What Not To Wear To A Wedding

When I started my blog I wanted to focus a lot on how to dress at weddings since it’s an event we all attend throughout life and also not the easiest to dress for. There are so many factors to weigh in when deciding what to wear such as; how formal will it be? are we outside for part of the wedding? is my outfit age appropriate? etc. With endless “rules” and options, wedding attire is tough to navigate.

Today I’m going over what NOT to wear to a wedding. This is an easy way to narrow down your wardrobe as to what’s appropriate and what’s not. Some of these are gray areas, so keep in mind these “rules” are only my opinion, however, rule #1 should never be broken.

  1. Don’t wear white. This shouldn’t be a hard rule to follow, yet I have not attended a wedding where the rule was followed by everyone. The only exception is a wedding where the bride requests you wear white, however, I have never heard of that happening except on TV shows (so I’m impressed if you have been to one!). There are a few gray areas I’d like to explain further….

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None of the above dresses are OK for a wedding. even if you wear a colored belt, shoes, clutch, etc., just avoid a solid white dress altogether. All white is reserved for the bride, and I’m sure you have at least one non-white dress in your closet.

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Some white dresses are OK to wear, however the above dresses are a huge gray area. They aren’t solid white, but the white to non-white ratio of the dress is pretty skewed. If you’re unsure, I would avoid dresses where the majority is white.

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If your white dress has a pattern on it, you are more than welcome to wear it! It’s not a solid white dress and does not look bridal so you are good to go.


2. Clutch vs. Purse  I am guilty of this one, so take what I say as a suggestion, but I am not a fan of bringing your whole purse to a wedding. If your purse is on the fancier side and smaller, you can get away with it. If your purse if your everyday purse that’s on the largest side and chock full of receipts, gum, etc., than leave it at home and opt for a clutch. We spend so much time looking presentable at weddings and then grab our everyday purse at the last minute, when it only takes a few moments to put the essentials into a clutch.

Screen Shot 2016-07-12 at 12.54.27 PMPurchase a clutch in a neutral color that will go with several options for weddings. I had a small navy one that goes with practically everything, but recently got a straw clutch for outdoor summer weddings. Here’s a past post I did on “what’s in my clutch“.

3. Anything too loud. I love dressing up and standing out at weddings, but there is a fine line between dressing nicely and attracting too much attention. This would include anything revealing, outrageous shoes, and even neon. I don’t mind neon too much, but it may be harder for the photographer to saturate wedding photos later without making you look even brighter than your dress already is.

4. Anything too casual. Many weddings are becoming more and more casual, but I would rather be more dressed up than too casual. Flip flops, boots, denim (yes,even dark denim) are never acceptable unless told otherwise.

5. Avoid having bare feet! I know the day is long and your shoes are hard to dance in, but kicking them off and dancing barefoot is a little gross. Again, I’ve been guilty of this before, but since then have planned ahead and brought flats to keep in the car if I think my shoes will be uncomfortable.

Have you encountered any of these rules being broken? 


4 Comments on What Not To Wear To A Wedding

  1. Monica
    July 13, 2016 at 4:01 pm (7 years ago)

    Love this post Robin!! I have seen many of these rules broken at weddings. I love dressing up for weddings, but I do wish that I could cast a magic spell for all the wedding guests when they are getting dressed that morning for them to think about whether what they are wearing will take attention away from the bride and the occasion- if what you are wearing is too scandalous, too casual, too loud, whatever. Here’s to never being the guest that elicits the tip the sunglasses down and whisper “Really?” response!

    • thedressdecoded
      July 14, 2016 at 9:51 am (7 years ago)

      LOL yes, 100% agree! People don’t realize that the bride will come back to look at those photos for her entire lifetime, so put a little extra thought as to how you want to be remembered!

  2. Southern & Style
    July 13, 2016 at 10:49 pm (7 years ago)

    Thank you so much for writing this post! I got married last year & I had several guests that wore white (or mostly white) dresses to my wedding and I just couldn’t believe it. I can’t believe people don’t understand not to do that!

    xoxo, SS

    Southern And Style

    • thedressdecoded
      July 14, 2016 at 9:50 am (7 years ago)

      I don’t understand either, every wedding I go to there’s always at least one (even in the dead of winter!!!). If it makes you feel better, I had three people wear white to my wedding besides me. It’s not big deal, but I’m just surprised that people don’t know this rule.


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