What Colors to Wear to a Wedding: Dress Code Tips and Etiquette (2024)

Selecting the appropriate colors to wear to a wedding doesn’t have to be a challenge; learn which hues are wedding-appropriate and how to decide based on the season, theme, and time of day.

Key takeaways:

  • Follow the Dress Code: Adhere to specified attire guidelines.
  • Consider Seasonal Colors: Choose colors that match the season.
  • Use the Venue As a Guide: Let the venue influence your outfit choice.
  • Avoid Wearing White: Avoid white to avoid upstaging the bride.
  • Opt for Muted Tones for Informal Weddings: Choose soft, understated colors for casual events.

Follow the Dress Code

What Colors to Wear to a Wedding: Dress Code Tips and Etiquette (1)

Before selecting an outfit, scrutinize the invitation for a specified dress code; this information is crucial for appropriate attire choices. If the invitation reads black-tie, men should opt for a tuxedo, while women should consider a formal gown. A co*cktail attire designation calls for a suit and tie, or a co*cktail dress.

If the dress code is casual or ‘festive attire’, guests have more flexibility but should still aim for a polished look; a sundress or a skirt and blouse could be suitable for women, while men might wear slacks with a button-down shirt. Remember, the dress code is set to create a cohesive aesthetic and show respect for the occasion, so adhering to it is both considerate and stylish.

Consider Seasonal Colors

Seasonal palettes can beautifully complement the mood and setting of a wedding. In spring, pastels such as blush, light blue, and mint reflect the soft hues of blossoming flowers. Summer weddings call for brighter, bolder colors like coral, turquoise, or sunny yellow to match the energetic vibe of the season. For fall ceremonies, think of the changing leaves and opt for rich, warm shades like burgundy, forest green, or burnt orange. When winter arrives, embrace the coolness with deep colors such as emerald green, navy blue, or rich purples, or sparkle in metallics like silver or gold. Choosing attire in harmony with these seasonal suggestions will ensure you look appropriate and feel in tune with the wedding’s atmosphere.

Use the Venue As a Guide

When selecting your attire, the venue can provide valuable hints. For a beach wedding, light fabrics and breezy colors will complement the sandy shores and sunset views. They not only match the environment but also help you stay comfortable outdoors.

Gardens call for playful attire with floral prints or pastel shades that echo the natural beauty and vibrant blooms. Such attire effortlessly blends with the bucolic background.

For a more formal setting, like a grand ballroom, look towards luxurious fabrics and jewel tones that reflect the opulence of the surroundings. Classic cuts and understated elegance will never be out of place in such a sophisticated venue.

Barn or rustic venues invite earthy tones and soft textures that resonate with the countryside charm. Wearing something that reflects the rural setting can make you feel more in tune with the occasion.

Keep in mind, venues can influence the formality of your attire. High-end hotels might dictate a black-tie dress code, while a laid-back vineyard could suggest a co*cktail or semi-formal dress code. Always align your outfit with both the style and setting of the celebration for a harmonious look.

Avoid Wearing White

Traditionally, white is reserved for the bride on her wedding day, as it signifies purity and a new beginning. Wearing white can be perceived as an attempt to upstage the bride, which is a major faux pas. To avoid any fashion missteps:

  • Steer clear of dresses that are primarily white or ivory; this includes off-white shades like cream and champagne.
  • Patterns with white backgrounds are better left untouched; opt for prints with colored backgrounds instead.
  • If you’re fond of lighter hues, consider pastels, such as baby blue, soft pink, or mint green.
  • Be mindful of cultural norms, as some cultures embrace other colors for bridal attire. When in doubt, reach out to other guests or the wedding party for guidance.

Remember, the day is about celebrating the couple, and adhering to this unspoken rule shows respect for their special moment.

Opt for Muted Tones for Informal Weddings

When attending casual or informal weddings, muted tones are a thoughtful choice that complement the relaxed atmosphere. Soft pastels like blush pink, baby blue, and gentle lavender bring a subtle touch of color without overwhelming the setting. Earthy hues such as olive green, terracotta, and soft gray also blend seamlessly into most informal settings, and they pair well with natural elements often found at outdoor or rustic venues. These understated shades are both respectful of the occasion and offer a canvas for personal style to shine through with accessories and detailing. Remember, muted doesn’t mean dull; you can still showcase your fashion sense with interesting textures and patterns that align with the laid-back vibe of the event.

Keep reading:

What Colors Not to Wear to a Wedding: Etiquette and Style Tips

What Colors to Wear to a Wedding: Dress Code Tips and Etiquette (2)


What to Wear to a Wedding as a Guest Male: Style Tips and Outfit Ideas

What Colors to Wear to a Wedding: Dress Code Tips and Etiquette (3)


What to Wear to a Wedding: Choosing the Perfect Attire for the Occasion

What Colors to Wear to a Wedding: Dress Code Tips and Etiquette (4)


Black Tie Wedding Attire: Choosing the Right Outfit for Guests

What Colors to Wear to a Wedding: Dress Code Tips and Etiquette (5)


What Not to Wear to a Wedding: Style Mistakes to Avoid

What Colors to Wear to a Wedding: Dress Code Tips and Etiquette (6)


What Colors to Wear to a Wedding: Dress Code Tips and Etiquette (2024)


What Colors to Wear to a Wedding: Dress Code Tips and Etiquette? ›

For tuxedos or suiting, opt for basic black and white. For evening gowns, avoid black and chose pastel, muted, or jewel tones. However, semi-formal dress is a bit more lax and is usually what people are used to wearing to weddings. It's suits and/or slacks and a dinner jacket with evening or co*cktail dresses.

