedding isn't the proper time to make a bold fashion statement.

(Video) What You Should NEVER EVER Wear to a Wedding/How to be a Good Wedding Guest

A white dress.

Unless you're the bride, wearing a white dress to a wedding is traditionally a faux pas. Leave all white, ivory, and champagne-hued shades alone, unless the invitation specifically requests that guests wear white. The bride deserves to stand out in her gown, and you don't want to upset her or other guests by wearing anything bridal-esque. Along those lines, Sabatino suggests finding out the color of the bridesmaids dresses and avoid wearing a similar shade, so you aren't mistaken for a member of the bridal party.

Your everyday jeans and sneakers.

It doesn't matter if the dress code requests "casual" attire; jeans, T-Shirts, shorts, and sneakers are never appropriate to wear as a wedding guest. Show respect for the bride and groom by dressing formally. Sabatino suggests that men show up in a jacket and tie, even when the invitation says casual. "That is honoring the occasion in my mind," she says.

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Skip skimpy pieces.

"Never wear something with a lot of exposed skin," says Sabatino. Crop tops, dresses with mesh on the sides, short skirts, plunging necklines, and form-fitting gowns are more appropriate for a nightclub than a wedding. A skimpy outfit will attract negative attention from other guests and take attention away from the bride.

Your most uncomfortable shoes.

"Think about what's appropriate for the setting and the venue," suggests Sabatino. If the wedding will take place on a natural landscape, consider ditching the heels for a pair of cute flats. There's no need to be in struggling with stiletto heels in grass all night, or go home early because of painful and insensible footwear.

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If you're at a complete loss for an outfit, Sabatino suggests sticking with a long or short black dress. Find a piece with flattering cut, and dress it up for the occasion. "There's a way to make a black dress look good in the Hamptons, and a way to make it look good in a ballroom in NYC," says Sabatino.


6 Things Guests Should Never Wear to a Wedding? ›

Avoid sequined dresses and any clothing that will draw attention away from the bride. A wedding isn't the proper time to make a bold fashion statement. Ditch your everyday jeans and tee. Even if the wedding initiation says “casual”, wearing sneakers, t-shirts, shorts, and jeans are never appropriate for a wedding.

What should you never wear as a guest to a wedding? ›

Too casual

Even if you have been told the affair will be casual, shorts and t-shirt are never okay. Neither is denim or sweats. So avoid, avoid, avoid! It's not hard to throw on some slacks and a shirt, even if end up rolling the sleeves up after a while.

What is an inappropriate dress for a wedding guest? ›

Therefore, there is an expectation that the colors white, ivory or cream are reserved for the Bride." She added: "It is generally deemed inappropriate for guests to wear white to a wedding so [as] not to upstage the Bride and draw attention to yourself and away from the couple."

What is too flashy for a wedding guest? ›

Wearing a Revealing or Flashy Outfit

For example, dresses with very large cutouts, super short minis, and extremely sheer ensembles. This rule also applies to overly flashy attire, like completely sequined dresses or neon-colored pieces.

What is the best color to wear to a wedding? ›

You may choose to wear any color except black or white. The guest's goal should be to blend in with the surroundings and let the bride shine. As her guest, you should avoid attire that could be considered informal or in bad taste. Pastels, jewel tones and earth tones are excellent choices, as are most primary colors.

What is the number one rule as a wedding guest? ›

Unbreakable Rule #1: RSVP Promptly

If you're one of the chosen few to be invited, make sure you respond promptly. Many wedding invitations will include a deadline to reply. Prompt RSVPs are important because wedding venues and vendors require a firm headcount ahead of time.

Why can't you wear red to a wedding? ›

Why was red traditionally inappropriate for wedding guest attire? “Tradition dictates guests avoid wearing red out of fear that it could take attention away from the happy couple,” explains Hurwitz. “Visually, it's quite bold.

Is there a color you shouldn't wear to a wedding? ›

Steer clear of off-white, eggshell, beige, champagne, cream, or any other super light color that could be mistaken for white. There are so many dress options available in a variety of hues, so steering clear of these shades should not be a major issue.

What is inappropriate dress code? ›

Clothing that expresses any racial, sexist, or discriminatory statements are never appropriate to wear to work. Uniforms if required for some positions. If your company is scent-free or scent sensitive, a Dress Code would be an appropriate place to put that in writing.

Should you wear nylons to a wedding? ›

The truth is, as the mother-of-the-groom, you can wear whatever you want to the ceremony. While it's not required to wear pantyhose to weddings, we highly encourage you to look and feel fabulous for the occasion. Thigh highs are a glamorous way to help you reach this goal.

