5 Colors That Guests Should Not Wear to Weddings

 Photo: Bella Bridesmaids Oakbrook | Moni Gonzalez

Attending a wedding or two this season and wondering what you should wear?

For wedding guests, there are sooo many dresses to choose from. Whether you prefer sleeveless or long sleeve, mini, midi or floor-length, girly and sweet or sexy and chic, the options are endless!

But have you thought about what color to wear?

As a wedding guest, there are some colors you should avoid. 

Here’s our rundown of the five colors that guests should not wear to a wedding. We’ve also included some recommendations of gorgeous hues that might be perfect for you!

1. White (& All Variations of White)

There are only a handful of “wedding rules” that guests should follow, and this one is one of the most important: 

DO NOT WEAR WHITE, ivory, off-white, or any version of white or cream to someone else’s wedding!

Unless the couple is planning an all-white wedding and specifically requests that everyone arrive in white dresses and suits, wearing any variation of white is a no-no. The only person who should be in a white dress is the bride.

2. Ultra-Pale Neutrals & Pastels

The “don’t wear white” rule is so important that you should also avoid wearing any color that could be mistaken for white or ivory. That includes every version of beige, ecru, champagne, and similar hues. 

These are all off-limits.

Pastel colors can be a beautiful choice for a spring wedding. But in certain lighting conditions, pale colors can accidentally be mistaken for white, even though they’re not.

For example, ultra-pale yellow can easily be mistaken for ivory. Light silver and pale gray sometimes read white, especially outside under the sun. Pale pastels often look much lighter in bright lighting, so it’s best to avoid them so you don’t make an unintended fashion faux pas.

Avoid ultra-pale pinks and misty ice blues, too. Even these shades can appear white in sheer fabrics. Plus, an unconventional bride may choose these colors for her wedding dress.   

3. The Wedding Party Color

Wedding party color_480x480

Photo: Bella Bridesmaids Nashville | Bret & Brandie

The happy couple will be the stars of the show. However, the wedding party should stand out on the big day, too, so it’s best not to wear the color of the bridesmaid dresses.  

This rule can be challenging to follow. That’s especially true if you’re a plus one at the wedding of someone you don’t know or if the wedding party is wearing mixed and matched dresses

If you know the bride, groom, or a wedding party member, ask them what the wedding colors are and avoid those hues. If you don’t know anyone in the immediate circle, you can always play it safe in a classic black dress.

Black wedding guest dresses are no longer off-limits! Read our post to learn how to nail the look & discover several stunning options.

4. Neon

Neon colors aren’t really wedding-appropriate. They tend to look casual and sporty and draw a lot of attention. You’ll have all eyes on you if you’re wearing an eye-popping, highlighter green dress. 

Instead, opt for a deep color or a classic neutral that will make you look elegant, polished, and chic.

5. Metallics

We love shimmer and shine! Yet, wedding guests should avoid glittery fabrics, allover sequins that sparkle like crazy, and metallic gold, silver, and rose gold hues. 

Like neon colors, these can draw a lot of attention, and on her most important, most special day, the focus should be on the bride — not her guests.

Another reason to avoid shimmering fabrics and hues is that many brides choose metallic colors for the wedding party or a wedding dress with sparkling embellishments. 

As a wedding guest, it's better to have a more subdued look so you don’t draw attention away from the happy couple.

Read our post — The Levels of Formal Wedding Attire: What to Wear — to help you decide on a dress style!

Wedding Guest Colors We Love

So, what colors are appropriate for wedding guests to wear? Wedding guest dresses are available in dozens of appropriate color options. 

Here are a few of our current favorites:



We love navy as an alternative to a black dress, especially in this Sachin & Babi Nadia Gown. In stretch crepe fabric, this gorgeous design features a one-shoulder bodice with a puffed short sleeve and an A-line skirt with a high front slit. 

It’s a perfect choice if the wedding dress code calls for formal attire.

Wild Rose 


Wild Rose is a mid-tone shade that you can wear in any season. We love it in the Jenny Yoo Bellini Dress, an effortlessly chic satin midi slip dress with spaghetti straps and a flattering V-neckline. 

This look is perfectly appropriate for any wedding with a semi-formal or cocktail dress code.  



There’s something oh-so-chic about attending a formal event in a deep, dark, neutral shade like mocha. This deep brown shade is simply gorgeous in the satin Amsale 723S dress. This floor-length gown features an elegant column silhouette with a sophisticated draped neckline. 

This gown is perfect if you’re heading to a black-tie wedding. If mocha isn’t for you, this look comes in more than two dozen colors, including wedding guest-approved hues like cayenne, slate, and violet.



Chambray is one of our favorite shades of blue. It’s not too pale or too dark, and it’s appropriate for any wedding in any season. Chambray is ultra-chic in the Jenny Yoo Nicolette Dress, with a draped halter neckline, bias-cut midi skirt, and open back.

If you’re not in a blue mood, this dress is available in gorgeous colors such as eucalyptus, dark berry, and English rose.

Floral Print 


This violet garden floral print is a bold, feminine, and versatile choice of color and pattern. The Sachin & Babi Jenny Gown features long balloon sleeves and a high front slit, offering a distinctive look that’s easy to dress up or dress down. 

For a formal wedding, wear it with strappy heels and elegant jewelry. For a more casual wedding or an outdoor garden party, team it with flat sandals and small stud earrings.

When Choosing Wedding Guest Attire, Keep Cultural Traditions in Mind

Wedding traditions vary around the world, and not all brides wear white. If you plan to attend a traditional, cultural wedding, do your research so you don’t show up wearing the same color as the bride.

For example, don’t wear a red dress to a Chinese wedding. In China, red is the color of joy, happiness, and good luck, so many brides wear red on their wedding day.

Red, peach, gold, and orange are among the most popular wedding dress colors for Indian brides. But this doesn’t mean you should wear white to an Indian wedding. In India, white is the color of mourning.  

Do your research first if you know the wedding ceremony or celebration will be rooted in culture and tradition.

Shop our collection of wedding guest dresses in various styles & colors!

As a wedding guest, there are endless colors to choose from. So when you’re shopping for your wedding guest attire, keep these tips in mind:  

• Find a wedding guest outfit that meets the dress code.
• Choose an appropriate silhouette and fabric for the season, venue, and time of day.
• And, most importantly, DON’T WEAR WHITE.

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