Our Wedding

Can I Ask My Wedding Guests to do This?

I hired the first and only planner we spoke to, said yes to the first venue he showed us, and tried on a handful of dresses before deciding on one. I said no when asked if I wanted a bridal shower or bachelorette, there won’t be a wedding party, and there will be less than 20 guests at our wedding. Two of them are our photographer and officiant.

But there’s this one thing I’ve been thinking about that you probably won’t be that surprised by considering that it’s me. My close friends who are attending have all said this isn’t a big deal, but they’re all so nice, and I want to make sure I’m not asking for too much.

So I would love to know what you think.

I would never make this request with a large group but we are very close to everyone on the list. There will be less than 20 guests, everyone will be front and center for photos and is basically in our wedding. If someone wears something colorful, it’s going to really stand out.

Since everyone’s traveling all the way to Europe, we’re planning small events the two nights leading up to the wedding, and Katie is going to capture these moments for us. I want to ask everyone attending to stick to softer, more muted tones for the event with Paris as the backdrop and black and navy for the wedding.

If you’re one of those people who thinks it’s too much, please hear me out before weighing in.

Brides tell their bridesmaids what color and style dress to wear and what color to paint their nails. I’m asking a small group to basically just not wear bright colors–way less intense than what they’d do if they were in our wedding.

A few friends have asked what to wear and two told me this was actually helpful.

Paris is white and grey as is our venue, and shocker–the decor will be neutral.

We all have neutrals in our closet. and you’ve seen my instagram feed so you almost kind of had to see this coming.

I also want to add that I do not see this as “my” day at all, so I don’t want to be that bride. This is a special day/trip for all of us and I want it to be a great experience for everyone.

Can I ask my guests to wear neutrals to our wedding (and one of our 2 wedding events)? 

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  • Hey Danielle! I would completely say yes it Is definitely ok! In fact, I always think it’s nice to have the bride and groom tell their guests what they expect–it makes it easier on the guest because then you can narrow down your options and not go blind second guessing if what you picked was good enough (or maybe that’s just me!!). Either way, it is your day and i think you should definitely not be afraid to ask for that!

  • Yes!! I think its 100% OK! Everyone has neutrals and having some attire guidance as a wedding guest is always appreciated! Since you are close to all guests – I doubt they will have any issues or be surprised with a request like this one. Hopefully you will get some great pics (and maybe share a few with us here!).

  • YES! I listen to Wake Up! with Taylor on Sirius XM every morning and she attended Andi Potamkin and Jordan Blackmore’s wedding a few summers ago in Utah and they did just that. I think they specified “desert tones” in the invite and provided examples and it turned out amazing. It sounded like everyone had fun with it too! http://coveteur.com/2015/12/02/andi-potamkin-wedding/

  • Yep! Go for it! I’m also planning my wedding and read a LOT of wedding blogs/forums/etc. about attire. It’s totally fine to ask. You just can’t be upset if someone ends up not adhering to the request. If you’re thinking of having a wedding website, the best way to do this would be to incorporate it into a FAQ section and reference it as a “theme” (just like how someone might have a Great Gatsby theme wedding) when discussing attire. Also, think about enlisting help from some of your guests to make sure no one’s going to buck the trend by wearing something super bright!

    1. I won’t be upset. I’ll just ask my photographer to leave them out of the photos! 😉 (kidding). Haha. I set up a website already but haven’t shared it with the guests yet. Love the theme idea! Thank you!

  • I don’t think this is a problem, at all! Especially considering a small, intimate group — and likely everyone knows your affinity for neutrals, anyway 😉 Plus, a ‘dress code’ makes it easy for guests to plan ahead and know what to wear. Win/win!

    xo, Laura | brightandbeautifulblog.com

  • I’m going to be the one dissenter and say I would be annoyed by this. As adults we get so few occasions to dress up and go out – weddings are like the last big thing we have. I would be disappointed to be dictated a dress code for both of my fun nights out. Granted, I attended Catholic school and wore a uniform for 14 years, so maybe I have some PTSD of people making me wear a certain thing! 🙂 With all that being said though, everyone attending obviously knows you very well – perhaps this request won’t even come as a surprise to them!

    1. Thanks for sharing your honest opinion. This is actually for one of two events, and then the wedding. And it’s pretty loose – just asking for softer, neutral hues (no bright colors) and something darker (ideally black or navy, but I’m open) for the wedding. I’ve asked a couple close friends but not everyone. No one was surprised or thought it was a big deal, but I wanted to hear from a few more people before asking everyone.