What are obnoxious wedding trends? ›

  • Sunglasses as wedding favours. Seriously! ...
  • The Photobooth. Still very popular but there are only so many pictures of guests wearing silly hats this idea needs to go. ...
  • Staged photographs. ...
  • Matching Bridesmaid dresses. ...
  • Big weddings. ...
  • Too many speeches. ...
  • Fish and Chip dinners. ...
  • Fireworks.

How can I look more attractive in a wedding? ›

10 Tips to Look Your Best on Your Wedding Day!
  1. #1 – Drink a LOT of Water. Make your skin glow for REAL, not just shimmery highlighter. ...
  2. #2 – Avoid Sun Damage. ...
  3. #3 – Invest in Great Skincare. ...
  4. #4 – Get Regular Facials. ...
  5. #6 – Tanning. ...
  6. #7 – Consider Lash Extensions. ...
  7. #8 – Consider Hair Extensions. ...
  8. #9 – Don't Forget About the Groom.
Feb 21, 2019

Can you wear navy to a wedding? ›

Navy is a classic neutral that you can rely on for all dress codes and types of wedding attire. This shade pairs particularly well with evening celebrations as well as black tie, formal and semi-formal nuptials.

Is black OK to wear to a wedding? ›

"It is perfectly acceptable and chic to wear black to evening, black tie, and winter weddings." Ryncarz agrees that it's wise to gauge the attire of the wedding attendants. "When wearing black to a wedding, keep the outfit in line with the dressiness of the bridal party and wedding as a whole," she suggests.

Is it OK to wear pink to a wedding? ›

Is pink appropriate for a wedding?” There's no rule here, but it depends on the shade of pink. While dark pinks and light reds are appropriate, blush and other shades of light pink have a chance of looking too similar to the bridesmaids, or getting washed out and looking white in photos.

How much money do you give for a wedding gift? ›

They suggest the following breakdown: coworkers or distant relatives should spend 50 to 75 dollars. Friends or relatives, 75 to 100 dollars. For close friends, family, or if you are in the wedding party, you should spend 100 to 150 dollars—or more.

What is the 30 5 rule wedding? ›

So what is the 30/5 rule? It's the rule that accounts for things that typically take 5 minutes in real life that will take 30 minutes on a wedding day. It also means that 30 minutes on a wedding day will feel like 5 minutes. You may have heard people say over and over that your wedding day will fly by.

Who comes out first in a wedding? ›

From walking down the aisle first to last, the traditional order is: Mother of Bride, Mother of Groom, Grandparents of Bride, Grandparents of Groom, Groom, Officiant, the Wedding Party, Maid of Honor and Best Man, Ring Bearer, Flower Girl and lastly the Bride and her Father.

Can you wear floral white to a wedding? ›

"According to the Emily Post Institute, it's acceptable to wear white, as long as it doesn't 'distract from the bride or her attendant's dresses.

Can a guest wear the same color as the mother of the bride? ›

The wedding colours are for the wedding party, not guests

Unless you're in that bridal party, you'd be best to steer clear of trying to match them. Think of it a bit like a stage show. The actors, in this case the bridal party, all wear the same colour to identify themselves as being in the cast.

Does red mean you slept with the groom? ›

According to Bustle, the only place where wearing red to a wedding indicates the guest has slept with the groom is in southern parts of the US.

Can I wear floral to a wedding? ›

Can I wear a floral pattern to a wedding? Yes! A floral print outfit is an appropriate and stylish choice for all seasons and types of weddings.

What colors should not be worn together? ›

7 Worst color combinations to avoid
  • Yellow and green. Yellow and green are two of the most popular colors in the world. ...
  • Brown and orange. ...
  • Red and green. ...
  • Neon and Neon. ...
  • Purple and yellow. ...
  • Red and purple. ...
  • Black and Navy.
Aug 18, 2022

What should a woman wear to a wedding? ›

Women should wear a formal floor-length gown that does not reveal the ankles at the hem of the dress, but if the wedding seems a bit less formal, a sophisticated cocktail dress may also be acceptable. Women may also wear elegant pantsuits. Men must wear a tuxedo.

What is the most dress code? ›

Also known as “full evening dress”, white tie attire is considered the most formal of all dress codes.

What is improper attire? ›

Provocative or Improper attire means inappropriate and unsuitable office attire.

How do you tell someone they are not dressed appropriately? ›

With either your dress code policy or pictorial examples in front of you, say something along the lines of:
  1. “Some of your clothing choices are inappropriate for the office. ...
  2. “I would appreciate you dressing more modestly/professionally in the office. ...
  3. “I think your appearance in the office could be much more professional.

