Top 5 Wedding No-Nos - What NOT to Wear!

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Written by  theperfectpalette
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As wedding season has arrived, the shops are packed with floral prints and pretty dresses, but what dress styles and colours are suitable for guests to wear to weddings? Here are five of the most common wedding dress guest mistakes women make when choosing a wedding outfit. 
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Mistake #1: Wearing White

A lot of people think that this is an old-fashioned, old-school rule. Maybe the bride is super cool and doesn't care one bit, but wearing a white dress to a wedding can rub a lot of people the wrong way. Truthfully, the most obvious mistake female wedding guests make is wearing white. 

In fact, anything that looks remotely bridal is out of bounds to avoid offending the bride. It's never a good idea to wear anything that could conceivably be mistaken for a wedding dress.  

Some say it is okay, however, according to Martha Stewart Weddings, “If you do show up in white, you’re not technically doing anything wrong, but people might talk and you’ll be known as “the girl who wore white at so-and-so’s wedding.” It’s just not worth it. 

Let the big day be about the guest of honour — the bride — and save your white dress for a special occasion that doesn’t involve vows.” So with that being said, I think you shouldn’t wear all white. Because believe me, even if you look your best in white, you won't care what colour you're wearing when she's staring daggers into your eyes instead of saying "I do." Exceptions to the rule are white dresses with bold coloured patterns.  

Tip: To play it safe, go for a  little black dress.

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Mistake #2: Wearing Red

The truth is that there's really nothing wrong with wearing a red dress to a wedding. The real underlying issue with red is that it draws the eye, big time. And if there is only one bright red dress among a sea of pastel shades, it will stand out like a sore thumb on the group photos. 

To avoid stealing the show, I'd suggest avoiding red all together. Especially if the dress color could be described as "fire engine red." Bright red is just too loud and distracting. Deep cranberry is a good alternative.

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Mistake #3: Ignoring the Invitation Dress Code

A common wedding dress guest mistake is failing to check the invitation dress code to see which style of outfit is appropriate. For a black tie dress code an evening gown or cocktail dress is expected, for a white tie dress code nothing but a ball gown will suffice, and for a lounge suit dress code a daytime summer dress, a skirt and top or a light suit is required. If there is no dress code on the invitation, a colourful summer dress is usually a safe bet. Dress codes should be paid attention to. Believe me, you don't want to feel out of place. Nothing could feel more awkward.  

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Mistake #4: Dressing like the Bridesmaids


Wedding guest outfits shouldn’t look too much like the bridesmaids’ dresses. Some guests make the effort to find out the wedding colour scheme and choose a coordinating dress, which is a great idea. Wearing an identical dress to the bridesmaids, however, can give the impression of being offended at not being asked to be one. Of course coincidences happen and sometimes guests will unknowingly turn up in the same colour as the bridesmaids, which can’t be helped. 

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5. Wearing Inappropriate Attire

A wedding is a classy occasion. Don’t cheapen it by wearing what you wore to the hen party or the club the night before. Even though the reception will likely feature dancing and single guys, it's not the time or the place for tiny clothes that hug every curve. Skimpy clothes fall into the hen party dress code. Believe me, no one needs to see your upper thigh or your cleavage hanging out. Seriously, it's just not a good look. 


So there you have it! My top 5 wedding no-nos when it comes to wedding attire for guests. I know there are a few exceptions to this rule. For instance, different cultures have different traditions when it comes to white and red. But generally speaking, these rules will keep you safe when you are on trying to decide what to wear (and not to wear) to your next wedding.

Okay, so now that you know what NOT to wear to a wedding... 

Here's a collection of 25 Dresses (hand picked by me) that are 100%  appropriate to wear to a wedding. 

Oh, and if you liked this article, be sure to check out my others below. I'm sharing my thoughts on weddings and parties and everything in between. 

Find everything you need for that special day at  eBay's Wedding Shop.  

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