5 Wedding Guest Attire Mistakes to Avoid

It's important to be mindful of what you choose to wear.

wedding guest wearing a printed ruffle dress and holding a silver clutch

Photo by Gracie Byrd Jones

There's nothing more exciting than being invited to a wedding. If you truly think about it, a marriage is a celebration between two people in love, and as a guest, you get to join in and honor their love story. What's more, the couple specifically chose to include you in their nuptials, meaning you hold a special place in their hearts.

So, as a wedding guest, the last thing you want to do is upset the guests of honor on their big day, let alone offend them with your outfit. Choosing what to wear to a wedding can sometimes be difficult, as there are endless clothing and style options to sort through. Between deciphering the dress code and wearing a look appropriate for the season and locale, being mindful of what you choose to wear is of the utmost importance.

Thankfully, we want to see everyone look their best for every wedding, and are here to help prevent any wardrobe mishaps. Below are the top five guest attire mistakes to avoid when dressing for anyone's big day.

Wearing White

One rule every guest should know when attending a wedding is that you absolutely cannot wear white. White attire (including white outfits with prints and patterns) is strictly reserved for the couple, no exceptions. It's also best to stay away from lightly colored ensembles, like light beige, blush, or light silver.

However, if the couple has asked for guests to wear white, then, of course, you should adhere to the couple's requests. Otherwise, it's essential to stay away from this hue and shop for a colorful outfit that won't disrupt anyone's big day.

Disregarding the Dress Code

A dress code is established by a couple to set the tone and formality of their wedding. That said, it's important for all wedding guests to understand the specified dress code on their invitations. There's nothing worse than showing up to a wedding inappropriately dressed, as you'll stick out and likely feel uncomfortable for the entire celebration.

Today, there are about 10 standard dress code options, though many couples are choosing to create more personalized wedding attire guidelines. If you're ever confused about what you should wear, the best course of action is to always ask the couple, or someone in the wedding party, for help with your outfit choice.

Wearing a Revealing or Flashy Outfit

While it's okay to embrace your personal style, when it comes to wearing overly revealing clothing, it's best to opt out of those styles. For example, dresses with very large cutouts, super short minis, and extremely sheer ensembles. This rule also applies to overly flashy attire, like completely sequined dresses or neon-colored pieces. No matter the season or destination, always err on the side of caution when it comes to revealing and boisterous looks.

Not Dressing for the Season and Locale

You wouldn't wear a snowsuit to the beach, right? The same style rules go for attending a wedding. For summer nuptials held on the beach, stick to looks that will keep you cool and breezy, while leaning into the beach locale and vibe (think: flowy maxi dresses or chic minis). Alternatively, an indoor winter wedding would call for an outfit that keeps you warm, with removable pieces (like a jacket or shawl) to adjust to indoor temperatures.

Wearing Uncomfortable Shoes

Even if you don't plan to dance all night, you should be mindful of the shoes you choose to wear. There may be portions of the day or night that require you to stand for an extended period of time, so you certainly want to avoid any discomfort that may come with wearing painful shoes. Ultimately, comfort is key when dressing for a wedding; the more comfortable you are, the more fun you will likely have.

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