Can you wear red to a wedding? (2024)

When you’re invited to a wedding as a guest, it can sometimes feel like the dress code is just that, a code you need to crack, especially if they want to follow a specific theme and colour palette. However, whether you’re attending a formal or informal wedding, there is one unwritten rule all guests follow: your outfit should never take focus away from or upstage the bride and groom in any way.

Traditionally, this meant that the colour red was a big no no for wedding guests and should be avoided, but feelings around red have shifted as we move into a different time period for weddings. In this article, we will be looking at and answering whether you can wear red to a wedding, so you can feel comfortable in a colour that works for you when attending a wedding and that doesn’t detract from the marrying couple.

Why was red on the wedding outfit blacklist?

There’s no hiding from red, it is a very bold colour and traditionally it has scared both guests and bridesmaids away from wearing it out of fear that it would be too attention-grabbing for a wedding. If you see it in a wedding photo, you can’t help but focus on it, especially if it amongst more neutral and subtle colours like the white of a wedding dress.

What is the current view of wearing red to a wedding?

Over time as weddings have become less restrictive and fixated on the “rules” of the past, so have the outdated ideas concerning guest attire and what colours can and can’t be worn at a wedding. Many couples are now more creative and freer with their wedding designs which as a result broadens the horizons for what guests can wear without feeling like they have made a big mistake or gone against what the couple want.

Therefore, it is definitely no longer thought of as a crime against fashion to wear red at a lot of UK weddings. If you love red and are looking for a stunning dress to wear for a wedding, Maids to Measure has an amazing range of red bridesmaid dresses that can work for bridesmaids and guests alike.

How to dress red for seasonal weddings

Fall and winter weddings

The great thing about red is that there are a lot of different shades which can be very advantageous if you’re dressing for a seasonal wedding. For an autumn or winter wedding, there are a number of red shades that will fit the mood and aesthetic like the increasingly popular burgundy. If you’re a bridesmaid or are looking for a more formal dress as a guest, we have a beautiful collection of burgundy bridesmaid dresses that work perfectly for cold weather weddings.

Can you wear red to a wedding? (1)

Margot satin wrap dress in Burgundy

Spring and summer weddings

For spring and summer weddings you might be more drawn to brighter shades of red or potentially moving a bit more in the direction of pink. OurAllegrasatin tie shoulder dress can come in a variety of colours and is incredibly lightweight and comfortable to wear, perfect for weddings in warmer climates.

Can you wear red to a wedding? (2)

Allegra satin tie shoulder dress in rust

Are there any times where you can’t wear red to a wedding?

Naturally you can’t wear red if it has been explicitly said by the couple not to wear the colour. Although this might not be a common occurrence at many weddings, red is a significant and valued colour in certain cultures. Therefore, if you are attending a wedding, you know is incorporating cultural beliefs you should consider that red might already be a big part of the day and isn’t the right colour for this occasion.

Going back to wearing red at UK or other Western culture weddings, it still requires careful consideration. Whilst a lot of couples are more relaxed in terms of traditions, some might want to take a more formal approach and red probably won’t fit in with what they want or the setting in which the wedding is taking place.

Top tips for choosing the right red dress for a wedding

  • Be respectful- as mentioned above you should be mindful of the cultural beliefs of the couple when choosing what colour to wear to the wedding. Not only this but if you are wearing red, there are ways to play it down and not go out of your way stand out as this could be perceived as disrespectful to the couple.
  • Choose the right shade of red- depending on the season and overall aesthetic the couple of going for, there are many circ*mstances in which red can look amazing without being overpowering. Maids to Measure offer dresses in light and dark tones to help you find the best option.
  • Feel confident in your decision- make sure you are fully happy with your choice of dress as you could be wearing it all day, which isn’t great if the dress makes you uncomfortable or the colour isn’t right for the day. Maids to Measure has a wide selection of comfortable and affordable dresses that are great for both bridesmaids and wedding guests.


To answer the main question of the article, yes you can wear red to a wedding in most circ*mstances. However, in some situations you may want to check with the marrying couple that red is acceptable to wear as a guest and it won’t go against their culture or distract from their big day. Explore our range of guest and bridesmaid dresses online today to find the right dress to suit the occasion.

Can you wear red to a wedding? (2024)


Can you wear red to a wedding? ›

Whether or not you can wear red to a wedding depends on the wedding itself and the fashion specifications dictated by the couple. Nonetheless, it is largely no longer considered a faux pas to wear red to most Western and secular nuptials.

Can I wear red to a black tie wedding? ›

For a touch of color, stick to gem hues like emerald, amethyst, or garnet, which are also great for fall weddings. If the wedding is for a modern couple, you may also be able to wear brighter hues like red, pink, or yellow. One should also wear a tuxedo shirt, dark trousers, a black bowtie, and dark dress shoes.

