Why Can’t You Wear Red To A Wedding: Guest Etiquette

Those curious about why can’t you wear red to a wedding must remember two reasons. One is the basic wedding guest etiquette to maintain a low-key look, and the other is because some cultures reserve red for the bride. 

We will discuss the dos and don’ts of red for wedding guest attire in more detail below. And for brides, please refer to what a red wedding dress means

why can't you wear red to a wedding


Here Is Why Can’t You Wear Red To A Wedding


Red is an eye-catching color for a wedding

The first reason why guests should avoid wearing red to a wedding is that red is an intense, loud, and eye-catching color. It will stand out from the crowd, and it may seem like you’re trying to gain attention even if it’s not your intention. 

Red is also not a popular color to include in the wedding palette. However, if the wedding you’re attending is a traditional one with white and other pastel colors as its theme, red will be even more eye-catching.

Other than red, we recommend that you familiarize yourself with the different colors you should not wear to a wedding. While not all weddings are alike, guests should know what colors are commonly frowned upon for a wedding guest outfit.  


Brides are the only ones who can wear red to a wedding

The second reason why the guest must not wear to a wedding is the culture of the bride and groom. For example, Chinese brides are expected to wear red because this color traditionally represents good fortune and happiness. 

Red is also known to symbolize protection as it drives evil spirits away. If you’re attending a Chinese wedding, ask anyone close to the couple regarding the acceptable guest colors to avoid accidentally seeming offensive. 

Besides Chinese weddings, you should also be mindful or avoid wearing a read when attending a Hindu wedding. It is considered a sacred color representing new beginnings, so Indian brides also often wear red


Is It Rude To Wear Red To A Wedding?

It can be considered rude to wear red to a wedding, especially since this color is bridal in some cultures. A guest wearing the same color as the bride will always be viewed negatively as it seems like they’re trying to upstage the bride. 

Similar to the common courtesy of avoiding white for the wedding guest dress or attire, it’s better to avoid red altogether. However, there is also an instance where guests can wear red to a wedding. 

Perhaps the wedding has a red theme, or the couple specifically requested this color on their wedding guest attire. But, of course, you can also wear darker shades of reds in summer weddings, fall weddings, and other seasonal weddings where warm colors would look fantastic on guests. 

The key is never selecting a bright red outfit, and the style of your outfit itself shouldn’t be too extravagant. For male guests, maroon is also classy for a suit, as long as it’s not the color worn by the groomsmen or the groom himself. 

For additional reference, here is what color suit for a wedding


Is It Acceptable To Wear A Red Dress To A Wedding?

Weddings differ in themes and dress codes. Therefore, some events can accept guests wearing red dresses. 

If red is included in the wedding palette, opt for a darker red dress that is not revealing or too extravagant that looks bridal or eyecatching. You should also introduce other colors to your outfit, such as neutral-colored shoes, rather than wearing an all-red attire. 

And of course, only wear a red dress if it’s not the bridal party’s color. Female guests should wear a different color than the bridesmaids at all weddings. 


Does Wearing Red To A Wedding Mean You Slept With The Groom?

Guests will often be called out if they decide to wear red to a wedding because it used to have a scandalous meaning. Women who wear red to a wedding used to indicate that they’ve slept with the groom. 

This connotation is traced back to being a “scarlet woman”, although it’s not applicable to all weddings. But if you’re unsure, you can save yourself the anxiety and simply wear another color for the wedding. 


Can A Bride Wear Red?

A bride can wear red to a wedding, especially since more women prefer a non-traditional or out-of-the-box wedding. The only potential consideration is if you are having the ceremony at a conservative venue or you might have very traditional relatives that would find red inappropriate for a wedding dress.

Nonetheless, it’s your wedding, and proper communication should handle misunderstandings beforehand. You can also talk to your groom, so your wedding outfits complement each other; maybe he’ll wear a maroon suit or red inner shirt to match your red wedding dress, for example. 


Is The Red Color Good For A Wedding?

Nothing shows boldness and uniqueness like a red wedding. To make it classy and avoid looking tacky, consider a white, red, and dark green palette for your wedding. 



And that’s it! To recap why can’t you wear red to a wedding, it’s a bold color and some cultures reserve it for the bride.

Nonetheless, red can be fantastic for a wedding because it represents love, strength, and even good fortune. 

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