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What should I wear as a wedding guest? What is appropriate and what should I avoid?

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The wedding season is in full swing, and for many of us, the same question keeps coming up: What on earth should I wear? As a wedding guest, you not only want to be appropriately dressed but also stylish and fitting for the festive atmosphere. But what attire is appropriate and what is absolutely not? Today, I have some tips for you.

Consider the dress code.

The dress code is the key to selecting your outfit. Most wedding invitations include a hint as to whether the event is formal, informal, or possibly even themed.

Formal: At formal weddings, you should wear elegant evening attire. You can opt for a long dress. Dresses with sequins, fine embroidery, or tulle are also very welcome. A corset dress or one with spaghetti straps can be complemented with a stole. If you don’t like wearing dresses, there are also very beautiful and elegant suits for women. Avoid dark colors like navy or black as they appear too business-like. Instead, light pastel shades are the best choice.

Themed: If the wedding has a specific theme, such as vintage or boho, you can style your outfit accordingly to match the theme. If you’re unsure how to implement the theme, ask other guests or the mother of the bride for advice.

Informal: For informal weddings, a pretty cocktail dress is often suitable. Especially in summer, we like to show more skin (which you should be mindful of, more on that below in the post). More and more women are looking for dresses they can wear again later, not just for the one day. If evening wear is not necessarily required, you can choose a chic summer dress. Longer dresses are usually more appropriate, as short ones can look too much like an everyday summer dress. Here, too, more subdued colors are a good choice. Opt for light and flowing fabrics such as silk or satin. Lightly transparent fabrics also look elegant, as long as there is an integrated slip. See-through clothing is, of course, not suitable for a wedding.

Things You Should Avoid as a Wedding Guest

The Colors White and Red: White is traditionally the color of the bride and should be reserved for brides. Wearing white as a wedding guest can be seen as impolite and disrespectful towards the bride. Red is a very intense color that draws attention. However, keep in mind that on this day, most of the attention should be on the bride. It can be awkward if wedding guests wear dresses that put them in the spotlight. Instead, you could choose burgundy, a subtle alternative.

The Controversial Color Black: In the past, guests often wore black, and particularly the mothers of the bride and groom preferred elegant black dresses. Elegant black gowns, often made of lace, were considered acceptable. Nowadays, there is a wide variety of festive clothing in different colors, patterns, and cuts. The decision to wear black at a wedding is up to you. As the mother of the bride or groom, I would personally avoid black to prevent any potential misunderstandings.

Be respectful

If the wedding takes place in a church or another religious institution, it is appropriate to choose clothing that covers the shoulders and knees. A wedding guest should dress elegantly, but that doesn’t mean showing too much skin. Therefore, avoid deep necklines, skirts that are too short, or overly revealing clothing.

The comfort should still be there.

Weddings can be long affairs, and you’ll likely spend a lot of time standing, dancing, and celebrating. Therefore, it’s important to choose an outfit that not only looks good but is also comfortable and allows for sufficient freedom of movement. Stylish shoes are a crucial part of an elegant outfit. Many opt for heels. However, remember to pack comfortable shoes like ballet flats that you can switch into at the end of the day instead of your high heels. Trust me, you won’t be the only one kicking off their shoes late at night.


Bags and shoes can serve as eye-catching accessories. Feel free to incorporate gold or silver accents. Opt for a small purse or clutch to hold your essentials. A large bag wouldn’t suit the festive occasion or likely your outfit. However, you can carry a bigger bag to store essential items and keep them in a secure place.

When it comes to jewelry, it’s important that it complements your clothing. Many festive dresses, such as those adorned with sequins, are already quite decorative and therefore only require subtle earrings or a bracelet. If your dress is more understated, you can wear statement jewelry to enhance your outfit.

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