Wedding Etiquette: Common Wedding Attire Items to Avoid

what not to wear
What Not to Wear to a Wedding
When you’re choosing an outfit for an upcoming wedding, it’s important to look stylish without distracting from the bride and wedding party. Here are some tips that will help you select the perfect wedding ensemble.

Don’t Wear White

Save that beautiful new white dress for another occasion. Typically, guests should avoid whites and creams. If you’re longing to wear a lighter shade, many sources claim that wearing beige to a wedding is fine. Pastel shades or light gray can also be appropriate alternatives to white. The exception to this rule, of course, is if the wedding has an all-white dress code.

Take Note of the Wedding Colors

Find out through the couple’s family, bridal party members, or the wedding website what the wedding’s colors are. Be sure not to wear the same color as the bridesmaids. It’s also important to take note of the season—while a black dress may be appropriate for a fall or winter wedding, it may not work for a spring or summer affair.

Be Respectful

If the wedding is held at a church, avoid low-cut tops and shorter hemlines. You may even want to cover bare arms with a sweater. Avoid wearing sneakers, jeans, T-shirts or tank tops to a religious ceremony.

Dress to Impress

When it comes to weddings, it’s better to be overdressed than underdressed. Look to the invitation for cues on how to dress—if the wedding is held after 6 p.m., odds are guests should dress more formally. Hotel ballroom events tend to be more formal than park or beach ceremonies. If the invitation states “black tie optional,” choose a long dress or dark suit. When it comes to wedding attire, it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Avoid Distracting Fabrics

Shimmering or glittery fabrics can distract guests from the bride and groom. Save your sparkles for the bachelorette party or another night on the town. Brightly colored suits can also be distracting for wedding guests.

Wear the Right Shoes

Lastly, it’s important to finish your outfit with the right footwear. If you’re attending a beach or garden wedding, avoid stiletto heels—you’ll sink into the ground or sand! Instead, choose formal ballet flats in an appropriate color. Flip flops and casual sandals typically should be avoided, unless the ceremony is on the beach.

Remember, don’t be afraid to showcase your personal style when dressing for a wedding. There are many great ways to express yourself while being mindful of the special occasion. With these tips, you’ll look and feel great as you celebrate with the bride and groom.