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What color should the family of the bride wear?

Choosing the right color for the family of the bride to wear to a wedding can be tricky. There are many factors to consider such as the bride’s dress color, the wedding colors and theme, and what is appropriate. Here are some quick answers to common questions about selecting attire colors for the bride’s family:

What is the most traditional color for the mother of the bride to wear?

The most traditional color for the mother of the bride to wear is a neutral shade like champagne, silver, gray, or blush pink. These soft colors complement most wedding palettes. Darker neutrals like navy or taupe are also elegant options. The mother of the bride should avoid wearing white, cream, or ivory so as not to upstage the bride.

What color should the bridesmaids wear?

The bridesmaids’ dresses should complement the bride’s wedding gown and match the overall wedding colors. Some popular bridesmaid dress colors are purple, blue, green, pink, red, yellow, neutral tones, and mixed colors. Ultimately, the bride should choose colors that she thinks will look best on her bridesmaids.

Should the groom’s family coordinate with the bridesmaids?

It’s not required for the groom’s family to match the bridesmaid dresses, but coordinating colors can create a cohesive look. If the groom’s family doesn’t want to exactly match the attendant colors, they could wear a complementary neutral shade. However, many families opt to select their own colors separate from the wedding party.

What are some factors to consider when selecting colors?

– Bride’s wedding gown color – Avoid matching or clashing with the bride’s dress
– Wedding colors/theme – Complement the color scheme e.g. pinks for a blush wedding
– Venue style – Consider a classic color for a formal venue or vivid shades for modern
– Season – Lighter colors for summer, deeper tones for winter
– Skin tones – Choose colors that flatter family members’ complexions
– Formality – Bold colors for casual weddings, muted tones for formal
– Age – Vibrant colors for younger extended family, refined shades for elders

Should all family members wear the same color?

Wearing the same color creates uniformity but can look matchy-matchy. One option is choosing a neutral base color like charcoal gray and allowing family members to wear varying shades and textures. For example, the men could wear lighter gray suits while the women wear sparkly gunmetal dresses. Or, opt for mismatched but coordinating colors in the same palette. Just ensure the shades complement each other.

What are some versatile, foolproof colors for relatives?

These colors are great choices for relatives that will complement most wedding themes:

  • Navy – A classic that suits all seasons
  • Silver/gray – Complements all colors and flatters most complexions
  • Blush pink – Pretty for formal and casual weddings
  • Metallic shades like gold, bronze, rose gold – Provides shine and glam
  • Neutrals like beige, camel, and tan
  • Pastels like lavender, light blue, soft yellow

Should the groom’s family avoid wearing black?

Black is now an acceptable color for formal weddings, but some still view it as taboo for the groom’s family. If the wedding has a dark, gothic theme, black suits and dresses are fitting. Otherwise, it may come across as morbid or funereal. Darker neutrals like charcoal, dark green or burgundy are fresh alternatives to basic black.

Should the groom’s parents match the bride’s parents?

It’s not imperative for the couple’s parents to wear matching colors, but doing so can create a unified look in family photos. Another option is to choose complementary shades, like the mother of the bride wears lavender and the mother of the groom wears purple. If coordination isn’t important, the groom’s parents can select attire that simply meets the wedding’s formality and season.


When choosing attire for the bride’s family, aim for colors that complement the overall wedding style. Seek shades that flatter various complexions and suit the formality and season. While matching colors provide unity, mismatched complementary hues also coordinate nicely. Avoid wearing white and opt for versatile neutral shades if unsure. Most importantly, select colors that make the family feel comfortable, confident and part of the joyous occasion.

Color Suggestions for Different Wedding Themes

Here are some suggested color palettes for the bride’s family attire depending on popular wedding themes:

Wedding Theme Color Suggestions
Garden/Outdoor Sage green, light pink, lavender, sky blue, buttercup yellow
Rustic Tan, light blue, plum, sage green, dusty pink
Vintage Mauve, pale yellow, light gray, lace overlays
Classic/Formal Navy, blush pink, silver, champagne, dove gray
Beach Seafoam, coral, tropical prints, white
Winter Hunter green, burgundy, navy, silver, icy blue
Boho Dusty blue, mauve, sage green, patterned prints
Modern Metallics, marsala, vivid jewel tones, black and white

Tips for Coordinating Colors

Follow these tips when coordinating attire colors for the bride’s relatives:

– Collect color swatches or fabric samples of the bridesmaid dresses and wedding decor. Bring them when shopping for family attire.

– View the colors in similar lighting conditions. Colors can look different under fluorescent store lighting.

