(Closed) Grooms Sister in Law wears white to wedding

posted 5 years ago in Emotional
Post # 31
6369 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: November 2009 - New York, NY

cece_intheuk:  Agree 100%.  Regardless of tadition or etiquette, we do not have control over what guests choose to wear and it’s unwise to get stressed and worked up about something out of our control.  In this case you can speak to her, but it will be her choice in the end.  You have the option of controlling the pictures she’s in.  I agree with PP that this issue was blown out of proportion unnecessarily and it’s absolutely not worth a family rift.

My wedding dress was a non white short dress and I couldn’t have cared less about the color anyone else was wearing.  It was very obvious who the bride was, not that I cared about that either.  I come from a very traditional background, but I learned a long time ago not to let tradition get in the way of my happiness and that of my loved ones.

Post # 32
6291 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2014

Steph77:  If she’d only worn white to one wedding, I might not find it so odd; but to wear it to THREE and then likely a fourth? Uhh, yeah, no. It’s almost like she’s going out of her way to be controversial/attention-seeking; I just don’t get it.

A couple people wore ivory to our wedding (from OH’s side), and while I honestly didn’t care, it was talked about by people from my side, as well as a few guests form OH’s side AND the venue staff AND the photographer, and I felt embarrassed for them. People were basically side-eying the hell out of them, and gossiping amongst themselves (comments included ‘Wow, there’s a lot of poeple in ivory, what’s wrong with them?!’ and ‘some people clearly lack manners’).

So, that’s another angle you could come from; that it’s been noticed and talked about negatively previously, and you’re concerned that once again she might be talked about. This is one reason why I would never wear ivory/white to a wedding (even if for eg the bride wasn’t wearing white and I 100% knew she wouldn’t care): because I would not want to be ‘that’ person that everyone is side-eyeing and gossiping about. There are LOADS of other colours I can wear, so, while I have numerous otherwise ‘wedding appropriate’ white/cream dresses I would always steer clear of those colours and buy/wear something else.

I would definitely talk to her and explain how you feel, but ultimately you can’t dictate what she wears. You can however always make sure she isn’t in the family photos if she does end up wearing something very similar to you, and you can rest assured that you won’t be the only person there who thinks she’s rude.

  • This reply was modified 5 years, 3 months ago by  barbie86.
Post # 33
313 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2014


Steph77:  I am fully with you on this. I would not be okay with it. I am of the stance that it is your day, you pay for it, it is your party, if you don’t want it you don’t have to tolerate it. If she doesn’t like it, she doesn’t have to come. And for certain, I wouldn’t have her in pictures if she chose to wear a cream/white/ivory dress to my wedding. I think it is tacky and I think after 3 weddings it is intentional behavior to seek attention from strangers. 

Post # 34
6524 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: September 2013

Steph77:  I am with you on this one. I don’t care where you are from, you just don’t wear anything white, cream, ivory to a wedding. <br />Some people think its not a big deal but it is. 

THe fact that she has worn  cream to all 3 weddings makes me think she is doing it intentionally. 

The bigger issue is that your Fiance has now left you to stand alone in this battle when he should be supporting you. You need to talk with him ASAP and fix this and get his support. You BOTH need to sit down and talk with the family so that you can explain to them why its important she wear another color out of respect for you.They may not ever understand it, but the should respect your request.

This is your wedding day and you should enjoy it without feeling overshadowed by someone who is rude. 


Post # 35
107 posts
Blushing bee

stand your ground. You are wearing a cream dress…why can she not wear any other colour? You do not have to apologize…it is your big day with your Fiance. Also, shame on him for not defending you. Again stand your ground. 

Post # 36
3064 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: September 2014

Steph77:  I would be very upset too. It would be one thing if your dress was a traditional ball gown, but its not and her dress sounds way similar. I would say eff your fiance for not siding with you and I would just sit Ali down and say if you wear this cream dress I will be VERY upset

Say it to her face ( Future Mother-In-Law can eff off too, you do not need her permission to talk to FSIL) and see what happens. Call her on it! And if she shows up in that dress take one or two family photos then be done taking pics with her. Might be harsh but she sounds ridiculous.


ETA: Saw your update- good luck! Can you let us know what she actually wore? lol

  • This reply was modified 5 years, 3 months ago by  Boxerlover24.
Post # 37
3039 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2013

Steph77: No way I would apologize. First of all, it’s not an unreasonable request that she doesn’t wear white to your wedding. Second, your FI’s family seem a little over dramatic and I wouldn’t feed that by apologizing to them. They have to calm down and realize that this day is about the two of you getting married and the two of you being happy – if that means that Ali (gasp) have to pick a dress in another colour, so be it!

