What Are the Things Guests Should Never Wear to a Wedding

What Are The Things Guests Should Never Wear To A Wedding?

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    It can be stressful figuring out what to wear to a wedding, especially in light of the increasing ambiguity surrounding appropriate attire. No of the style of the wedding, there are certain behaviours and attire that everyone must follow.

    These guidelines are in place to help you choose an appropriate attire for the wedding, regardless of the level of formality, and to ensure that the happy couple has a wonderful day. If the bride and groom have a strict dress code for their wedding, they should specify it on the invitation.

    Close friends of the couple will ensure that their guests adhere to the dress code. But we've attended a few weddings where people showed up in costume or tried to dress like the bride. Boutique Events Group has proven itself to be an iconic wedding venue and function centre in Melbourne. Book today so you don’t miss out. The couple will (or should) give their guests specific instructions on what to wear. The location and required level of formal attire will be specified on the invitation.

    What Should You Not Wear To A Wedding? 

    A wedding isn't like any other gathering where you can just wear anything you want and make an entrance. On the contrary. The focus of a wedding should be on the happy couple as they prepare to exchange vows, not on the guests.

    Forget about what not to dress and focus on the reason for the celebration. You shouldn't wear something that might steal the spotlight from the happy couple on their wedding day. Dressing for a wedding shouldn't be difficult, but if you haven't thought through your ensemble, you could find yourself in a sticky situation (even if you do know the dress code).

    If you don't want the bride to give you the side eye all night due to your costume choices, keep these risks in mind while you rummage through your closet looking for something decent to wear. Please disregard our guidelines if you are required to wear one of these items by the wedding's dress code (obvi). See the wedding guest attire etiquette section below for advice on what not to wear to a wedding.

    Clothing Outside Of The Dress Code.

    For the sake of the happy couple, you decide to attend their wedding. That should be reflected in how you look. Dress appropriately for the occasion. Put in the extra time to research appropriate attire for the event. Never show up in a lengthy ball gown while everyone else is wearing cocktail attire. Ask a bridesmaid (not the bride) for clarification on what is meant by "beachy chic" or "festive casual."

    Anything Loud And Flashy.

    What Are the Things Guests Should Never Wear to a Wedding

    Never outshine the bride and husband when attending a wedding; this is one of the most important laws of wedding attire. Don't wear anything that will steal the spotlight from the bride, such a glittery ball gown or a dazzling tiara. Do not make a radical style statement at the bride and groom's wedding.

    Anything Too Revealing

    Instead of wearing a skintight party dress, choose something more demure. Knee-length or shorter is appropriate for dresses and skirts. Wearing less fabric or heavier textiles may be preferable in the heat of a summer outdoor wedding.

    It is recommended that you bring a shawl or other shoulder cover if the ceremony will take place in a religious building such as a church or temple.

    A White Dress.

    Wearing white to a wedding is considered bad form unless you're the bride. To avoid drawing attention to yourself, don't wear anything white unless it's specifically requested in the invitation.

    You wouldn't want to offend the bride or the other guests by also dressing for a wedding. Therefore, find out the colour of the bridesmaid's dresses and don't wear something too close to it so you don't be mistaken for a member of the bridal party.

    White is reserved for the bride and no one else. It's an easy guideline to follow, but many visitors have ignored it. Unless the couple has specifically requested that attendees wear white, if the wedding is a black and white or other themed wedding, guests should avoid wearing all-white attire.

    This is probably the most well-known no-no when it comes to wedding attire, but it keeps coming up nevertheless!

    Your Everyday Jeans And Sneakers.

    Despite popular belief, pants are not appropriate attire for a barnyard wedding. Don't show up to the wedding in jeans unless you've been told to do so in the invitation. At a wedding, it is preferable to overdress rather than underdress.

