What does a red dress mean at a wedding? Explanation, meaning, effect

It is generally frowned upon when guests at a wedding wear a red dress. There are three different reasons for this: On the one hand, the colour red is associated in colour psychology with wickedness, eroticism, aggression and passion.

Furthermore, it is often said that a woman who wears a red dress to a wedding wants to express that she has slept with the groom.

Lastly, red is an extremely eye-catching colour that attracts everyone’s attention. This is another reason why it is considered inappropriate to wear a red dress as a guest at a wedding, as it draws attention away from the bride and onto oneself. This is seen as disrespectful and in some cases narcissistic.

Colour psychology and the connection to tradition

In colour psychology, the colour red stands for self-confidence, eroticism, passion and attraction, among other things. At a wedding, which is about the connection of the bride and groom, it is therefore rather inappropriate to emphasise oneself over provocative themes such as those associated with the colour red.

Furthermore, especially classical, Christian weddings are about swearing eternal love to each other before God. Christian tradition even presupposes that the bride and groom wait until the marriage to make love to each other. For this reason, the bride traditionally wears a white dress.

The colour white symbolises purity, untouchedness, perfection, joy and life. For this reason, a white wedding dress has long been considered a sign of the bride’s virginity and virginity. Even though the tradition of not sleeping together before marriage is no longer important for most couples, this symbolism still resonates at many weddings today.

If a guest now decides to wear a red dress, this disturbs the „purity“ of the wedding and brings a provocative, sexual aspect into play. Not least because in popular parlance a red dress means that the wearer has already slept with the groom. Although this may not always be true, negative feelings such as jealousy, insecurity or guilt may arise in the bride or groom, and disrupt the couple’s festive day of honour.

Dress code and consideration

For these reasons, most weddings have a dress code that is designed to make the couple, but especially the bride, the centre of attention. Unless specifically requested otherwise on the invitation, wedding guests should always follow this dress code and dress in such a way that their outfit is in no way more opulent, flashy or generally sexy, erotic or provocative than the wedding dress, as this would draw attention away from the bride. This of course also applies to the colour red – gaudy, bold reds in particular are considered inappropriate due to their flashiness and psychological impact.

Current fashion trends

Despite these largely tradition-based rules regarding colour choice and dress code, there are definitely trends in today’s fashion industry that allow for colourful dresses for weddings. This is partly because more and more couples are turning away from outdated traditions, and because many designers are including red dresses in their collections, thus making the formerly frowned-upon shade more and more presentable. As a result, softer shades of red in particular are becoming increasingly popular with wedding guests.

Alternative colours and styling tips

If you still don’t want to wear a red dress to a wedding, there is a very wide range of colours to choose from to dress stylishly and appropriately. Plainer colours such as beige, blue or green are just as suitable as delicate shades of pink or even summery coral. Even if you decide on a red dress – ideally in consultation with the bridal couple – it is just as important as for all other dress colours that the dress should not be too short, sexy or flashy so as not to outshine the bride. It is therefore advisable to carefully consider the choice of colour as well as the cut and styling, to resort to less striking colours or combinations if necessary and, in case of doubt, to ask the bride or the couple how they feel about the chosen dress – and to respect the answer in any case.

Autor: Pierre von BedeutungOnline

Hallo, ich bin Autor und Macher von BedeutungOnline. Bei BedeutungOnline dreht sich alles um Worte und Sprache. Denn wie wir sprechen und worüber wir sprechen, formt wie wir die Welt sehen und was uns wichtig ist. Das darzustellen, begeistert mich und deswegen schreibe ich für dich Beiträge über ausgewählte Worte, die in der deutschen Sprache gesprochen werden. Seit 2004 arbeite ich als Journalist. Ich habe Psychologie und Philosophie mit Schwerpunkt Sprache und Bedeutung studiert. Ich arbeite fast täglich an BedeutungOnline und erstelle laufend für dich neue Beiträge. Mehr über BedeutungOnline.de und mich erfährst du hier.

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