How to Be the Best Dressed Wedding Guest

Hi, everyone! The Wedding season is here!

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This year, I don't have as many weddings to attend but the past few years have been very wedding-full. The year I had my own wedding (in 2016), I attended 6 other weddings, each one in a different city, and I was a bridesmaid in one of them, too. So I think it's safe to say I'm currently experienced enough to share some tips on how to be the best-dressed guest at a wedding!

Get Your Details Right

First thing's first: find out where the wedding is taking place! Is the ceremony on a sandy beach or in a church? Is the reception outdoors or indoors? These details matter because they'll help better your choice of attire. 

You want to dress appropriately because you won't want to seem out of place! Imagine showing up in a beach dress (even if it is beautiful) and dressy flats at a church wedding or a long gown and stilettoes at a beach wedding. You will only seem a bit silly and ruin the fun for yourself, so be sure to find out the location of the wedding before you decide what you want to wear.

Another detail you want to keep in mind is the time of the year. Consider a more breathable material in the summer and grab a light shawl or wear a long-sleeve dress in the winter.  

Take Note of the Dress Code

The dress code is commonly written in wedding invitations. If you're unsure of what certain dress codes mean, Google it or ask around because they're included in the invitations for a very good reason!

Sometimes instead of a traditional dress code, the newly-weds may have a theme instead. My friend was once invited to a "blue" wedding and she was one of the few that didn't take note of that and showed up in pink! Imagine how uncomfortable she felt throughout the wedding (certainly memorable for her and everyone else at the wedding though!).

Keeping these details in mind won't just save you from potential embarrassments, but it would show consideration and how much you care for the couple!

Don't Wear All White

This is a given. Only the bride should be wearing white on her wedding day! In case the bride plans to change into another outfit, and if you happen to know about it beforehand, it may help to find out what color her second outfit is to avoid wearing the same color, too. 

This is a cultural thing, but in Taiwan, a lot of people choose to change into a red gown after having worn their white wedding dress, so a lot of wedding guests avoid wearing red to weddings in Taiwan. It wouldn't hurt to double check just to show respect for the bride! 

Go for Comfortable Shoes

If you walk funny or limp around thanks to feet pain caused by your shoes, it would only ruin your entire look, even if you're wearing the perfect, most beautiful dress ever!

Choose a pair of comfortable shoes, whether they're a pair of flats, kitten heels, or high heels. Be sure they're not brand new, or at least try to break them in at home first before wearing them to a wedding. Don't be a party pooper by missing out on all the fun just because your heels are killing your feet! There have been too many times when I wish I would be able to be out on the dance floor with my friends or to walk around catching up with people instead of sitting in my chair. So not worth it!

Other Tips for Summer Weddings

I got a story to share: A few years ago, I attended an outdoor wedding in Hua Hin, a beach resort area south of Bangkok, Thailand. There were a lot of details I can't recall, but there was one specific incident that I vividly remember. After being in the sun for an hour during the wedding ceremony, a lot of people were naturally sweating, and once the bride and groom were pronounced to be Mr. and Mrs., everyone stood up and cheered for the couple. At that exact moment, a lot of people got distracted by a female wedding guest with a butt-and-thighs-shaped dark sweat mark on her silk dress. Imagine walking around during cocktail hours just trying to hide your behinds. How terrible it must have been for that wedding guest!

So if you're going somewhere really hot, and you know you sweat easily, avoid wearing dresses made of materials that show sweat easily, like rayon, silk, and polyester. They tend to trap heat, too, so go for beathable materials instead.

Some other tricks I've picked up when attending summer outdoor weddings is to style an updo so that your hair is out of the way and you can keep your neck cooler that way. Otherwise, maybe bring a pretty hand fan with you and make it a part of your outfit!

Check out some wedding guest outfit ideas:


What are some tips you have for wedding guests? Share them with me by leaving a comment below! 

Thank you for reading!



Tricia Chen is co-founder of Key To Radiance. She loves having fresh flowers in her apartment, putting on face masks, savoring cupcakes and a daily cup of grande almond latte. She works in PR and Marketing, and is currently based in New York.

Skin Type: Combination skin with an oily T-zone area (forehead and nose). Changes in climate, diet and/or lack of sleep irritates skin and causes inflammation, which then leads to large pores. High moisture level required on dry cheeks.