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The Bride's Guide Blog

To wear white or not to wear white...

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That is the question. I have a slight predicament, and I need your help. I've got a friend's wedding coming up, and I really, really really want to wear this awesome white dress I bought on a whim. (The lesson here is don't buy a white dress on a whim if you don't have anywhere to wear it, because then you'll be stuck in the same boat as me: dying to show it off with no formal occasions in your future besides weddings). So, tell me. How bad would it be? Everyone will point and hiss at me bad? Or the bride's grandmother might glare at me bad? Be honest--what would you do?

Comments (40)

  • You CAN NOT wear it :( Sorry -- I'm a wedding planner and every time I'm at a wedding and someone is wearing a white dress, I give them the evil eye, because it's just RUDE! Plus it's summer -- you can totally just wear it out! Or to work! Or to take naps in :) Just not at a wedding.

  • You can't wear it! Save it for another occasion. I also think it's impolite - how would YOU feel is somebody turned up at your wedding wearing white? It's a big no-no for me... Sorry!

  • Can't wear it. Sorry. :( It was a rule when I was 13 and I'm pretty sure it's still a rule now.

    But you should totally wear it to brunch, or on a casual Friday or something!

  • Don't do it. I wore a blue, green, and white striped dress to a wedding and got a nastygram from the bride.

  • No. Absolutely not, if you want the bride to continue to be your friend. That's just plain rude.

  • What is a nastygram!

  • Think of it this way. She has an adorable white dress that she is DYING to wear too. And she probably got it way before you. So she gets to wear it and you have to find something else :)

  • Big sigh. Deep down, I know you're all right. The funny thing is, modern etiquette says it's perfect fine to wear white to a wedding (as long as the dress doesn't look bridal). But still, I know I'd feel funny about doing it...

  • ABSOLUTELY NOT! I saw photos from a wedding where a guest wore white and it looked horrible in pictures especially when the bride changed into a short white reception dress.

  • You can't wear White to a wedding!!! Ohmygosh, I was JUST Going to FB that today randomly. I think it's disrespectful to the bride, tacky, and upsetting. Sorry, I know that wasn't the answer that you were hoping for, but I'm sure you'll have other great summer occasions for your white dress :)

  • Its just like a black and white ball where EVERYONE wears black and/or white. If anyone showed up in a colour they would stick out and take the attention. A wedding in my opinion is the same - but the opposite :) Let her have her day, modern etiquette or not - everyone knows the BRIDE wears white.

  • If you're asking, you know it's not cool...

  • I on the other hand would say if it's ok you maybe put a colored sash or paired a colored cardigan with it. I'm a soon to be bride and would not look down upon you. I would sooner take a picture with you than send you the evil eye. Maybe I'm weird or maybe I'm the kind of friend who would be happy that everyone gets to wear what they want to a wedding, not just me.

  • Why are you even asking this question? You know the answer: ABSOLUTELY NOT. You can find some other occasion to wear that will upset the bride, I can guarantee it (unless she's the type of bride who has decided to wear a black dress on her wedding day, and if that were the case, I would imagine that you would have included that information here). Ask yourself: what would YOU want YOUR wedding guests to do? It is a rule of thumb that you should respect. It is her day, not yours - don't try to upstage the bride.

  • Strangely, though, the answer isn't absolutely not! Can you believe that it's perfectly acceptable, etiquette-wise, to wear white to a wedding? That said, I'm not going to do it...

  • Cara - you should do what you feel is right...period.

  • The question is... Is the Bride wearing white? As a wedding planner I have seen more and more Brides not wearing white...if the Bride is in white then no don't wear it... if she is in a diffrent color go for it!!!

  • Use the 'modern etiquette says it's okay to wear white to a wedding' loophole if you like, but if it means you'll spend the whole wedding worrying about whether it was a mistake, it's probably not worth it.

  • why not just ask the bride?. it all depends on the formality of the occasion/your relationship with the bride. if you show up in a superfancy white dress toa casual outdoor wedding of someone you barely know..yes people might think you're upstaging. but if the dress suits the occasion and you know the bride wouldnt take offence... why not?!

  • I wouldn't do it. I don't even like it when non-brides wear white to wedding-related parties (engagement, shower, etc.). Maybe you could dye it another color?

