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Sunglasses at Weddings: The Do’s and Don’ts for Brides, Grooms and Guests

Sunglasses at Weddings: The Do’s and Don’ts for Brides, Grooms and Guests

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Wearing Sunglasses at Weddings in 2024: The Do’s and Don’ts for Brides, Grooms and Guests
April 18, 2024

Wedding season is officially in full swing. Chances are, if it's not your own, you’ve probably already been invited to an outdoor wedding this year. And while outdoor weddings are undoubtedly beautiful, dressing elegantly becomes a little more difficult when the sunlight is most intense. If you want to avoid squinting all day, it suddenly becomes of the utmost importance to wear a pair of sunglasses to the wedding.

But is it rude? What’s the etiquette exactly? While they are undeniably celebrations, weddings come with their own dress code do’s and don'ts, and it can be hard to know which ones to follow. So when it comes to sunglasses, what’s the right answer? Is it okay to wear them at a wedding?

Well, like a lot of etiquette rules, it’s not one-size-fits-all. In 2024, the debate is open: while some of the more formal etiquette specialists might say no to shades at a wedding under any circumstances, we think that advice is a little hard to follow, especially if you find yourself sitting under the blazing sun. A large part of outdoor weddings are turning tradition on its head, and wearing sunglasses is becoming more popular during the event.

Should a bride wear sunglasses?

If you ask us, brides with sunglasses are more than acceptable. And we’re not just saying that because we have a thing for eyewear (in case you haven’t noticed).

We’re the first to admit that in the essential moments of the ceremony, sans sunglasses is for the best; saying ‘I do’ in the latest designer shades might be a little bit of a faux pas. In other, more casual moments, like relaxing or dancing with your groom and guests after the ceremony, sunglasses can be a chic companion to your bridal look.

When you’re choosing sunglasses to wear with your wedding dress, considering the color and shape is usually a good place to start. Just make sure you pick an appropriate pair of sunglasses that are elegant and not too showy.

Great colors to go for are neutral acetates like creams, whites and beiges, light gold metal frames. When in doubt, a pair of designer black sunglasses are usually fool-proof.

For shape, you have a little more flexibility. We’d recommend sunglasses that aren’t too oversized or dramatic: a subtle cat-eye flair will give you a perfect glamorous touch, while a more squared or butterfly frame adds a vintage accent that is always flattering.

Should a groom wear sunglasses?

Much like a bride, grooms can also wear sunglasses, with similar rules applying. There are more appropriate moments to sport a pair of shades: we’d opt to take them off during the actual ceremony. Meanwhile, if you’re taking photos outside, most of the shots should be without your frames.

Other than that, what kind of sunglasses to wear as a groom is up to you, but we’d recommend airing on the side of classic. Timeless silhouettes such as a rounded or squared sunglasses can never go wrong. We love brands like Oliver Peoples and Garrett Leight, but be sure to avoid anything too sporty or colorful. Black and neutral acetates are a good choice, along with demure-tinted lenses (give those bright mirrored lenses a miss this time around).

What about wedding guests? Can you wear sunglasses to a wedding?

The short answer is yes, you can wear sunglasses as a wedding guest. However, as it’s not your wedding, make sure to be extra respectful with what kind of sunglasses you’re wearing and when you’re wearing them.

Keep in mind some of these do’s and don'ts when you’re picking out sunglasses as a wedding guest:

Do match your sunglasses with the outfit.

This isn’t the moment to go for neon frames in bright hues. Muted browns and black frames are always a good choice.

Do choose a designer style.

Cheaper sunglasses may be tempting, but they will do the opposite of elevating your look. They’re also not as protective and could lead to eye strain or damage.

Don’t wear sporty or ostentatious sunglasses.

As a guest, this day isn’t about you. Going for more elegant or even minimalist styles is the more appropriate choice.

Best-dressed at a wedding