    As a wedding guest, you should never wear jeans, t-shirts, shorts, or sneakers, even if the dress code specifies "casual" clothes. Dress formally as a sign of respect for the bride and groom. Sabatino recommends that males always dress formally, even if the invitation specifies otherwise. In our opinion, that is appropriate respect for the event.

    Skip Skimpy Pieces.

    Wearing clothing that leaves a lot of skin exposed is never a good idea. A wedding is not the place to wear a mesh crop top, short skirt, plunging neckline, or form-fitting gown. The attention that should be on the bride will instead be focused on the bridesmaids if she shows too much skin.

    Your Most Uncomfortable Shoes.

    Always keep the event's location and atmosphere in mind when planning your outfit. Think about swapping out your heels for a lovely pair of flats if the wedding is going to be outside. No more painful and insensitive stiletto heels and a night spent stumbling through the grass.

    If you're at a loss for what to wear, Sabatino says to go with a simple black dress, whether it's long or short. Find an item with a shape that complements yours and style it appropriately.

    Sheer Material

    When attending a wedding, it's best to avoid wearing anything too sheer. Make sure nothing shows through by trying on your outfit in a variety of lighting conditions (including natural and fluorescent light). Consider donning chiffon or satin, which are more subdued. It's acceptable to wear a sheer fabric if you pair it with a garment that has precise embellishments in the sleeves.


    It's difficult to pin down the exact shade of black. It can be a bit of a reach to wear a colour associated with death and mourning to a party celebrating a new life together as a couple. There used to be a strict rule against guests wearing black to a wedding, but these days more and more brides are becoming more open to the idea. If the dress is playful and airy, you should be fine wearing it. Have a quick conversation with the bride to make sure she won't mind if you express your undying love for a particular dress.

    Bridal Party Colours

    The wedding invitation you get in the mail will most likely give you a sneak peek at the event's colour design. You should probably stay away from these hues if you want to stand out from the crowd at a wedding, as they will be heavily represented among the groomsmen and bridesmaids.

    Too High Or Too Low

    Wearing a dress to a wedding where the hemline is too short or where your bra straps are visible is not a good idea if you want to avoid insulting the couple's loved ones.

    You should avoid a laid-back appearance. If your pants are getting baggy or you have a flat rear that doesn't keep your pants up on their own, you might want to borrow or buy a belt.

    Too Dressy

    Wearing a tuxedo or a ball gown to a smart-casual or beach wedding is unnecessary and will make you stand out more than the happy couple. They shouldn't let a bad outfit decision steal the spotlight on their big day.

    Too Casual

    Shorts and a t-shirt are never appropriate, even if the invitation specifies a more relaxed dress code. Not even sweatpants or denim does. So, avoid it at all costs! Dressing in pants and a button-down shirt is simple, even if you do end up rolling the sleeves up after a time.


    You shouldn't wear shorts to the wedding unless it's a very casual beach ceremony. If the temperature on the day of the wedding is expected to be very high, the newlyweds will likely have air conditioning or fans installed.

    Flip Flops

    One shoe style that is nearly universally frowned upon during weddings is flip flops. They are the antithesis of a dress shoe and are better suited for errands as casual as carrying the laundry to the dry cleaner.

    Keep your flip-flops in the beach bag. Dressy sandals or chic flats are great alternatives to uncomfortable high heels for the office. Guys, please wear shoes with closed toes. Make sure you find out from the bride and groom exactly what they want from their guests at their beach wedding.

    Towering Heels

    Don't be that host's guest who, even before they've hit the open bar, can't put themselves in their hosts' shoes. While sky-high heels appear beautiful in the store, they are completely impractical for an outdoor wedding. Be sure you can walk in those 3-inch stilettos if you must wear them. Put them on first.


    What Are the Things Guests Should Never Wear to a Wedding

    Weddings are not the place for disposable plastic or foam items. Not that you can't wear flats; of course you can. Don't get yourself into trouble and, gasp, wear Crocs.

