The wedding wardrobe rules guests should NEVER break

05 Jun 2018

For all those wedding guests stressing about what to wear to this season's celebrations, take heed in this expert advice

Wedding wardrobe etiquette has always been a grey area, but in an age where couples and their guests are turning their backs on tradition and embracing modern values - there has never been so much confusion.

Clearing things up once and for all, courier service CollectPlus and fashion psychologist Kate Nightingale have teamed up to reveal the UK's top 10 unspoken wedding rules with insight into how many Brits have broken them and advice on how to bend them.

1. Wear a fascinator or hat

23% of Brits admit to going without one at a wedding, yet there are various ways you can adhere to the tradition without looking outdated.

Kate says: "To get round this old-age tradition, try a simple fascinator instead or even look out for elegant hair slides, which can give a subtle nod to the traditional headwear rule. Alternatively, you could go ‘au natural’, by heading to the hairdressers for a fabulous up-do."

2. Choose appropriate footwear

21% admit to have opted for heels that were too high in the past, while an astonishing 20% have worn trainers to a wedding.

Kate says: "There’s no need to avoid heels altogether; a wedge or block heel are the perfect alternative to a stiletto, so you can dance the night away in comfort."

3. Do not wear jeans

20% have ditched a suit for a casual wedding look.

Kate says: "To avoid raising the heart rate of the bride and groom, opt for a linen suit to channel a smart and sophisticated look that’s still tailored but more relaxed than the traditional morning dress."

4. Avoid white

19% have committed the cardinal sin of matching the bride at a ceremony they attended.

Kate says: "If you really are reluctant to let go of white, opt for a design which incorporates a floral pattern to ensure you don’t steal the bride’s thunder."

5. Black is also off the cards

18% have accidentally dressed more suitably for a funeral.

Kate says: "Instead go for monochrome to break up the colour, or make like Victoria Beckham at the royal wedding and pair a darker dress with a pop of colour in the accessories, such as the shoes or handbag."

6. Stay away from casual

16% have previously worn shorts and a t-shirt to a wedding.

Kate says: "To ensure you stay cool but don’t look like you’ve just arrived from the beach, try a short-sleeved shirt with tailored chinos to tick all the wedding guest etiquette rules."

7. Play it safe with fake tan

16% admit to a pre-wedding spray tan that went wrong.

Kate says: "If you are adamant on achieving that ‘Yes, I’ve just come back from an exotic getaway look’, then trial your fake tanning a month or so before the wedding to ensure it’s streak free on the big day."

8. Wear a tie

14% have turned up to a wedding without one, much to the married couple’s dismay…

Kate says: "Keep the bride and groom happy and earn your place as the best dressed guest with a bow tie and matching pocket square, as an alternative to a tie."

9. Don’t copy the bridesmaids

12% of wedding guests have been asked if they are a bridesmaid, due to a misjudged outfit style.

Kate says: "While weddings are a great excuse to get dressed up, try to avoid prom-style dresses and instead, dial up the glam via the outfit’s accessories. If you can get a tip off from the bridesmaids, it will be worth it."

10. Wear waterproof mascara 

7% unwittingly went for the ‘teary panda’ look in the resulting wedding photos.

Kate says: "It goes without saying that you should wear waterproof mascara to a wedding... or at least ensure you have a pack of tissues handy in your clutch."