5 Wedding Style Don'ts That Are Actually Do's

what to wear to a weddingWedding etiquette is a big deal. There's a lot of it! So much so, that several books have been written on the subject. But this isn't just scholarly debate: Friendships have been put through the flames over supposed-wedding etiquette gaffes. It's a serious business. Well, as a serious as a giant party featuring a multi-tiered cake can ever, in reality, be.

As a woman, what you wear to the wedding is important. There are a couple of things that are clear cut. You look to the invitation for dress code -- it will usually let you know just how formal (or not) you are expected to be. It's also usually a given that you will not show up in dirty jeans and a tee-shirt. I mean, unless that is the given dress code.

But what about all those weird in-between questions? Like, can you wear black to a wedding? Are sequins okay? Fret not, worthy wedding guest. We can help. We've got 5 wedding don'ts that are actually wedding do's!

1. Wear Black

One considered gauche, now a little black dress is just the thing for an afternoon or early evening wedding. So ignore your mom and do you! If you have any reservations at all that what you're wearing might not be appropriate, speak to the maid of honor about it. The bride will be too busy, but the MOH will always set you straight.

2. Wear White

Okay, so don't parade into the church in your own wedding gown complete with veil -- but don't rule out white altogether! Is this a spring or summer wedding? Is the dress you're eyeing covered in a print but has a white background? Do it! That's fine! Even a simple, short white dress paired with a colorful belt, scarf and shoes send the clear message: I am not the bride, nor am I trying to steal the show.

3. Wear Something Flashy

Dressing like a disco ball will do you no favors (unless the wedding is disco themed, of course). But a little glitter on your gown is fine -- it elevates a dress from semi-formal to full-on occasion appropriate!

4. Wear Old Shoes

For a wedding you might be tempted to run out and buy an entirely new ensemble. While of course you want to look your best, new shoes are something you might regret. Do you have a nice pair that you've worn in that go brilliantly with your ensemble? Spare your toes, spare your wallet, and don't miss out on any festivities because you're too focused on your aching tootsies.

5. Wear The Same Color as The Bridesmaids

I didn't even know this was a thing until I heard a fellow wedding attendee bemoaning her attire. So you're wearing a similar shade to the bridesmaids, so what? Unless you've bought the exact same gown, infiltrated the wedding party and stolen a bouquet, no one is going to think your choice of attire is odd.

Have you ever been called out for your fashion choices at a wedding?


Image via Corbis



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BGarcel BGarcel

Yes I have been called out before. And it may seem petty to say this now but the brides walked the bridezilla line heavily. The first time, I was explicitly told to be covered from neck to ankles. I didn't have anything that covered that much so I wore a dress that covered almost that much and was still told that I was too revealing and was trying to one up the bride. Second time, I asked the maid of honor if the specific dress I was planning on wearing was fine for the wedding (and yes I put it on for her). She said it was fine so I wore it. But again I got chewed out for being too sexy to a wedding. And no, the maid of honor did not come to my defense. Got 2 more stories but nah, you get the point.

I think sometimes you can't help what the bride, her friends, and her family think of you no matter what you wear.

ashjo85 ashjo85

It's stupid that any bride would be paying attention to what her audience is wearing on HER wedding day. I was so focused on my husband and, you know, the REASON for the day, I couldn't be bothered to notice who was even there, nevermind what they were wearing. Brides are ridiculous.

nonmember avatar blh

@Bgarcel Neck to ankles?? wtf, was it an amish wedding? I've sure never seen anyone dress like that, unless it was an old lady.

BGarcel BGarcel

@blh It wasn't the dress code. It was a rule for me because my body is in very good shape and the bride wanted to feel like she was the sexiest most physically attractive woman in the room.

nonmember avatar Rose K.

The white rule I think if done in good taste can be fashionable. However my 50 something year old MIL wore a white Marilyn Monroe style dress to my wedding, sans bra. It was so 0.0 that my dads midlife crisis girlfriend, whom we all hated, offered to look like the bad guy and make MIL leave and change her clothing. She even joked to spill on MIL so she'd go and change.

Been almost nine years since and it still pisses me off that she'd do something so tacky and rude... But eh, can't say her attitude towards me has changed any and she still makes it clear how she feels about me.

the4m... the4mutts

I actually wasn't happy when people wore white to my wedding. My mom pushed her luck with black and white. It was a New Years Eve wedding (with my now ex husband) and I asked all guests to wear black, semi formal attire. It was supposed to be for pictures. That way the white in our wedding party would stand out in photos. We ended up skipping large group photos that night. Why?

Almost nobody listened. Half the people showed up in jeans and a tshirt. It was not the over-all look we were wanting for high-priced photos. I didn't say anything, I just didn't invite everyone to gather around for the big pictures. Had the photographer take

Separate, smaller group shots instead.

People should just ask, because every wedding is different.

nonmember avatar Justjala

I was called out for wearing a strapless brown dress to a out door summer wedding and upstaging the bride!! She was so mad at me she wanted to hit me but did not because her mom told her that I would press charges against her. I had another dress picked out asked her if I could wear it she said hell no so I picked the brown one!! OMG the wedding was outside it was 99 degrees the reception was on a shaded patio with fans needless to say it was HOT!!! At the time everyone in the family loved her, now we just want her out of the family!!

AbigailK AbigailK

I had a girl who wore ALL white to my wedding. It was the best man's girlfriend, and wore it intentionally because she dislikes me. I decided against calling her out because I didn't want something dumb to ruin my day, but I wish I had said something. If you are a guest at a wedding and the invite doesn't say wear white, don't wear white. The bride, MOB, MOG or someone will notice and will remember it.

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