Do girls wear nylons anymore? ›

Pantyhose weren't left-back in yesteryear. Many women enjoy them today, and you don't have have to settle for the squeezed-in corseted feeling of the past. Hipstik provides comfortable low-rise pantyhose with a non-squeeze waistband for women of today.

Is it considered tacky to wear nylons with sandals? ›

Yes, you can wear pantyhose, so long as the shoe that you are wearing has a closed or peep toe. If it is a true sandal with an open toe, I will stay clear of pantyhose.

Do people still wear pantyhose with dresses? ›

Classic sheer, nude pantyhose are worn with dresses to keep from baring legs, and all their imperfections, in formal and professional environments. They're not exactly a style statement, but more of a practicality.

What is the biggest wedding regret? ›

brides share their biggest wedding day regrets
  1. Wearing uncomfortable shoes. Don't buy cheap or uncomfortable shoes. ...
  2. Not retouching your makeup. ...
  3. Making guests wait at the reception on an empty stomach. ...
  4. Cash bar. ...
  5. Not hiring a professional photographer. ...
  6. Trashing your dress. ...
  7. Drinking too much. ...
  8. Not hiring a videographer.
Feb 3, 2023

What stresses brides out the most? ›

Guest List. Finalizing a guest list may be the most stressful part of wedding planning. You, your fiancé, and both sets of parents often have opinions about who should (and shouldn't!) be invited on the big day.

What do most brides forget? ›

  • Updating passports in time for the honeymoon.
  • Veil or special jewelry.
  • Vendor meals.
  • Wearing a robe or button down shirt for hair and makeup.
  • Wedding day emergency kit.
  • Writing a “thank you” speech for the reception.
  • To relax and fully enjoy the day!

How can I look thinner for my wedding? ›

Best Tips to Look Slimmer on your Wedding Day
  1. Pick a darker colour for the blouse. ...
  2. Opt for solid colours over Prints. ...
  3. Pick flowy and breezy fabrics. ...
  4. Get the right kind of jewels. ...
  5. Stick to one colour family. ...
  6. Go for simple necklines. ...
  7. Be particular about the embroidery & work you choose. ...
  8. Show minimal skin.

How can I look younger at my wedding? ›

Skincare Routine is Important

So, make sure that you're using the best products for your skin type and cleansing, toning, and moisturizing every day. In addition, consider using a face mask once or twice a week to help improve the appearance of your skin. And, don't forget to exfoliate!

What makes a woman look classy? ›

Having a few well-fitting pieces of quality clothing will help create the foundation for any outfit. Basics such as white blouses, black trousers, navy blazers, knee-length skirts and timeless dresses can form the wardrobe essentials of an elegant woman's closet.

How to look expensive and classy? ›

How to Look Expensive, Classy and Chic
  1. Steam or Iron Your Clothes. To avoid looking like you just rolled out of bed steaming or ironing your clothes before you leave the house is key. ...
  2. Grooming. ...
  3. Invest in a few classic pieces. ...
  4. Go with Neutrals. ...
  5. Easy Tricks to Elevate your Look.
2 days ago

What color nail polish goes with navy dress? ›

Navy blue looks great with warm silver tones like copper or rose gold. It also works well with burgundy reds because these colors are on opposite ends of the color wheel. The hardest colors to pair with navy blue is yellow and orange because they both look very similar to the navy when placed next to each other.

Can mother of bride and groom both wear navy? ›

Classic, flattering, and fashionable, navy blue is a color both the mothers of the bride and groom should consider wearing on the big day. To make her wedding dress shopping trip easier, we pulled together some of our favorite navy blue mother-of-the-bride and-groom dresses.

What color shoes should I wear with a navy blue dress to a wedding? ›

If you're attending a wedding, you'll want to make sure your shoes are dressy enough to match the formality of the occasion. For a navy blue dress, some good choices of shoe colors include silver, gold, black, white, or nude.

Can a woman wear a blazer to a wedding? ›

Totally fine! Just make sure they're dressy enough for the nuptials. Start with tailored trousers and a polished blouse, or make things easy for yourself by grabbing a matching blazer.

Can you wear a long dress to a wedding? ›

For a more formal wedding, it is typically expected that female guests wear a long dress. But instead of breaking out the gown you wore to prom, try wearing a more appropriate evening gown. If the wedding is during the day, a pretty maxi dress should do the trick.

Can you wear sequins to a wedding? ›

Can I Wear a Sequin Dress to a Wedding? You most definitely can. As long as the dress code is cocktail or formal and the guests are expected to dress up. Also make sure to not wear white sequin and outstand the bride!

