A few years back, I attended a friend's wedding in a red dress. While standing outside the venue, waiting to toss sprinkles at our newly-wedded friends, I spotted her: A fellow guest who had worn a white, lace dress. Internally, I rolled my eyes. "What was she thinking?" I thought. "Doesn't she know proper etiquette?" Weeks later, the wedding photos went up on Facebook. There, in the pictures, it wasn't the white dress that bothered me anymore. It was mine. There, in a sea of white and black and blues, my classic red was more than a bit distracting.
Traditionally, the only off-limits
Still, there are mixed opinions on the subject: "White, unless you know the bride and she's asked you to wear it or given you her blessing, is typically out," says Carrie Goldberg, the Digital Travel & Weddings Editor at Harper's Bazaar, "although I see no issue with a white skirt or top paired with something in color."
A good rule of thumb? Steer clear of the shade, just to be safe, unless it's patterned or paired with something else, as Goldberg suggests.
CONTEXT IS KEY
But white is not the only problematic hue, as I learned. Overly bold
Charlottesville, VA-based wedding photographer Jen Fariello's most-hated hues for wedding guest ensembles? Orange and hot pink. "Especially if you are family or the date of a family member," she says. "I think taking a cue from the invitation is always a great idea."
"If you get a paper suite with a vibrant,
Take culture into account as well. It's worth noting that red is an especially risky choice for a Chinese wedding, where it's traditional for brides to wear red.
STAY AWAY FROM WORDS
BYPASS THE BLUE JEANS
Overall, though, the best rule of thumb is to simply make sure you clean up nice. To Denver, CO, wedding photographer Laura Murray, the biggest wedding fashion faux pas is not a
As for me, I feel much better about that red dress now. I'll still probably refrain from wearing it to future ceremonies, but I also regret ever judging (however quietly) what other guests wore. You never know what's been cleared with the couple beforehand, and anyway, who cares? At the end of the (big) day, it's not about your dress or decorum but rather about celebrating the love of two people.
This story originally appeared on Townandcountrymag.com.
* Minor edits have been made by the Townandcountry.ph editors.