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When it comes to dressing for a wedding, most of us know to follow the dress code and to avoid anything that looks too bridal (all white and cream get a hard no unless specifically requested by the couple). But what about other cuts and colors? Though it’s become an increasingly popular choice, die-hard traditionalists will often scoff at an all-black ensemble, and they may do the same should they see a guest wearing a bright red dress. Not only will it threaten to steal attention in person and stand out in photos (giving the bride a constant reminder of her irritation with the guest), but traditionally, wearing a red dress to a wedding means that you slept with the groom!

While I wholeheartedly disagree with the stance on black (my own mother-in-law wore it to our wedding and looked incredibly chic), I can somewhat understand the concerns with a bright red dress (sans the old wives’ tales, of course). That said, if red is your thing, there are ways to wear it respectfully.

Here are my top tips:

Choose Elegant Fabrics and Styles

First and foremost, you don’t want to wear something overly sexy to a wedding regardless of the color, but with red you need to be particularly careful. The material and style will play a big part in a dress’s appropriateness for a wedding. A sophisticated, well-tailored dress in a rich red hue can be more wedding-appropriate than a casual, tight or overly revealing style. Keep it appropriate, and you should be in the clear.

Use it as an Accent Color

While a solid bright red dress may be a lot, there is absolutely nothing wrong with using bright red in a pattern, a color block, or as an accessory.

Opt for Subtle Red Tones

With over 40 shades available, there are plenty that will look beautiful without drawing attention to the bride. Consider maroon, burgundy, wine, or dusty rose, for example.

Consider the Wedding Colors and Theme

Wearing bolder colors to a fun and festive celebration makes sense, whereas if the colors are muted, even small amounts will stand out to distraction. You should be able to get a good sense of the vibe from the wedding website.

Ensure it’s Culturally Appropriate

In some cultures, red is reserved for the bride, and in others, it’s deemed very rude to wear. Do your research, and when in doubt, ask the maid of honor or mother of the bride.

Doubt Means Don’t

This doesn’t always ring true in life, but in fashion it’s a motto to live by. If you aren’t sure if something is appropriate, don’t wear it. It’s not worth the dress or potential offense to the couple.

If you have any questions or need further guidance, don’t hesitate to reach out.
You can connect with us at hello@thestylishbride.com