  • I’m going to play devil’s advocate here. I think that’s a bit much. It’s not quite bridezilla territory, but I would be a little miffed if someone told me (as a guest) to stick to a neutral palette. I would do it, but I would also grump to a trusted friend about it. If someone wants to wear shocking pink, that’s their prerogative. However, you can drop subtle hints so they don’t clash with the decor, and hope for the best. I also think that if you’re having a small, intimate wedding, your friends are going to know your preferred aesthetic.

    1. I really appreciate the honest feedback! Just curious if you’d feel this way as a bridesmaid or family member who was going to be in a lot of photos, because everyone on our list meets one of those two requirements. The women attending are either family or would have been bridesmaids, and then they’d be buying a dress they’d never wear again vs one they already have.

      And you’re right–can’t imagine anyone would wear bright pink to my wedding. Haha.

      1. As a bridesmaid, I would completely understand – it sort of comes with the turf. I would jump through fire for my friends, so wearing a certain color scheme isn’t the end of the world.

        I really think it boils down to how it’s phrased. You don’t want to demand, or dictate what they wear, but letting people know that the colors of the wedding are neutral and trusting them from there is a good compromise.

        1. I guess that’s where I felt so stuck. The girls that are going would have been bridesmaids at a big wedding and I’m asking way less of them than I would there (including not having to attend a bridal shower and shell out a ton of $ for a bachelorette). It seems like a very small ask when compared to that?

          1. Haha, definitely. When you put it like that, I’m a lot more forgiving of the request.

            That makes me think of that SATC episode where Charlotte says she doesn’t want bridesmaids and everyone bursts into happy screams and applause.

          2. Haha. Thank you! I really wasn’t trying to flip you here. I just wanted to really get why someone wouldn’t be ok with it. And I can picture that episode/moment so clearly.

            I also want to say thank you for being so kind and tactful. There were some not so polite answers, and it’s hard to take someone seriously when name calling gets thrown in. So thank you!

  • I don’t think it’s any problem at all, specially if your guests are very close to you and know exactly how you feel about bright colors ???????? Nothing a little rent the runway can’t fix

  • That is absolutely fine to ask your guests to do. If anything it helps them with finding an outfit giving them a specific look to go for. So long as you ask politely- just as you put it above- nobody should have an issue with it. Just make sure you give them plenty notice…

  • You totally can! Only because you guys are so close and it’s such a small wedding. It makes perfect sense.
    It’s your special day and I’m pretty sure all the people who love you will be more than happy to help you make that day perfect, not only by attending, but by truly supporting your wishes. Don’t feel bad at all!
    Can’t wait to see all your wedding pics!!!!

  • I say go for it- There are only 20 people invited, so they’re obviously very close to you and therefore know your preference for neutrals and amazing styling. Every Bride has something that’s very important to them (dress or venue or bachelorette weekend in Vegas…) and this is what is important to you. Personally, I wouldn’t be offended as a guest, I’d think of it as my own version of the Hamptons White Party and have fun with it.

    1. Thank you! I love the idea of a white party but feel like that would be really hard on people. I’d personally have to buy a dress for that since my 2-3 white dresses are more casual.

  • Absolutely! I went to a wedding in Puerto Rico and all of us was asked to wear neutrals as well. I didn’t see it as an issue. However, I recommend you bring an extra outfit that is one size fits all, because one of the guest (the grooms sister) was being rude and wore a red shirt. If you can’t, then you can always Photoshop that one obnoxious guest. But I’m hoping that everyone will cooperate for you. All in all, I say don’t feel bad ask (and demand) that everyone wears what you would like, its y’alls day!

  • If Diddy can throw an all white party, I think you can definitely do this! Ha. Everyone who is coming knows you so well already, and they are already traveling to Paris (!!!) for you — I don’t think YOUR friends and family will think anything negative of it at all. They’ll just be like “it’s a Danielle thing and we love her so black dress it is!” — at least that’s how I would feel!

  • I say go for it! The thought of a bright teal or pink dress with dreamy, neutral Paris makes me cringe too. If you were having a larger wedding, I would say absolutely not. But with such a small group and people to whom you are extremely close, I don’t think it’s a problem at all. I can’t wait to see your gorgeous pictures!

