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What Not to Wear to a Wedding

No matter what type of wedding you attend, there is always a set of etiquette and dress code rules that accompany it. No matter if you are attending a black-tie, semi-formal, or casual wedding, these rules are in place to guide you in your outfit selections, and most importantly, to honor the bride on her big day.What should you not wear to a wedding? Rather than saying what not to wear, remember what the day is about. It’s about celebrating the couple and their love, so avoid wearing anything that could distract from their special day.

According to etiquette expert Lisa Grotts, there’s not much a bride can do about what guests wear to a wedding other than state the dress code on the invitation. Brides will (and should) provide the guests with clear expectations on their dress code. We at Satin & Lace Bridal Boutique care about our bride’s and their special day so we’ve put together the following wedding guest attire etiquette to help guide you in what you should avoid wearing to a wedding.

White. Black Tuxedo.

White should already be “off-limits” in your mind when you see a wedding invitation. Under no circumstances should you wear white to a wedding. It’s poor etiquette. Brides typically wear white unless you’re attending a cultural wedding with specific ceremonies and ceremonial dressing. There are many options other than white, so keep your options open. Even dresses that are white with a print overlay get tricky too. If most of the pattern does not wash the white-out, then don’t wear it.Also, any white variations, including cream, eggshell, champagne, etc., are off-limits.

Just as ladies don’t want to upstage the bride, gentlemen don’t want to upstage the groom. Instead of an overly formal black tuxedo, men should dress in a suit or a blazer. It’s better to be overdressed than underdressed, but find a happy medium that won’t have you mistaken for the groom.

Don’t Match the Bridal Party.

As a guest, you don’t want to blend in with the wedding party (or even mimic it). Try to get intel ahead of time about what shades and colors the bridal party and the groomsmen will be wearing. From there, select an outfit that blends nicely with the tones or something completely opposite but not too loud.

Also, look at the invitation because it’s the first source of information for what colors you should or shouldn’t wear to a wedding. The invitation will contain the color scheme for the weddingand these shades are typically the tones used in the wedding decor and bridal party. So, if you notice a repetitive royal blue or fern green, it’s safe to say those are what the wedding party will wear. And, if you’re wondering about a classic black dress, it’s a safe and acceptable choice.

Attire That Is Too Revealing.

It’s one thing to select an outfit that makes you feel confident, empowered, and adds a touch of sexiness. However, showing up in something too exposed could offend other guests (and children) attending the wedding. Keep your selections mostly modest with little hints and playfulness of sexiness through slits, mesh, and open back dresses. A wedding isn’t a chance to show off your body. Instead, a wedding is a sacred ceremony, so you should reflect that in your outfit selection.

Anything Too Casual.

We get it, especially after spending most of the past year at home. No one wants to quit their coziest clothing like yoga pants, slippers, and jeans. But these have no place at a wedding. Even if a wedding is casual and relaxed, still dress with respect. No shorts or jeans should be on your list of options to wear. Instead, ladies find a casual dress, and men wear a nice pair of this with a relaxed shirt. There can be some exceptions made for informal beach weddings—but it’s always best to check the dress code so you aren’t under dressed!

A Tiara.

If the bride is having a fairy-tale wedding, she should probably be the one wearing the tiara. As the guest, opt for more subtle headwear. Try a cute headband or a garden hat that keeps with the couple’s dress code.

When in Doubt, Just Ask!

After you’ve deciphered the invitation and investigated the wedding website, stalked the venue on their website and all social media channels, and you still don’t know what to wear or to steer clear of, ask. You can talk to the bride about what she would like people to wear, or connect with one of the attendees to help—that’s what they’re there.

As a wedding guest, it is important to show respect towards the bride and groom. After all, they did invite you to one of the biggest days of their lives.If you steer clear from these certain wedding guest don’ts, then you should be stunning for all the right reasons at your next wedding.

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