What Colours Should You Not Wear To A Wedding (2024)

What Colours Should You Not Wear To A Wedding (1)

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We all struggle with deciding what to wear as a wedding guest. With thoughts like, how formal will it be? What's the weather going to be like? What if it’s outside? And what colour should I wear to a wedding? All going through your mind, making a decision isn’t easy, to say the least. So, we’ve created our guide to help you pick out the perfect wedding guest colour, every time.

Definite NO…

Although this might be obvious, we’re just really making sure that we all agree that white and colours close to white are a definite no when choosing your next wedding guest outfit.


This goes without saying, white and dresses for a wedding guestare a big no. It’s tradition that the bride wears white, and while some might consider this old school, it’s still very common that only the bride wears white. The only times you might be able to wear white to a wedding would be if it's requested by the happy couple, or you have a white-based dress with large colourful prints over the top, that’s clearly not a wedding dress.

Ivory, Or Anything Close To White

Creams, beiges, and any light neutrals can easily be mistaken for a white, so it’s probably a good idea to steer clear.

Colours Which Are A Maybe…

When we think of colours not to wear to a wedding we always think of the obvious, white. But there are other tones and textures you might want to re-think before picking out your wedding guest outfits for the year.


Known as a bright and bold statement maker, neon colours can be a little much for someone’s wedding day. As it’s naturally an attention grabber, neon distracts from the bride (which we definitely don’t want), so save your neon outfits for another day.


Metallics are naturally pretty flashy, which aren’t a great option for a wedding as they risk upstaging the bride. Lots of metallic pieces also include glitter and sequins which are great for the hen do, but can be distracting on the big day. Some brides also pick out sparkly gowns for their bridesmaids so this could become confusing if you all turn up in gold glitter!

Gold & Champagne

Gold and champagne tones are another colour that’s smart to avoid as a guest, due to the risk of being also worn by the Bride. With many Brides going against the traditional white wedding gown, tones such as light golds and champagnes are becoming more and more popular. These hues can also be mistaken for white in photos, which is just another reason to avoid these colours on the big day.

The Bridesmaid Dresses Colour

Usually, the bride will pick out a specific colour palette for her bridesmaids, so avoiding the bridesmaids dress code colour can save you from awkwardness on the day, and the embarrassment of being mistaken for the wedding party!

Although this can be difficult to judge from the invitation if there’s no obvious clue for the colour theme of the day, it's a good idea to avoid colours that could be worn by the bridesmaids. These colours are usually neutral or soft pastels and so we’d advise steering clear.

Colours Not To Wear At Certain Cultural or Religious Weddings

Some colours aren’t just a social no-no, they can also be inappropriate for some cultures and religious weddings. So, make sure you keep this in mind when attending one of these weddings.


Black is commonly worn as a sign of respect to lost loved ones in many religions, so black should be avoided at a happy occasions like weddings. Also if you’re attending a Hindu wedding, black is considered unlucky so it’s best to avoid it.


Although we love a bright red it should be avoided, as intraditional Chinese and Indian weddings, red is reserved for the bride. Known for bringing good luck, happiness and prosperity, it’s best to leave this colour to the happy couple.

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What Colours Should You Not Wear To A Wedding (2024)


What color is inappropriate for 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.

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

"Tradition dictates guests avoid wearing red out of fear that it could take attention away from the happy couple,” explains Hurwitz. “Visually, it's quite bold. In a photo, your eye is immediately drawn to the color, especially if it's next to neutrals like white, black, gray, or beige.”

What is the best color to wear to a wedding? ›

Spring/Summer: Lighter colours like pastels, pinks, yellows, and lavender are popular choices for a warm weather wedding. Autumn/Winter: Jewel tones, darker shades like burgundy, wine red, or eggplant, and warmer colours like amber or mustard yellow are all flattering options for cold weather weddings.

Is black ok to wear to a wedding? ›

Since nuptials are celebratory occasions, the dark hue was labeled off-limits for attendees in the past. However, in today's modern-day age, wearing black to a wedding is completely acceptable, and in many cases, it's even encouraged.

What is the taboo color for wedding guests? ›

The tradition of wearing a white wedding dress dates back to Queen Victoria's wedding in 1840, and it has since become a symbol of purity and innocence. As a guest, wearing white to a wedding is considered a major faux pas because it can be seen as an attempt to upstage or overshadow the bride.

Is yellow a bad color to wear to a wedding? ›

When it comes to early afternoon weddings, the best colors to wear are light and spring-like shades. Think soft pastels and airy tones such as blues, pinks and yellows. For a more refined look, try pairing classic navy or grey with a brighter accent color like white, peach or light purple.

Why should you not wear green to a wedding? ›

A friend mentioned to me the other day she had heard you're not supposed to wear green to a wedding. That was news to me. A quick Google revealed that, according to Irish tradition, the colour green attracts the fairies and they could bring mischief and mayhem to the event.

What does black mean at a wedding? ›

Account for Tradition. In some cultures, black is less common for weddings. "Certain cultures, such as Indian and Chinese cultures, tend to stay away from black because it represents being in mourning. You want to take an extra thought if you are attending a more traditional wedding to be respectful," says Avrumson.

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.

What color is good luck for wedding? ›

However, red and white are considered the best for weddings. Along with decorations, wedding Kimonos in Japan are often made of these two colors. The combination of white and red is supposed to bring good luck to the new couple.

What is the average cash gift for a wedding? ›

According to the experts, the average wedding gift amount hovers right around $100 to $150, though that can increase or decrease based on how close you are to the couple and whether or not you're attending with a plus one.

What should you not 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.

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.

What colors should men not wear to a wedding? ›

White: You don't wear white to a wedding. Sure, you're not going to be confused for the bride, but just don't. Not casual, not formal, just never.

Is it rude to wear wedding colors to a wedding? ›

The colour scheme, when it comes to what to wear, is designed for the bridal party i.e. the groom, groomsmen, bridesmaids, pageboys etc. Unless you're in that bridal party, you'd be best to steer clear of trying to match them. Think of it a bit like a stage show.

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

Blue is also the colour of trust, which is why many businesses use blue in their corporate logos. The 'something blue' part of the wedding tradition stems from the belief that blue represented love, fidelity, and trust.

How do I ask guests not to wear a certain color? ›

Be Clear and Concise

If you want them to stay within a certain color palette, be sure to list out the acceptable colors and even provide a picture of them! If you want them to avoid certain colors, for example, the bridal colors, so guests don't end up looking like accidental bridesmaids, be clear about that as well.

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