    Animal Print

    Animal prints such as leopard, zebra, or giraffe stripes are too distracting for a wedding. Allowing the bride to be the focus of the ceremony is done out of respect for her.


    There is absolutely no reason to use fluorescent colours or decor now.

    A Tiara

    Some people have even shown up to weddings wearing tiaras as guests. Is it their purpose to detract from the spotlight? You already have the dress and the shoes, right? But what about the Wedding Jewellery? Check out our list of Wedding Jewellery Shops here. That's a safe bet to say. However, take this as a friendly reminder to forego the tiara and any other headwear that could be construed as bridal.

    Too Much Makeup

    If you're attending a wedding and want to look your best, that's great, but try to limit the amount of bright makeup you use. Stay away from the body glitter, and don't go crazy with the artificial tan, unless you want to attract unwanted attention.

    Anything That Shows Your Undergarments

    Where exactly do you plan on hanging out tonight? Having your bra straps on display is very acceptable. Do you plan on stopping by the supermarket? If you leave your boxers on the floor, no one will bat an eye. A wedding, perhaps? Please put everything away right now. Keep your underwear shopping habits a secret; no one here cares.

    Something That Mimics The Bridesmaids' Dresses

    If you're a guest at the wedding, one of your goals is to make sure the bridal party has a good time. Ask a bridesmaid or groomsman if you need to know the wedding's colour scheme. Don't feel obligated to ask questions; instead, use the wedding invites' colour scheme as a hint.

    A Statement Outfit

    Don't try to be funny by wearing an outrageous outfit to impress your buddies right now. Leave the wild designs, wacky 80's styles, and costumery at home and choose instead for something more understated, like a muted cocktail dress or tailored suit, so that all eyes are on the happy couple.

    Anything Against The Dress Code

    The newlyweds will likely specify a dress code on the invitation. Please take note of this and dress appropriately to show your respect for this point in their lives. It is preferable to arrive in a suit and tie or a dress that flatters your figure rather than underdressed, even if the occasion is semi-casual.

    Tips on Wedding Attire Etiquette

    Be Different From The Bridesmaids!

    You shouldn't try to pass as a member of the wedding party, even as a visitor (or even mimic it). Learn as much as you can in advance about the colours and tones that the bridesmaids and groomsmen will be wearing. Then, choose an outfit that either complements the tones or stands out slightly but not too much. If you're not sure what colours to wear to a wedding, the invitation is the first place to look.

    The wedding's designated colour palette will be printed on the invitation. It's customary to use the same palette for the wedding invitation as you do for the rest of the stationery, as it will match the rest of the wedding aesthetic.

    To extrapolate, if you see a lot of fern green or royal blue, those are probably the colours the wedding party will be wearing. Pick hues that aren't exact duplicates of them. Also, a little black dress is always a reliable option when in doubt. While the colour black may be associated with melancholy, it is perfectly acceptable for weddings and cocktail parties that need formal clothes.

    To Avoid Unwanted Attention, Do Not Wear Revealing Clothing.

    It's one thing to put thought into an outfit that will help you feel strong and attractive. Wearing something overly revealing at the wedding could be offensive to other adults and children. Maintain a demure air by selecting pieces with flirty details like exposed back, mesh or slit but don't go overboard.

    The wedding's stated dress code should help you choose the appropriate level of formality for your outfit. Choose an item that will help you feel and look your best from that selection. There is no need to flaunt your physique at the wedding. Instead, keep in mind that a wedding is a religious event and dress appropriately.

    Don't Do Anything Too Comfortable

    After being at home for the better part of a year, we understand. Nobody wants to part with their most comfortable clothes, such as their slippers, jeans or yoga pants. However, you would never see these at a wedding. Even if the dress code for the wedding is loosened, it is still appropriate to respect the occasion by dressing appropriately.

    You should not consider wearing any kind of shorts, jeans, or flip-flops. In its place, women can don a casual dress, while males can put on a pair of fine pants and a button-down shirt. No matter how low-key the wedding, always wear a belt and tuck in your shirt.

