As much as we want to say that you should wear what you feel like is the most YOU, we do have to also mention that wedding is one of those occasions when you need to make sure you know the etiquette and plan your outfit accordingly.
That is why we have compiled a detailed guide that will walk you through all the faux pas and dress-up qualms that you must avoid as a wedding guest.
These dos and don’ts apply to any wedding guest regardless of their height, weight and age.
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Wearing a white outfit is the most terrible mistake that you could possibly make as a wedding guest, and trust me, there’s no forgiveness for attempting to steal away the bride’s thunder (unless she told you to wear white, which we will mention in a little bit).
Whether the wedding guest is petite or tall, curvy or athletic, she should show the basic respect to the bride by avoiding an white dress, for white is the traditional bridal statement.
The only exception to this rule we can think of, is when the invitation has specified this is an “all white wedding”. That means the bride and groom are inviting the guests to wear white as part of the theme. In that case, wear white all you want!
Even if the wedding is taking place at the most laid-back and retro of all venues in the world, even if it is a denim manufacturing factory itself-don’t even think about flaunting a pair of jeans at the wedding.
It would be the most blatant disregard for formal and black tie dress codes, and you will certainly attract a lot of gossip and plastered smiles for being under-dressed and shabby.
Okay, these may be on trend, but they are not suitable for a wedding occasion.
We are not here to judge your personal taste, but when it comes to wedding, guests should wear classy and elegant pieces. Anything too edgy or suggestive is simply not a good idea for the wedding guest outfit.
You may already know white dress is reserved for the bride on her special day, but, when you are contemplating what to wear to the wedding, avoid anything off-white or cream as well!
Whether you are invited by the bride or the groom, this is the BIG Day of the bride, and you should allow her to be the center of all attention. As she shines bright in her ethereal white bridal gown, you mustn’t clash with her glamour by showing the audacity to wear anything that looks close to white, such as cream or ivory.
Not just the jeans, in fact, truth be told, wearing anything made of denim is a bad idea, unless denim is a theme picked out by the bride and groom themselves.
That means, even a skirt made of denim fabrics has the risk of being considered rude for the wedding.
People often think that a rustic or bohemian wedding is a good excuse to wear denim, but regardless of the fact that couple are saying their vows in the jungle, you are not allowed to make a mockery out of wedding dress codes by wearing anything denim.
Remember, your style statement is also a gift to the couple on their big day, and you must do them the favor of attending their wedding in a charming outfit. If you must add some denim drama, think about a sharply tailored blue tuxedo or even a navy off-the-shoulder jumpsuit.
Bodycon dress that’s too tight
Wedding is a happy event, and it often times involves band playing and champagne flowing on the rooftop. But, hey, please be reminded it is different than clubbing, thus what to wear to a wedding should be appropriate for the wedding venue.
Are you attending the vow exchange ceremony as well as the reception in the same wedding guest dress? Most of us do not bring two guest outfits to attend a wedding, so, most likely you will be wearing the same dress to sit through the ceremony and then go to the reception.
If that’s the case, there’s simply no excuse for wearing a dress that is too tight as it draws attention towards you in a sexual and provocative manner, especially if the ceremony is in a church!
Low cut tops
There is nothing wrong to show off your curves. However, that doesn’t mean you need to flounce all your assets at once.
What’s worse, a revealing outfit will make you conscious about fixing your neckline and adjusting the thigh-high slits, and besides, if you want to dance and drink the night away, it’s best to be comfortable in a dress that accentuates your body in an elegant manner.
Wearing an outfit that is too revealing will only attract you inappropriate attention at a wedding.
Okay, this one depends on the dress code and time of the wedding, but in general, use caution with sparkly dresses.
Remember, you are not dressing up for prom, and outfits that are too loud, sparkly or awfully shiny can make feel and look like the odd one out.
If the wedding is during the day time, especially if it’s outdoors, shiny dresses in general is not recommended. If the wedding is at night time with “black tie” dress code, chances are a sparkly dress can be acceptable.
Mini skirts that are too short
A dress that is too short can quickly pass on as trashy and vulgar, and it will also threaten to deprive the bride from her limelight by drawing attention towards you.
We recommend you to tread with care and caution if you intend to wear a mini dress.
If you must wear something short, be sure to make the statement as graceful and elegant as possible. If you absolutely feel the need to add a couple inches to your frame, do it with elegance and pick out a dress that is more feminine and graceful as opposed to revealing and trashy.
The rule of thumb is, if you are showing off your legs, then avoid showing your cleavage too much.
Bridesmaid style dresses
Your wedding guest dress should not be similar to the bridesmaid dresses.
Bridesmaids dresses are traditionally made of several types of fabrics such as tulle, chiffon, organza, satin, etc. The styles could be short at knees or maxi length, and they are pretty easy to spot when you go to a bridal shop. Just keep in mind to stay away from those.
Having said that, coincidentally wearing a similar color or trend as the bridesmaids is not end of the world. At the end of the day, wedding is a happy event and attending the wedding in a good mood triumphs any worries or concerns you may have, if you happen to find out your dress looks similar to the bridesmaids’.
The shackets are one big trend for the last couple seasons, and they have become the go-to of many women.
