Everyone knows brides wear white and grooms wear suits. But even just a guest should pay attention to their outfit before stepping out the door. Dressing appropriately, whether that means dusting off an old suit or taking your favorite dress to the cleaners, shows respect for the occasion and the couple getting married. Beyond cleaning your clothes, you should make sure they’re not on the list of taboo colors for wedding guests.
It may sound extreme, but wearing the wrong color, pattern, or even fabric could take attention away from the couple on their special day. To help you avoid a severe fashion faux pas, we’ve compiled a list of colors to avoid at weddings. Some should be avoided no matter what, while others might be okay depending on the circumstances. Make sure to read the whole article to find out the difference.
Unless the couple mentions otherwise, certain colors are always unwelcome at weddings. Wearing one of these colors goes beyond a simple oopsie. Instead, you’ll draw undue attention to yourself and become the target of many dirty looks. To help you avoid dampening the mood, we’ve put together a list of colors that are absolute no-gos for wedding fashion.
White, off-white, and the bridal party hue are all off-limit colors for wedding guest dresses and men’s attire. While the rules about these shades are straightforward, some colors and fabrics fall into a gray area. You likely won’t get scolded for wearing them, but they’re not the best options. Let’s see which colors fall into this category.
In the past, etiquette books were much stricter about wedding dress codes. For instance, guests were not supposed to wear black. It was seen as a color of mourning and therefore set the wrong tone for a joyous occasion. The rules have loosened up quite a bit, so black is no longer the absolute taboo it once was. That said, there are some things to keep in mind before slipping into your favorite black cocktail dress.
The first consideration is location. Many women and men in big cities in the Northeast and Northwest, like New York, Boston, and Seattle, wear black to weddings without a second thought. However, black might look too serious in warmer regions like the South. Similarly, black would look too formal at a tropical destination wedding.
Another factor to consider before slipping into something black is the wedding’s formality. If you’re attending a black-tie event where men wear tuxes and women wear evening gowns, then black is a suitable color choice. On the other hand, if it’s an informal gathering on a beach, then opt for a lighter hue. A third factor to consider is the time of the wedding. Daytime events usually demand lighter colors, while evening ceremonies (after 6:00 PM) allow for darker colors, including black.
While wearing black is possible at some Western weddings, it’s an absolute no-no if you’re attending a Hindu ceremony. Black is an unlucky color in Hinduism, so choose another outfit.
It’s your wedding, so feel free to request that your guests adhere to a dress code or color. At the same time, consider guests’ time when making this kind of request. Announce your decision early on the save the date or the wedding invitation.
Dark shades of blue, like navy and indigo, give off an elegant vibe, making them a solid choice for most wedding receptions. They’re particularly well-placed at formal or winter events. While not off-limits otherwise, they might look too severe for a beach or summer wedding.
Whether you choose amber, Dijon, or banana, yellow is an excellent color for wedding guests. This cheery shade is especially at home for daytime weddings in the spring and summer. Similarly, it’s a perfect choice for tropical weddings.
According to ancient Scottish and Irish traditions, all were supposed to avoid wearing green on their wedding day. The color was thought to attract fairies who would destroy the wearer. It’s funny to think about, but you can ignore this advice unless you’re superstitious.
Receptions that start after 6:00 PM tend to be more formal, so feel free to choose a darker color when attending a night wedding. Navy blue, emerald green, and deep purple are just some colors that shine at night. Additionally, black might be appropriate.
Knowing which colors to wear to a wedding is the first step in choosing the perfect ensemble. Besides paying attention to the hue you’re sporting, you’ve got to consider other factors like the dress code, season, location, and perhaps even the theme. It’s a lot to keep track of, so we recommend checking out our Wedding Outfit Guide for everything you need to know.