Singaporebrides | Fashion

April 2024

What Wedding Guests Should Not Wear to a Wedding

Planning to make a fashion statement at your next wedding event? Make sure you keep these wedding guest fashion faux pax in the closet!

Attending a wedding is always an exciting event, filled with joy, celebration, and, of course, fashion. As wedding guests who are part of the couple’s big day, your attire should respect the occasion’s significance. However, navigating wedding attire can be tricky, especially when trying to decipher what is inappropriate or taboo, or when figuring out modern wedding dress codes. To help you make the best fashion choices and avoid any faux pas, here’s a comprehensive guide on what wedding guests should not to wear to a wedding.

1. White or Off-White Dresses

The most well-known rule in wedding guest etiquette is avoiding white or off-white dresses. Unless the dress code specifically requests all-white attire, this colour is traditionally reserved for the bride as a symbol of her special day. The bride has waited a long time to wear white on this emotional life event, and wearing white can be seen as an attempt to upstage the bride, something no guest should inadvertently do.

If you think a white cocktail dress or jumpsuit will pass the etiquette test, think again. Modern bridal fashion now extends far beyond the white meringue gown, with brides opting for jumpsuits, short skirts, very minimalist silhouettes, pale pastels, or even prints on white background. To be sure you aren’t seen as competing with the bride at the ceremony or at the wedding reception, steer clear of very light colours or prints with a lot of white background, whether on dresses or jumpsuits.

Patricia and Martijn’s Island Luxe Wedding in Khayangan Estate, Bali by Putra Bali Photography

2. Anything Too Revealing

While you might want to dress to impress, a wedding is not the place for overly revealing attire. Deep, plunging necklines, very high slits, crop tops, or anything that might be considered more suitable for a nightclub than a wedding should be avoided. A revealing outfit will attract negative attention from guests and doesn’t honour the sacredness of the occasion. Remember, the focus should be on celebrating the couple, not drawing attention for the wrong reasons.

3. Denim

Unless explicitly stated by the couple (as in a themed wedding), denim is generally considered too casual for such a significant occasion. Jeans, denim jackets, or other denim garments can come off as disrespectful or as if you’re not taking the event seriously.

Nicole and Nicholas’s Modern All-White Wedding at The Clifford Pier by Synchronal Photography

4. Overly Casual, Everyday Attire

Even if the wedding invitation specifies a casual dress code for a less formal venue such as a beach or home celebration, wearing your everyday attire of flip-flops, shorts, and T-shirts is not appropriate. Show respect for the occasion by dressing more formally, such as with a maxi dress and dressy sandals for women and linen slacks and a button-down shirt to a beach wedding.

5. Flashy Outfits

While you want to dress up for the special event, you never want to outshine the couple. Avoid overly flashy or attention-grabbing attire such as sequinned gowns, sparkly headpieces, or flashy printed suits. You want to complement the event’s elegance, not compete with the stars of the show.

6. Anything Contradicting the Dress Code

Your appearance should reflect your wish to honour the couple on their wedding day, and one way is to adhere to the requested dress code. If the wedding has a specific theme or dress code, ignoring this guideline can make you stand out—and not in a good way. It shows a lack of consideration for the couple’s vision for their day. Always adhere to the dress code specified in the invitation to show your respect and support. If you’re unsure what “Roaring Twenties” or “Garden Chic” entails, ask a member of the wedding party or the couple themselves.

Weddings are beautiful occasions meant to celebrate love and unity. As a guest, your role is to add to the joy and elegance of the day through your presence and attire. Whether an invitation calls for formal, cocktail, or “Tropical Elegance,” your can add to the beauty of the wedding day and avoid serious fashion faux pax with these universal wedding guest style rules. Remember, when in doubt, it’s always better to overdress than underdress, and reaching out to the couple or their wedding planner for guidance is perfectly acceptable.

Feature image from Joy and Josh’s Summer Coral Wedding in the Surga Villa Estate, Bali by Jiwa Photography

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What Wedding Guests Should Not Wear to a Wedding