  • I don’t think it’s too much to ask at all. It’s not like you’re having 600 people (like me????????‍♀️) it’s intimate ! Go for it but don’t stress if someone decides to be a rebel

    1. Whoa. HUGE wedding. Haha. I don’t think I’d even ask 40-50 people. It’s just such a tiny wedding. We’re having another big party in Chicago for Conor’s family later this fall and I don’t care what anyone wears.

  • I think it is a perfectly reasonable request, so long as you limit it to a group of colors and not one specific color. My aunt attended a wedding where the guests were asked to wear creams or yellows, which made for beautiful photos and allowed some flexibility in choice for the guests.

  • I think it’s fine since it’s a small group. I will add though – men in the party may need a bit of direction on this (so would offer to help them!) For the event you want a neutral palette I would remember that not everyone feels their best in light colors (ie: white/beige/light pink may make them feel less than svelte) – so I would maybe personally follow up with each woman and ask them if they are comfortable with this palette! But totally your prerogative to ask such a small group.

  • You can absolutely ask your guests to wear neutrals. A good friend of mine just did this for his wedding last October and it went swimmingly. He and his bride even included a color palette for guests with the invites to reference and choose from which helped people out a lot. I recommended my bestie do it for her upcoming wedding this October and she’s going for it! Do it! You’ll be glad you did and honestly people will probably be glad they have a guideline to help them decide what to wear. Go for it!

  • I think that’s a great idea! In fact, I just may implement this at my own wedding. I just started planning a small (less than 20 guests) destination wedding, and I had never thought about the impact of the guest’s outfit on our photos. It makes perfect sense and I think it’s completely reasonable. Go for it!

    I can’t wait to see your photos! -Amanda


  • I actually think it’s a fun and intimate way for your guests to feel included on your special day.

    1. Me too! Since I’m not having bridesmaids (because the entire party would be IN the wedding except for parents) I’d love for them to all wear black and navy so I can get a great photo with the girls that looks a bit more cohesive. And you know how much I love my neutrals.

  • I think you’re actually helping out your guests significantly! Everyone always wonders what they should/shouldn’t wear to a wedding. You’re taking some of the guess work out 🙂 Plus most people have at least a couple of neutral basics in their closet. I don’t think it’s a big ask.

  • go for it! I think its such a fun idea and not much of a stretch from asking your guests to attend in cocktail or formal wear. It would be fun to hunt for a dress in one of the colors and so fun to see how everyone interpreted the same theme. Which hello, people love a theme! We did this as bridesmaids in the last wedding I was in and it was so fun to get to play around within a color and style and we were all so happy to see everyone dressed up. You could simply say guests are “encouraged to dress” as a way to make it seem less strict if you’re worried about the way it will come off. And honestly, if I was traveling all the way to Europe for your wedding then it’s likely I care enough about you AND know you well enough to know this wasn’t some diva thing that I was being forced into.

  • I think of course you can ask your guests to do this. What you cannot do is be upset if they don’t, or point it out in any way! That is rude and bridezilla behavior.

  • I say do it! You have a small guest list — and I’m pretty sure no one wants to be the ONE person in a bright pink dress when everyone else is wearing something more muted. Also ppl request “black tie attire” all the time — this is pretty much the same thing right? xo jillian

  • If there’s a specific dress code for a wedding, I’d much prefer being asked to wear something neutral over something I don’t likely already own (I went to an outdoor “Garden Party” themed wedding earlier this summer that was a bit tough to dress for). I feel like there’s a dress code for everything these days. We’ve all seen the bachelorette parties where the bride is in white and everyone else is in black. While that’s not my personal style, everyone in attendance stuck to the dress code because it was the bride’s desired aesthetic and they care about the bride. I think the same applies here, especially since your group is small and intimate and I’m sure they know your style.

  • HI, I think it is too much, from my perspective all the color asking from bridemaids to guest is a little bit too intense, as you already asking fro dress code and travelling (speaking from a guest point of you).That being said , it is your special day and you should enjoy at your own taste. Just keep in mind that maybe (posible scneario fro many reasons) someone may not stick to the strictly to color etiquette and make an exercise what would you do in that situation so it wont ruin your day.
    I hope you have the best wedding!!!!

    1. It would HARDLY ruin the day! Everyone genuinely wanted to come and they’re all making trips of it for the most part. I’m also asking them to just wear something they have.

      Appreciate you sharing your opinion so tactfully. Thank you!

