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Wedding Wear - How Not To Fail

Depending upon the location, theme or style of the wedding that you are attending as a guest, you will want to look your best for the couple's big day; but there are some major faux pas committed by some well meaning guests. Selecting what outfit to wear can be a tricky task despite your role at the wedding or relationship with the happy couple; you will not want to upstage the bride on her big day so here are some guidelines worth following.

Never Wear White.

It is not a good idea to wear anything that could possibly be mistaken for a wedding dress and no guest should ever steal the attention away from the bride on her big day. Even if you look your absolute best in white, give it a miss for this occasion. Ask prior to the occasion and steer clear of the colour chosen by the bride.

Do Not Wear Black.

Just as the wearing of white is frowned upon, the wearing of black is indicative of mourning and therefore should not be chosen for a happy union. However if you have a favourite black dress and really want to wear it to your friend's wedding, dressing it up with something glitzy like sequins or a sparkly contrasting jacket should help it look less like a funeral outfit.

No Tiaras

As tempting as it may be to dress your beautifully done hair in a sparkling tiara, this would show ultimate disrespect to the bride and could result in you becoming the object of ridicule. Wearing a tiara or similar head-wear to any wedding other than your own, could be considered attention-seeking, vain and impertinent.

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Prom Dresses/Business Suits.

Prom dresses and ball gowns should be left at home when attending a wedding as they are designed to resemble bridal gowns and may draw attention away from the bride or subject you to disapproving glances and/or comments from other guests. Business suits also belong in the wardrobe at home, rather than at a wedding - the wearing of formal skirt-jacket combos can make you look 'stuffy' and are best kept for that business meeting, not your friend's wedding.

Jeans/Casual Wear.

However casual the wedding is, jeans and a t-shirt should not be a choice made by any attending guest; to not bother donning a dress, skirt & top, or other 'dressy' choice, shows nothing but extreme bad manners and lack of respect for the occasion and bridal couple. The same can be said for the wearing of flip-flops - it should never be done! Taking along a pair of ballet slippers or sandals for later in the evening may be a good idea, but never flip-flops.

Skimpy, Revealing Outfits

There is a time and a place for showing off a little leg or décolleté and a wedding is neither; the wearing of skimpy, revealing outfits are usually an attention-seeking, 'look at me' attempt and you would not want the bride to feel that you want her guests to take more notice of you than her, so showing off your assets should be left for another time.

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Wearing extremely loud or garish outfits or accessories are considered by most, to be in bad taste and a means of upstaging the bride. It is perfectly acceptable to opt for bright colours, but try to choose classic not gaudy patterns and colours. It can be nice to turn heads, but not when the attention you are getting is because people consider your outfit tasteless, tawdry and brash.

Dated Attire

Unless your wedding invitation advises on a theme or era, try not to wear dated or vintage attire, it may be the style you personally like but will appear out of place at a wedding. Bell-bottomed trousers are best suited to a night out on the town, that 1940's sun-dress should only ever be worn to a vintage rock and roll event, and any era-specific clothing should be strictly kept to era-specific occasions.


One for the male guests, unless you are the groom, one of the groomsmen or the best man, do not wear a tuxedo unless your invitation requests it. Just as no female guest should upstage the bride, no male guest should upstage the groom; apart from appearing ridiculous if you are the only person wearing a tuxedo, you do not want the embarrassment of being constantly mistaken for one of the bridal party.

So when selecting your outfit to attend that all important occasion, team up an outfit with accessories such as shoes, bag, and jewellery, choose simple elegant designs, avoid making the above mistakes and feel confident that you are a guest who will allow the bride and groom to be the centre of attention on their special day.