What is the color dress code for a wedding guest? ›

To bring a bolder statement, go for brighter colors like magenta and coral. If you're attending a wedding in the evening, there are certain colors that can help you look your best and make an impression. If you're looking for something classic and timeless, dark colors like navy blue or black are always appropriate.

How to tell guests what color to wear? ›

Be Upfront from the Beginning

This gives guests time to find an appropriate outfit or bow out if they're not able to follow it. List it next to the dress code. For example: “Formal attire requested. Please wear shades of blue.”

What is the best dress code for attending wedding? ›

1) Do Consider the Wedding Dress Code
  • Black Tie: floor length gowns, black ties, tuxedos.
  • Formal: floor length gowns, tuxedos optional, black suits acceptable.
  • Semi-Formal: below the knee dresses, dress shirts, slacks.
  • Casual: sundresses, collared shirts, khakis.

What does it mean if you wear blue to a wedding? ›

Traditionally, blue was a color that symbolized fidelity and loyalty, especially to one's spouse. Some say the bride needed blue to ward off the evil eye or prevent bad luck. The color doesn't have to be on your body or person to check the 'traditions' box.

What does it mean to wear red to a wedding? ›

And while you might see rumors floating around the web that wearing red means you had a fling with the groom, ignore those. There are no hidden meanings to any colors of wedding guest attire.

Why shouldn't you wear red to a wedding? ›

Turns out, wearing red to a wedding means to some that “you've slept with the groom.” “Old Wives' Tale, but yeah,” Mitchell explained. However, both wedding planners agreed on a more modern reason for not wearing red: It could be seen as a way to grab the attention away from the bride.

What you should never wear as a wedding guest? ›

Anything Too Casual

Even if the celebration is casual and relaxed, guests should always err on the side of formal. No flip, flops, shorts, or jeans should ever be on your list of options to wear.

What color dress should a guest not wear to a wedding? ›

white, obviously, and shades of white (ivory, cream etc.) But what other colours are a no-go? I've heard wearing a dress with white on it is considered inappropriate, black, and any pastel colours are considered rude as they are reserved for the bridal party.

What color makes you stand out in a crowd? ›

However, if you want to be noticed and stand out in a crowd, Orange is a good color for that. Warm seasons wear Orange best. Springs look alive in all shades of Orange as long as it is clear and saturated.

What colors are inviting and welcoming? ›

Make It Warm & Bright

These shades include gold, tangerine, and chrome—each of which look as classy as they do friendly. Some warm reds also make a great addition to a cozy living space. Specifically, deep reds such as burgundy, crimson, and scarlet are great go-to options for making homes feel lively and inviting.

What is the normal dress code for a wedding? ›

Women should embrace wrap dresses, midi dresses or elegant jumpsuits. For men, if it's a daytime wedding, a light sport jacket, button-down shirt and relaxed chinos fit the bill. In the evening, go for darker colors, as later weddings tend to be more formal.

What is the elegant dress code for ladies? ›

A midi or mini party dress styled with heeled sandals, a clutch bag can create an elegant look. If the occasion is slightly more formal, a long party dress would be appropriate too paired with silver or gold jewellery. Received an invite in the warmer months?

Is there any dress code for wedding? ›

Simply put, women should wear a formal, floor-length evening gown—no exceptions—with jewelry, heels, and an elegant clutch. Men are required to wear a tuxedo with tails, a formal white shirt, a vest, a bow tie, white or gray gloves, and formal footwear, such as derby shoes or oxfords.

How do you say to wear a certain color on an invitation? ›

In the wedding invitation, include a note suggesting that guests wear colors that would complement the overall theme or color scheme of the event. If you have a specific color in mind that you would like guests to wear, mention it in the wedding RSVP card or reply form.

What dress code to put on wedding invitations? ›

Wording examples for each dress code
  • White Tie. White Tie Celebration: Please join us in your most royal formalwear.
  • Black Tie. A Formal Affair: Our venue requires Black Tie attire.
  • Black Tie Optional. Black Tie Optional: Formal attire is suggested.
  • Creative Black Tie. ...
  • co*cktail. ...
  • Semi Formal. ...
  • Festive Attire. ...
  • Garden Party.

Can I wear black to a wedding as a guest? ›

As a general rule, "wearing black is totally acceptable, as the hue is very versatile," says bridal stylist Julie Sabatino of The Stylish Bride. Make the shade work for you—at any type of wedding—with these ideas for choosing the right fabrice, length, and accessories.

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