  • I see a few people have said they’d be annoyed, and I have to agree, but as with any wedding-related stuff, you know your guests better than the internet does, so if you don’t think they’d be bothered then go for it. If it were me and I were already paying to go to a destination wedding, I’d be annoyed that I was then being told what to wear, especially if I felt I didn’t have colors that went with it and thus had to go out and buy stuff. You’re right that family and bridesmaids get told stuff like this so since it’s such a small group, maybe it follows those lines more than I’m imagining, but since you asked, I wanted to point out how I’d feel if I were in your guests’ shoes.

    1. I already know none of my friends mind at all. I also told everyone there was ZERO pressure to come, am requesting that they not get us any gifts, and skipped out on a shower and bachelorette to save people time and money. Everyone coming really wanted to go–but again, we’re talking about immediate family and 8 close friends + our photographers (who we’re also friends with).

    2. My friends are all fine with it, but there are 2 people coming (in Conor’s family) that I don’t know as well, so I just wanted to get some ideas on how to approach it. My friends get me and said they loved the idea so I know they’re good. We have 6 family members (between us) and a handful of girlfriends. It’s SUCH a small group, so I think it really does follow those lines. There are wedding parties bigger than our entire wedding. Ha.

  • Honestly, I think this is a bigger deal to people (women) in their 20s. At 35, I’d welcome a color pallate. Just be sure to include if you want guests to wear white or cream. I’m still pretty old school on that (don’t do it. Ever) but I realize Kate Middleton changed the game when Pippa wore white (which I really liked, actually). But if the dress code were black, pale pink, nude, and navy I’d welcome the direction. I mean it’s 20 people. Those that would have a problem with this are high maintenance. No matter your coloring, size, shape, style, you can find a little navy dress, or a black maxi dress or a pale pink cocktail dress or something that would fit the “theme.” I love it! #Strong opinions #MidThirtiesAndDGAF Seriously, at this point in life if I’m part of a very small intimate group I couldn’t fathom throwing a fit over 1 outfit for the wedding. Wear bright colors all through Paris the rest of the time. Respect that you are there for 1 reason. Don’t want to wear the multiple color choices? Don’t come.

  • Sounds like it will be beautiful! I’d love it if a bride gave a specific dress code like this (but then again I always take cues from a couple’s invitation suite and try to coordinate with their color scheme anyway!).

  • I don’t think that’s a problem at all! I would be completly fine with that if I was in your guests shoes.

  • I say no it is not too much to ask. It’s the same as asking the guests to dress formal or casual or abide by the wedding colors. For reference I too had a small 20 person wedding, all white flowers, kind of english garden, gold accents and that’s it. It was small, intimate and classy. The other women attending the wedding all asked either me or my mom, ‘what are the wedding colors?’ and they all pretty much stayed neutral. I did not even need to ask them all to stay neutral, because after years of knowing me these women know that I would NEVER do colors. It’s a tiny thing to ask, they should be happy to abide since it is such an intimate wedding and they should be happy to be in Paris celebrating love, that is what is important.

  • With such a small wedding of exceptionally close friends and family, maybe you could add something personal to the invitations with this? A note explaining why? Or speak to everyone individually beforehand and then include it with an official invitation? It would be a nice touch that reminds your friends of where you’re coming from, your aesthetic vision, etc. and the ability to chat about outfit options if they have any questions/concerns. Personally, I’d be a-ok with black/navy since it takes up 90% of my closet but I’m so pale with reddish undertones in my face that soft/pale colours look really, really bad on me, so, if I were a wedding attendee, I would love the opportunity to hear why you it’s important to you and maybe even go shopping together. It’s a nice way to spend some time with friends beforehand (instead of a party) if they ask/it’s a possibility.
    All in all, I think it’s ok to ask.

    1. If anyone isn’t comfortable with softer tones I’m 100% ok with that! I’ll be sure to ask. Really just trying to avoid bright colors, but that’s a really good point to consider. Wouldn’t want anyone to feel uncomfortable.

    2. Allison,

      This is SUCH helpful advice/feedback. I’m going to make sure no one feels like they have to wear pale colors. Honestly just trying to avoid brights, so I think I’ll just say to avoid bright colors that might stand out too much. I want lots of group photos with my girlfriends, so black, beige, cream, navy, white, grey, all seem fine to me. I think a dark dark green could work really well at the wedding too. Just hoping to not have a bright yellow, red, purple, or cerulean dress popping out in every group photo. Haha.

