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What Colors to Wear to a Wedding: Outfit Ideas and Do’s and Don’ts [2024]

What Colours to Wear to a Wedding: Outfit Ideas and Do's and Don'ts

As a wedding guest, you can showcase your style while celebrating the love between two people. But with so many fashion choices, how do you strike the perfect balance between chic and appropriate?

We have created a comprehensive guide on what colours to wear to a wedding, covering the top 10 wedding participant colours, do’s and don’ts, dressing for different wedding types, and accessorizing to help you look your best on this special day.

Key Takeaways

  • Choose from various colourful and chic wedding guest colours to create the perfect look.
  • Follow guidelines for dress code, season, and location when selecting an outfit. Avoid white/off-white and total black.
  • Accessorise with complementary colours, statement jewellery, shoes and bags that fit the venue’s theme.

Colourful and Chic: Top 10 Wedding Guest Colours

Neutral Tones

Neutral tones, easily paired with other colours and accessories, offer versatility in wedding attendee attire. Some examples of neutral tones that are universally flattering and complement various skin tones include:

  • Beige
  • Ivory
  • Taupe
  • Nude

These neutral tones are significant options that won’t overshadow the bride’s wedding gown.

For a male guest, a navy sports coat with black trousers is a suitable option, offering a polished appearance while adhering to the dress code. Taupe, a combination of ocher and light gray, creates a soft, warm shade that blends well with other earth tones, making it an ideal hue for daytime events.

winter wedding guest dress

Universally Flattering Colours

Soft pinks, blues, and lavender, similar to tea party dresses, with their ability to flatter various skin tones, create a stylish and elegant look, making them a good choice for wedding guest outfits.

For example, consider pairing a light blue dress with pink accessories for a complementary aesthetic. Alternatively, pair a lavender blouse with gold accessories to create a balanced look.

Deep Jewel Tones

Deep jewel tones like emerald green, amber, navy blue, and burgundy add sophistication to wedding guest attire. These colours are both luxurious and suitable for formal weddings.

For instance, you could match an amber silk top with a charcoal grey pencil skirt for a sophisticated contrast. Alternatively, consider wearing a burgundy maxi dress adorned with gold accents for a touch of elegance.


Incorporating colour into your wedding guest outfit can be fun and unique through patterns. Subtle patterns such as herringbone, eyelet fabrics, and floral designs are suitable for a wedding invitee.

When choosing a floral pattern, select larger prints that make it clear you are even a guest and avoid small floral prints or white and blush colours, as they might appear too bridal.

Remember to be mindful of the dress code and avoid overly bold or distracting prints to maintain a respectful atmosphere.

wedding ceremony

The Do’s and Don’ts of Wedding Guest Attire

Navigating the dos and don’ts of wedding participant attire can be challenging. However, these essential tips will ensure a stylish and appropriate outfit.

Do: Consider the Dress Code

When choosing what to wear to a wedding party, it’s vital to consider the dress code specified on the wedding invitation. Dressing according to the dress code demonstrates respect for the event and the couple.

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Do: Take Season and Location into Account

Your choice of colours and styles for your guest attire should reflect the season and location of the wedding. For example, bright oranges, bold yellows, and lively blues are perfect for a summer wedding. In contrast, jewel tones and darker shades such as emerald, plum, burgundy, and navy blue are recommended for cold-weather weddings.

Keep the venue in mind as well – beach weddings call for beachy tones, and garden weddings are well-suited for pastel hues and floral patterns.

black wedding guest dresses

Do: Reflect on Cultural Differences

Chinese and Indian weddings showcase cultural colours prominently. Chinese celebrations favour red for love and gold for wealth, while Indian ceremonies feature a spectrum from red for prosperity to green for new beginnings and blue for joy.

Don’t: Wear White or Off-White

A fundamental rule in wedding guest attire is to refrain from wearing white or off-white, given these colours are traditionally reserved for the bride, as brides wear white. Wearing white could draw attention away from the bride and may be perceived as disrespectful by other guests. However, white dresses with bright colour patterns are an exception to this rule.

wedding guest attire

Don’t: Wear Total Black

While black is no longer taboo for wedding guests, it’s still advisable to steer clear of an all-black ensemble, particularly for daytime events. Black was once seen as a colour of mourning and thus not recommended for joyous occasions like weddings. However, in Western cultures, wearing black to a wedding is now generally permissible if it is not in opposition to the dress code or is culturally inappropriate.

To strike a balance, consider incorporating a pop of colour into your outfit.

Don’t: Overdo Brights and Metallics

Wearing overly bright or neon colours can draw attention away from the bride or groom. Instead, opt for more subtle and refined colours that harmonize with the wedding theme and venue and incorporate bright or metallic elements in moderation.

wedding guest activities

Dressing for Different Types of Weddings

Every wedding is unique, characterized by its theme, venue, and ambiance. As a guest, you should dress appropriately for different types of weddings, considering the setting and atmosphere. We’ll guide you through the best outfit choices for each type of wedding, helping you decide what to wear to a wedding.

Beach Weddings

For a beach wedding, adopt a colour palette in harmony with the seaside setting. Opt for soft blues, sandy tans, and coral shades to create a balanced look. Keep in mind that bright colours such as fuchsia and lime green are also often seen at beach weddings and outdoor summer weddings.

