Weddings are a special occasion and it’s important to dress appropriately and show respect for the couple getting married. One question that often arises when it comes to wedding attire is whether or not it’s appropriate to wear red.
In this blog post, we’ll explore the etiquette of wearing red to a wedding and offer tips on how to do it tastefully.
The Tradition of Wedding Colors
Traditionally, red has been seen as a bold and attention-grabbing color, often associated with love and passion. However, it’s also been viewed as inappropriate for wedding attire because it’s thought to upstage the bride, who is typically the center of attention on her big day.
Wedding colors have traditionally been white and pastel shades, symbolizing purity, virginity and loyalty. Brides usually wear white dresses, and the bridesmaids usually wear pastel shades. But in recent years, this trend has started to change. Brides and bridesmaids have started experimenting with different colors, and red has become more acceptable as a wedding color.
Breaking the Rules
Nowadays, couples are breaking traditional wedding color rules and opting for bolder shades like red. So, it is no longer a strict rule that one should not wear red to a wedding.
It’s important to consider the couple’s preferences and the overall theme of the wedding. If the wedding is a more formal, traditional affair, it’s best to stick to the traditional wedding colors.
However, if the wedding is more casual or the couple has chosen red as one of their wedding colors, it’s more appropriate to wear red.
Wearing Red to a Wedding
Styling red at a wedding can be tricky, as you want to ensure that you look appropriate and respectful while still standing out. Here are a few tips to help you style red at a wedding:
- Choose the right shade of red: When choosing a red dress, opt for a more subdued, deeper shade of red rather than a bright, attention-grabbing red. This will help ensure that you don’t upstage the bride.
- Consider the style of the dress: Avoid wearing a dress that is too revealing or has a lot of embellishments that could draw attention away from the bride. Instead, opt for a classic, elegant style that will complement the wedding’s theme and aesthetic.
- Accessorize appropriately: Keep your accessories simple and understated. Avoid wearing too much jewelry or any statement pieces that could clash with the bride’s outfit. A simple pair of earrings and a clutch or small purse will be enough.
- Pay attention to the dress code: If the wedding invitation specifies a dress code, follow it. If the dress code is black-tie, it’s best to avoid wearing red altogether.
- Be mindful of the time of day: Red is a bold color and may be more appropriate for an evening wedding than a morning or afternoon wedding.
- Consider the overall look: If you are unsure about wearing a red dress, you can always opt for red accessories such as a red scarf, a red hat or red shoes.
By keeping these tips in mind, you can style red at a wedding in an appropriate and stylish way. Remember, to consider the couple’s preferences and the overall theme of the wedding.
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Appropriate Wedding Guest Attire
Appropriate guest attire can vary depending on the type of wedding, the time of day and the location of the ceremony and reception. However, there are a few general guidelines that can help you choose the right outfit for the occasion.
- Formal Weddings: For a formal evening wedding, men should wear a tuxedo or a dark suit with a tie, and women should wear a formal evening gown or a dressy cocktail dress.
- Semi-Formal Weddings: For semi-formal weddings, men can wear a dark suit with a tie, and women can wear a dressy cocktail dress or a nice skirt and blouse.
- Casual Weddings: For casual weddings, men can wear khakis or slacks with a button-up shirt, and women can wear a sundress or a nice blouse and pants.
- Time of Day: The time of day can also affect the level of formality of the attire. For morning and afternoon weddings, lighter colors and fabrics are more appropriate, whereas darker colors and formal fabrics are more appropriate for the evening.
- Location: The location of the wedding is also important to consider when choosing the attire. A beach wedding will require different attire than one in a church or a ballroom.
- Dress Code: If the invitation specifies a dress code, make sure to follow it. Dress codes such as black-tie, white-tie or cocktail attire will give you a better idea of the level of formality of the wedding.
It is also important to note that it is always best to err on the side of dressing more formally than less formally. Additionally, it is important to be mindful of cultural and religious customs and dress codes.
When You Should NOT Wear Red
While red can be a stylish and appropriate color to wear to a wedding, there are certain situations in which it might be best to avoid wearing it.
Here are a few situations when it might be best to avoid wearing red:
- If the wedding is a more formal, traditional affair: In this case, it’s best to stick to the traditional wedding colors to show respect for the couple and their chosen theme.
- If the invitation specifies a certain dress code: If the invitation specifies a dress code such as a black-tie or white-tie, it’s best to avoid wearing red as it may not be appropriate for the level of formality.
- If the wedding day is during the morning or afternoon: Red is a bold color and may be more appropriate for an evening than a morning or afternoon party.
- If the couple has not chosen red as one of their colors: If the couple has chosen a specific color scheme for their wedding, it’s best to stick to those colors to show respect for their choices.
- If the wedding party is wearing red: As a wedding guest, you should avoid wearing red to avoid matching the bridesmaids’ dress.
- If you are the mother of the bride or groom: It is best for the mother of the bride or groom to avoid wearing red and to avoid matching the bride’s dress.
What Shoes to Wear with a Red Dress?
So, we answered the question, “can you wear red to a wedding?” Now it is time to decide how to wear red to a wedding and what shoes you should consider.
When choosing shoes to wear with a red dress, there are a few things to keep in mind to ensure that the overall look is cohesive and stylish. Here are a few options to consider:
1. Neutral Colors
Opt for neutral-colored shoes such as black, nude or metallic shades. These shades will complement the red dress without competing with it.
2. Matching Red
If you want to make a bold statement, you can choose shoes that match the color of your dress exactly. This can be a great option for a formal or evening event.
3. Contrasting Colors
You can also choose shoes in a contrasting color, such as white or silver. This can add a touch of interest to the overall look.
4. Heels or Flats
The choice between heels or flats is a matter of personal preference and comfort. If you are going for a formal look, heels are a great option, but if you want to be comfortable, you can opt for flats.
5. Consider the Occasion
The type of event you are attending will also determine what kind of shoes to wear. For more formal events like a wedding, heels or dressy flats are appropriate, while for a more casual event, you can opt for comfortable shoes such as sandals or loafers.
You can also add a touch of elegance to your look by choosing shoes with a bit of embellishment. For example, shoes with a metallic heel or a bow will add a touch of elegance to the overall look.
When choosing shoes to wear with a red dress, it’s important to consider the overall look and the occasion, as well as your personal style and comfort.
The Bottom Line
In conclusion, wearing red to a wedding is not a strict rule anymore. It depends on the couple’s preferences and the overall theme of the wedding. It is important to consider the style, shade, dress code, time of day and accessorizing of the dress in order to look appropriate and respectful.
With a little thought and consideration, you can look stunning in red and still show respect for the couple getting married.
Serena & Dominic are a married couple and parents to 3 wonderful children. They plan weddings, run multiple small businesses, and curate wedding events.
By giving you everything you need to make your dream wedding attainable, you can eliminate stress, get the ‘wedding glow,’ and focus on spending this rocking day with the person you adore. Discover their podcast for more information