      Sounds better, yes?

      Thank you!!

      1. Happy to be able to provide some useful insight. Dark green in a fall wedding is so dreamy!
        I totally understand where you are coming from, and your friends/family will, too.

  • Hi Danielle,
    This is an absolutely reasonable ask. You’re not dictating a specific piece of clothing. You’re not asking dozens of people to spend hundreds of dollars on a particular outfit. Everyone likely already owns neutrals (I don’t know anyone whose entire wedding-friendly wardrobe is made up of bright colors), and even if they needed to purchase something, there are millions of readily available and affordable options for both men and women. As you also mentioned, you haven’t requested a Shower or Bachelorette party– you’re being perfectly reasonable with what you’re asking of your 20 closest friends and family members.

    You’re allowed to have as many reasonable requests as you want (and this falls definitely into the “reasonable” category). It’s really irritating that anyone would find this unreasonable– you’re not asking to move mountains here.

    Thank you for being so considerate by even asking your friends and public their thoughts! For you to not refer to this as “your” day is so sweet– I can tell you want this to be a pleasant experience for everyone involved and I think it’ll be beautiful! Excited to see pictures!

  • I personally think this is an amazing idea, especially since you are having a smaller wedding. All of these people know you and Conor well so they would understand and probably would have worn something similar anyways. You get the cohesive look you are going for and your guests have a better idea of dress code. I feel like this isn’t as big of a deal since you aren’t asking people to wear formal attire or dress for somme random theme (which usually requires purchasing or renting an outfit) but asking them to wear colors that almost everyone already has in their closet and feels comfortable in.

  • Go for it! Like you said, you would never ask this of a bigger group. I think the size, and closeness of your group is so key here. I think everyone will understand, and be excited! I personally would be. I love a theme! I think it would be so helpful for the guests to have a color guide or mood board to guide them in their clothing choices. When I think “muted tones” I think I may be able to wear my blush/taupey pink dress, but when I hear neutrals, I think taupe, gray and black. Also, are you okay with others wearing white to your wedding? I think as long as you provide some guidelines and make it fun with a mood board on your website, you should be good to go!

    Can’t wait to see what it all looks like!

  • Yes, you sure can! It may even make it easier for people to decide what to wear and pack because, less decisions to make! And, the colors you’ve asked for are classic, easy to find, and go with everything, everywhere. If I were a guest attending your wedding, this ask would make me very happy. Also, it was validating to hear that your guest list is 20 people and you said no to a bridal shower and bachelorette party because that’s my style, too. Ask for and tell people what you want. Many don’t have the courage. Well done!

  • Yes. My good friends were married in Grand Cayman in a small ceremony with about 25 guests. We were asked to wear something blue or coral to the wedding since we were an “honorary” part of the wedding party. However, I would specify what neutrals means- white? Champagne? Tan? That might help guests to better coincide with your vision.

    1. I honestly just didn’t want brights, so I’ll be sure to specify that. A few people mentioned not looking great in those soft, muted colors so I’ll see what my friends think. I want everyone to be comfortable.

  • This doesn’t sit right with me, it would be like me asking my bridesmaids to cover up their tattoos because I don’t like them. Personally I don’t like tattoos but I love my friends the way they are!

    Also, the wedding events are about celebrating with the people you love, not what your photos will turn out like and how they will look on your blog or Pinterest. I would want my guests to be themselves and comfortable they’re not props in a photo shoot they’re people you love.

    I think if you have to ask whether this is appropriate you should follow your gut and don’t do it.

    1. Appreciate the honest opinion! I already asked all our friends a long time ago and they were fine with it, but wanted to know how people generally felt about it.

      I think your viewpoint is very interesting since I see asking someone to not wear bright colors as significantly easier ask than requiring bridesmaid to invest in a specific style and color dress she’ll never wear again vs. covering up a tattoo (something I’d never ask anyone to do).

      1. But, you chose not to have bridesmaids so I don’t see that as valid reasoning. If you wanted to dictate people’s outfits, you should have had a wedding party. I also prefer neutral colors, but this sounds incredibly pretentious. I agree that it seems you’re more concerned with your photos matching your instagram than with your family and friends being comfortable and enjoying the weekend.