What color is inappropriate for a wedding? ›

Steer clear of off-white, eggshell, beige, champagne, cream, or any other super light color that could be mistaken for white. There are so many dress options available in a variety of hues, so steering clear of these shades should not be a major issue.

What colors not to wear to a wedding red? ›

You should avoid white because that color is typically reserved for the bride.

What not to wear to a wedding? ›

What Not To Wear To A Wedding
  • White. This is one of the unbroken, unspoken rules of wedding attendees. ...
  • Trainers Or Unbearable Heels. ...
  • Anything Too Tight Or Too Short. ...
  • Jeans. ...
  • All Black. ...
  • Anything Too Loud. ...
  • A Ball Gown.

Is it wrong to wear black to a wedding as a guest? ›

As a general rule, "wearing black is totally acceptable, as the hue is very versatile," Sabatino affirms. However, you should avoid wearing white unless you are told otherwise. That shade, she says, is reserved exclusively for the bride.

What should female guest wear to a wedding? ›

Women should wear a formal floor-length gown that does not reveal the ankles at the hem of the dress, but if the wedding seems a bit less formal, a sophisticated cocktail dress may also be acceptable. Women may also wear elegant pantsuits. Men must wear a tuxedo.

Why can't you wear black to a wedding? ›

In the past, wearing black to a wedding was frowned upon, because black was a colour traditionally worn at funerals and when in mourning.

What is too casual to wear to a wedding? ›

Avoid jeans, shorts, tank tops, and tennis shoes, unless the invitation specifically says otherwise. Sandals are tricky, as some might consider them too casual for an event like a wedding, while others say sandals are the obvious choice for casual beach nuptials.

What colors can you not wear to a wedding? ›

Steer clear of off-white, eggshell, beige, champagne, cream, or any other super light color that could be mistaken for white. There are so many dress options available in a variety of hues, so steering clear of these shades should not be a major issue.

Is it unlucky to wear green to a wedding? ›

10. Don't Go with Green. Although green wedding dresses are supposed to be trendy in 2020, they're originally considered a bad idea. Getting married in green is said to bring bad luck.

Is it OK to wear pants to a wedding? ›

Can you wear pants to a wedding? Yes, you absolutely can. If you don't like dresses or your legs are not your best feature, pants are totally acceptable, so long as you keep the time of day and venue in mind.

What is dressy casual for a woman? ›

"This is where you're thinking more light colors and casual materials," she says, versus fancier fare like satin and sparkles. You can wear things that are a little more flowy, and even bold prints are acceptable. "That really cute sundress or maxi dress is a great example of dressy casual,” Swann says.

What do you wear to a 4pm outdoor wedding? ›

If the event is not for a beach wedding, but some hours after lunchtime, the typical dress-code of an afternoon wedding is semi-formal. Consequently, it calls for cocktail dresses, LBDs or modest party dresses. If the invitation asks for formal attire, go for a cocktail dress or a dressy LBD.

Can I wear a long dress to a wedding? ›

Absolutely! Wearing a maxi dress to a wedding is a great choice year-round. Be comfortable and fashionable when you spare the gown and wear a maxi-length dress to a wedding. Also known as a tea-length or a full-length dress, a maxi dress is long with a hemline that typically rests at or just below your ankles.

Can you wear a short dress to a wedding? ›

Is it inappropriate to wear a mini dress to a wedding? Definitely not! Mini dresses are appropriate for casual, cocktail, and semi-formal weddings. However, for a black tie, white tie, or formal dress code, skip the mini and instead opt for a floor-length gown.

Can a mother of the bride wear black? ›

This does not mean that the modern mother of the bride needs to be restricted by such a dress. Just as the age-old rule 'don't wear black to a wedding' is no longer relevant neither is this unflattering uniform. The internet offers a huge amount of inspiration from red carpet looks to Instagram and webpages.

What is smart casual dress code for a wedding? ›

Smart casual: For the ladies, a summery midi/maxi dress or top and skirt combo are appropriate for a smart casual affair, with a more relaxed shoe style like wedges or even dressy flats. For the guys, a suit is definitely not required.

Can you wear normal clothes to a wedding? ›

Umm, yes of course you can, there is nothing you cannot wear. You can also choose coordinated tops and skirts, if you want the closest look to an evening dress.

Can I have bare legs at a wedding? ›

So, when going to a more formal event, consider skipping the hosiery so that you can show off your bare legs and pretty pedicures in sandals and peep-toe heels. What is this? It's perfectly fine to go bare-legged when it's too hot and stuffy for hosiery. You'll feel more comfortable and cool that way.


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