Avoid wearing black and deep tones, as these colours may not suit the beach atmosphere.

Garden Weddings

Garden weddings call for wedding guest dresses in pastel tones and floral patterns. Light and airy fabrics like silk, satin, lace, and chiffon are recommended.

Allow yourself to be inspired by the natural surroundings and select colours that blend with the greenery and flowers.

A Botanical Garden wedding

Formal Evening Weddings

Deep blues and burgundies add refinement to attire. For women, a formal, floor-length evening gown, complemented with jewellery, heels, and an elegant clutch, is the perfect ensemble. Men should wear a tuxedo or a dark suit with dress pants and loafers, adhering to the formal dress code of the event.

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Rustic Barn Weddings

At a rustic barn wedding, earthy tones and muted patterns that meld with the natural surroundings are a prime choice. Shades of beige, green, and gold are timeless options for a rustic wedding party.

When selecting patterns, opt for plaid, gingham, or delicate floral prints in soft, muted hues.

barn wedding dress

Accessorizing Your Wedding Guest Outfit

No outfit is complete without the right accessories. Here are some tips to help you elevate your wedding attendee ensemble.

Complementary Color Pairings

In selecting accessory colours for your wedding guest outfit, aim for hues that accentuate the primary colours of your ensemble. For example, if you’re planning to wear red, for example, a burgundy dress, consider pairing it with gold accents to create a harmonious look.

Statement Jewelry

Pick out jewellery that enhances your attire without overshadowing the bride. A simple dress can be paired with a bold necklace or chandelier earrings, while a detailed dress pairs better with subtle pieces like a pendant or studs.

Wearing pearls as a wedding invitee is generally considered appropriate in many cultures due to their classic and elegant appeal. If in doubt, ask the couple or consult with someone familiar with the wedding’s cultural or personal traditions.

wedding jewelry

Shoes and Bags

Opt for shoes and bags that are stylish, comfortable and appropriate for the venue and theme of the wedding. For example, for a beach wedding, pair embellished sandals with a neutral woven clutch. For a winter ballroom event, choose deep-toned velvet heels with a matching handbag.


In conclusion, dressing impeccably for a wedding is achievable with careful consideration of colours, styles, and accessories. By following our guide, you’ll be able to confidently navigate the do’s and don’ts of wedding guest attire and create an ensemble that complements both your style and the wedding celebration. So go forth and celebrate love in style!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it OK to wear black to a wedding?

Black is often suitable for evening and winter weddings, aligning with the attire of the bridal party. Elevate a black outfit by mixing in other colours, like pairing a dress with a pastel shawl or a suit with a bright tie. Accessories, like a metallic clutch or a bold necklace, can also add a complementary touch to the ensemble.

Can wedding guests wear any colour?

When selecting attire for a wedding, avoid colours matching the bride’s or bridesmaids’ outfits. Steer clear of overly bright neon shades, and traditionally, whites and creams are reserved for the bride.

What are some suitable colours for a beach wedding?

Soft blues, sandy tans, coral shades, fuchsia, and lime green are all great colours to choose for a beach wedding.

How can I accessorize my wedding guest outfit?

Accessorize your wedding attendee outfit with complementary colour pairings, statement jewellery, and stylish shoes and bags.

What factors should I consider when selecting my wedding guest attire?

When selecting your wedding participant attire, consider the dress code, season, location, theme and cultural norms to ensure a suitable choice.

When deciding what colors to wear to a wedding as a guest, it’s important to consider a few key factors. The best color to wear to a wedding often depends on the season, venue, and the overall theme of the event. However, universally flattering options such as soft pinks, light blues, and pastel shades are always a safe bet. These colors not only complement a variety of skin tones but also blend well with most wedding color schemes, making them appropriate colors to wear to a wedding.

Huge Bridal Clearance Sale

Understanding what colors are appropriate for a wedding can help you avoid common fashion faux pas. For instance, knowing what colors not to wear to a wedding, such as white or off-white, which are traditionally reserved for the bride, can save you from unintentional breaches of etiquette. Similarly, opting for subtle and elegant hues rather than overly bright or metallic tones ensures you won’t overshadow the bride or clash with the wedding decor.

If you’re still wondering what colours you can wear to a wedding, consider the time of year and the type of wedding you’re attending. For spring and summer weddings, light and airy colors such as pastel yellows, mint greens, and blush pinks are excellent choices. These shades not only look fresh and vibrant but also align well with the seasonal ambiance.

Deeper tones like burgundy, forest green, and navy blue are more suitable for fall and winter weddings. These colors offer a sophisticated and warm feel, making them some of the best colors to wear to a wedding during cooler months. Additionally, these rich tones can easily be paired with accessories in gold or silver to create a polished and cohesive look.

When selecting what colour you should wear to a wedding, it’s also helpful to consider the cultural aspects of the ceremony. For example, red is often seen as a symbol of luck and happiness in many cultures, making it an excellent choice for a festive wedding. However, it’s always a good idea to avoid colors that might have negative connotations or clash with the bridal party’s attire.

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