What To Wear To A Japanese Wedding: Etiquette Guide

If you’re unsure what to wear to a Japanese wedding, consider the tips on what male and female guests must wear to a Japanese wedding to ensure that they’ll remain respectful. There is etiquette to follow regarding the formality and style of what to wear to a Japanese wedding, which you can find below. 

We’ll also discuss what colors to wear at a Japanese wedding because, similar to other cultures, some colors might seem disrespectful for a wedding. And if you’re interested in other wedding guest attire guides worldwide, consider browsing our blog. 

what to wear to a japanese wedding

For example, do you know what to wear to a Chinese wedding?


What To Wear To A Japanese Wedding As A Guest


What male guests wear to a Japanese wedding

Men attending Japanese weddings can consider formal or semi-formal attire. Like being invited to other marriage ceremonies, check the invitation to know the expected dress code. 

When attending a Japanese marriage ceremony, you can never go wrong in a black suit and a white tie. Modern Japanese weddings also accept male guests in suits and tie colors besides black and white. 

Of course, a dark color would be more formal, but please remember to avoid a black tie as it’s reserved for funerals, according to some references. You can also bring a change of clothes if it’s a more modern wedding where the reception can be more casual, depending on the bride and groom. 


What female guests wear to a Japanese wedding

There are similarities between other and Japanese weddings regarding knowing the appropriate attire for women. For example, you can wear a long dress as it’s modest and formal for a Japanese wedding. 

A knee-length skirt and modest blouse are also appropriate if your top doesn’t reveal your shoulders. If it does, then wear a bolero or any cover-up over your top to avoid looking revealing. 

Of course, it’s expected not to wear anything too flashy. And like in any other wedding, please avoid bridal colors and details like white because you don’t want to look like you’re trying to upstage the bride. 


More Japanese wedding guest attire etiquette tips

  • Avoid flashy and revealing clothes similar to the expected etiquette in other weddings; ensure that you are not showing your shoulders, knees, and even toes 
  • Do not wear anything too casual or eye-catching at a Japanese wedding
  • Only wear a kimono if you know how to wear one properly
  • Never wear white to a Japanese wedding
  • Opt for formal shoes for a Japanese wedding
  • Make sure your outfit does not outdress the bride


What Colors Do You Wear To A Japanese Wedding?

You can choose most colors for your wedding wear in Japanese weddings except white. But of course, be aware of the couple’s request to avoid a specific color. 

You also don’t want to wear eye-catching colors that will take the attention away from the couple. When in doubt, you can even bring a dark and solid-colored cover-up. 

It would be best to ask someone close to the couple about what to wear to their Japanese wedding. Modern weddings can have the guests wear exciting colors and patterns nowadays. 

For more tips regarding what color to wear, you can refer to what color do you wear to a wedding


Do Japanese Wear Black To A Wedding?

Most references mentioned wearing black to a Japanese wedding is okay, although some said avoiding a black necktie for men. A conservative black cocktail dress or a black suit is acceptable at a Japanese wedding. 

The only color often mentioned avoiding wearing when you attend a Japanese wedding is white. However, you can also talk to the couple themselves to see if they have specific colors that they want the guests to wear or not wear to their marriage ceremony. 


How Much Money Do You Give At A Japanese Wedding?

As a guest, you must know what to wear to a Japanese wedding and the etiquette for monetary gifts. The cash gift for a Japanese wedding is called the Goshugi, inside a special envelope called the Goshugi-bukuro.

The amount to give depends on your closeness to the Japanese couple. For example, relatives give about $1,000, friends give $300, and the couple’s teacher or boss gives them about $500. Furthermore, please give new bills and never those divisible by two. 


What To Expect At A Japanese Wedding

Besides knowing what to wear or bring to Japanese weddings, here are what to expect when attending a Japanese marriage ceremony:

  • Religious Japanese wedding ceremonies are held at a shrine, Shinto style; nowadays, it can be inside a hotel
  • A Shinto priest will conduct the wedding ceremony with the closest relatives and friends of the couple
  • The couple is dressed in traditional kimono
  • The Japanese couple will be purified and drink sake
  • The groom will read words of commitment
  • Offerings are given to the Shinto deities 
  • After the ceremony, the reception follows with more guests  
  • Similar to other wedding receptions, there are speeches and songs in a Japanese wedding reception

It should not surprise you that more Japanese weddings nowadays also incorporate Western elements in the ceremony and reception. 



And that’s it! You just learned what to wear to a Japanese wedding, which can be anything as long as it’s not revealing and in the color white.

Men can wear suits while women should avoid clothes showing their shoulders, knees, and toes. And as for the kimono, only wear one if you know the proper way. 

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