The dos and don’ts of wedding guest attire

Everyone knows that if you’re getting married, one of the hardest parts of planning the event is choosing the perfect dress. Whether you want something sleek and simple or a huge meringue, there are so many to choose from its difficult to know where to start.

But hold on a minute – it’s not just the bride who needs to find something to wear to the big day. The groom and groomsmen and the bridesmaids also have to choose their perfect outfits… as do the guests.

If you’ve got a friend or family member’s wedding coming up you’ll be all too aware of the trials and tribulations that come with choosing the perfect outfit. What colours can you wear? Will it rain? Does your dress have to have sleeves? Can you wear trousers? These are all questions that’ll probably be going through your mind when you’re browsing the high street and online retailers.

So, what are the dos and don’ts of wedding guest attire and what exactly can you get away with?


One of the first things you need to think about when you’re planning your outfit for a wedding is the weather. If you’re going to a summer wedding, something light and floaty will be fine, but if the nuptials are being held in spring, autumn or winter you need to bear in mind that it might be a bit chilly. You wouldn’t wear a strapless dress in October in everyday life, so don’t do it at a wedding.

Of course, you’re going to get more dressed up for a wedding than you would do on a day-to-day basis, but remember you need to bear the seasons in mind.


Sequin dresses may be pretty and sparkly, but they’re not really suitable for a wedding. Yes, it’s a celebratory event, but it’s not a night out. Only wear sequins if you’re just invited to the evening party/reception.

Black and white?

It used to be that black and white were definite no-nos at weddings. These days, I don’t think the rules are quite so definite and you could get away with them, but it’s still generally said that you shouldn’t wear white to a wedding, so go for cream if you want to wear a pale hue.

Black is more accepted these days – even bridesmaids wear black sometimes – but make sure you dress your outfit up with the addition of warm accessories for a bit of colour.

Style and cut

Weddings are (usually) daytime affairs so remember if you’re sitting in a church in a tiny mini-dress you’re going to feel overexposed and under-dressed. Don’t go for anything super-short and avoid anything too tight – of course you want to flatter your figure, but you’re not going clubbing.

If you want wedding style inspiration then Kate Middleton is your best bet. She never gets it wrong and always seems to come up trumps with pretty and flattering knee-length dresses.


When it comes to colours, you can choose from pale hues to brighter tones, but again think about the season. Pastel shades will look washed out and too summery when it’s cold, so stick to bolder colours. You can have some fun when it comes to colour at a wedding – it’s a celebratory event and what better way to mark the occasion that with a riot of colour? If you do choose a bold hue you can always play it down with a neutral cardigan, pashmina or jacket. Avoid anything neon though…


Heels are fine – after all, what better weapon have we girls got when it comes to lengthening our legs, making us look slimmer and standing up tall? Avoid towering platforms though, you don’t want to risk falling over or having achy feet at the end of what’s likely to be a long day.

Have you chosen your wedding outfit yet? What about the marquee or setting? If you are still in need of a wedding marquee then follow this link and check out what we’ve got available.