from Tacky to Classy
If there's one situation where rebelliousness is not quite appropriate, it's going against a wedding's dress code. Not only is it rude, you'll also stick out like a sore thumb.

Here are some tips for guests and then later on, some tips for couples on how to help your guests to conveniently understand your dress code.

Tacky Colors - If you don't have a dress that is the same or close to the wedding's color palette, it's perfectly fine to wear whatever colored dress that you have. HOWEVER, there are two colors that are kind of tacky to wear to someones wedding, UNLESS you asked permission from the couple that they don't mind.

Black Dress lifted from: and White Dress lifted from:

Some brides are sensitive when it comes to guests wearing black on their wedding day because some associate it with mourning or even death. If you don't follow the same belief, or assume that she won't mind is besides the point. As a courtesy, ask first if it's okay to wear black.

The same holds true with wearing white. For very obvious reasons, the bride will be wearing white and stealing someones thunder during her wedding day is just a little too much. Again, don't assume that the bride is cool about it. It's not so hard to ask. If the bride says it's okay, then go ahead (but really, even if the bride says it's okay, and white wasn't purposely the dress code, why wear white if the bride is in white?)

Tacky Style - when the invitation says "Strictly Formal" or "Long Gown", it is quite obvious that the following Kardashian/Paris-ish outfits are just really rude (especially in a conservative church ceremony). They are perfectly okay to wear if the dress code says cocktail or "party chic" but otherwise, please wear something more appropriate. If you don't have a long gown, at the very least, wear something that is a little bit below the knee and not so body curving--you are in a Catholic church for Christ's sake. And it's also not date night.

Kim Kardashian's photo lifted from: and Paris Hilton's photo lifted from:

Understandably, not everyone has the budget to spare just to buy a new dress for a wedding. But even budget shouldn't be an excuse to be tacky. Here are some tips to go classy on a budget:

Invest in a fail-safe mid-length, beaded, neutral colored-gown: If you don't mind wearing a gown forever, then invest in a high-quality gown/dress that will go a long, long way. A just-below-the-knee, beaded, neutral gown  allows you to "cheat" any dress code because it won't be too short and too casual for a long gown/strictly formal wedding, it also fits right well in a cocktail type of dress code, and perfectly apt as well for those dress codes that includes "chic" (ie. tea-time chic, party chic, and whatever chic that somehow manages to be added in most dress codes). You can also refresh the dress with tights, layering the top, accessorizing, or changing your looks.
Another way to cheat a dress code is to alter some of your previously worn gowns.

Perhaps you wore an entourage gown that you absolutely loved and it's just getting moldy in your closet--so why not have it deconstructed?

Maybe you can have it altered into two separate pieces (one fab top and another a fab skirt) that you can mix 'n match with some of your other clothes. Or perhaps you can have it cut shorter? Sometimes, it's really all about appreciating what you already have in your wardrobe and finding more ways to be able to maximize it!

Right photo - Tutu by Bonsai Fojas
Own a long tutu skirt because it's a great way to appropriately dress-up for a wedding.

A long tutu skirt is naturally classy because of its romantic vibe and tulle fabric.

The best part is, it's one of those wardrobe staples that can be worn in any type of occasion depending on how you will style it--even beach weddings! 

*Watch out for our separate tutu blog article, featuring Rebellious Bunch Bonsai Fojas' tutu creations!
Get a handy dandy dressy bolero/jacket/shrug/or capelet that you can easily rely on to magically transform even your casual dresses to something wedding-appropriate. Even an inappropriate tacky dress could very well be saved by a beautiful jacket, or if you are even the type who is more comfortable wearing pants, you won't have to be forced to wear a dress to a wedding if you can pair your pants with an elegant looking capelet or bolero.

A tip for couples

Define 'Summer Chic' Please! Lifted from:

If you have a specific dress code that you want to be strictly followed, don't assume that your guests are in sync with what you are envisioning for the wedding.

Illustrate the dress code and make it easier for your guests. Take the time and effort to provide color palettes, pegs, look books, style guides that you can put on your wed-site or facebook wall.

If it's even possible you can also create a dress code sketch in your invitations! Make it interesting, fun, and exciting for guests. For their trouble, make your friends and family shine during the reception by giving fun awards, or a 'red carpet treatment'.

Here are more sample pegs or guides you can provide for your guests:
RB Mica's Flash Card Invite had a dedicated card just for the dress code!

Remember, there's a special and appropriate place for every outfit and being rebellious doesn't mean forgetting about proper etiquette.

UP NEXT: Watch out for our article on how to dress-up your entourage :)

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