Even though they are known for being comfortable an accommodating, shakets look extremely casual, and therefore they are not a good option for a wedding guest to wear.
If you are just not a dress kind of girl, you can get a fitted button down shirt or blouse and pair of well-tailored pants.
Shorts generally are only acceptable for casual dress code, so they are not appropriate for a celebrative event like the wedding.
Even if it’s a summer outdoor wedding where the temperature is quite high, you should wear something dressier than a pair of shorts. There are plenty of cotton or linen sun dresses that are breathable and can keep cool when it’s hot, and those are much more appropriate for a wedding.
Unless the wedding is taking place on the beach, you should avoid wearing shorts to a wedding.
Even if you are attending a destination wedding that is indeed on a beach, you should still make every effort to look respectful and only wear well-tailored dress shorts.
These are very much on trend in the last couple of seasons and many women love how comfortable the utility pants are. The loosely fitted utility pants with huge pockets have become the “staple” of the TikTok. generation, which is worn with everything from silk camisole to stilettoes.
Okay, no matter what top or shoes you wear with utility pants, it still is a casual outfit!
For a dressed up occasion like the wedding, utility pants simply look out of place.
Like the utility pants, joggers should not be worn to a wedding. With the casual everything trend in the last couple of years (especially when most people are used to working from home all the time), joggers have become the go-to for many.
Even though you can get creative and wear a dressy top with joggers, the design of joggers is simply not meant for classy fairs like a wedding.
Uncomfortably High Heels
You need to wear a pair of heels that allows you to stand and move around comfortably, along with dancing the night away without tripping over someone or worse, inflicting damage to your shoes and feet.
This is why, mules, kitten heels and moderate platforms are such a great option for a comfortable and classy footwear statement, and if you’re attending a bohemian wedding, you can even try festive sandals.
These are very tempting in the summer, but you should not be wearing flip flops even to an outdoor wedding.
When the weather is hot, nothing makes you feel more relaxed than a pair of flip flops. But the problem is these only go with very casual summer outfits such as t-shirts or shorts, which is not what you are going to want to wear to a summer wedding.
There are plenty of sandals that you can wear to a summer wedding without looking underdressed. So, ditch the flip flops and opt for something more elegant.
Just like the flipflops, sneakers are not good for weddings!
They are meant to look athletic and are made for sports or walking, so they do not go with a feminine outfit for a wedding guest.
As a wedding guest, it is very important to make sure your evening bag is nicely scaled to suit and flatter your body shape.
Most large bags, such as hobos, totes or backpacks, simply won’t go with your wedding guest outfit, especially if you are going to a summer wedding.
Our recommendation for wedding guests are
- envelope bags
- crossbody bags
But even with those styles of bags, you need to carefully choose the size to make sure it will not overwhelm your body frame and hide up your curves.
What’s more, if you are carrying a clutch or wallet on the chain, it is very important to make sure the length of the chain is flattering to your height.
When you are contemplating what to wear to a wedding, your outfit, of course, is not complete without accessories.
However, even if you absolutely adore wearing chunky necklaces, loud strands of pearls, bold statement earrings and stacks of bangles and rings, we strongly urge you to exercise caution while picking out accessories for the wedding reception.
Adding more accessories to your outfit could overwhelm you, and you really want to accentuate your body shape rather than shrouding up your curves behind layers of necklaces and heavy ornaments.
Wedding guests are strongly advised to keep accessorizing to a minimal so that you can flaunt your favorite trinkets without overwhelming your body frame. As a rule of thumb, it is generally advisable to add no more than three accessories to your statement.
Here, it is important to reinstate that weddings are a classy affair and not the perfect occasion to add an overwhelming amount of sparkle and ornamentation to your look. And if you must sparkle, why not add a subtle pair of sparkly diamond studs and a sleek diamond bracelet to your wrist? You can also seal the deal with nothing more than a pair of chunky statement earrings
Anything against the invitation dress code
Believe it or not, this mistake happens more common than you think.
You would think guests would all take the time to read the invitation and plan what to wear to the wedding accordingly, right?
Not always the case.
Wedding guests could fail to read the invitation dress code and end up embarrassing themselves by failing to pick out the right style to match the dress code.
You see, their wedding day is a very special day for the couple who has invited you to share their happiness and joy, and the least you can do for them is follow the dress code mentioned on the invitation card when you are contemplating what to wear to the wedding.
For instance, if the wedding is a black tie affair, you are expected to wear a cocktail dress or a ravishing evening gown. If the dress code is cocktail attire, a sharply tailored jumpsuit or a lace midi dress would be fabulous. And if the wedding is a daytime affair, a flared skirt, a summery dress or a summertime suit would be flawless.
It is important to pay attention to the dress codes to make sure you do not feel embarrassed or out of place. Save yourself the awkwardness by dressing as per the dress code mentioned on the invitation card!
Finally, if you are short, I want to remind you whatever you decide to wear, you should get it from petite clothing stores. Whether it’s petite cocktail dresses or petite maxi dresses, getting them in petite size is critical to ensure the best fit on you. Even though attending wedding is an important event and you should get a few long lasting pieces as an investment, that doesn’t mean you have to break your bank in order to do so.