    Whenever You Have Questions, Make Sure to Ask

    If you still aren't sure what to wear or what to avoid after deciphering the invitation and researching the wedding website, as well as stalking the venue on their website and all social media channels, then you should ask. If you have any questions about what to wear to the wedding, you can ask the bride or find a guest who is willing to assist you.

    Once in a great while, the language of the invitation and the wedding website is both ambiguous and unclear with regards to the required attire. What to wear becomes a mystery when this occurs. Thus, it is important to discuss if the wedding will be casual, formal or semi formal. In order to play it safe, just sign in.

    Insights For Guests At Weddings, No Matter The Dress Code

    Grotts provides some suggestions for what to wear to each wedding dress category. If you're completely out of ideas, refer to this list.

    • Dressing for a beach wedding means donning a sundress or Bermuda shorts and a linen shirt.
    • Dresses with a lot of flow and a lovely pair of low heels or sandals, or khakis and a sports jacket, are ideal for a casual wedding.
    • A dark suit or a maxi dress are both great, comfy choices for a semiformal wedding.
    • Guests at a formal wedding are expected to dress to the nines and wear either a long, striking skirt or a tuxedo.


    Inappropriate attire at a wedding? The whole group is expected to dress and act a certain way. The bride and groom should indicate the dress code on the invitation if there is one. A wedding is about the bride and groom, not the guests. Unless you're the bride, it's considered rude to wear white to a wedding.

    Don't wear a brilliant tiara or a glittering ball gown, as these will take attention away from the bride. Dresses and skirts worn at a wedding should be knee length or shorter. Some suggestions include going for a plain black dress and staying away from revealing clothing. Even if the invitation doesn't specify, a formal attire is expected as a sign of respect to the bride and groom. It's not a good idea to wear a dress with a too-short hemline or spaghetti straps that show.

    Even if the invitation calls for a more casual attire, shorts and a t-shirt are never acceptable. Those flip-flops belong in the beach bag. The invitations to the wedding will likely include a dress code established by the couple. Respect their privacy at this time by dressing tastefully. Find out as much as possible ahead of time about the hues and shades that the bridesmaids and groomsmen will be wearing.

    It is still proper to dress appropriately for the occasion, even if the wedding has a more relaxed dress code. Men can dress in good jeans and a button-down shirt, while women can wear casual dresses. Grotts offers some advice on complementing each type of bridal gown.

