(Closed) Is it okay for a guest to wear a long dress?

posted 8 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 17
183 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

Umm that’s the biggest BS I’ve heard yet. I get the no white thing but seirously? No long dresses? Are brides these days that jealous that no one can attempt to look decent on someone else’s wedding day?

For my wedding I asked all my girls if they wanted to dress up super formal in long gowns so we would all look awesome, a lot of them did and pictures looked amazing! 


Post # 18
289 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

@Pit:  I’ve never heard of that rule! Sounds silly to me! However if you’re worried about it, why not wear a short dress with some cute tights so you don’t freeze to death.

Post # 19
1546 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

@Pit:  That is ridiculous! Wear a long dress, it is seasonally appropriate! I attended a January New England wedding once and wore a long dress and nobody batted an eye or thought I was part of the wedding party. I actually got a ton of compliments and was comfortable all night in the long dress and with my decision to wear one.

Post # 20
1152 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

Um I’ve never heard of this.  I’ve worn the same long dress to two different weddings.  Maxi dresses are so in right now, that baffles me.  Especially since you said you already talked to the bride about it…just do it.

EDIT: also this is the dress…neither bride cared since it’s cream/brown with black straps and a black “belt” waist.  This would probably make your mom faint.



Post # 21
11535 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2009

The rule regarding guests (and bridesmaids and mothers as well) choosing between long and short dresses for weddings actually has to do with the time of day and level of formality of the wedding.

Post # 22
12241 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: May 2013

As long as it isn’t a black-tie evening gown, full-length should be fine!

Post # 23
3336 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2013 - Rhode Island

It depends on the formality of the wedding.  If it’s a formal or black tie event, then you can definitely wear a long dress.  If it’s casual, you may be the only one not wearing cocktail length.  But even then, you can probably still get away with it.  There definitely isn’t a rule that says you can’t wear floor-length dresses unless you’re in the wedding.

I usually use weddings as an excuse to dress up.  BTW, if you don’t have a dress yet, check out Rent the Runway.  You can rent a nice dress for cheaper than buying a new one, and they have a huge selection.  You can even find something with sleeves if you’re worried about being cold. Something like this Alice by Temperley dress would be understated but pretty and is $110 to rent.


Post # 24
1667 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

You should be fine, just make sure your formality level is on point with the rest of the wedding. 

Maybe weddings are a bit dressier where I’m from but loads of ladies had on long dresses the last wedding I was at. 

Post # 25
3723 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

@Pit:  I’ve never heard of that rule. Just don’t wear white and dress appropriately (i.e., not skanky) and you should be all set.

Post # 26
6104 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: October 2013

I wore a long dress to my friend’s wedding 2 weeks ago…she even complimented me on it. She just so happen to wear a long dress to my wedding too.

It’s fine.

Post # 27
985 posts
Busy bee

@Pit:  def not a rule of thumb. it will be cold, of course you are supposed to wear something long ! the only “rules” are to refrain from white or the bridal party colors and even those are not always rigid.

Post # 28
670 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

I only seem to wear long dresses, no such rule exists about wearing long dresses

Post # 29
4435 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: April 2013

@Pit:  absolutely wear a long dress!

Post # 30
1554 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

As long as you match the formality of the wedding, there is nothing wrong with wearing a long dress. I’ve been to many weddings where the majority of the guests were wearing long dresses at a non-black tie reception.

Post # 31
300 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

Totally fine for a winter wedding. Just because it’s long, doesn’t mean it’s automatically more formal.

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