The Dos and Don’ts of Choosing Wedding Guest Attire

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The Dos and Don’ts of Choosing Wedding Guest Attire

The Dos and Don’ts of Choosing Wedding Guest Attire


Attending a wedding is an exciting and joyous occasion, but it can also be quite stressful when it comes to choosing the perfect attire. Deciding what to wear requires consideration of various factors, such as the wedding theme, location, and dress code specified by the couple. This article will provide you with essential dos and don’ts to help you navigate your way to the ideal wedding guest outfit.

The Dos

1. Research the wedding theme

Before selecting your wedding guest attire, it is important to research and understand the couple’s chosen wedding theme. This will help guide your outfit choice and ensure your attire aligns with their vision for their special day.

2. Follow indicated dress codes

Most wedding invitations provide dress code information, such as black tie, formal, semiformal, or casual. It is crucial to adhere to these dress codes to avoid being overdressed or underdressed. Following the indicated dress code shows respect for the couple and the occasion.

3. Opt for appropriate length and coverage

The length and coverage of your attire are essential considerations. Avoid wearing anything too short, revealing, or attention-grabbing. Opt for dresses or suits that are modest and elegant, reflecting the formality of the event.

4. Coordinate with the wedding colors

Having a basic understanding of the wedding colors can help you select an appropriate outfit. Choose complementary colors or neutral tones that match the overall theme. However, try not to overshadow the wedding party in terms of attire or color scheme.

5. Consider the venue and climate

When choosing your wedding guest attire, always consider the venue and climate. For outdoor weddings, select lightweight fabrics and dress shoes that won’t sink into the grass. For indoor weddings, choose formal and structured outfits that fit the ambiance.

6. Accessorize with taste

Accessorizing can enhance your overall wedding guest outfit. Opt for tasteful accessories such as statement jewelry, scarves, or elegant belts. However, avoid going overboard with accessories, as they should complement and not overpower your attire.

7. Dress comfortably without sacrificing style

While style and elegance are crucial, comfort should not be disregarded. Ensure that your attire allows you to move freely, sit comfortably, and enjoy the celebration throughout the day and evening.

The Don’ts

1. Never wear white

It is an unwritten rule not to wear white unless explicitly requested otherwise by the couple. White is traditionally reserved for the bride, so avoid any dresses that resemble bridal wear or any shade of white.

2. Avoid overly casual attire

Avoid showing up in overly casual attire, such as jeans, t-shirts, or sneakers, unless the dress code specifically states otherwise. Weddings are special occasions that usually require a certain level of formality, so dress accordingly.

3. Do not wear anything too flashy or attention-seeking

While it’s great to dress stylishly, avoid wearing anything too flashy or attention-seeking that may divert focus from the couple. Avoid excessively bold prints, excessively short skirts, or any attire that may overshadow the bride or groom.

4. Steer clear of wearing all black

While black is a classic and versatile color, wearing an all-black attire can be seen as inappropriate for a joyous event like a wedding. Reserve the all-black ensemble for more solemn occasions, and choose a different color palette for a wedding.

5. Don’t overdo makeup and fragrances

Although makeup can enhance your appearance, avoid going overboard. Opt for a natural and elegant look. Additionally, avoid wearing excessive fragrances, as some guests may have sensitivities or allergies.

6. Avoid wearing overly revealing attire

To respect the couple’s wishes and the formality of the event, avoid wearing attire that is too revealing or exposes too much skin. Choose outfits that provide appropriate coverage while still allowing you to look fashionable and stylish.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I wear a black dress to a wedding when the dress code is not specified?

A: It is generally safe to wear a black dress to a wedding, as long as it is not overly formal or resembles mourning attire. However, if you are uncertain, it is advisable to reach out to the couple or other guests to confirm whether black attire is appropriate for the event.

Q: Can I wear a hat to a wedding?

A: Hats can be a stylish accessory for weddings, particularly for outdoor daytime events. However, it is essential to consider the dress code and the venue. Large or dramatic hats may obstruct the view of other guests, so opt for tasteful and appropriately sized headwear.

Q: Can I wear pants or jumpsuits to a wedding?

A: Yes, pantsuits or jumpsuits can be an elegant and fashionable choice for a wedding, particularly in more casual or modern settings. Ensure that the material and design of the pantsuit or jumpsuit align with the formality of the event.

Q: Can I wear open-toed shoes to a wedding?

A: Open-toed shoes can be appropriate for weddings, particularly if the dress code is casual or the event is held in warmer weather. However, avoid wearing overly casual flip-flops or any shoes that may seem too informal for the occasion.

Q: Can I wear bold prints or patterns to a wedding?

A: While bold prints or patterns can add a touch of personality to your attire, it is important to ensure they do not overshadow the couple or the wedding party. Opt for tasteful and well-balanced prints and patterns that still align with the formality of the event.

Q: Can men wear suits without ties to a wedding?

A: Yes, suits without ties can be a stylish choice for a wedding, particularly for more relaxed or modern ceremonies. However, it is advisable to check the dress code or consult with the couple to ensure that the absence of a tie is acceptable.


Choosing the right wedding guest attire involves striking a balance between style, appropriateness, and respect for the couple’s wishes. By adhering to the dos and avoiding the don’ts outlined in this article, you will ensure that you look fabulous while gracefully support the couple on their special day.