• Fashion

Breaking The Wedding Guest Dress Rules

If you read Emma Inks often you know that I am not one for rules, especially when it comes to fashion. This is true even when it comes to an event as traditional as a wedding. Don’t get me wrong, if the Bride and Groom make a reasonable request I am not going to go against it, because it’s their day after all, but some wedding guest rules just seem so dated. Here are just some I found online whilst doing a little research.

Don’t wear white

One of the few rules I totally stand by because I would never dream of wearing white anyway, but also because if you know there is a 90% chance of the the bride wearing white – why would you! This also goes for anything bridal; I have been at a couple of weddings where a guest has been mistaken for a bridesmaid, which is just super awkward.

Invest in accessories

I know this might seem like a sensible way to avoid spending too much money, but are you realistically going to wear that feather fascinator or sparkly bag ever again? In my experience probably not. Now I just go for simple classic shoes and bag so they can actually be worn at lots of different events. Also, if the wedding is any good your wrap or coat will come off as you enter or be tossed over the back of a chair, your bag will be misplaced under a table, and your shoes will be thrown off in a corner because you have been dancing so much.

Don’t wear anything too skimpy

Someone’s risqué is another person’s frumpy, maybe don’t turn up in a Little Mix stage costume but if you feel great in a short dress with a low cleavage, I say go get it girl.

Don’t dress too casually or too formal

Can I please have some sort of guidance? There are so many types of weddings nowadays these rules don’t really apply. If my friends are getting married in a registry office in Hackney I’m probably not going to wear a ballgown in the same way as if my friends had a fairytale themed wedding I am not going to wear jeans – and even if I did, does it really matter?


Wear colour in summer

This one is just insane, as if colour is inappropriate at any time of the year. If colour makes you happy, even in the middle of winter, then rock it out.

Avoid wearing black

“You’re not going to a funeral, it’s a celebration” Obviously I take personal offence to this one, I am not going to turn up looking like Nancy from the Craft, but I wear black every single day of the year and I manage to celebrate just fine in my goth get up. To me black is classic, elegant and what I feel most myself in, so unless I have been specifically requested not to wear black by the couple then I am wearing it.

Splash Out

Your outfit does not have to be super expensive to look beautiful. I had a banquet at Buckingham Palace this year (I have photos to prove it) I wore a £30 dress from Boohoo boutique and received compliments all evening, so if it’s good enough for Prince Charles it’s good enough for a wedding. Same with shoes and accessories, if you want to splurge then go for it but don’t feel pressure to bankrupt yourself.

If it’s been on Social Media You Can’t Wear It Again

Last year I was invited to 9 weddings and 2 banquets and there was no way I was spending big bucks on dresses for every occasion. As a general rule, if it is an event with a similar friend group I wear something new, but if it is with other friends I am all about reusing. If you are comfortable wearing one dress for every occasion, I say good on you. Fuck Facebook judgement – they are just jealous that you get invited to so many events while their stuck at home scrolling through your feed for entertainment.

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Wear Heels

I am not saying don’t wear heels; if you are one of these amazing creatures who can dance the night away in nine inch heels I am in awe of you. I usually start off with heels then realise I am Bambi and change into some pretty flats. If you don’t feel comfortable in heels at all I say don’t do it. Even fashion kween Victoria Beckham has embraced the flat trend, because flats don’t have to be ugly clumpy shoes, and even if they are, so what – as long as you and your feet are happy, who cares.

Have Confidence In Yourself

This one really made me laugh because it is all of the rules above that make me a nervous wreck whilst getting ready for a wedding.

Here is my number one rule for weddings:


The couple has invited you to their special day because they want to share it with you, they know you and love you exactly as you are even if you’re a flesh showing, flat shoe wearing, accessory hating goth who has been photographed several times in the same outfit.

If you don’t know the couple very well reach out to them or other guests and get an idea of the vibe of the wedding, but realistically the bride and groom take centre stage and you are merely a supporting role, so no one is going to care. Relax, enjoy yourself, and celebrate love.


  1. Emma you SLAY. I hate the judgement around what wedding guests wear – I’ve fallen victim to it myself and it sucks. Will be channeling my inner Emma Inks in future now <3

    1. Emma says:

      Do it you’ll rock no matter what you wear

  2. Sophie Crawford says:

    This is amazing to read- I’ve got 3 weddings to go to already next year and I always feel uncomfortable when dressed to the nine’s so it’s refreshing to read something about embracing my usual style and finally feeling confident to rock black at a wedding!

    1. Emma says:

      Thank you so much I am so glad it was useful. I hope you have an awesome time whatever you decide to wear

  3. Amen. Kinda annoys me when people say you can’t wear black to a wedding, why the hell not? Black is sleek AF. Obviously white is a big no-go though haha. I’ve got my cousins wedding next week and I want to be smart but I also want to feel comfortable and myself so I always go glittery! Loving your outfits though xx

    Sophie Elizabeth

    1. Emma says:

      Going glittery sounds like an amazing wedding outfit so happy and celebratory

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