What NOT to Wear to a Wedding

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This is a celebration of two people choosing to unite their lives together forever. As with everything else in life, there are do’s and don’ts for weddings – especially on what NOT to wear to a wedding. Wearing outlandish choices to your friend’s big day might not be as bad as wearing a white evening gown to upstage the bride, but everyone—including your best friend and new Mrs.—will more than likely take them as a desperate call for attention or chalk it up to extremely poor taste. Either way, people will be talking about you—but you may not want to hear what they are saying!

Bad dress to wear to a weddingPeople are there to see the bride, not your eccentric hat/dress/purse/shoes/eye shadow. Wearing loud apparel and accessories is a common scheme women use for “wedding-crash”.

Here are some tips on what NOT to wear to your friend’s wedding—you can still look glam and turn heads without offending anyone!

Save the business attire for Monday-Friday office-wear

  • Not the place to rock those $200 jeans
  • Check that cocktail dress for an appropriate hemline
  • Wearing the same color as the bridal party is wearing is tacky
  • Black is a no-no for women at weddings
    • A cute LBN (little black number) or sequins work well for formal evening ceremonies
  • A wedding is not the place to draw attention to yourself by wearing scanty, over-sexed outfits
  • Breaking in a new pair of stilettos at a wedding is not a good idea – especially if plan on dancing
  • Jeans and a T-shirt – NOT an option
  • Plastic footwear (aka flip flops, crocks, jellies, etc.) are a huge wedding no-no
  • Whether on the beach or in your mom’s backyard, the least you can do is throw on a dress assuming it’s a casual ceremony. Pumps, heels, flats, loafers and sandals are a go
  • Disco isn’t cool when people say “I do.” That’s not to say that you can’t invoke other styles and eras
    • A 1960s pencil skirt will allow you to turn heads without causing a distraction
    • a dress with an empire waist and cap sleeves will invoke the 1940s without making you look like a has-been
  • Trade the giant bag for a clutch

Use discretion and err on the side of caution. If you’re at all unsure, wear something more elegant.

Weddings now take place in many venues, from caves deep underground (Carlsbad Caverns), to sandy beach resorts (Sandals Beach Resorts) and everything in between.  Make sure you ask the bride about her theme and dress code. While jeans may not be appropriate for a church wedding, a barn wedding with country music may call for such attire.

P.S. While we are discussing the appropriate way to dress for weddings, some wedding dresses may call for some very interesting themes, i.e. gothic, retro, vintage, and many more. The invitation should give a good clue on the theme.