Is It O.K. To Wear a Lace Wedding Guest Dress (and Not Offend the Bride)

Wedding etiquette dictates that it is not polite to wear white to a wedding because you never want to divert attention from the bride. But what about wearing lace?  Most brides have at least some lace on their dress, if not a lot.  Can you wear a lace wedding guest dress and not look like you are trying to steal the bride’s spotlight.

Wedding Guest Dress - lace wedding guest dresses

The answer is yes!  It’s perfectly fine, and quite a popular thing, to wear a lace dress to a wedding if you follow these guidelines:



1.  Wear Colored Lace

A white or ivory lace dress is a definite no-no, and cream lace is very iffy depending on whether the bride is wearing cream. The best lace dresses to wear to a wedding are those in a distinctly non-bridal color.

In the fall, go for something like this beautiful plum lace dress with the charming halter neckline. The color is deep, rich, and romantic, and cannot be confused with a wedding dress. I’ve paired it with black accessories for a beautiful fall look.

In the spring and summer look for lace wedding guest dresses in pink, yellow, soft blue, mint green, or taupe.

Blue lace dresses to wear to a wedding


2.  Choose a Simple Dress with Clean Lines

If you have any concerns about looking too bridal, then stick to a lace wedding guest dress with a clean-lined silhouette. This classic blue lace wedding guest dress has clean, modern lines with a sweetheart neckline. There are no tiers, ruffles, flounce, or sparkly crystal embellishments that you often see on wedding dresses.

Wedding guest Dress - Red Lace wedding guest dress

3.  Keep it Short

A lace dress that ends just above or just below the knee is perfect to wear to a wedding. A lace midi wedding guest dress can also work. However, a long formal lace dress, especially in a light color starts to wander into bridal, Mother of the bride/groom, or even bridesmaid territory. To be safe, you are best to stay clear of long lace wedding guest dresses.

4.  What about Ruffles?

If you want a lace dress with a little something extra, a soft ruffle at the hem or neckline is pretty. Just don’t overdo it.

5.  Can You Wear Black Lace to a Wedding?

One of my readers asked if she could wear a vintage short black lace wedding guest dress to a wedding. It had been her mom’s. The answer is yes, a black lace wedding guest dress is acceptable for a more formal evening wedding after 6 p.m. but be sure to choose something that is not too somber or too racy looking.  A sophisticated black lace dress worn with some jewelry or a pop of color makes it look more festive.

If you want to wear a dark shade and you feel black is too draining, then try a navy lace wedding guest dress. Dark plum or wine is also lovely. These dark shades are just as slimming as black, but a little more lively and won’t wash you out.

Fashion Blogger
Fashion Blogger


Do you have a wedding coming up? What are you planning to wear? If you need a little help deciding on which mother of the bride dresses (or mother of the groom dresses) might be best for you, be sure to check out my bestselling book Tweak Your Chic – Mother of the Bride. It will tell you everything you need to know on one of the most important and cherished days of your life.

Visited 18,372 times, 1 visit(s) today
Join the Conversation

10 thoughts on “Is It O.K. To Wear a Lace Wedding Guest Dress (and Not Offend the Bride)

  1. Deborah, I am attending a wedding at a Villa in Montepulciano, Italy September 3, 2023…i like the plum lace halter dress you’ve pictured under vineyard weddings, where can I find this dress? Thanks so much, Deb

  2. I have a darker blue lace dress that I want to wear to a summer vineyard wedding. It is sleeveless, and I need my arms covered. What could I wear with the dress?

It's your life. Make it Fabulous!

This error message is only visible to WordPress admins
There has been a problem with your Instagram Feed.