Can You Wear Red Lipstick to a Wedding as a Guest? (5 Rules Explained)

Whether you’re the bride, groom, or a guest attending a wedding, you’ll want to look your best. But with so many rules about what to wear, it can be tough to know what’s appropriate.

Can you wear red lipstick to a wedding as a guest?

Yes, guests can wear red lipstick to a wedding. A wedding guest can wear dark red, soft red, or bright red lipstick. Do not wear red lipstick if it will distract from the bride, clash with the color scheme of the wedding, or look out of place for the tone or venue of the wedding.

In this article, you’ll learn everything you need to know about wearing red lipstick to a wedding.

Can You Wear Red Lipstick to a Wedding as a Guest? (5 Rules Explained)

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Woman in red lipstick - Can you wear red lipstick to a wedding as a guest
I created this image with Jasper Art and Canva – Can you wear red lipstick to a wedding as a guest?

When it comes to wedding guest attire, there are a few important “rules” to keep in mind.

Here are five wedding etiquette “rules” for wearing red lipstick to a wedding as a guest. Follow them to avoid unintentionally embarrassing yourself by making a wedding faux pas.

Rule #1: There Are No Standard Wedding Rules Against Red Lipstick

There are no rules against wearing red lipstick at a wedding as a guest.

You can usually wear anything that you want as long as you don’t wear a completely white outfit. Red lipstick isn’t on the radar of most brides or grooms, so you should be fine wearing it.

Rule #2: Don’t Distract From the Bride

First and foremost, you should always avoid upstaging the bride.

If you’re planning on wearing a red lip, make sure the rest of your makeup is fairly muted. You don’t want to steal the spotlight from the bride on her big day!

That being said, a little bit of red can actually be quite elegant and festive – as long as you do it right.

A classic red lip can be the perfect finishing touch to your wedding outfit. Just make sure to keep the rest of your makeup simple, so you don’t overshadow the bride.

Rule #3: Check the Wedding Dress Code

Be mindful of the dress code.

Check the wedding invitation and wedding website for details. Always strictly follow the dress code, if one is provided.

If the dress code for the wedding is a black tie affair, then it is generally best to avoid red lipstick.

This is because black tie is a formal dress code, and red lipstick can appear too flashy or attention-seeking. However, if the dress code is more relaxed, such as cocktail attire, then red lipstick may be perfectly fine.

It is also important to consider the overall tone of the wedding.

If it is a very formal affair, then red lipstick might seem out of place.

But if the wedding is more laid-back and casual, then a bold lip color could actually be quite fun and appropriate.

Rule #4: Take Cues From the Bridal Party

f the bride is wearing red lipstick, it’s probably not a good idea to wear red lipstick as a guest.

However, if the bridal party is wearing red lipstick, it’s more likely to be okay. Ultimately, it’s important to take cues from the bridal party and refrain from wearing anything that might be considered inappropriate or disrespectful.

In fact, matching your lips to the bride’s can be a fun way to show your support on her big day. However, if the bride and her attendants are opting for more natural makeup looks, it’s probably best to follow suit with your own makeup choices.

Wearing red lipstick to a formal wedding where everyone else is keeping their lips nude would be considered rather gauche.

Rule #5: When In Doubt, Check With the Bride and Groom

It’s a big day for the bride and groom, and they get to make the rules.

If you’re unsure about what to wear to a wedding as a guest, the best thing to do is ask the bride and groom. They’ll be able to tell you what they’re envisioning for their guests and what would fit best with their overall theme and aesthetic.

Can You Wear Red Lipstick To Your Own Wedding?

Sure, you can wear red lipstick to your own wedding.

In fact, you can wear anything you want! This is your big day, after all, so you should feel free to express yourself however you see fit. Whether you opt for a traditional white dress or something a little more unique, remember that it’s your day to shine.

You could wear a Chewbacca costume if that’s what you’re into.

Go ahead and rock that red lipstick with pride. After all, it’s your wedding.

Here is a good video about how to wear red lipstick on your wedding day:

YouTube video by mahalodotcom—Can You Wear Red Lipstick to a Wedding as a Guest?

7 Tips For Wearing Red Lipstick to a Wedding as a Guest

One of the most common questions is whether or not it is appropriate to wear red lipstick to a wedding.

Here are seven things to consider when deciding whether or not to go for a bold red lip:

  1. The Type of Wedding. The first thing to consider is the type of wedding you will be attending. A more formal affair might require a more conservative makeup look, while a less formal wedding might be the perfect opportunity to experiment with something bolder.
  2. The Color Scheme. Another important factor to consider is the wedding’s color scheme. If the bride has chosen white and ivory as her colors, it might be best to avoid red lipstick that could clash with her dress. On the other hand, if the palette is more colorful, a red lip might fit right in.
  3. Your Outfit. Another thing to keep in mind is your overall outfit. If you’re wearing a vibrant dress or an attention-grabbing accessory, you might want to tone down your makeup so as not to look overdone. On the other hand, if your outfit is more subdued, red lipstick can add a touch of glamour.
  4. The Venue. The venue can also be a factor in deciding whether or not to wear red lipstick. A church ceremony might warrant a more subdued look, while an outdoor reception might be the perfect opportunity to let your personality shine through with brighter makeup.
  5. The Time of the Wedding. For daytime weddings, lean towards softer shades of red or pink. If the wedding is taking place in the morning or early afternoon, steer clear of dark or vampy shades of red lipstick. Stick to softer hues like rose or coral instead. For evening weddings, feel free to experiment with bolder shades.
  6. The Cultural Symbolism of Color. In some cultures, red is a sign of good luck and fortune. In other cultural contexts, red might symbolize something negative. The last thing you want to do is unintentionally wear a lipstick color that means death or misfortune.
  7. Your Comfort Level. Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to wear red lipstick should come down to your comfort level. If you feel confident and beautiful in bold lip color, go for it. However, if you’re feeling more self-conscious, it’s perfectly acceptable to play it safe with a nude or pink shade.

Why Do Some People Think It’s Not Ok to Wear Red Lipstick to a Wedding as a Guest?

Some people think it’s not okay to wear red lipstick to a wedding as a guest, probably because they are mistakenly applying an old “rule of thumb” to lipstick.

In the past, it was considered uncouth to wear white, red, or black to a wedding.

However, times and acceptable colors have changed. The only lingering color no-no is wearing all white as a guest (which is typically reserved for the bride).

Wearing any of these colors used to signify that you were either in mourning or you were trying to upstage the bride.

But nowadays, almost none of that applies.

So go ahead and break out your favorite red lipstick for the next wedding you attend – just make sure you’re not wearing all white.

Is It Ok to Wear a Dark Lipstick to a Wedding?

Yes, it’s absolutely fine.

A dark lipstick can be a beautiful and dramatic look.

However, a dark shade might not be the best choice depending on your outfit, the time of day, and the tone of the wedding. If you keep all of these things in mind, a darker shade of lipstick shouldn’t be an issue at all.

Final Thoughts: Can You Wear Red Lipstick to a Wedding as a Guest?

The bottom line is that wearing red lipstick to a wedding as a guest is no big deal.

If you want to read about other wedding and style guides, check out some of my favorite related posts below.

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Research Gate (Research on Changing Wedding Makeup Trends)