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Costume Weddings: Do's and Don'ts

  • You might not realize this depending on where you live, but white-dress weddings are decreasing in popularity fast and that's partially due to the increased popularity in themed weddings. Weddings that are themed around things like "vintage," "fantasy," "tropical," or "spooky" made up about 25% of weddings according to the Knot in 2016. These themes coincidentally affect the dress codes and lead to less weddings that are just black-and-white.

In the spooky season, this includes weddings where you ask your guests to dress up. Here are just a couple do's and don'ts of this exciting wedding theme idea.

Don't Ask Your Guests to Rent Costumes

As much as your significant other and you may love costumes and/or may have experience with making costumes for cheap, not all of your guests will have the same savviness. For many people, having an elaborate costume for an event means renting it, which can be pricey. Even if you don't intend for your guests to spend big bucks on a costume at all, communicating a strict dress code of costumes-only at your wedding may pressure some of your guests to do so. Don't worry, though: there are many ways to have a costumed get-together while avoiding this mix-up in interpretations (read on).

Do Ask Your Guests to Dress in Specific Colors

Photo credit: @savethepanduhs and @christinagrim

Instead of having a strict costumes-only dress code, ask your guests to wear outfits of specific colors to your wedding. For instance, you could ask everyone to wear all-black to go with a darker theme or you could ask them to dress in bright purples to go with an Alice in Wonderland theme. This will set your guests up to still blend well with the rest of your costumed wedding party, but won't force them to go out of their comfort zones to get a full costume.

Provide Masks for Your Guests

If you really want all of your guests at your party to be quirky and have something fun to wear at your wedding, provide them with masks. This can be done in conjunction with the dress code tip I mentioned above, or it can be done on its own. This may make your wedding into more of a masquerade, but it's also a cost-effective way to make sure everyone can get into the costumed fun. If you're a big fan of this idea, you could even make the masks into your party favors by putting an inscription on the insides of the masks.

Create a Pinterest Board

If you're not a fan of either of the above ideas or want to stray away from a masquerade look on your wedding day, you can help direct your guests to easy and quick costume-making tips with a Pinterest board. While still communicating a strict costumes-only dress code, you can give your guests some helpful tips and tricks to make their own costumes. Simply go onto and set up a board full of costume ideas and DIYs that are pertinent to your wedding's theme. We even made a costumed weddings board on our Pinterest account to give you an idea of how to get started.

Have Your Officiant Dress Up

Sometimes, all it takes to have your theme really shine in photos and day-of is to have a very important person to the ceremony, such as your officiant, to be in full costume. Your guests might not even have to dress up if you have one or more key players in the day's success go all-out.

No matter how you orchestrate your costumed theme wedding, your photos will be unique and your guests will have an experience worth talking about. Good luck with your planning and tag us in your costumed wedding photos @bridalbuilder on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest!