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Is It Rude to Wear the Same Color as Bridesmaids?

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Choosing the right outfit to attend a wedding ceremony is important, especially if you’re a guest of honor.

Before the reception, you receive the invitation with the dress code that applies to almost every guest. Then, you begin shopping for your outfit without looking at the price tag because you know that outfit is necessary to attend the ceremony.

Finally, when the day arrives, you walk into the reception and notice that the color of your dress or outfit is the same as that of the bridesmaids. Suddenly, you feel uncomfortable, and many thoughts come rushing to your head.

Have you violated one of the sacred codes of attending a reception? Is it rude to wear the same color as the bridesmaids?

bride wearing white wedding dress along with her bridesmaids in blue dresses standing in a park

There is nothing wrong with wearing the same color as bridesmaids. In fact, no set-in-stone rules restrict guests from wearing the same color.

Sometimes, you might forget to ask beforehand what the bridesmaids’ outfit color is, and everything happens by chance. So there is no need to feel bad about wearing the same color as the bridesmaids.

Is It Rude to Wear a Bridesmaid Outfit From a Previous Wedding?

To some people, there is an element of elegance and chic to the dresses that bridesmaids wear.

If you have any experience being a bridesmaid, there is a chance that you’ve kept an old dress neat and clean in your wardrobe.

Then, one day, you are invited to a reception, and you notice that the dress still fits. But can you wear it to a wedding?

Is it rude to wear a bridesmaid outfit to other wedding ceremonies?

The truth is, you can wear a bridesmaid outfit without violating etiquette or wedding dress codes.

As long as the dress is not too similar to the bride’s and the bridesmaids’, you don’t have to worry about being rude or disrespecting the ceremony.

bridesmaids and bride facing the beach while holding their hands together

If you choose to wear a bridesmaid outfit, ask in advance what the women in the bridal party will wear. This could avoid confusion and an awkward situation on the wedding day.

If you think the dress might resemble the bridesmaids’ dresses, you can send it to a tailor or alter the design yourself.

Usually, the bridesmaids’ outfits follow a uniform design, jewelry arrangement, and even floral decorations.

You can also add another layer of fabric with patterns or subtle geometrical shapes to make it look vibrant yet sophisticated.

As a guest, you have the freedom to choose your design and make it distinctive from others.

Outfits That You Shouldn’t Wear to a Wedding

You will often be given a dress code that should be followed when showing up at the wedding.

Although you have the freedom to choose any type of outfit that you like, there are certain unspoken rules, formality, or etiquette that must be followed.

Here are a few outfits that you shouldn’t wear to a wedding:

Skimpy and Provocative Outfits

woman in black sequins dress. Party Outfit on red background

Although you might want to make a fashion statement, showing too much skin at reception can be inappropriate, especially if the guest list is full of families and children.

Wearing something provocative could attract negative attention and take the focus away from the bride.

Similarly, a skimpy, revealing outfit shows that you are not respecting the formality of the ceremony. So keep your nightclub dresses or party outfits at home.

If you still want to wear skirts or dresses, make sure they are not too tight or too short. The skirt’s length should be around or near the knee.

A White Dress

Bride and bridesmaids standing with bouquet

It goes without saying that only the bride should wear a white dress. If possible, try not to match the bride.

This is because the bride should be the main attraction during the ceremony.

However, if an emergency happens, and you don’t have anything other than a white dress, you should alter your outfit or wear another layer of color on top of the dress.

Unless the dress code says that you should wear something white, avoid wearing this color at all costs.

Flashy and Glittering Outfits

Fashionable woman wearing glitter sequin dress on black white background

Flashy outfits with bright colors finished with glittering stones, gems, or accessories aren’t necessarily suitable for a wedding reception.

Not to mention, some of these outfits are designed with sheer or see-through fabrics that can be quite revealing and inappropriate for a wedding.

You should also avoid wearing shiny and glittering tiaras.

Unless the bride is wearing a bigger and more appealing tiara, you should avoid wearing this accessory on your head.

Opt for something that is more subtle and not too flashy.

Daily Outfits

Unless you’re out working, most of our day-to-day outfits at home or in leisure time would be something that is light on the skin but not too attractive on the eyes.

Casual wear includes undershirts, round-neck shirts, flip-flops, short pants, sneakers, and other non-formal attire.

Although the dress code may allow you to wear something casual, it doesn’t mean you are free to wear whatever you want. In a formal ceremony, rules and etiquette still require you to be sensible and respectful.

Woman in red top and shorts standing on green door checking her phone

Colors and Fabrics to Avoid When Going to a Wedding Reception

Aside from white, you should avoid wearing a few other colors and fabrics when attending a wedding ceremony.


Although ivory isn’t the same as white, the bride’s dress may also have this color. Any soft pastels such as cream, vanilla, off-white, eggshell, light peach, or any colors that fall near the spectrum of white should be avoided.

However, you can wear white scarves, handkerchiefs, or other soft-pastel fabrics as long as they are not your main outfit.

Unless the dress code requires you to wear something white, avoid wearing this color at a reception.

All Black

Black lace dress and black sandals on wooden background

You can often pair and match your black skirts, pants, or even coats with other outfits of different colors. Unless you’re specifically required to wear all-black attire, you should avoid this color at all costs.

All-black outfits are generally worn to a funeral. So you don’t want to give the wrong message by wearing this color.

In certain religions, such as Hinduism, black is an unlucky color. So be thoughtful of everyone at the ceremony and opt for something appropriate.


Woman in denim jeans is sitting on the table

Denim should only be worn to a bachelorette party or rehearsal dinner.

You should avoid wearing your old jeans or skirts and anything denim during the reception.

If the newlyweds decide that denim should be the dress code for the ceremony, avoid wearing any faded or distressed denim. Go with something that looks fresh and not worn out.

Neon Colors

Aside from flashy and glittering attire, neon colors can be too vibrant for the eyes. You don’t want to give off the wrong signal that you’re trying to show off and attract everyone’s attention.

Try to be considerate and remember that the bride and the groom should be the center of attention during the ceremony.

Animal Prints

woman wearing shades and animal print dress

Similar to neon colors, wearing a shirt or dress with animal prints might seem inappropriate, especially for a wedding ceremony. This type of outfit will seem too casual or playful.

Dresses or shirts with tiger stripes or cheetah spots can be too flamboyant for a ceremony such as a wedding reception.

Opt for attire with subtle geometrical shapes, patterns, stripes, or polka dots if you prefer to wear something unique.

Metallic or Golden

happy woman wearing shiny golden dress on red background

Again, wearing a flashy dress or outfit can be quite discomforting. It sends a message that you are trying to steal the spotlight.

There is nothing wrong with wearing metallic and gold accessories. But for a wedding outfit, it is not formally accepted.

Final Thoughts

As long as it doesn’t violate any etiquette, rules, or dress code, you are free to wear any outfit you want. As a guest, you have the freedom to express yourself more than the bridesmaids.

At the end of the day, your thoughtful action of showing up for the ceremony and giving your support is much more important than the outfit you choose to wear.