(Closed) Guests wearing white to a wedding?

posted 12 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 32
768 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I don’t think I would mind much. I actually wanted my mom to wear a black dress (she had tried it on in store and I lovveedd it) but she said I’m not in mourning, I’m happy, so absolutely not. Settled for a deep purple. I personally love black and wear it all the time (I think I have worn it to weddings, oppps)! As for white, I think its very obvious who the bride is, but I can see how some people might not like that. I’ve never worn white to a wedding, nor would I, but I don’t think I’d mind if someone wore white to mine (as long as they weren’t wearing a wedding dress!)

Post # 33
875 posts
Busy bee

I like that little rhyme!  This reminds me of a wedding I attended in spring a few years ago.  I think it was in mid April and almost everyone at the wedding was in bright cheery spring colors with the exception of one very stylish table from Washington D.C. who were all in the classic little black dress with the men in very handsome black suits.  They really were well dressed and no one really thought that it was in poor taste for them to be in black, but for most of us it was the first opportunity to wear something vividly colorful in months that wasn’t a turtleneck or made of wool, cashemere or some woven heavy fabric, so the contrast of the groups made the out-of-town guests really stand out!  My friend (the bride) has been a lifelong friend so I knew that this group was filled with her friends from her job, and I found myself chatting with them, and they were so kind but I remember knowing that they felt a little funny that they were in drab colors.  We tried to reassure them that the locals didn’t think they were being rude, we knew that they wore something classic and elegant, and that our dress was so very different because it was finally spring!  I think it’s a good idea to let people know what type of outfits are acceptable at different wedding venues.  I think that in major metropolitan areas a little black dress is nearly always acceptable, but in small towns, most guests look at weddings as an opportunity to dress up and they tend to be in brighter tones, and save the little black dress for the funeral home.   

Post # 34
1692 posts
Bumble bee

The little poem might be a great reminder to print out and pin up inside your own closet door, as a reminder that your hosts may care what you wear (to any event, dinner parties and funerals included) and that you have the choice of taking that into consideration any time you dress.

Printing it out and sending it with your invitations is something you would want to do with great discretion. For example, slip it into ONLY those envelopes going to someone whom you believe to be at risk of dressing inappropriately, whom you don’t mind offending, and who won’t see it as ruining the tone of your elegant invitation and party.

I find cute rhymes of any sort to be incompatible with graciously tasteful invitations, and I would find dress-instructions from someone a third my age to be frankly impertinent.

Post # 35
3253 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I would never do it myself, but one of my relatives did wear white to my wedding and I just internally laughed about it. Her white pantssuit hardly distracted people from my gown or what was going on at our wedding. Not worth worrying about as you will all look GORGEOUS on your big days!!

Post # 36
4801 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

@aspasia475: I completely agree, I would be appalled that the bride and groom actually deemed it necessary to tell me what colors are okay to wear! Also, there is nothing wrong with wearing a black dress to a wedding. One girl did wear white to mine, but I really didn’t care – it was obvious who the bride was. One of those things I thought would piss me off, but it actually didn’t at all.

Post # 37
1231 posts
Bumble bee

@Wonderstruck: I agree, black is the easiest color to find and is flattering for everyone! I think if black was only appropriate for mourning, then there wouldn’t be as many to choose from. LBD would be non existent. I personally can never find a dress I like in other colors. I hate most of them and i am not a pattern person. I wouldn’t be upset to see someone in black. I think wedding dresses stand out so much that someone in else in white would just be part of the background. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Post # 38
3 posts
  • Wedding: May 2011

@aspasia475: Wow! Oh dear! No impertinence was intended, I can assure you ๐Ÿ™‚ Although the poem is not stuck to my wardrobe door, I do practice what I preach.

Having respect for my elders is important to me. But frankly and yet with respect, being a third of your age doesn’t really have anything to do with it. I suggest that the finer points of a wedding is about what makes the couple happy, not the guests, so on this one occasion it’s really not too much to ask of anyone, regardless of age or rank, to acquiesce. (I stress the finer points only, clearly the happiness of the guests is of high importance until it begins to clash with your own.)

