Wedding season is in full swing, but after a couple of years of little to no weddings, it’s tough to know what to wear to someone's special day. Of course, we all know that wearing a white or black dress is frowned upon, but can you wear red to a wedding?
Red’s a standout colour that's bright, bold and hard to miss. At DL, we love a statement, but as a wedding guest, it can be too much. However, red is also a romantic colour representing love, so where do we draw the line? While wearing red to a wedding abroad in gorg’ locations such as Lake Como or a remote Greek island sounds dreamy, what’s the wearing red to a wedding etiquette in the UK? We’re here to answer all your questions.
Wearing Red Is Okay
Red is one of the most diverse colours in the colour wheel, so there’s a huge range of options when picking your wedding guest outfit. From bright scarlets to deep maroons and rich burgundies, picking the perfect red is all about reading the room (or venue). To elevate your red piece to wedding-worthy status, choose flowing fabrics like chiffon, or throw some prints into the mix. We love ditsy florals or large pops of colour on a neutral background for a bold look, depending on how much of a statement you want to make (we’d recommend checking with the bride before going all-out).
If you’re headed abroad to watch a couple tie the knot, then red can create a beautiful contrast against the natural beauty or architecture of the venue. Weddings in hotter climates are usually more laidback, with couples choosing a relaxed dress code, so this is the perfect time to throw on that floaty red dress or jumpsuit you’ve been dying to wear.
But Should Be Avoided In Some Cases
The most important thing to keep in mind when choosing any wedding guest outfit (let alone a red one) is not to outshine the bride! If you’re unsure about your look, check the invite for clues. You’ll usually find the same colour palette as the venue and day itself, so if you’re looking at a soft pastel invite with lots of natural decors, it might be time to swap out the bright red bodycon. If you’re going to a rustic, barn venue with a lot of natural tones and earthy colours, a deep red could be a good choice as it will softly contrast the venue without being too much.
But if you’re greeted with white walls and minimalist decor, or a manor house in the countryside, opt for a red print on a pastel background to tone down the boldness of this colour.
Venues aside, it’s important to consider the colour's cultural and religious aspects to the bride, groom, and their families. Traditionally in Indian and Chinese culture, red is usually worn by the bride and so should be avoided by guests!
Tips For Choosing A Red Wedding Guest Dress
So, the question is, can you wear a red dress to a wedding? Here’s a quick overview to help you decide:
- Take hints from the invitation - look for dress codes and colour schemes. The invitation is a great way to tell hidden information about the big day. Things such as colour scheme, type of wedding formality and also dress code. Reading between the lines can tell you extra information that may not be written down in words.
- Do your research on cultural/religious ceremonies - make sure you know the meaning of red for your bride and groom's culture, and if you’re unsure, it’s best to steer clear.
- Stick to the theme - if you’ve been given a choice of colours to wear, follow the rules. There's nothing worse than standing out for all the wrong reasons, and at a wedding everyone would have been given the same dress code as you so it will make it very obvious if you are not following it.
- Red doesn't always mean RED - If you’re not trying to make a big statement, opt for a cooler-toned red such as a burgundy or maroon. For something more fun, smaller pops of red in a floral print are the way to go.
Red Dresses To Wear To A Wedding
To give you some inspiration, here are some of our fave red dresses for wedding guests for you to wear to your next wedding:
Estella midaxi dress in red ditsy floral
This ditsy print midaxi dress is the perfect mix of red and white in a delicate floral print. It’s ideal for an autumn or spring wedding, as the long sleeves and high neckline give coverage for cooler days, while the bodycon style keeps you feeling confident and stylish.
Dove Dress In Red Daisy
This classic shirt dress style is perfect for a spring or summer wedding. The tailored fit and buttoned fastenings allows you create a slit in the dress as high or low as you like. The cute red flower ditsy print also is a great choice for the warmer seasons.