What *Not* to Wear to a Wedding

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Sometimes being the main character is not a good look.

By Natalie Michie

Date July 22, 2022

Wedding season is upon us, and I fear Kendall Jenner must be stopped.

The supermodel (and her family) have a tendency of turning heads with their over-the-top wedding guest fashion. Lest we forget influencer Lauren Perez’s nuptials last summer, where Jenner wore a cut-out dress to end all cut-out dresses. The stomach-baring Mônot gown went viral for being spotlight-stealing and “blatantly disrespectful.” This week, she made headlines once again as the “best-dressed” guest when attending a ceremony in Hawaii.

It seems that with every marriage celebration she attends, Jenner becomes the main attraction. It’s like how that old saying doesn’t go: every bride needs something borrowed, something blue and… someone outshining her, I guess.

In Jenner’s defence, today’s weddings are more unconventional than ever. From cheesy Vegas elopements coming back en vogue to Catholic cosplaying somehow being a thing, traditional rituals are being traded in for unusual ceremonies and dress codes. As a result, the expectations of what to wear can seem a little unclear. But committing a fashion faux pas is not only a bad look, it could get you axed from future wedding guest lists.

Celebrity or not, we all suffer from main character syndrome sometimes. But don’t fret, we’ve compiled some handy guidelines to keep you out of trouble when dressing for the occasion. Read on for what not to wear to a wedding.

Avoid white at all costs

We’ve all been there. You’re invited to a summer wedding and there’s an unforeseen emergency: you look really good in white. When Kelly Kapoor pulled this stunt in an episode of The Office, it was objectively iconic. But that logic only really works for Mindy Kaling’s fictional brand of chaos. At a real-life wedding? Not so cute. To achieve the best guest etiquette, steer clear of the bridal hue. That means no cream, ivory or any other kind of off-white loophole that you think is clever enough to pass as acceptable. Just don’t do it.

Don’t strive to be the hottest person in the room

This is the one occasion in which I will fully condone this advice. Normally, I would be saying the opposite. Shopping for produce in a tube top and Miu Miu micro-mini skirt? As you should. Sporting elaborate Euphoria-inspired makeup to a Monday morning meeting? A very good choice indeed. But please, do not bring this energy to a wedding that is not your own. Let Kylie Jenner be a lesson to us all. After wearing a gold frock to the nuptials of Hailey and Justin Bieber in 2019, the influencer’s look has gone down in the pop culture history books (and not in a good way).

Remember: wedding guest fashion is not Met Gala fashion, and the event is not about you. Now is the time to reel it in and allow the couple of the day to shine. That means no sequins, no sparkles, no tiara and nothing that even resembles a Cinderella ball gown. Pack it up, princess!

If you wear flip-flops, expect flip-flop slander

I get it: heels can be a pain, especially for outdoor weddings. But the married couple-to-be has likely spent lots of time and money trying to make their ceremony look perfect. The least they can ask for is some dress code-appropriate footwear. If you’re worried about your feet being in misery, opt for a nice pair of sandals or flats. But wearing flip-flops to celebrate the most important day of someone’s life? In this economy? Unless specifically authorized by a bride or groom themselves, steer clear.

Too much skin is probably unwelcome

Generally speaking, I support all risqué fashion moments. I mean, low-waisted bottoms are my personal hero of 2022. But revealing outfits are not always appreciated at wedding ceremonies. Before slipping on your stomach-baring ensemble à la Kendall Jenner, read the room. In other words, pay attention to the location and dress code. As a general rule of thumb, cut-outs, sheer fabrics and super-short hemlines are not the right choices.

As a guest, there are so many creative ways to ruin a wedding. But wearing an outfit that usurps all the attention? That’s just boring. So please, don’t be that person.

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