    Content Summary

    1. Every guest is expected to adhere to a standard set of behaviours and dress code regardless of the wedding's aesthetic.
    2. In order to make sure the happy couple has a fantastic day, these standards are in place to assist you select an appropriate outfit for the wedding, no matter how formal it is.
    3. In the event that the bride and groom require guests to adhere to a particular dress code, this information should be included on the wedding invitation.
    4. Guests will be expected to dress appropriately for the occasion, and the couple's close friends will see to it that this is the case.
    5. The invite will detail the venue and the level of formal clothing expected.
    6. The bride and groom should be the centre of attention as they get ready to exchange wedding vows, not the guests.
    7. Put aside your concerns about how not to dress and think about the joyous occasion instead.
    8. If you are compelled to wear one of these items due to the wedding's dress code, please do not follow our recommendations (obvi).
    9. You should dress appropriately for the event.
    10. Invest some more time into learning what to wear to the event so that you can look your best.
    11. If you are invited to the wedding of the bride and groom, it is not the time to experiment with fashion.
    12. Dress of pure white colour.
    13. Unless you're the bride, it's considered rude to wear white to a wedding.
    14. Do not wear white unless instructed to do so in the invitation unless you want to be the centre of attention.
    15. If you don't want to be mistaken for a member of the bridal party, it's a good idea to figure out the colour of the bridesmaids' dresses and avoid wearing something too similar.
    16. If the wedding is a black-and-white or other themed wedding, guests should not wear all white unless specifically requested by the couple.
    17. As a wedding guest, you should never wear jeans, t-shirts, shorts, or shoes, even if the dress code includes "casual" clothes.
    18. Respect the bride and groom by dressing formally at the wedding.
    19. Sabatino suggests that men dress formally no matter what the invitation says.
    20. Wearing clothing that leaves a lot of skin exposed is never a good idea.
    21. When deciding what to wear, you should think about the event's setting and vibe.
    22. Sabatino suggests a basic black dress in any length when in doubt.
    23. The outfit is appropriate if it is light and fun.
    24. The wedding invitation you get in the mail will likely feature a colour palette indicative of the celebration.
    25. You shouldn't try to look too chill.
    26. Even though the invitation calls for casual attire, shorts and a t-shirt are never acceptable.
    27. Unless it's a casual beach ceremony, you shouldn't go down the aisle in shorts.
    28. Those flip-flops belong in the beach bag.
    29. Inquire into the bride and groom's specific wishes for their beach wedding guests.
    30. Don't do something stupid, like wearing Crocs, and stay out of trouble.
    31. Out of respect for the bride, the ceremony is designed to centre around her.
    32. You should strive to tone down the amount of flashy makeup you wear if you plan on attending a wedding.
    33. Dresses That Look Like the Bridesmaids'
    34. Among your duties as a wedding guest is to ensure the happiness of the bride and groom.
    35. If you are unsure of the wedding's colour scheme, you should enquire with a bridesmaid or groomsman.
    36. Avoid awkward small talk by taking a cue from the wedding invitations' colour design.
    37. The invitations to the wedding will likely include a dress code established by the couple.
    38. Find out as much as possible ahead of time about the hues and shades that the bridesmaids and groomsmen will be wearing.
    39. Wedding guests who are unsure of what to dress should first check the invitation.
    40. The invitation will be printed in the wedding's official colour scheme.
    41. The stated dress code for the wedding should serve as a guide when deciding how formal your attire needs to be.
    42. Pick something that will make you look and feel fantastic.
    43. Don't make an unnecessary display of your fitness level at the wedding.
    44. It is still proper to dress appropriately for the occasion, even if the wedding has a more relaxed dress code.
    45. Find the bride or another helpful guest if you need advice on what to wear to the wedding.
    46. Sometimes it can be difficult to decipher what guests are expected to wear due to vague or contradictory wording on the invitation or wedding website.
    47. Therefore, it is essential to decide if the wedding will be formal, semi-formal, or informal.
    48. Wedding Guest Advice for All Occasions What to Wear
    49. Grotts offers some advice on complementing each type of bridal gown.

    Frequently Asked Questions About Wedding

    By avoiding these fashion faux pas, you will make a tasteful fashion statement and show respect for the bride and groom.

    • White. 
    • Anything Too Revealing.
    • Denim or Jeans. 
    • Low-Cut Outfits. 
    • Sheer Material. 
    • All Black. 
    • Flip Flops.
    • White.
    • Off-white or ivory.
    • All Black.
    • All Red.
    • Gold.
    • Overly sparkly or heavily metallic.
    • Bridesmaid dress colour.
    • Mother of the bride or groom's dress colour.

    It can add insult to injury if you wear a red dress that's also inappropriate for the dress code. For instance, at a black-tie wedding, wearing a red ball gown that would be appropriate only for a white-tie event is a sure way to look like you're trying to upstage everyone in the room, including the bride.

    Glitter, Glitter, Glitter Everywhere

    Avoid wearing anything too shimmery or distracting. All eyes should be on the bride, and your disco-ball-looking dress may ruin her big moment to shine.

    As you can see, it's pretty evenly split down the middle. If you're happy with people wearing whatever they want to your wedding, and there isn't a strict dress code, then, by all means, wear a "naked" dress.

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