Wedding Guest Attire: Dos and Don'ts

While they’re plenty of fun and an excellent excuse to dress up, deciding what to wear to a wedding as a guest can be tricky, with all of the etiquette and rules that come with the day.

From whether you can wear black, white or red to if your fascinator should match your dress or shoes, we’ve got all of your wedding guest outfit dilemmas covered in this guide of dos and don’ts.

Wedding outfit etiquette: Dos

Ensure you’re comfortable

Weddings are often all-day events. You’ll be doing lots of walking and standing, so the last thing you want is sore feet slowing you down on the dance floor. That’s why comfort is key when choosing wedding guest shoes. Lucky for you, all our shoes have innovative underfoot cushioning, from our versatile heels to our smart men’s dress shoes.

Effortlessly versatile, our Laina 55 Court kitten heels are perfect for trousers and dresses, and our comfort sole Oliver Cap 2 shoes for men look great with a suit.

Dress the part

Pay close attention to the information on the invitation and don’t be afraid to clarify whether a wedding is formal, semi-formal or casual. If the invitation requires formal attire, dresses or a tailored two-piece are the ideal options for women, while men will need to opt for a tuxedo or a smart suit, if it’s black tie.

For semi-formal weddings, don’t be afraid to integrate some seasonal colour into your look, such as pastel hues and pops of vibrancy in spring and summer. Navy, deep reds and jewel tones are perfect for autumn and winter weddings – see our full guide on what to wear to winter weddings for more ideas.

For casual weddings, think floaty dresses and comfortable flat shoes, such as our stylish Grace Piper ballet pumps, as you may be spending a fair amount of time outdoors. Men can opt for chinos or cotton trousers paired with a shirt.

Have fun with your look

Weddings are the perfect occasion to glam up. Consider adding a touch of sparkle to your look or a pop of colour with hair accessories, a clutch or shoulder bag, or your footwear, like our Deva Mae heels in silver. Men can also add a unique touch to their look, whether it’s checked trousers, a pinstripe suit, a patterned pocket square or a sleek tie.

Wedding outfit etiquette: Don'ts

Wear white or similar shades

There should only be two people wearing white at a wedding, and that’s the bride and groom. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t accessories your outfit in creams, ivories, or similar hues. For example, a cream clutch bag with a matching fascinator would look perfect with a floral maxi dress or a purple pencil dress. With an entire spectrum of shades to choose from, be adventurous, choose a fun hue, or stick to colours you know work for you.

Be too outrageous

When you're choosing your outfit, there's one significant thing to remember, all eyes on the bride! Rocking up to a wedding wearing an outfit that goes against the dress code is a no go. Be comfortable in what you're wearing but be respectful to the bride and groom, or you may be asked to stand at the back for photos...which is somewhere no one wants to end up!

Forget to layer up

While the forecast may say sunshine and cloudless skies, British summertime is unpredictable, and the evenings can be surprisingly chilly. Don’t forget a jacket, shawl, cardigan or coat in case of a sudden downpour.

Clarks Laina 55 Sling Heels in Stone Metallic Leather

Your wedding outfit questions answered

What colours should you not wear to a wedding?

White is still the biggest no no, but some may say black is also a bit controversial. We don't believe this is the case anymore, and these days black is a popular choice for men and women. A black cocktail dress teamed with silver or gold accessories is a perfect combo for a winter wedding. The same goes for red: once seen as a no go for weddings, a red dress worn with pared-back accessories works well year-round.

Should fascinators match your dress or shoes?

One of the most common questions wedding guests have for formal weddings is how to wear a fascinator, and if a hat or fascinator is even necessary. To begin with, it’s helpful to know that a fascinator is traditionally worn on the right side of the head, secured with a clip. If the wedding you’re attending is a very formal occasion, a hat or fascinator is recommended and it should ideally match the colour of your dress or two-piece – whether it’s the same shade or a complementary hue.

Do your shoes and belt have to match?

Men should aim to match the colour of their belt and shoes as closely as possible at formal weddings. This is straightforward with black accessories, but if you’re working with browns or tans then be careful and bring your shoes with you when shopping for a new belt, or try to buy your shoes and belt from the same place.

Now that your questions have hopefully been answered, it’s time to get your outfit and accessories sorted. Discover our full range of women’s wedding guest shoes and men’s smart shoes.