(Closed) Why is it inappropriate to wear white or ivory to a wedding?

posted 7 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
3375 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

Not going to lie- I probably wouldn’t care.

I was watching “Father of the Bride” over the weekend and noticed that the mother of the bride wore a whiteish/ivory dress. It didn’t look at all like a wedding dress, but it was white!

Post # 4
3148 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2010

@SerenaSF: out of all the colours in the world and all the dresses a guest could choose, why wear white or ivory when you KNOW the bride will be wearing it and its her day to kind of “stand out”…..i guess thats what it comes down to.


Post # 5
767 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

It really depends on the style of dress. I wouldn’t be livid, but I would be disappointed if someone wore white to my wedding. Especially if this person were a typical attention-grabbing person, I would assume they did it to steal my spotlight. If it were someone younger, I wouldn’t care because I would assume they just didn’t know any better. Most brides wear white and I think it’s nice if they stand out by being the only one in all white. 

Post # 6
4137 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

white and ivory are reserved for the bride at a wedding. if the bride is okay with her mom or bms wearing an ivory dress, that’s the brides decision, but white/ivory are off-limits to guests.

Post # 7
7695 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2010

Im not sure when/how it started but I think the point of not wearing white is because you dont want to draw attention to yourself and away from the bride.

I had several people wear short white dresses to my wedding and thought they looked cute and did not care at all! No one looked as good as me anyways! 😉

Post # 8
50 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2018

I can see why its a touchy subject, especially when some brides are very particular about everything on their day being perfect. I’m brought to that episode of Bridezillas when the mother of the bride bought a white dress..

I rather my guests wear white than something that leaves little to the imagination!

Post # 9
2398 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

I would be irritated.  As Baileyh said, there are plenty of dresses in plenty of colors – why choose white when you know that’s what the bride will be wearing?

(Though I do note that I wore a sundress with a black and white pattern to a summer wedding, with black shoes, headband, etc.  I think what OP wore was probably just fine.  It’s when the dress is solid white and/or white accessories are involved that things get tricky.)

Post # 10
1645 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2010

I agree that white or ivory dresses are off limits to guests no matter what, as that color is reserved for the bride.

However, I have worn a black and white dress to several weddings. It’s a large floral pattern and probably about 50/50 black to white. The pattern is all over the dress also. I don’t think there is anything wrong with wearing a dress has white in a pattern, as long as it’s less than 50% white.

Post # 11
134 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

I think a dress that is black and white or ivory is fine. (or any other color and white/ivory)  I also think a young guest wearing white would not bother me in the least bit.  (think flower girl or young teen) 

I have an aunt who just wore all white to my cousin’s wedding and she is the kind of woman who dresses to get attention.  That bothered my cousin and it would have bothered me.  I also just went to another wedding (black tie) where a woman wore a shiny ivory gown – yikes – that would make me upset!

I actually think the intentions of the person wearing the dress would determine my reaction to some extent as well as the style of the dress.  The main idea being, let the bride shine on her big day 🙂

Post # 12
426 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: March 2011

It’s rude because you’re not the bride. That’s it really. You know (or at least in most cases, know) the bride will be wearing white. Why do you have to too?

Post # 13
3709 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

I wore white pants to a friend’s wedding this summer. She got married outside…in Las Vegas. I felt the white was justified. She was a low-key bride so she honestly didn’t care.

Post # 14
2398 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2010

@JamaicaBride:  I think there’s also a world of difference between white pants and a white dress. 

Unless the bride is into quirky wedding attire, no one is going to be wondering whether the woman with good taste in tailoring is the hostess.

Post # 15
3525 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2010

I honestly wouldn’t care. I had a few friends planning to wear green to our reception (I wore a green dress) and I was actually excited about it…and a family member wore purple and black to our wedding, which was my color combo as well, but I didn’t mind one bit. If I had worn white and someone else did, I wouldn’t care either.

Post # 16
3482 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: February 2011

I probably wouldn’t care. I know it’s supposed to be an etiquette thing so as not to take attention away from the bride, but unless the offender tries to walk down the aisle at the ceremony before I come in, it’s not like there’s going to be any confusion as to who the bride is (and I should hope there wouldn’t be anyway, since all the guests except for a few of FI’s distant relatives know me very well).

Basically, I’m way too confident and happy to be getting married that one person’s ill-advised fashion choice is going to throw off my day.

Unless they show up in jeggings. Then they get thrown out into the cold 😛

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