There’s a lot of advice around on how to dress for a wedding. But we’ve noticed that there isn’t a lot of advice out there on what not to wear to a wedding.
In this instance we’re talking about wedding guests. So what are the rules to obey, if you’ve been invited to a wedding and you want to follow the correct etiquette? What shouldn’t you turn up in?
Rule number one. Don’t wear white or ivory
It’s a major no-no to turn up in a white or cream dress on a wedding day. Those colours are strictly reserved for the bride and her bridesmaids (if that is how she has chosen to dress them). Same applies to wearing a white or cream coat in winter.
Be considerate to the bride’s feelings and even though white and cream might be your favourite (and most flattering) colours, don’t wear them to a wedding. It’s the bride’s big day, not yours.
Rule number two. Don’t wear anything too revealing
Again, it’s the bride’s day, not yours. So don’t be tempted to wear a dress slashed up to the thigh that shows off your great legs. Or a dress that shows off your impressive bust. This rule particularly applies if a religious ceremony is involved. It’s more respectful to cover up. If there’s an evening reception with dancing then by all means wear a flattering frock, but don’t show off too much!
Rule number three. Morning coats and lounge suits
We sympathise with men at weddings. In fact, it’s easier for women to dress correctly. There’s not much worse than turning up at a wedding wearing a lounge suit when everybody is in morning dress or vice versa. So it’s worth putting the dress code on wedding invitations – just put lounge suits or morning dress, whatever you have decided.
If there is no dress code on the invitation, then guests should feel free to be able to get in touch with the bride or groom and ask what they are expected to wear on the day. Making your guests feel comfortable is all part of being a good host and hostess and you’ll be doing your bit to ensure your friends enjoy your wedding day to the full.
Rule number four. Maybe don’t wear anything green
This is an interesting one. There is a superstition that wearing green at a wedding is unlucky. This is a bit of a shame as we think an apple green wedding theme looks absolutely fantastic. Anyway, perhaps you should avoid wearing green if you’re a guest just to be on the safe side.
Rule number five. Anything very casual
Think about it. The bride (and groom) will have spent a lot of time, effort and money planning the wedding and you are honoured to be invited as a guest. So you have to dress the part. You don’t have to spend a fortune on a new outfit but you do need to look smart and polished. So don’t wear jeans, shorts, polo shirts or sportswear to a wedding. It’s rather disrespectful and won’t look great in the wedding photographs either. Even if you’ve been invited to a beach wedding, you still need to dress up a little. Shorts and flip flops may be okay here, but make sure that they’re teamed with a great top that’s a bit special.
Rule number six. Anything that looks like it belongs in the office
A trouser suit or dark suit looks great, in the office, but pinstripes aren’t a good look for a wedding. They’re too formal and weddings should be fun! They’re too formal and weddings should be fun!
Rule number seven. Only the bride wears a tiara
Even if you have a priceless family heirloom that you think deserves an outing, well leave it in the safe. It’s a rule that only a bride wears a tiara at a wedding or any kind of crown in her hair (like flowers). You may love that festival look and want nothing more than to wear a crown of flowers to your best friend’s wedding but leave that part up to her. On the other hand if you’re a bridesmaid and she wants you all to wear circlets of flowers or diamante, then that’s her call. But otherwise, leave the sparkling headgear at home…
Have you anything to add to our list?