        1. Hi Sarah,

          I just wanted to get a general idea of how people felt. I do think you could have been a bit more polite and less judgmental, but appreciate the honesty. There’s just a nicer, more tactful way to give an opinion…Not at all trying to get into a debate but when name calling and judgment is thrown around, I’d at least like to say where I’m coming from.

          My friends are basically honorary bridesmaids. I have every intention of getting lots of group photos and photos with my girlfriends. They are my family and will be giving speeches and we’ll be spending most of the weekend together. They all know about this request and have said they were comfortable. And I’m pretty sure they’ll enjoy the weekend. I just didn’t give them the title of “bridesmaids” because every guest would have otherwise been in the wedding. Seems weird.

          But I don’t get how it’s ok for someone to dictate the color and style (for bridesmaids – also for photos) yet it’s pretentious for me to can’t ask people to not wear bright colors so one person doesn’t stand out more than another in my 18 person wedding.

          And yes, I do care about my photos–the one detail I care about. I’m flying my photographer (and her husband/second shooter) all the way to Paris. If that’s pretentious, I’m not really sure what to say.

          1. Hi Danielle,

            Definitely did not mean to offend or name call. I’ve been a follower for many years because I share an appreciation for a similar aesthetic and style as you. I’m also considering a small wedding in Europe and I am admittedly snobby about photos. That being said, I just found this idea, post and the responses to comments hard to stomach. It’s just not something I had thought of or would ever consider asking of guests flying half way around the world for me.

            Clearly, there are plenty of people who think it’s totally cool, which is great. Personally, I think my friends would all be super nice about it to me, but it would make them worry that their outfits weren’t “good enough” on the day and they would be secretly annoyed and feel badly.

            I’m quite sure your wedding will be beautiful regardless of what you decide to do and regardless of what people wear. Apologies if I came off overly harsh.

          2. I really appreciate that. Thank you!

            And I hope my response didn’t seem rude. I’m ALL for opinions that go against what I think but appreciate when they’re a bit more constructive.

            I totally hear what you’re saying.

            This is merely a suggestion for guests, and ultimately, it only matters that our friends and family think it’s ok. I think I could have done a better job at saying that a. all my girlfriends have asked what to wear, as I’ve done for all the weddings I attend and b. it really came down to not having bright colors since I know most won’t wear them, and the idea of one person standing out more than anyone else in such a small group doesn’t seem right to me. I’ve been so careful with every move, making sure we plan things that are fun for everyone, carving out special time for each friend while we’re there, and making sure no one felt like they HAD to fly across the world. Everyone going seemed eager to come, and one of my closest friends couldn’t swing it and I completely understood because it’s a huge ask.

            The last thing I want is for anyone to feel annoyed, put out, or unhappy, and I certainly wouldn’t say anything or think anything of anyone doing anything different from what I’m suggesting.

            Hopefully that clears up where I’m coming from a little bit? Thanks again!

  • While I would be fine with a color scheme “dress code” for a wedding (I would love to take out the guesswork and just wear black!), I do think it would annoy me a bit to receive a dress code for more than one event associated with the wedding. On the other hand, if I was attending a small, intimate wedding like you’re planning, I’d also probably be planning all my outfits with the bride and my friends in advance anyway, ha! I wonder if the request would go better if you ask it verbally as opposed to including in the invitation itself? (To clarify, I mean for the Paris event–I think it would be find to request black/navy for the wedding itself in the invitation.) Then it could be more of a conversation. If it was me, I’d want to confirm that the bride would be okay if I wore white or black as I look terrible in neutrals like taupe or blush pink. I’d also want to know how fancy I should be. Basically, I think your instincts are right that this could be a touch-and-go issue with some guests, but I also think it would read differently if it was a conversation with you and not a “dictate” for attending the wedding. Regardless, I think you’ll find a gracious and tactful way to make this request of your guests.

    1. Thanks, Jessica! I actually did ask my friends a while ago and they all said it was fine. BUT there are a few people coming I’m not as close with as I am my friends, so I wanted to get some ideas / generally gauge how people feel, and it seems everyone (for the most part) thinks it’s fine. I honestly just don’t want brights and aside from that have very few opinions. Ha.

  • Absolutely fine!! People love to know what to wear, especially women. I think they would feel horrible if they stood out from the crowd. Definitely not necessary, but what about having an extra small event – brunch of coffee that is colorful. That way if any guests do have a special dress they would love to wear in Paris they can 🙂

  • i say absolutely! Your entire wedding is as big as some other peoples wedding parties alone. So, I say tell your guests whatever you want – besides, everyone has a black dress or neutral attire, so it shouldn’t be that hard for them to accommodate.

