Wedding Etiquette Forum

Asking guests to wear bright colours?

My FI wants to add to the bottom of the wedding invite:

'Dress code: Please wear whatever feels comfortable, but in order to celebrate our multicultural wedding, wearing bright colours is encouraged!'

Rude or not?

Re: Asking guests to wear bright colours?

  • Rude. The only time it's acceptable to put a dress code on the invite is if it's black tie, and even that should be a lot more subtle than what you are suggesting. You can't tell guests what color(s) to wear to your wedding.
  • MobKazMobKaz member
    Knottie Warrior 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Rude and unnecessary.   Not only are you dictating attire, you are forcing guests to make a purchase if they have nothing in their wardrobe that qualifies as brightly colored. 

    I own nothing brightly colored even on a casual level, let alone wedding appropriate. 

    If you want bright colors, why not offer every guest some type of wand with brightly colored ribbons attached to it. 
  • Would using the word 'encouraged' show that the dress code is not mandatory?
  • Absolutely not. Completely unacceptable. People are not props you can dress up. 
  • Unless here is a dress code dictated by the venue or event-type (I.e. Black tie) you should not dictate, encourage, or suggest what your guests wear. It's rude, and a little insulting. Also many people will ignore it. 

    I went to a wedding that explicitly asked for formal attire (even though invites would not have led me to think it was a formal wedding) and even though t was listed on the invite, website, and church program there were many people not dressed formally. People will wear what they have. 

  • Would using the word 'encouraged' show that the dress code is not mandatory?

    Unless you are going to throw people out of your wedding over the color of their clothing (seriously??), it's not mandatory, regardless.  Which makes putting this line on your invitations unnecessary, not to mention poor etiquette. 

    If people ask, you can mention it.  My brother is getting married in a few weeks (squee!) and when I was asking him about wedding stuff, he mentioned that I could wear traditional Pakistani formalwear, as several of the bride's friends were planning to do.  (His bride is British of Pakistani parents; we are American.)  If people ask, there is nothing wrong with saying "We expect that a lot of our guests will wear bright, festive colors, which is traditional for us" (or whatever), but it's poor hosting to make this request outright, let along print it on your invitations.

    Save your mental energy for issues that matter, not whether your guests' clothing is bright enough.  They can wear whatever they like.
  • Leave it alone.   Those who wanted to wear bright colors will.   Those who wouldn't will roll their eyes at this at best.

  • "Encouraged" is one of those words commonly used to make a requirement seem more polite. Think about if you got an invite for a wedding that said "Guests are strongly encouraged to wear pirate attire." You would still probably try to find something, right? These are your friends and they're asking so nicely!

    Same goes for your guests. Personally, I LOVE bright colors and have a ton of things that would work, but you kind of put people in a weird spot. They maybe have to wear something they don't particularly feel comfortable in, maybe they have to buy something new, and if they don't wear bright colors, they're going to stick out and probably feel like an ass.

    The only time dress code is okay is when it's dictated by the venue (like a country club saying no jeans, men have to wear jackets, etc) or if the event truly is black tie. 
  • Rude. You should never say anything about your guests' attired. 

  • Would using the word 'encouraged' show that the dress code is not mandatory?

    Just leave it out. You might have a few guests who didn't realize bright colors were appropriate and would be glad for the notice. However you will have way more guests who:
    • Already knew and don't need the hint (and might even be annoyed you thought they were too dumb to figure it out)
    • Don't own/like anything bright colored but now feel compelled to possibly spend money on and wear something they don't feel comfortable/attractive in.
    • Don't own/like anything bright, and then can't afford anything new / can't find something they like enough and then go to the wedding and feel awkward because they "disappointed" the couple somehow (also it might have them think other guests are judging them for not following "the encouragement").
    • The people that are going to wear what they want regardless of your note but now you've annoyed.

    It's not worth annoying (and possibly really putting out) the bulk of your guests.

  • Rude, for all the reasons PPs have mentioned. 

  • Terribly RUDE!
  • DO NOT put this on your invite - besides rude, it looks tacky (i.e. asking your guests to be props)..  INSTEAD - you both have the "Chatty Cathy/Calvin" in your families - tell them to spread the word that if people can to dress in bright colors you'd be overjoyed if they did on your wedding day.  That's your best way to do it without coming off as rude toward your guests, this isn't mandatory dress code because you're not likely at a venue that requires Black/White Tie and/or attire (i.e. collared shirts, etc.), only a request if they are able to.  
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