Monday, September 13, 2010

And She Wore White

One of the etiquette questions that came up this summer for friends of mine was the idea of not being the bride and the rules of wearing white. The scenario was a bridal luncheon that we were attending as bridesmaids. One of my best friend’s had packed two dresses, one was a solid-white sundress and the other was just a backup plan. She brought both on the trip hoping that the bride wouldn’t mind her wearing the white dress (which she didn’t). While we were getting ready my friend asked my opinion of her wearing the white dress. I quickly responded that I wouldn’t wear it, but others thought if the bride didn’t mind then to go ahead and wear it. Ultimately, she didn’t wear the white dress because she was going back and forth so much with her decision. I’m sure in the end the bride would not have cared, but I’m sure it would not have gone unnoticed by others and it eliminated all the worrying my friend had making the decision.

The next day at the wedding we all immediately noticed one of the family member’s of the groom wearing a white dress and debated further. We all could argue both sides: it is so hot who cares what she is wearing OR how could she have the audacity to wear a bleach-white dress! It sparked my interest and I decided to do some research.

Turns out that everyone is giving conflicting information. I came across this article from April 2009 that polled a number of well-known experts and some said don’t wear white and others said it didn’t matter. Surprisingly, Peggy Post said that wearing white is acceptable. Here is the link Would You Wear White To Someone Else's Wedding? | The Frisky.

Well, all I can say is my opinion and provide a few guidelines for you to live by. Of course I’m more traditional and conservative than most, but I always consider others feelings, which I think is most important when you’re attending an event such as a wedding, bridal shower, baby shower etc.
You don’t want to take the spotlight off the guest of honor, bottom line.

If you are attending a wedding leave the white dress at home. This is the bride’s one day where it is completely about her. Wear your cute white dress out to dinner with friends and other social gatherings all you want, but leave it behind when you’re attending weddings. If the dress is primarily white, off white, or cream leave it out of the running for your wedding-day outfit. White accents on a dress are fine, but if your “debating” if it is appropriate or not it probably isn’t. I always found that if I’m dressing for something and I’m not feeling completely sure if it is the right outfit it probably isn’t.

I tried to find some pictures of dresses that I thought could be looked as appropriate, but really probably are not.

What is your opinion on wearing white dresses to weddings? I’d love to hear some of your stories/experiences.


  1. I love your advice on checking in as to whether you're completely sure or not. I've found that it's much easier and I'll feel much more comfortable at the event if I just wear something I feel confident in (whether that's based on color, how much skin it shows, etc.) To me it's really not worth worrying how others' might perceive my choice, so bottom line would be to go with your conservative gut.

  2. I had a second Wedding reception at the beach for Sam and Justin and all 50 people wore white. It was at night and it was awesome!


  3. I've heard of couples requesting guests to wear certain colors/themes to their special occasion and that is a great idea. Of course, the second wedding celebration is different than the actual wedding day, allowing for a more laid-back atmosphere. I'm glad your closest family and friends had the opportunity to share in all the fun. Sounds like a blast.

  4. Interesting debate! I don't think I would wear white just because I wouldn't want to risk offending the bride or being the topic of conversation at the wedding. :-)