What Colors Not to Wear to a Wedding: Complete Guide

what colors not to wear to a wedding

You’ve surely attended a number of weddings in your life, and you must have seen a fair share of fashion faux pas. Whether these “fashion crimes” were committed by the VIP guests or less important ones — they were the talk of the town for days to come.

So, unless you want your wedding attire to be the latest gossip among the couple’s family and friends, you should plan your outfit carefully for this joyous occasion. More importantly, make sure you know what colors not to wear to a wedding!

Next time you turn your closet upside down, wondering which colors are unacceptable at these festive events, sneak a peek at this guide!

White

White

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Unless otherwise stated by the bride and the groom — white is a big no-no when choosing your ensemble! You might be tempted to wear that gorgeous white gown hanging in the back of your closet, but you don’t want to take the spotlight from the bride. Bear in mind that this is not your day; you’re there to show love and appreciation for the newlyweds.

Of course, you do not need to avoid white completely. Some white patterns combined with other colors might still be suitable, as long as they do not resemble the bridal gown in style, pattern, or color. Still, if you are not quite sure this is the case, it’s maybe best to avoid it completely.

Off-White Is Still White

Off-White

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If you believe you are going to get away with anything that resembles white, we’ve got bad news! Off-white is still off limits! Very light colors, such as off-white, champagne, beige, or cream, can easily be mistaken for bridal white. In case you were thinking, well, it’s not snow white, it’ll do — just put it back where you found it.

So, if you are a fan of light colors, you must already be disappointed. But don’t despair just yet! You can always opt for pastel colors, as long as they can’t be mistaken for white. If you are unsure, take a pic of the dress in the daylight. If you can recognize the hue, you’re good to go.

Black

Black

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Did you grow up hearing that having a little black dress means you’ll have a dress for every occasion? Well, it seems this is not always the case. You might find that some people think of black as a color for mourning rather than celebrating.

Although it looks elegant and flatters almost anyone, you should respect the fact some people will not look favorably upon it. Even if you have a different opinion, a safe choice would be to avoid black altogether.

Don’t get discouraged just yet. If you prefer darker hues, you’ll find navy blue a great alternative. It is probably one of the most popular colors of choice for wedding guest attire. Navy blue is appreciative of almost any complexion, and it will make you feel royal. The best thing is, you get to look and feel fantastic without offending anyone!

Red

Red

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If you’re attending a traditional Chinese wedding, you’ll want to steer clear of red. Just as white is a traditional color for the bride in a western wedding, red is the color of choice for many Chinese brides.

However, you might want to think twice about wearing red to any wedding ceremony. Wearing a bright red dress to a wedding can get you in the spotlight. Also, you can come across as seeking attention, and we’re sure that’s not the effect you were going for!

Luckily, if red is your favorite color, you can still play it safe by choosing an appropriate hue. Go ahead and choose darker, more subtle shades of red. Paired with appropriate accessories, this dress choice will surely be spot on.

Glitter, Neon, or Metallics

Glitter

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Although you might want to leave an impression on the entire wedding party by wearing something unusual, wearing glitter or neon should not be on your list. You will want to leave these bold designs for a night out in the club, or maybe even a bachelorette party.

It doesn’t matter if you saw it trending on Instagram or in the fashion world; these fashion statements will most certainly put you in the limelight. And this is a reaction you want to avoid as a wedding guest.

The same applies to wearing metallics, such as gold or silver. They are too sparkly and eye-catching, and this can be interpreted as another attempt to take the attention away from the bride and groom.

Denim

Denim

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This should go without saying, but it seems some people still make the mistake of wearing denim to a wedding. Regardless of how informal a wedding is, it is still somebody’s most important day, and you don’t want to disrespect that by appearing too casual.

For a less formal wedding, you can go for some casual attire. Gents can pick out a pair of khaki pants and a casual shirt, while ladies can opt for a long floral dress. However, don’t lose sight of the fact that there is such a thing as dressing too casual. Wearing a pair of crocs or a bralette may feel comfortable, but it is still unacceptable.

The Color of The Bridesmaids’ Dresses

Dresses

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The fact that you didn’t know what colors the bridesmaids were wearing is no excuse! You should avoid wearing an outfit similar to bridesmaids, both in color and style. Some may interpret wearing these colors as an attempt to be one of the bride’s best friends.

What to do if you don’t know any of the bridesmaids? Well, if you are not too close to the bride, you can try and find this information from the other VIP guests. If this fails, you can always turn to the wedding invitation.

A good rule of thumb is that the colors on the invite are usually the wedding theme colors. So if you are still unsure of what colors the bridesmaids are wearing, this might be a hint.

Also, an invite is the first place to check for the invitation theme. Some couples decide to have a dress code or a wedding theme. In this case, make sure to abide by the couple’s wishes. This can also make your outfit choices much easier since you won’t have to waste your time thinking about what’s fitting for the occasion.

Whether you’ve ever sinned against wedding dress etiquette or not, don’t despair; rather, try to have fun! After all, weddings are a perfect occasion to rock that stylish dress you never got a chance to wear.

Britni Luczak
Britni Luczak is a web expert known for her out-of-the-box take on all things digital. She regularly writes as a guest author on many blogs, and is keenly interested in helping small businesses and entrepreneurs outgrow their legacy roots. Luczak is also an avid reader. She is currently planning to write and launch her first book.