Colors Not To Wear To A Wedding



Colors NOT To Wear To A

You’ve been invited...

It's your cousin Phoebe’s wedding. You’re not in the wedding party, but you’ve got a +1 all lined up and you’re ready to weep at the nuptials and dance at the reception. It’s going to be a lovely affair, and it’s time to choose the perfect outfit.

So Lets Talk Color

But First!

Colors Not To Wear To A Wedding

A Bride In Her Traditional White Dress

A word to the wise. The primary rule about weddings, for those who follow rules, is that the bride is in charge. If she says wear white, you ask how bright. If she says go blue, you ask what hue. It’s the bride’s big day and she gets things her way. Having said that, most brides don’t dictate the color choice for their guests. You’re left looking to traditions, norms, and the ways in which the eye is drawn to particular colors as your guidance.


So, let’s talk color...

And, of course, you can break the rules. But if you are going to meet basic expectations, and not risk the wrath of your great aunt, here they are:

1st Content

AVOID: White at All Costs

You may not wear white as your primary color. You may not wear off-white, cream, ecru, or eggshell. You may not wear anything that anyone could mistake for white. The bride, and only the bride, gets to wear white. On this day, she is pure and virginal and whitewashed and you, my dear, are not.



AVOID: Bright Red

Bright red is the color of passion and sex and anger. A little goes a long way and all-over red should be avoided. It contrasts starkly with the white of the bride, and it invokes a note of sensuality that really isn’t appropriate at the event (wait for the honeymoon!).

2nd Content

AVOID: Black for Women

Unless you can spruce it up quite a bit, black is not the color to pull out of the closet as you prepare for a wedding. If there is even the very slightest chance that you could be mistaken for dressing for a wake, you are inappropriately attired. Weddings are happy, joyous, celebratory affairs. Your color choices should align with that message.

3rd Content


AVOID: The Colors of the Wedding Party

Ask the bride, the bride’s mother, or the maid of honor, what the bridesmaids will be wearing. If there is a dominant color, as is common at traditional weddings, choose your clothing and your colors so that you are not mistaken for being part of the wedding party.


4th Content

AVOID: Overshadowing the bride

Remember, the wedding couple rules the day and they should be the center of the attention. While your color choices should be fresh and even flirty, they should not be overly flashy or potentially outshine the leading lady. This is not the time to choose a color that is so unique as to be distracting. That likely means avoiding bright oranges, hot pinks, neons, and any color that screams ‘look at me.’ A good rule of thumb – if you were standing in a picture next to the bride in a beautiful gown, would your dress be what first caught people’s eye? If yes, reconsider your choice.

Do: Pair black with browns or navys


AVOID: Colors Out of Season

In particular for outdoor and destination weddings, but really for all weddings, don’t choose colors associated with a season or climate other than what you’re in. Cool weather prompts visions of crackling fires and fur coats, with colors such as dark greens, deep purples, and luscious gold. Sunny skies make us think pastels, cheerful patterns, and upbeat yellows.



Now you’re ready. And just a quick 'cheat sheet' of the colors not to wear to a wedding...

  1. No white
  2. No black
  3. No red or any other ultra-striking hues as your primary color choice

Select with the weather and season in mind. Convey feelings of joy and happiness. And, have a wonderful time being your fabulous best!