What Colors Not To Wear To A Wedding?

It can be difficult to find a wedding guest outfit, so it’s so satisfying when you eventually find the right one. But before you settle on that new dress, keep reading. There are some colors that you mustn’t wear at a wedding.

You may have thought that you just have to avoid white. Well, this isn’t the only rule. Etiquette dictates that all attention should be on the bride, so if you want to avoid looks and whispers, here are the colors that you shouldn’t wear to a wedding.


Wearing white should be an obvious no-no, but there are some that would ignore this rule completely. It can be tempting. White is a great neutral color. There are so many pale lace dresses available, perfect for both hot and cold weather.

But when you’re at a wedding, the focus should be on the bride. Be polite. You can choose from many other colors of the rainbow. Sometimes, there’s a rare occasion where the couple call for an all-white wedding. This is the only time where white is acceptable. Unless they have said so in advance, do not, under any circumstances, wear white.

Similar Shades To White

This goes for other shades of white too. You can call your dress vanilla, cream, or ivory, but you won’t be fooling anyone. This can look like you’re trying to steal the show.

Certain lighting can also make your outfit look lighter in photos, and could be mistaken for white from a distance. A lot of couples use light neutral tones in their color scheme, so as a rule, it’s best to stay away from all shades of white.

The Bridesmaids Dress Color

It’s always best to ask the bride what color the bridesmaids will be wearing. This way, you won’t be confused for a bridesmaid, be out of place in photos, or look like you’re tagging along with a different group.

If you don’t know the bride or bridesmaids, you can guess what color they’re going for by looking at the invitation. In most cases, couples tend to match their stationery to their wedding color palette. As a rule, avoid any colors that you see on the invitation.

Gold, Champagne, or Silver

Pale metallic dresses have become popular with brides who’d prefer an alternative to white. Silver and champagne can also look quite bridal, especially if the bride has opted for similar colored jewelry. To be on the safe side, steer clear of these shades completely.

Very Light Pastels

Pastels are seen as some of the best colors to wear at a wedding, particularly if the event is in spring or summer. Despite this, certain lighting can make pastels look white or cream in photos.

If you have your heart set on a mint, sky blue, or pale lilac outfit, try taking some pictures of it in direct sunlight. If the dress still looks too pale, or anything resembling white, choose something else.

Glitter or Shiny Metallics

This depends on the type of wedding you’re at. If you’re attending a daytime, less formal, or simple event, then your outfit shouldn’t be too extravagant. Sparkles, beads, and glitter can make you stand out instead of the bride.

If the wedding you’re at is a black-tie event, then you should be fine wearing a little glitter. Even if you’re at a formal wedding, try to make sure that your outfit isn’t too distracting.


People differ on whether red is appropriate or not to wear at a wedding. We’d advise against it. It isn’t white, but it is a color that turns heads for a reason.

Red is rich, bold, and bright. When other guests have opted for more subtle shades, you could stand out too much, stealing the spotlight from the bride.

Some cultures also follow different color rules. Indian and Chinese brides traditionally wear red at their weddings. If you’re a guest at one of these events, be respectful by avoiding red completely.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should you not wear to a wedding?

When you’re choosing guest attire, colors aren’t the only thing you should take into account. Avoid anything too revealing, such as mini dresses or low-cut blouses. To be on the safe side, keep skirts or dresses to knee length. If you’re attending a wedding at a place of worship, like a temple or church, take something to cover your shoulders.

Depending on the couple, some weddings call for casual attire. Even if this is the case, shorts, denim, and sneakers should be avoided completely. Denim looks too underdressed, while shorts and sneakers give an overly relaxed feel. If you don’t like wearing heels, choose a pair of flats instead.

Just like female guests, male guests should avoid taking the attention off of the groom. Avoid wearing a black tuxedo, and opt for a suit or smart blazer instead. The last thing you want is to be mistaken for the groom.

Is it rude to wear all black to a wedding?

Black used to be inappropriate for weddings, as past decades ruled that it was too dark and funereal to wear. Now, the rules have relaxed. If you’re going to an evening event, there’s nothing wrong with wearing a black outfit.

There are lots of advantages to wearing black. Everyone has something black in their closet. You probably own an LBD already.

Black is one of the most flattering colors available, as every skin tone and hair shade can pull it off. You can also accessorize black easily, leaving you with many jewelry and makeup options to choose from.

Black is a great color to go for, but if the wedding is in the daytime, you’re better off sticking to a different shade. Darker shades tend to look harsh when everyone else is wearing softer colors.

Certain cultures and religions also frown upon wearing black, so be aware of this when selecting your outfit. If you’re still unsure, try deeper shades of other colors. Navy, emerald, and eggplant tones can look just as stunning as black.