Wedding Etiquette
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Colors to Wear or Avoid Wearing to Weddings

Being in the wedding industry, I have the opportunity to hear many opinions on wedding etiquette. Some are sound advice, others are just personal preference. Often the question is raised about which colors are appropriate for wedding guests to wear. For example, some believe that wearing black to a wedding is a faux pas, while others have no problem with it. But if you want to err on the side of good taste, consider following my advice on what colors are appropriate, or inappropriate, to wear to a wedding.

1. Black. The rule of wearing black to a wedding is this: unless you are a close relative of the bride or groom, it is perfectly acceptable. Basically, if you are not the bride or groom's mother, sister, grandmother, or daughter, you can get away with wearing black. However, if you are a close relative and do decide to don black, know that it can be perceived as a sign of protesting the event. It is however, always acceptable to wear black accompanied with any other complimentary color, no matter who you're related to.

2. White. The rule of wearing white to another person's wedding is this: don't do it. You may wear cream, beige, ecru, or any other shade of off white, or you can wear white combined with any other accompanying color, but the only person who is expected to wear solid white to a wedding is the bride herself.

3. Red. The rule of wearing red to a wedding is this: there isn't one. At least, I've never seen one in an etiquette book. However, know that it can be deemed in poor test. Solid red, being the bright, eye-catching color it is, can be considered too flashy or attention-getting for a wedding guest to wear. Again, wearing it with any other color, such as black or brown, will tone down the "look-at-me!" effect, and thus is always perfectly acceptable. Also, the constraint only applies to bright, candy apple red. Any other shade of red: wine, burgundy, even barnyard would be perfectly fine.

Of course, no one is going to ask you to leave if you show up at a wedding wearing any of these colors. But sticking to these guidelines is just showing your good taste, and that is always acceptable.