How to not upstage the bride

upstage the bride

There is an unwritten law, you cannot wear a white dress to a wedding. Unless you are the bride, of course. This day belongs to her. Everyone else should blend in, leaving her to shine unhindered. This article will teach you how to not upstage the bride. 

We will consider some practical tips on how to let the bride shine without raining on your own parade. There are some things that are a NO-NO when it comes to dressing for a wedding. Perhaps 

  • Leave the white to the bride
  • Black clothing is a NO
  • A red dress is a NO
  • Shorts and T-shirts

Leave white to the bride

The bride’s dress is a thing to behold at most weddings. As such, you are not to wear the same colour dress as her. This is an absolute NO! Just to be safe you may also want to stir clear of light colours that may be close to white. That includes cream and lighter shades of yellow. 

The only person that gets to wear white on this big day is the bride!

Don’t wear a full black outfit

We can all agree that black is beautiful. However, it just isn’t a celebratory colour. It would be acceptable to wear one or two pieces of clothing that are black on the day. What you cannot do is have a completely black outfit. A black skirt, a black necklace, or black shoes could get a pass. A black wedding dress is a complete no no.

In a sea of colourful clothing that is a wedding, you do not want to be the stick in the mud by wearing black. Bring some joyous colours with you.

Mind that cleavage

I think we can all agree there is nothing that would ruin a wedding more than the groom ogling the cleavage of someone in the wedding party. All eyes should always be on the bride on this special day.

upstage the bride

Red may not cut it

There are two ways to look at red. It is one of the most commanding colours you will ever come across. There is some science to this. Researchers and psychologists have proven that red grabs our attention. It is a colour that gets you noticed. This day is not about you.

There is only one person that must be getting all of that attention today, and that is the bride. Advertisers make use of the colour red for a reason. That is because it works. 

Tread with caution if you are attending a Chinese wedding. Some brides will go with a red dress instead of the traditional white one. 

Shorts and a T-shirt

Although this may not necessarily be classified as upstaging the bride. There is simply no excuse for coming to a wedding in shorts and a t-shirt! Who do you think you are? The months of effort and preparation that go into such a big event cannot be undermined by your choice of clothing. Get yourself some decent, formal clothing.

Don’t Outdress the bride

While you may not go for the colours that the bride is wearing, another way to upstage the bride is to come overdressed for the occasion. Overelaborate dresses and ballroom gowns come to mind. No matter what the bride is wearing on her day if you come in a ballroom gown with incredible detail and glitter. You can rest assured that some attention will be diverted to you.

Your goal is not to under-dress. It is to elegantly blend in with everyone else. There is only one person who is allowed to stick out on this day. Keep that in mind. 

Mother of the bride dresses

The mother of the bride tends to draw a great deal of her own attention on the wedding day. Be it largely from the background. The challenge here would be to find a dress that complements the bride. 

Seeing as you may be playing a key role as the host, be it unofficially. You need a dress that is welcoming. It also has to be one that is not restrictive of movement. You will find yourself on the dancefloor at some point. 

Start with deciding the sort of neckline that works for you. We would recommend one that is open enough to breathe while leaving something to the imagination. It would be ideal to have one that comes with a mini-jacket or shawl to cover the arms. This can be put away when you get to dancing.

Finally, find something that is perfect for your figure. It may be worth trying some dresses out before picking one.

upstage the bridesmaid

Bridesmaid dresses

There is a reason why the bride is often involved in choosing these. I have seen some atrocious ones that simply had no chance to ever upstage the bride. What you should be aiming for are dresses that would add to the theme and look. And you need to stick to the colour theme to avoid drawing the attention in the wedding photos.

Based on your colours and the theme of the wedding, choose something suitable. Chiffon dresses with a single arm are a proven formula. They deliver an elegant look that is perfect for the event. 

Most brides will prefer something that does not exude too much sex appeal. This is not to say that the bridesmaid should dress like nuns. The other thing that is worth taking into consideration is the length of the dress. A full-length dress is always a safe bet. 

Flower girl dresses

Are they not usually the cutest ladies in the cutest dresses that you ever see at any wedding? 

One approach would be to base the flower girl dresses on the bride’s dress. This can be done by matching the lower part of their dresses with the pattern of the bride’s dress. To keep these dresses from stealing the show, we advise you to make the top part as plain as possible.

The colour scheme of the flower girl dresses can be matched with that of the event of the bridesmaids’ dresses. Bubi London have a great collection of girls dresses that might fit the requirements as have a good colour pallette.

How to not upstage the bride – Conclusion

There are some exceptions to the rules above. If the bride herself tells you to wear one of the things that we said not to wear above, you get a pass. Another exception would be if the theme of the wedding permits it. You can obviously get away with shorts and t-shirts at a beach wedding. 

The final check that you should do when possible is to check what the bridesmaids and flower girls are wearing before picking out your outfit. There are some unspoken hierarchies to these things.  

What does it mean to upstage the bride?
Upstaging the bride, intentionally or otherwise, is considered when all of the guests attention is not on the bride. This is usually because of choice of outfit, either by wearing white/ivory, showing too much cleavage, or being far more formal than other guests. It is also possible to upstage the bride by being over dominating on the day, by taking the attention by being loud, drunk, dancing wildly, or by being aggressive or inappropriate.



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