Post # 38
6659 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: May 2010

I totally understand why this is annoying (three female guests wore white to my wedding!) but I promise you it isn’t as big a deal as you think. And like a lot of people have already mentioned, you cannot control what guests wear to your wedding. Even if you state the dress code on the inviation, I guarantee someone will violate it. 

Wedding planning is stressful enough, it is best to let things like this go. It seems like a lot of damage has already been done regarding this particular issue so I would just drop it. NO need to have a heart to heart or apologize, just act like it never happened and move on. If she wears white then so be it. I promise she will not be in EVERY picture. It is impossible, since she is not the bride or the groom. 

Post # 39
2783 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2012

…is it possible Ali can’t afford a new dress, and that’s why she’s worn it to two weddings already? It could be something as simple as that. Or it could be plain ignorance that this is something you shouldn’t do.

I think you do owe her an apology, and not because of how you feel, but because of how this all went down. Put yourself in her shoes: you have no reason to believe she is wearing white to be malicious, or is even aware of this custom. Now imagine finding out your SO’s entire family is talking about you, and what you wear, and that the person with the issue hasn’t come out and talked directly to you. I don’t think that would feel too great.

Post # 40
1979 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

Steph77:  You are completely right and you have nothing to apologize for- I would stand your ground. I don’t care what your dress looks like, wearing a white/cream dress to a wedding is tacky and a cry for attention- period. I would ask her what she is planning on wearing to the wedding. If she is planning on wearing the cream dress, I would let her know that it may be old-fashioned, but you think it is really disrespectful and would appreciate her wearing another color. If she still wears the cream dress, I would make sure she isn’t in a single family photo- not one- since she’s a girlfriend anyway. Sorry your Future Sister-In-Law is so tacky and inconsiderate- I would be upset too!

Post # 41
12321 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

There are conflicting opinions on this. As pointed out, Miss Manners, who is a modern traditionalist, still discourages guests wearing white. The more liberal etiquette purveyors, meanwhile, including, for example, the Post Institute, and the New York Times bridal section, have decreed this restriction to be old fashioned and totally passe unless the dress is unmistakably “bridal.”

So it is very possible the Girlfriend felt  you are the one who is controlling and out of line.  

I am generally aligned with Miss Manners , and would not choose to wear white to a wedding,  but as I’ve said here before, I think it’s more than a little ironic that many brides are all too willing to go with the liberal perspective on everything from registries to immediate family  throwing a shower when it benefits them and their bank account, but the minute it’s about being upstaged, they are all about the traditional! Not saying this is you, OP. 

Putting that aside, it’s the way this was aporoached that was most offensive. You don’t have to apologize for your personal views on wearing white to a wedding, but an even worse breach of etiquette is to correct another adult’s manners.  Gossiping at the “hen-do” and talking behind her back within the family were even worse violations. 

So I do think you owe her an apology for how this was handled and you need to back off. At this point she knows all too well your views on the subject. 

Post # 42
1141 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

Honestly, I’d be more concerned about your Fiance throwing you under the bus and backing out of saying it was a joint opinion/decision.  

Post # 43
234 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: Aug 30th, 2014

barbie86: “A couple people wore ivory to our wedding (from OH’s side), and while I honestly didn’t care, it was talked about by people from my side, as well as a few guests form OH’s side AND the venue staff AND the photographer”<br />

If I catch our venue staff gossiping about what MY GUESTS – who are all family or friends and very important to me – are wearing, they are going to have *hell* to pay.

Post # 44
12321 posts
Sugar Beekeeper

Ellicott:  I wonder if  FI has been made aware that many consider the prohibition on white to be passe or that it’s always rude to dictate manners to an adult.   If that is the case, he might very well have reconsidered.  If so, I agree he handled things poorly, as well. He should have had a private conversation with OP.

Post # 45
6291 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2014

nanoinfinity:  It was at the end of the evening when OH and I were drinking with a few of them and we were fine with it lol; it was all in good fun. The staff were awesome so it didn’t bother me at all; they obviously that we’re laid-back and not uptight and wouldn’t take offence 🙂 (plus the guests in question are not our favourite people and were rude in several other ways, but I digress…). 

The point I was making to the OP, and others who replied, is that even if the bride and groom don’t see a problem, plenty of other people do. A lot of my other guests found what those guests wore rude, tacky, and offensive; and I’m not really able to stop people gossiping amongst themselves or inwardly eye-rolling, and the same goes for the OP, thus, this is a tack she could use when she speaks to this woman ie she’s kind of doing her a favour by giving her a head’s up. If she still wants to wear the dress then that’s her choice; but I’d at least let her know that it’s a bit of a faux pas and may mean she’s remembered and talked about for all the wrong reasons. 

The topic ‘Grooms Sister in Law wears white to wedding’ is closed to new replies.

Find Amazing Vendors