Post # 47
True enough that the tradition of the White Wedding Dress came from Queen Victoria…
And the custom of only the Bride wearing white, seems to have come about around the same time
Based on what I’ve read it is because about the same time, photography at special events became more common place (at the time that would have been B&W Photography)
And so, in the pictures, if anyone else was wearing a very light shade in the white family (Cream, Champagne etc) in the photos it would have “read” the same as what the Bride was wearing… thereby taking the eye’s focus off the Bride… up-staging her… and thereby considered rude
Thing is even with today’s colour photography… if you look at a picture with a multitude of people in it (group photos / Bridal Formals / Family Photos) … your eye will still naturally be drawn to the whites… so this is why it is still considered rude to wear white to a wedding
Hope this helps,
Post # 48
While I know it’s not really a big deal, I feel like that’s one piece of etiquette that is pretty commonly known. I totally understand that a younger person might not have ever heard that but I think anyone over 30 must have heard that it is considered rude or tacky.
I would be less offended by the color than by the fact that she was choosing to do something that she knows is considered rude.
Post # 50
My mom wants to wear white. I said something along the lines of “if it’s possible could you choose a colour, I just don’t want my dress to look like it’s off-colour next to yours”
She’ll be walking me down the aisle so this is particularly important. SO, we’ll see. UGH.
I would explain your concerns to your FMIL!
Post # 51
Interestingly, Peggy Post says that now guests can wear white so long as it isn’t bridal: http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/01/fashion/weddings/wedding-qa.html?_r=4&
Can’t say I agree with her but it’s an interesting take.
Post # 52
That’s the way I’ve always seen it. As long as no one else is in a bridal gown, why does it matter? But, like I said, I really don’t care who wears what at my wedding. But, all I can say is to each their own. This personally isn’t something I’d make a big deal out of because at the end of the day, I’m married and five years down the line, I’m not going to remember what people wore.
@This Time Round:
White wedding dresses were popular before
Queen Victoria, and in some cultures white was actually worn for funerals and people who were mourning. (Side note: The idea that white is virginal is a misconception. Blue is more pious and virginal, symbolizing the virgin mary.) As far as I can remember (I only skimmed the Wiki article) Queen Victoria’s dress was white only because she liked the lace, or it was her favorite lace. I don’t remember which.
I can to a degree understand the “I don’t want you to “upstage” me” concept, but truly, have you ever been to a wedding where you’ve gone, “Gee, which person is the bride?” Again, I said it doesn’t matter to me so it’s entirely possible that I just don’t get it as a traditional bride would, but at least I can kind of see where it’s coming from. I don’t associate white with weddings (Although it immediately brings to mind Billy Idol) so that could be another part of my difficulty in understanding.
Either way, I appreciate your response.
Post # 53
To be honest, I’ve changed my mind about this topic. When I was a little girl I was adamant that I didn’t want anyone wearing white or red to my wedding. No idea how I picked up on that idea…
A few years before my wedding I think I had dropped the red notion but still had the white one until a dear friend and I went to a Destination Wedding. She had brought a white sundress not knowing the white rule. Another friend questioned her wearing it and she got really worried about it. I felt really bad for her because honestly, no one cared. The pictures looked great, etc. That changed my mind about white at a wedding because no one should have to be anxiety ridden over that.
Out of curiosity, what do you think about wearing red at a wedding. I wore it to one and am now wondering if I committed a faux pas.
Post # 54
Honestly I’ve never heard about RED being a no-no (although it might have a tie in to non-Christian / non-North American Weddings)
The only other colour, that I’ve ever heard being a concern was BLACK… a colour that in North American culture is tied to mourning.
So for the longest time wearing black was considered (and is still in some circles) a No-No because it sort of implies either you aren’t happy for the couple or are wishing them massive bad luck
*NOTE in recent years, black has become quite fashionable for Weddings… be it for decor or Attendants wear… and now many a Guest comes dressed in black also (the little black evening dress). Maybe at some point in time, white will also cross over this “barrier”… could happen if more Brides opt for colour themselves, and out from behind the traditional white gown / wedding dress
Post # 55
I think if the bride doesn’t specifically say it’s ok for a guest to wear white, then you don’t wear white. That’s a bitch move. I’m gonna let my guests wear whatever color they want, but I totally understand why a bride wouldn’t want anyone else in white on her wedding day.
Post # 56
I don’t think anyone believes the problem is that your guests will be confused as to who the bride is (obviously, they should know the bride, since they are attending the wedding…)
It’s just that they know what they’re doing when they choose to wear a white dress. It’s like a stupid test. I’d just grin and say “You can’t wear white, silly! I’m wearing white! Stop joking, or you’ll freak me out!”
Post # 57
So what? WHite, red, anything sparklies, everyone has a problem with something. Let me tell you from experience: it will not matter on the day of the wedding what color anyone wears. You should not care. My mom didn’t have time to change out of a sweater and jeans before the ceremony, so that’s what she wore. What mattered is that she was there. No one thought she looked ridiculous, nor did anyone judge her. This is your fiance’s mother. He probably wants his mom there. That is what is important. If you truly can’t just let this go, cut the passive-agressive stuff and talk to her like a grown-up. But be prepared to give her a better reason than “Because I’m the bride and I should be the only one in white”.
I don’t get it either.
Post # 58
everyone is entitled to their own opinions.
She told me today. “I don’t want you to think I’m trying to take the attention from you. And I realized I would be pissed if my fmil wore white to my wedding, so I’m choosing a different dress.” yay its over.
Post # 59
Lace and white. No, no no.
edit: Sorry, didn’t see that it’s been resolved. Glad to see it’s been resolved.
Post # 61
Good point about the black! I totally forgot about that one! I think the red thing is less common. Somehow I picked up on the concept that red = scarlet woman when I was young. I was sort of an odd child who read mostly old-fashioned books and fairy tales. So I think I just assumed that only loose women wore red to weddings. Sort of a funny thought now!