What colors to wear to a wedding as a guest? ›

If you're looking for something classic and timeless, dark colors like navy blue or black are always appropriate. For a more glamorous look, pastels such as lavender, light pink, or pale blue will add a touch of elegance to your outfit.

Can you wear red to a wedding on Reddit? ›

Red can be fine but I personally don't like bright reds for weddings. This is almost orange because it's been washed, faded, etc.

Can you wear red shoes to a wedding as a guest? ›

Just don't. Ok there is more to it, but really, don't wear the color red. And while I'm at it, in case you didn't know, white is never okay either. Although these are both personally something I dislike, there are etiquette reasons for avoiding these colors as well.

Is it inappropriate to wear red to a wedding? ›

Summary. To answer the main question of the article, yes you can wear red to a wedding in most circ*mstances. However, in some situations you may want to check with the marrying couple that red is acceptable to wear as a guest and it won't go against their culture or distract from their big day.

Is red too much for a wedding guest? ›

If the wedding or the couple is less traditional, or the dress code is a little more creative, I don't think there's anything wrong with wearing red as a wedding guest,” adds Hurwitz. And while you might see rumors floating around the web that wearing red means you had a fling with the groom, ignore those.

What does red mean at a wedding? ›

There's an old wives' tale that wearing red to a wedding means you've slept with the groom or at least wanted to. It's a wedding myth that shouldn't prevent you from wearing whatever you want. However, people perceive the red colour as naughty or alluring.

What colors are not acceptable to wear to a wedding? ›

Leave all white, ivory, and champagne-hued shades alone, unless the invitation specifically designates an all-white dress code. "White and ivory are such a stark, prominent color that when you are the only one, as the bride, wearing it, all eyes are on you," says Avrumson.

What to wear to a wedding as a guest female? ›

Women wedding guests should wear a full-length dress, be it a ballgown, a sheath or an A-line style. High heels are strongly recommended. Feel free to accessorize with opulent jewelry and even elbow-length white silk gloves.

Can a wedding dress be red? ›

The Red Wedding Dress Tradition

Wearing red wedding dresses has been a Chinese wedding tradition since the Ming Dynasty over 650 years ago,” explains Qiao. “In Chinese culture, the bride wears a red wedding dress such as a Qun Kwa or a cheongsam on her wedding day to celebrate the joy and happiness of the marriage.”

Can I wear pink to a wedding? ›

Super-light pastels

However, we've seen one too many wedding guest dresses in barely-there pastel hues that end up looking white or ivory in photos—not cool. If you're considering a blush or pale mint look for a wedding, try photographing the ensemble in sunlight. If it retains its pink or green hue, it's fine to wear.

Can you wear a red jumpsuit to a wedding? ›

Weddings in hotter climates are usually more laidback, with couples choosing a relaxed dress code, so this is the perfect time to throw on that floaty red dress or jumpsuit you've been dying to wear.

What is the taboo color for wedding guests? ›

When attending a wedding, it is important to avoid wearing any color that might be too close to white or off-white. The most common shades that should be avoided are: Ivory: A pale-yellowish shade of white. Champagne: A warm beige color with a hint of gold.

Is red lipstick OK for a wedding guest? ›

Yes, you can wear red lipstick as wedding guests if it compliments your outfit and overall makeup look. Just make sure it doesn't clash with the wedding theme or draw too much attention away from the bride.

Can I wear bright red? ›

True clear bright red will always look fabulous. Winters (or Summers) who have a touch of warmth to them, like the Toasted or Deep Winters (or Sunlit or Toasted Summers), should find their touch of warmth in other places instead of their reds. Blush, eyeshadow, or some gold jewelry will be enough warmth for them.

What colors not to wear to a black tie wedding? ›

The only real color that's off-limits as a wedding guest is white, but there are some color schemes that work best for black tie weddings. "Most guests will stick to darker hues like burgundy, black, navy and gray.

What colors are acceptable for black tie? ›

Darker colours, such as black, navy, or deep jewel tones are traditionally preferred, although modern interpretations of the black tie can include bold colours and tasteful prints.

What is not appropriate for black tie? ›

You should't wear casual clothing such as jeans, T-shirts, shorts, jumpers and trainers. It's also best to avoid suits that aren't black (or dark blue) and patterned ties or shirts.

Can I wear red lipstick to a black tie wedding? ›

There are no specific guidelines for hair and makeup when it comes to a black tie wedding. That said, you don't want to look like you rolled out of bed and put on a fancy dress. If you're a hair-and-makeup type of person, consider this your chance to go all out—a strong red lip, smokey eye, fancy chignon, you name it.

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