Unspoken Wedding Rules

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There is some basic etiquette we all know about and tend to stick to when it comes to being a wedding guest, such as not wearing white and donning a fascinator at the bride’s request. We all try to honour what the happy couple want to help them have the wedding of their dreams, but what happens when one of these unspoken rules become a little trickier to adhere to? We all want to dress to impress and look our best for the photographs, but following some couple’s wardrobe guidelines can be difficult to accomplish – especially when the pointers call for something seemingly quite vague. I once saw a line on an invitation that read ‘smart casual but more smart than casual and all men must wear long sleeves and all women must have knee-length skirts but generally smart casual‘… I’m not convinced the couple in question really knew what they wanted from their guests and I’d be surprised if everyone managed to decipher that one how it was intended. Thankfully spouses-to-be are getting much better at defining exactly what it is they want from their guests, but if you get lumbered with a confusing set of guidelines don’t panic – hopefully by the time you finish this post you’ll have a much better idea as to how to achieve a look you feel confident and comfortable in that respects the requests of the married couple-to-be.

Fashion psychologist and Founder of Style Psychology, Kate Nightingale, helps us reveal the UK’s top unspoken wedding rules and with Kate we figure out how to work around them so they suit you and your style without causing any upset.

1. Please wear a fascinator or hat

The popularity of fascinators and hats seems to have dulled a little as time has gone on (with 23% of Brits admitting to turning up without one), but if you’re attending a traditional or grand wedding it’s quite likely you’ll spot this request somewhere on your invitation. As many of us find very few occasions to wear either a hat or fascinator fit for a wedding it’s quite plausible that you just don’t own one and with their often costly price tag it may seem like an expense you just can’t afford. Kate suggests turning to a pair of ornate hair slides that could come at a fraction of the price without sacrificing on the drama, or perhaps heading to the salon for a glamorous up-do instead.


Unspoken Wedding Outfit Rules with CollectPlus on Clarke and Wedgewood



2. Appropriate footwear is advised

This is one that will always baffle me – how on earth are you supposed to know what is considered ‘appropriate’ if the venue is one you have not visited before? In this instance perhaps conduct a little research before the big day and look for what will be greeting you underfoot. If there is a lot of grass or you’ll be on old wooden floorboards around then perhaps swap a stiletto heel for a wedge, and remember that the most important thing should be comfort. A wedding is a long day and usually comes hand in hand with dancing the night away so if you’re considering shoes that will leave you crippled by mid-afternoon perhaps leave them at home this time and choose something with a little more longevity. Kate tells that a whopping 21% of us have opted for heels that were too high, whilst 20% admit to having worn trainers to a wedding – whatever you opt for, just consider the venue, the couple, comfort and the rest of the dress code and you’re sure to hit the nail on the head.

3. No jeans please

If you know the celebration is being held in a more laid back venue it doesn’t mean you need to head straight to the jeans… but what if they’re a part of your everyday wardrobe? Kate suggests opting for a linen suit instead so you can nail the tailored, smart look but enjoy all the comfort that linen offers. Plus, if you find the temperature creeps up around the time of the wedding you’ll be delighted to have opted for a much cooler fabric so you’re not getting too hot and bothered during the ceremony. 20% of us have worn jeans to a wedding but with a wedding being the perfect time to get suited and booted ditch the skinnies for cool, comfortable suit trousers and for a contemporary take on the style try folding the bottom of the trouser leg up to show off a pair of leather boat shoes.

4. Fake it ’til you make it

If you want to master the ‘I’ve just come back from an exotic foreign holiday abroad’ look in the wedding photographs without actually going anywhere then fake tan will soon become your greatest ally. Even the most experienced of faux tanners can make mistakes and end up with the tell-tale streaks that come with fake tan, so if you’re relying on the bottle for a golden glow before the wedding start your tanning process a few weeks before the big day to give yourself chance to build up your tan slowly and evenly. Just remember that any mahogany mistakes you make you’ll have to style out in the wedding photos so the fewer of these there are the better!


Do any of the above sound familiar? Finding the right outfit as a wedding guest can be tricky as there just is no one size fits all solution, but to help you navigate your way around what can be a minefield why not take a look at this post with The Black Tux and their wedding guest style guide, and take a look at the remaining 6 rules that made it onto the list…

5. Avoid white

6. Black is also off the cards

7. Stay away from casual

8. Wear a tie

9. Don’t copy the bridesmaids

10. Wear waterproof mascara

With wedding season in full swing getting outfits sussed can be tricky around your 9-5. I have often found myself in the position where I haven’t managed to find what I want and I’m desperate that the final package being delivered the day before the celebration contains ‘the one’, but that needn’t be the case. The risk of purchasing anything online is that when it arrives it doesn’t fit quite right, the colour is completely different to what you expected or worst of all – they send you the wrong item, and if you have waited in all day for that package you are left feeling disappointed, frustrated and desperate.

Using CollectPlus Click & Collect makes shopping, buying and trying on your wedding outfit that little bit easier. You can choose for your order to be delivered at a location most convenient for you without having to wait in all day. Plus if you’re planning to buy a few options, you can simply try them on in the comfort of your own home and return them at any CollectPlus location making wedding shopping stress-free.