Can you wear red to a wedding? We ask the experts

With wedding season in full swing, we ask: Can you wear red to a wedding?

street style of red outfits - discussing can you wear red to a wedding
(Image credit: Getty Images)

With occasion season in full swing, if you're wondering can you wear red to a wedding, you aren't alone. A bold hue might seem like an overwhelming choice for an upcoming celebration, so we asked style experts for their views on this tricky look. 

When it comes to what to wear to a wedding, the list of style rules has certainly become slightly more flexible over time. With the golden rule revolving around not upstaging the bride, many women ask: 'Can you wear red to a wedding', as this bright colourway can seem rather showy, on a day when the bride should be the centre of attention. 

Essentially the answer is always to think about the type of day you're heading to and check the invite for any information about the dress code. Generally speaking, if the bride and groom have a particular colour scheme in mind for guests, they should include it in the wedding invite, or on their wedding website. If you're still particularly worried asking the couple, can you wear red to their wedding is the next best step. However, if no dress code information has been shared, red is not one of those colours that is particularly frowned upon for a wedding, particularly as this hue is naturally associated with love. 

And if that wasn't enough to convince you that red is the colour to be seen in this summer, don't forget about the Tomato Girl Summer trend that has swept through the style elite. While it is rooted in a Mediterranean lifestyle, tomato red hue play a big part of the look too and thanks to its feminine aesthetic, it has highlighted some of the best wedding guest dresses too.

Can you wear red to a wedding?

"Red symbolises love", says fashion stylist Antonia Kraskowski, "and I have worn red to a wedding before, I love a bright colour for a wedding, after all, it is a happy occasion, and a dose of dopamine dressing helps to reflect the joy of the day."

According to woman&home fashion editor, Rivkie Baum, red is not a colour that she would consider banned at weddings.

"This bright hue is ideal for a summer or winter wedding and is also set to be one of this season's biggest fashion colour trends of the later part of the year, so I expect to see plenty of partywear in this colourway. As with the best black wedding guest dresses, while it may have previously been seen as an inappropriate colour, as black dresses are considered a little more sombre. In 2023, this rule no longer applies and I believe the same is true of rocking a LRD (little red dress)."

However not everyone agrees that you can wear red to a wedding

It is important to make sure it is culturally appropriate for the wedding you're attending, so if you're unsure, ask the bridal party prior to the big day. For some people red is considered to upstage the bride, But there is also an 'Old Wives Tale' that says wearing red to a wedding means that you have slept with the groom. While this school of thought is, like with wearing black to a wedding not in line with modern fashion rules, it's an important one to remember. So in essence, checking is always best if you even have a tiny bit of doubt.

Having said that, in line with modern thought wearing red, even a sprinkling is largely considered acceptable in 2023 so we've rounded up 3 of the best red wedding guest pieces to wear this season that will turn heads for all the right reasons.

Rivkie Baum
Fashion channel editor

Rivkie is a fashion editor, writer and stylist with over fifteen years' experience in the industry. Having studied design and pattern cutting at the London College of Fashion, Rivkie fell in love with styling and journalism, covering fashion weeks in London, Paris and New York. 

Specialising in plus size fashion, Rivkie has long championed that style is for everyBODY and has been a regular talking head on a host of radio stations and television shows, pushing for greater representation for plus size women and fashion throughout her career.