  • I am a wedding planner too, and if this came up to me as a problem that I would have to fix, I would suggest the following. Simply ask the bride. Show her the dress and ask her to be honest about how she feels with you wearing it. It will show to her and anyone else that you put her feelings first. and if she says no, then don't wear it simple as that. To me that is better etiquette than just showing up in the dress and the only feelings you have worried about were your own.

  • It's interesting to see how strongly people feel about wearing white. I see plenty of guests wearing white/cream/pale lemon dresses at summer weddings and it doesn't seem to bother anyone, usually because they're short and not in the least bridal.

    If you're really worried about it however, just make it easy on yourself and ask the bride. She can give you a yea or nay, and advise whether you have to consider the Pippa Middleton factor - will the bridesmaids be in white, too?

  • I'm not wearing a dress but instead separates. A black skirt, black sling-back heels, and a white or cream sweater or top? (depends on the temperature on the day of).

    Thanks for your thoughts.

  • I can't be the only person who thinks that the fact they've made the effort to attend the wedding is the important thing?

    I'm planning my wedding at the moment and I don't care if my guests come wearing bin liners as long as they come to see me get married. The love is important not worrying about upstaging the bride.(I mean think about it, she's the bride, the one in the white poofy dress, seriously, people will hardly get confused.)

  • Oh there are too many rules. You can not wear white. You can not wear black. I think as long as it is not bridal go ahead !

  • A big no no !

  • What was wrong with with wearing a blue-,green- and white-striped dress to a wedding? Just wearing some white stripes is enough to send a bride into bridezilla land and send you a nasty message?
    I have a dress that is black on one side and white on the other and I was thinking about wearing it to a wedding next month. After reading all of these messages, however, I might try and come up with something else.

  • Can your Bridemaids wear white to the Bridal shower?

  • I am getting married next month and my cousin informed me last night that she is wearing a white dress... a floor length white dress. I was NOT very happy and when she asked do i want her to change it i didnt need to reply put it that way!

  • One of my good friends wore white to my wedding and to be honest I didn't even notice, until I looked at pictures later! It didn't bother me in the least. If you are comfortable wear it!! I am debating wearing white to a wedding it has lots of gold beading on it though, but the bride and I don't exactly see eye to eye, but I have to go to the wedding out of familial obligation. So I am torn as well!

  • I would never wear a white dress to a wedding, but what about a white jacket or shawl over a dress?

  • Give the dress to Good Will or some other charity if you're not going to wear it. I think there are plenty of disadvantaged women who might not be able to afford an expensive dress to wear to their own weddings.

  • For goodness sake get yourselves into the 21st century ... Wear whatever colour you want.. The bride and groom don't care about colour only that you are with them on their special day...

  • This has really made me question on wearing my dress to my nannas wedding. It's not white but its like a cream. Don't know what to do now!

  • Find out if she is wearing white because these days..brides are not wearing white. As a matter of fact, I want everyone dressed in white on my wedding day, except me.

  • I have a great dress in cream and a hat, I am wearing to an up coming wedding, no one can out do the bride, so no problem

  • Provided someone didn't wear a white bridal gown to my wedding, I would not care if somebody wore white, but then again, I also don't parade around thinking that everyone I cross paths with is excited about my wedding as I am, which I noticed many brides do.

  • I made the mistake of wearing a white and black dress to a wedding due to the sales ladies recommendations on the dresses I tried on. They knew I was going to a wedding and it was an upscale shop I was getting assistance from. The Mother of the Bride talked about it throughout her daugher's wedding, the bride did not send me a thank you note for my gift. I had heard the rule about not wearing white but since the sales ladies highly recommended the dress, I thought times had changed? Oh well, lesson learned. I don't think anyone else at the wedding gave a rats @$$ about what I wore, but I believe I'm remembered as being at that wedding with a white n black dress!

  • A white and black dress is fine! It's not remotely bridal. Not sending a thank you for your gift is jolly rude. The Bride's mother was rude too.

  • I was about to ask the same question and I'm appalled that anyone could POSSIBLY think that by 1 guest wearing the same COLOR as the bride that they are some how able to upstage the bride?? Her name is on the napkins, its her party, and she is the one in the veil - get a grip. If a bride freaks out (and I was a bride only a year ago) she has no confidence and is extremely selfish. Its your day, but you dont own everyone thats a part of it.

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