From the moment that you've sent in your RSVP to a wedding, you should start thinking about or even planning what you'll wear on the big day.  Most wedding invitations don't include a suggested wedding dress code, so you'll need to know the etiquettes surrounding what to wear and — more importantly — what NOT to wear. Regardless of what you choose to wear for the big day, the last thing that you want to do is stand out from the crowd and take attention away from the happy couple, whether it’s because you’ve dressed too glamorously or too casually.

White outfits

It’s every bride’s nightmare, and unless you want to be remembered as the crazy lady who envies the bride, don’t wear anything that’s plain white to a wedding. You don't want to match the bride at all, so stay away from not only white but also ivory or off-white. If your wardrobe is made up mostly of white clothing, try something pastel instead for a similar vibe. It’ll just be extra fun and festive.

Woman in a casual white dress matrixnis / Getty Images


Anything too revealing

This isn’t limited to just the ladies. Everyone should stray away from wearing anything that shows too much skin. Avoid skimpy cocktail dresses or any men's outfits that might show just a bit too much skin, and go for something a bit more conservative, like a dress that reaches the knees. If the weather is absolutely humid or hot on the wedding day, opt for clothing made from lighter fabric.

Ladies avoid low-cut dresses with plunging necklines or even anything backless. Anything that even shows a glimpse of the lingerie you’re wearing underneath is a hard no. You don’t want to turn heads for the wrong reasons.

Friends having drinks and hanging out at a bar. Robert Deutschman / Getty Images


Don't do denim

Unless the theme is super-casual, has a barnyard theme, and you've gotten the okay from the bride and groom, don't wear denim, whether it’s a jumpsuit or jeans, to a wedding. Denim is simply too casual, and when it comes to a wedding, it's better to be overdressed than underdressed.

vintage style picture of a couple with their cute french bulldog for wedding day pnsam / Getty Images


Animal prints

This one is a bit tricky. In general, you should avoid animal prints in your wedding attire because some people can consider them too gaudy. If you're looking to add some designs and decorations to your attire, we recommend going with polka dots, floral patterns, or even subtle stripes. Clothing with different textures can also add a bit of personality to your attire.

Woman wearing a leopard print dress ozgurdonmaz / Getty Images


Gym attire and sweats

Don't schedule a workout session right before a wedding. You want to look composed and well-dressed, and you should definitely not show up in gym attire or something like sweats. You can lounge around in these types of clothing all you want at home, but make sure you get dressed up for the special day.

Lifelong friends love hiking outdoors. When they are together, the laughter, fresh air and strong connection with each other is all they need. AMR Image / Getty Images


T-shirts (especially ones with slogans)

No matter how casual a wedding may seem, it's always better to be overdressed than underdressed, so don't wear a t-shirt to a marriage ceremony. You’ll stick out like a sore thumb. It's worse if you wear one with a slogan on it. Save your casual tees for happy hours and the beach!

Wedding guests during ceremony, outdoors Hans Neleman / Getty Images


Anything against the dress code

It’s also considered a faux pas and poor etiquette to wear anything the happy couple has asked you not to. The invitation may not necessarily have a dress code on it, but if the betrothed has a dress code in mind, they’ll usually let you know through some communication. Honor their wishes and respect their decisions.

Groom and Groomsman getting car ready for wedding while driver has fun wearing a horse mask Jodie Griggs / Getty Images



You’re not going for a run or doing anything that requires you to be athletic, so don’t wear sneakers to a wedding. It’s simply too casual and considered inappropriate. Women should wear heels and flats, and men should wear dress shoes. It can be tricky to wear high heels if you're going to a location that requires some extra walking. If you need to scale rough terrain to get to the ceremony, you can wear sneakers to get to the location, but change to more formal ones when the good times start.

Modern hipster wedding, groom wearing sneakers instead of classic elegant shoes, tying the laces. Vintage effect on dressing event Bogdanhoda / Getty Images



Even if the wedding is a casual affair, don’t wear shorts! It’s not appropriate attire for celebrating this special day. The only time it might be appropriate to wear shorts is if the bride and groom have given you the okay for it since they are hosting a beach wedding. Other than that, say goodbye to your shorts on that day!

Casual outfit focusing on striped shorts JANIFEST / Getty Images


All black

This is a bit questionable because it will really depend on the crowd and how the bride and groom perceive weddings. All black is typically seen as the go-to color for mourning and somber events, so it might reflect poorly on you if you wear something that’s all black. If you prefer a darker color, go for something that’s navy blue instead!

If you still prefer black, it’s important to find an outfit that’s very festive. Look for a dress with lots of fills or with fun, airy designs. Consider pairing the outfit with some colorful jewelry.

A lady wearing all black while standing beside a brick wall a-wrangler / Getty Images


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