@Missbliss is right, it really does depend upon the area and social circles that have been invited to the wedding. What is seen as acceptable in more modern communities can cause quite a stir in traditional communities (or even dated, if you will).

It would be a kindness towards the bride and groom for the guest to err on the side of caution unless it is a well established fact that they will not find it offensive.

And it would be a kindness to the guests to let them know if it is considered unacceptable by the community attending the wedding. I am not saying who is right or wrong here, just that a timely warning could save on alot of embaressment and actually be the kinder thing to do. That is my opinion anyway!

And with that I step a away from the mêlée!

Have lovely day and thanks for thinking that my poem is cute! That was what I was aiming for. I do actually mean that, I’m trying to mend bridges here! I didn’t intend to offend anyone!

Thimablina ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 39
84 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

I wouldn’t really mind unless they decided to wear a full white gown. If it’s some little dress or just partially white with other colors, I don’t think it’s a big deal at all. I wore a white dress with black ribbons and black dots to the last wedding I went to.

Post # 40
251 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

I personally think that everyone (at least in our town) knows the no wearing white to a wedding rule. I think it’s disrespectful since everyone knows the rule and if you choose to wear white anyway it’s just impolite. You can’t really tell people what they can or can’t wear however it is an unspoken rule that I think should be followed because the bride could possibly take it as an insult. I don’t care about black (especially since my Bridesmaid or Best Man dresses are black lol) or any other colors. Oh, I do also find that wearing jeans to a wedding is disrespectful also. I mean just throw on a pair of khaki’s or something just to show you made an effort. I am currently having this fight with one of my BM’s husbands – He wants to wear jeans to my semi-formal church wedding. Maybe i’m just too picky?

Post # 41
5656 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: February 2012

It would annoy me, but I wouldn’t let it bother me too much. I always make an effort to not wear white to a wedding and I hope people would extend me the same courtesy.

Post # 42
955 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

I think this rule is incredibly outdated…But then again, nothing can change if no one has the guts to wear white (for fear of being looked down upon)…Oh well.

Post # 43
141 posts
Blushing bee

I certainly hope nobody wears white to my wedding! I know I can be a brat, and I would probably insist they either changed or left.

Post # 44
4 posts
  • Wedding: August 2012

I am getting married in 5 weeks and at my shower my mother announced that she found this perfect dress for the wedding… in a whiteish/ivory lace. I was shocked. Everyone at the shower laughed and said, “no no, only the bride and flower girl should be in a variation of white”. I agree…. However, she read all these blogs saying it’s okay as long as the Mother of the Bride doesn’t match the bride. So my dress is ivory, she can wear white. Then a few days later she told me she would wear a different dress but would probably wear it as a guest to a different wedding. I told her not to, that she would risk irritating the bride. Then she informs me that her Best Friend (who was at the shower and is basically my aunt) is wearing an ivory/cream dress to MY wedding. I am irritated BUT i also don’t want to offend my wedding guest. So I’m choosing to just leave it alone, and honestly… while I don’t think it’s appropriate and I know other guests whill be surprised to see her in a whitish dress… it won’t ruin my wedding day.


HOWEVER… I once did wear white to a wedding, completely not even thinking about it and i felt like a total idiot all nite and was extremely self concious. And I’m pretty sure the bride was not happy with me, am I’m sure I’m remembered as the girl who wore white to my wedding. haha. ๐Ÿ™‚

Post # 45
4 posts
  • Wedding: August 2012

Also, my mother’s friend made a huge stink at the shower on how you should NOT wear black that it’s not proper… my fiance’s mom was planning to wear black until this. I am totally fine with black. Black is not a curse, it is a color. I have NEVER looked at a black dress outside of a funeral and said, “she looks like she’s going to a funeral” (if she had a black viel on… then maybe). TONS of brides have black Bridesmaid or Best Man dresses even. My only thoughts prior to being a wedding guest, “don’t wear white/ivory, don’t wear anything too short, and I hope i don’t match the BM’s”

Post # 46
592 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

I personally don’t care if someone wears white to my wedding. I’m wearing ivory and white is just another color to me. Unless you’re in a ball gown or a veil no one will mistake you for the bride. 

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