Groom Spread60843.jpgSuit, shirt and bow tie, price upon enquiry, from DIGIO BRIDAL. Photo: HER WORLD BRIDES.

Call me old-fashioned but I still think guests should avoid wearing all-black, all-white or black and white outfits when they attend a wedding. Why? These stark shades are usually associated with sad occasions in Asian societies.

There is a reason why white bridal gowns are usually embellished with details or have grand silhouettes; it’s the romantic and glamorous feel of these lacy, crystal encrusted dresses that transform this simple colour into a beautiful, sparkling fashion statement.

Even as couples these days are less strict about colour dress codes for their wedding, their parents and elderly relatives may view these sombre shades as a sign of disrespect or bad luck. And there’s nothing sadder than having a festive banquet or reception filled with guests clad in black or white; no one stands out from the crowd and worse, others might mistake you for the serving or hotel staff who dress mainly in black and white uniforms.

Black once ruled the red carpets of major Hollywood events, but these days, colour – from the prettiest pastels to sexy hot hues – dominate almost every fashion event. A rainbow of stunning gowns now glide the carpets of the film festivals like the Oscars and Golden Globes, and the recent Met Gala featured stars and celebrities in a stunning array of couture creations. My advice? Don vibrant, bright hues to reflect the happy mood of the occasion.

WC55174.jpgLace and tulle pleated gown with sweep train, price upon enquiry, from SILHOUETTE THE ATELIER. Photo: HER WORLD BRIDES.

BLACK OR WHITE
If you insist on wearing all black or white outfits as a guests, add some colourful accessories to your all-black ensemble for a touch of glamour and style. Do the same if you opt for an all-white outfit. If you prefer a more monotone and modern look, metallic or sparkling extras that add shine and sheen also helps. Think crystal jewellery (if not diamonds) and silver or gold shoes and evening clutches.

LIGHT & DARK
Love dark hues? Try deep navy blues or dense greys instead of black for weddings. Instead of white, opt for matte silver outfits or even a light pewter grey with shimmering white details that will look more romantic and dreamy.

MENS STYLE
Guys have the option of wearing coloured shirts, ties and even darker coloured separates like navy and grey. Match white shirts with brightly-coloured ties or even a quirky patterned bow tie. If the dress code is black tie, you can accessorise your tux with a colourful pocket handkerchief or even a nice jewellery brooch for your jacket lapel. These added touches will help differentiate you from the black and white suited staff as well.

DRESS CODES DECODED
Her World Brides writer Felicia Tan looks up the meaning of certain terms you may come across on your invitation. Here’s what she found:

. White Tie – The most formal attire, this is usually worn at events such as the Oscars or state dinners. For him: A tuxedo, long black jacket with tails, white pique vest, bow tie, black formal shoes and white gloves for dancing. For her: A formal, full length ball gown with glamorous and dramatic hair and jewellery.

. Black Tie – The second most formal attire, and usually common for evening receptions. He should be wearing: A tuxedo, black bow tie, cummerbund and patent leather shoes. For her: Cocktail dress or full length gown.

. Formal – This isn’t as formal as the first two, but a tuxedo or formal dark suit is required. For her, a long dress, dressy suit or cocktail- or ankle-length dress is fine.

. Semi-Formal – This isn’t an invitation to wear a formal shirt and jeans (as is commonly believed). Instead, a suit, or formal shirt and pants with dress shoes is required. Depending on the time of the reception, men can choose to wear lighter hues for day, and go dark for night. For her, a cocktail dress, or dressy separates will do.

. CasualAvoid jeans, denim outfits, bermudas, and round-necked tees! Instead, wear a light suit, or button-down shirt with dress pants. For her, a short dress, or dressy separates.