– Don’t match the color exactly. Complementary versions of the shade will still coordinate.

– Gray, beige and blush are foolproof base colors that always coordinate.

– Add some sparkle and shine with metallic shoes, jewelry and handbags.

– Contrast very light dresses with darker neutral coats and suits.

– Photo apps like Design Seeds and Pantone Studio have great color palettes for inspiration.

– If unsure, choose a versatile neutral that suits you. Champagne, silver and navy are safe bets.

– Repeat a color amongst family members. If the mother wears blush, aunts could also wear blush tones.

– Tie it together with matching accessory colors like purses, ties, and scarves.

Choosing Attire Colors Based on Venue

The wedding venue can influence the color choices for family attire. Here are some venue-specific suggestions:

Outdoor, Garden Wedding
– Softer, lighter colors suit outdoor settings best.
– Try shades like sky blue, mauve, peach, leafy greens, dusty pink.
– Lace overlays and floral prints also fit the garden aesthetic.

Beach Wedding
– Play up the seaside location with oceanic blues and greens.
– Sand accented with coral, seashell pink, and starfish colors.
– Natural linen and lighter fabrics breathe in the warm weather.

Rustic Barn Wedding
– Earthy jewel tones like deep red, emerald, and sapphire.
– Romantic lavender against weathered wood backdrops.
– Paler shades can get washed out against white barns.

Hotel Ballroom Wedding
– Elevate the elegant space with metallic shimmers and sheens.
– Navy, charcoal and plum exude refinement.
– Avoid pastels or brights unless part of a modern color scheme.

Restaurant Wedding
– Gauge formality on attire colors. Darker for upscale.
– Pops of color liven up a neutral palette.
– Avoid long flowing dresses that could catch on chairs.

Historic Home Wedding
– Mustard, caramel and sage green for period charm.
– Add Victorian flavor with lace gloves and pearls.
– Stick to toned down tones to match the ambiance.

Incorporating Wedding Colors

Work the wedding colors into relatives’ attire for visual harmony:

– Monochromatic – Different shades, textures and patterns in one color
– Complementary – Colors opposite the color wheel that contrast nicely
– Analogous – Colors next to each other on the wheel for a refined palette
– Triadic – Colors evenly spaced on the wheel for bold accent combinations
– Neutrals – Shades of gray, tan, champagne provide flexibility

Subtly weaving in wedding hues makes the family feel part of the affair. But be wary of looking too matchy-matchy or wearing the exact bridesmaid colors. Find unique ways to reflect the palette – a pocket square in the accent color, jewelry with birthstones matching wedding hues, dresses with colored underskirts or linings. Explore ombre effects, two-toned and color-blocked styles.

Tips for Groomsmen and Groom’s Family

Here are pointers for the groom’s family and groomsmen attire:

– Match the groom’s suit color but allowed different styles.
– Select a vest, tie or pocket square in a wedding color.
– The groom’s boutonniere can inspire accessory colors.
– Use metals and patterns for interest: gold ties, plaid lapels, houndstooth vests.
– Consider wearing a neutral like gray if the groom wears navy or black.
– Coordinate with groom if he wants a personalized, mismatched look.
– Set parameters, like shades of blue, to prevent clashing colors amongst men.
– Rentals make coordinating budget-friendly.
– Wear a colored shirt or accessories if not matching the suit color.

Special Considerations for Family Photos

Keep these tips in mind when taking formal family wedding photos:

– Solid colors photograph better than busy patterns and prints.
– Avoid white and black which can dominant in contrast.
– Pastels should be saturated enough so they don’t look washed out.
– Shimmery fabrics add dimension for indoor formal photos.
– Have men remove black suits jackets if doing outdoor photos.
– Bright accessory colors like crimson ties or corsages grab attention.
– Use color schemes that complement all family members’ skin tones.
– Make sure shorter relatives aren’t washed out by standing near darker colors.
– Use apps to see how colors will photograph together prior to the event.

The perfect family photo captures the cohesiveness of colors and the warmth of smiles. Selecting attire in flattering, coordinating shades allows the familial bond to shine through.


Deciding what color the bride’s family should wear comes down to setting a palette that complements the wedding’s overall vision. Take cues from the bridal party’s hues, venue style and the couple’s preferences. While fully matching the wedding colors creates cohesion, it can also look costumey if taken too far. The goal is a polished look where the family feels comfortable, appropriate and part of the celebration. Trust in versatile neutrals or colors that particularly flatter the wearers when in doubt. Most importantly, the attire should enhance, not distract from, the real stars – the radiant bride and groom on their special day.