What to wear to a wedding is already a doozy to figure out if it’s not included on the invitation.
Despite it being a common tradition for the bride to wear white on her wedding day, some guests really do turn up to weddings in white dresses. There’s only one exception to this rule: You can only wear it if the dress code calls for an all-white wedding.
Photo Credits: Todd Ruth
You can guess the style of the wedding when you look at the invitation, but this isn’t always the case.
Related: 4 Easy Ways to Know What to Wear to a Wedding With No Dress Code Mentioned
As a wedding guest, you want to look your best, of course, but there are certain rules that every wedding guest should follow when it comes to the dress code.
A white dress
Photo Credits: Nathan Dumlao
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.
Anything loud and flashy
One of the most significant 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.
A no to skimpy pieces
We’re all for showing a little skin, but a wedding is not the place to wear your shortest or lowest cut look. Many weddings take place in a house of worship, where covering up is more appropriate. You can keep that sexy look for any other night out on the town.
Photo Credits: Caroline Hernandez
Jeans or sneakers
It doesn’t matter how casual the dress code is, wearing jeans, t-shirts, shorts, and sneakers to a wedding is unacceptable. Even if the wedding is in a barn or beach, you should show respect for the bride and groom by dressing formally. We suggest that the men should show up with a jacket and a tie, even when the invitation says “casual attire”.
Photo credits: Vladimir Fedotov
Tradition states that guests should not wear black to a wedding. However, black is quickly becoming a very popular wedding color option. It is no longer off-limits for bridal parties or guests to make black their color of choice. Unless you know the bride or groom has strong feelings about black attire, feel free to choose an appropriate black ensemble to wear to a formal evening wedding. Skip wearing black for a casual outdoor spring or summer wedding, as it may look out of place, not to mention that it attracts more heat.
Photo Credits: Nathan Dumlao
Backless Dress with Lingerie Reveal
Over the Top Makeup
Of course, you may wear your gorgeous siren-red lipstick…if you remember that, for the rest of your makeup, less is more. Even for a formal black tie/cocktail wedding, don’t wear too much.
Photo Credits: Mihai Stephan
Tiaras are only supposed to be worn by brides on their wedding. Also, avoid headbands that look too bridal-like. And unless it’s ultra-formal black tie, keep your hair comb simple.
Prom Dress & Dress that Screams Bridesmaid
We admit it. There is an exception to the No Prom Dress Rule: A goofy fun over-the-top costume-theme wedding. As for wearing a former bridesmaid’s dress, a good rule is this: No floor-length hem, no taffeta, no glitz. A lot of thoughtful brides try to choose wear-again dresses for their ladies. However, if you went to another friend’s wedding in the last few months and there’s a chance one of the other bridesmaids from that wedding might show up, perhaps make a different choice for this particular wedding.
Photo credits: CharisseKenion
Respect these rules, and you’re good to go.
Also, weddings don’t happen every day, so why not take a little time to think things through for your dear friend’s event of a lifetime.
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