(Closed) ONLY the bride wears white.

posted 11 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 92
1094 posts
Bumble bee

It was actually Queen Victoria who set the trend for white when she got married in 1840, and all of her twelve bridesmaids also wore white (Queen Elizabeth I never got married; she was “The Virgin Queen”, and Virginia is named after her). The current Queen Elizabeth also had all her maids clad in white as far as I know, as did her sister Princess Margare, and her daughter-in-law Lady Diana.

Funny how the one trend — brides’ wearing white — caught on and is considered a “rule”, and the equally-old trend, of bridesmaids wearing white, didn’t catch on and is considered odd.

Post # 93
256 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2012

@Lindsay05:  its funny you say that, because I went dress shopping this weekend and my mom fell in love with a wedding dress I tried on!  It was a grecian style dress, so not super bridal looking.  

I also found out that my grandmother wore ivory to my mother’s wedding (she asked) and my mom didn’t care.  Hearing that story kinda makes me want to carry on the tradition.  

Post # 94
943 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2008 - Winery in the Gold Country

I too am a fan of “only bride wears white.” It’s customary in our culture, I think, and it’s more of a respect thing than anything.

But really there’s no right or wrong in this situation—you’re the bride and therefore you get to decide whether it’s ok or not. If you’re not comfortable and it’s going to bother you, by all means say something. That’s what I’d do 🙂

Post # 95
220 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

It’s not odd for bridesmaids to wear the same color as the bride — traditionally, they were there as decoys 🙂

Post # 96
1123 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

@aspasia475: who in the world worries about all of those colors? I think white is the only problem unless you overthink it too much

Post # 97
184 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: June 2011

I don’t really care unless someone shows up in their wedding dress, then I think I would just be like WTF lady. My mom is wearing a dress with a blousy white top and a black skirt, and I have no problem with that. If anyone talked rudely about her “wearing white” I would equalize them!

Post # 98
22 posts
  • Wedding: August 2012

I’m chuckling at the comments here. I agree that common sense and ettiquette dictate that only the bride wears white, traditionally.

@ Ugoob: Now I dont know who’s right and whos in the wrong?

I may be reading this wrong, but it sounds like you were not having a problem with the guest wearing the white/pink outfit until your sister did…perhaps its not as big a deal to you? Personally, I’d let it go – choose my battles, I do.

Post # 99
80 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

@dgb2010: Your mum DID look fab! 


I’m an encore bride and at my first wedding my mother also wore white — well IVORY.  It was floor length, lace; whe wore it with a wide-brimmed ivory hat that had a peachy-pink flower.  She looked great! I sure didn’t care.  I PICKED IT OUT! 

Post # 100
7 posts
  • Wedding: January 2010

I saw this and needed to vent.

The female guest/date of my husband’s best friend wore white to my wedding. It still bothers me til this day. Granted, we had a black tie formal wedding and I had asked for the guests to follow evening wear, but white wasn’t one our wedding colors of brown, black and dark creamy ivory.  At the rehearsal the prior night, my husband’s best friend warned us that his date’s dress was a bit lighter than cream, a mishap.. She had the dress made for the wedding. He thought we should know they had tried to find another dress the past three weeks, but couldn’t. They had traveled far from Hong Kong.  Trying to be understanding, we said it was fine as long as it wasn’t white. Of note, I would die before I would ever where white to someone’s wedding. So, I expected the same.

When I saw the dress on my wedding day, the dress wasn’t a summer dress or a dress with prints. It was a full length, stark diamond white dress with chiffon, rhinestones and glitter straps and a bedazzled sash…..

???! I didn’t want to be rude. I didn’t want to jeopardize my husband’s relationship with his best friend. The future wouldn’t have pretty and unnecessarily sad. I made the decision. I really didn’t want it to ruin my wedding day, but it was harder than it needed to be. I bit my tongue, smiled, and tried to enjoy my wedding day.. There was already a lot already going on. My only sister became so ill she couldn’t travel and wasn’t there.  My father was not there,since my parents had divorced. I had my mother, but not many close family/friends on my side.  The wedding party was overwhelming the groom’s side. Many I had never met. It was the most wonderful day of my life, but I did feel a little alone that day. If my sister had been there as we talked later, she wuold have kindly given her a colored scarf/cover up.

Later on during the reception, she and my husband’s best friend had caught the bouquet and boutinniere. So, it’s customary to take pictures side by side. My reception dress was a light laced, non bouffant floor length bridal medium ecru dress with light detailing. In our wedding pictures, it was really hard to tell who was the bride with her holding the bouquet. Other unrelated hotel guests would come up to congratulate her…

I understand people may be oblivious to etiquette with American culture being different from other cultures. However, I, like her, am also Asian, where white is considered a color of death in Chinese/Vietnamese culture (hence why my dresses were not stark white), so it makes me question her integrity in choosing that color. She could have in the least worn a scarf or had a print on the dress. I would have been okay.

I’ve never said anything about it to her. I never really had the opportunity. There wasn’t a right time.  The couple did get engaged and married following our wedding. The only time I have since seen her, I was in Hong Kong. Since hubby was the best man, I became a bridesmaid in a pre picked pink chiffon, pregnant like bridesmaid outfit . (I hate pink, but it wasn’t my wedding). And recently, they had a baby, so I don’t want to trump that thunder either.  Even though I have hang ups about it, It’s been long enough, that I feel I should let it pass. Would you?

In summary, if any female is remotely considering wearing white to someone else’s wedding to anyone who values traditional American values (where Cinderella fairytales fill your head since childhood) and does not request you wear white, my final plea is please please don’t. It is rude, thoughtless, and hurtful. You will have your opportunity or there are many, many other days where you can wear it. really! Weddings cost a lot at least 5 figures, if not more! You are a guest. Be kind. The day is not about you. Period. Even if you do wear white, at least wear printed scarf!! But you shouldn’t  make the bride be more gracious to you, since it’s not your day and you don’t deserve it.

And because I grew up with Cinderella, I like happy endings. For me,  I’ve luciky had enough photoshop skills to photoshop her wedding dress brown for my wedding album.

Thanks for reading, sorry for the length. I appreciate any of your thoughts.

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