  • There’s a MUCH nicer way to get your point across. I’m so happy people are coming all the way to Europe! And they allllll knew about this before i posted. Name calling is the worst possible way to make a point but to each her own. Just something to consider for next time. 🙂

  • I’ve heard many people request their guests to only wear black or wear white. I don’t see any problem with that AT ALL.
    Can’t wait to see the pictures! I only wish I could run off to Paris to get married 🙂

    1. Now that I’ve had this much time to think about it and have read so many comments, I’m with you. I think requesting yellow would be a pain, but everyone has a black dress!

  • I’ve been thinking about this and I have mixed feelings. On the one hand, I don’t think it’s an outrageous request with such a small group especially if you word it the right way (more of a theme) and if you have a conversation with your family and friends or include a note of explanation. However, something about it rubs me the wrong way especially because it’s not just the wedding but several events. The point about it coming across as your wedding guests being props in a photo did cross my mind. I think the difference with bridesmaids is that it’s the cultural norm that the bride asks them to wear a certain dress or color (and really only an American one), but it seems different with guests and you would hope that they would know not to wear something super bold that draws attention away from the bride (at least I think that’s what Miss Manners would say). I understand that wedding photos are important, but when I look at my wedding photos and when I think back to my wedding, I remember and see the love and joy we shared with our friends and families, not so much what people are wearing. I don’t think this comes off “Bridezilla,” but it does seem like an extension of the wedding industry’s notion that your wedding day should be perfectly styled, a reflection of your unique love, when I think that can detract from the true gravity and meaning of the day. I think there’s something different about styling the perfect home versus your wedding day.

    1. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Vanessa. Nothing about the wedding needs to be perfectly styled. I actually didn’t want a wedding at all and would have eloped, but now that we’re having friends and a photographer, I thought it would be fun to have some fun with it, and since photography is something I love, it’s an element wedding details that I could get excited about. I actually turned down the offer to have a photographer and stylist at the wedding so I could get it featured because that’s not what I’m going for. AT. ALL.

      I do love my neutrals though and really just wanted a lighter palette at a very special event in the city, and black and navy for ladies the night of the wedding so outfits would coordinate for photos. It’s a 2-3 hour event one day and the wedding. But I totally understand and respect your opinion and no part of any of this matters more than us getting married, or being in paris with the people we love!

      That said, after reading everyone’s comments and thinking about it, I wouldn’t care if someone made a request that didn’t involve me having to buy something new. But that’s just me!

      1. I think it will be perfect, Danielle! That makes sense and you know your guests so I’m sure they’ll understand your intention. Congratulations to you!

        1. Well I’m not aiming for perfect. Just have that STRONG love for neutrals and thought it would be a fun way to “theme” the wedding–and make for some pretty group photos 🙂 Thank you!

  • I wouldn’t be bothered if any of my friends made that request. If anything it helps people decide what to wear. Congratulations on your upcoming nuptials!

  • This is very interesting given I have a wedding to attend for a close friend in a few months. I think saying ‘no bold colours’ is fine, but when it crosses into ‘please wear this specific colour’ territory, that gets a bit much.

    Actually I guess I just have a problem with requesting black for wedding photos because I would NEVER wear black to a wedding; having wedding photos with attendees in black/navy would make me as an outsider feel the guests were rude in showing up in funeral attire to a wedding, or me as an attendee feel rude for making your wedding look so dark.

    Also, in general I am told guests should never wear white for a wedding (sounds like white is one of the colours that you’re happy for guests to wear) because white is for the bride only (or red for Asian weddings), so your request would feel super weird for me.

    That said, if I were a close friend of yours and knew you well, I reckon I wouldn’t have a problem with it (though I might ask you to reconsider). But me as an outsider would feel super awkward showing up to a wedding in black/white.

    It’s your special day though, and if I were one of the 20 invited, I’d feel honoured enough already, so I would still respect the dress code as requested 🙂

  • I think this is totally ok! As a professional bridesmaid and wedding attender, and given your small group for your special day, this is not a crazy request. Best bridesmaid dress I ever wore was any black dress of my choosing. It is also the only dress I have ever worn again. Black or navy are colors most people already own and as someone who loves and wears bright colors I wouldn’t be offended by this request.