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Can You Wear Red to a Wedding?

Can You Wear Red to a Wedding?

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Everybody knows the established rule about wearing white to a wedding, but what about the color of love and passion? Can you wear red to a wedding?

Yes, it is okay wearing red to a wedding. However, if it is a Chinese wedding don’t wear red as the bride’s dress will be red.

The central point of the whole thinking process is not to upstage the bride. Unless you don’t care about being out of tune and more dressed up than the bride herself.

Continue reading to learn about the nuances about wearing red to a wedding.

Why wearing red to a wedding can be considered inappropriate?

The color red is bold, fierce, and eye-catching. It is the shade that can easily draw the attention of anyone. If you are the one wearing a red dress at wedding as a guest, it will be simply impossible that you will be unnoticed, to say the least. You may even be more noticed than the bride herself. The reason why this color used to be avoided in the past was to prevent upstaging the bride.

Nowadays, things have changed. Every wedding is becoming more and more unique and couples tend to create their own rules of what can and cannot be worn at the event. In modern times, when couples even decide on throwing a white-party wedding where every guest should wear white as part of the theme, red is far from the taboo color for wedding guests.

When is it ok to wear red to a wedding?

Except for celebrating and honoring the newlywed couple, today’s wedding events are all about personal style. This goes both for the style of the bride and groom in choosing their own attire, wedding cake, music, and wedding decoration, as well as for the wedding guests who use the event to express their own uniqueness and show their fashionista side.

Contemporary brides have less fear of someone overshadowing them (except when guests wear a white dress, or white wedding shoes which will always be a big NO, NO), which means that guests have the freedom to choose their own attire without limitations, even to wear red to a wedding if they want to. So the time has come for you to finally wear that long silk dress in the color of love, sitting in your closet, begging to be finally seen.

When wearing red to a wedding is still considered a faux pas?

If you have been invited to a Chinese wedding, the answer to the question ‘Can you wear red to a wedding’ changes entirely. In Asian cultures, when it comes to weddings, the color red is reserved for the bride so you should stay far away from this shade when choosing your wedding guest attire. It will be the same as wearing white at Western culture weddings which is almost always considered rude, disrespectful, and attention-seeking.

The color red has some strong cultural significance for some Asian cultures — it represents happiness, success, luck, and fertility where the red wedding dress meaning comes from. When it comes to what colors not to wear to a wedding in China, apart from red, you should also keep away from black and white as they might be related to death.

Ideas for wearing a red dress at wedding as a guest

Not only you can wear red to a wedding, but you can also wear it in different styles and different tones depending on the time of the day of the wedding, the season, your preference, or your skin tone.

If you are looking for a red dress for a summer wedding, bet on the brightest shades of red, those that convey joy and vivacity like coral, blush, or rose red. For daytime weddings, it is better to choose a shorter version. Mini dresses are perfect for daytime and summer weddings — they are comfortable and will allow you to dance until the wee hours of the morning without being annoying.

Bridesmaids wearing red to a wedding is always a good idea. The long, simple, flowy designs are an impeccable choice for the occasion, where the boldness of the shade is striking enough so additional accessories or glittery makeup won’t be necessary.

Evening dresses are usually more elegant and have more sophisticated cuts. You can choose to wear the bodycon red dress at wedding as a guest in some darker shades like wine, burgundy, or crimson, or you can opt for the long designs and experiment with necklines – go with sweetheart, asymmetrical or halter, whatever suits your style.


So in the end, can you wear red to a wedding without offending or outshining anyone? Although it used to be a bit controversial, wearing a red dress to a wedding is not frowned upon if done with a little caution. The key is to choose the right model and tone according to the time of day, the type of wedding, and, of course, your own style, personality, and skin tone. But the most vital point to remember is that the bride should always be the center of attention at a wedding, so whatever you choose to wear should not steal her spotlight.

I am Megan Nova, a wedding planner and Author based in New York City. My vast exposure in the wedding planning trade and my passion for storytelling has inspired me to share expert advice and creativity on this blog.

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