(Closed) Wearing white to someone else’s wedding

posted 11 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
30 posts
  • Wedding: July 2011

I would NEVER wear white to a wedding!!!  I just think it’s disrespectful to the bride unless she specifically states that she is not wearing white or does not mind guests in white. 

Post # 4
30388 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

It doesn’t surprise me.

Bees here are pushing to change the line on etiquette all the time, so why would they think their guests would all respect traditional etiquette?

We can’t do one thing and expect another.

I am a traditionalist on this however. No one should wear an all white dress to a wedding other than the bride.

Post # 5
3165 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

I would never wear all white either. I wore brown slacks and a cream halter last year and was reluctant about that at first.

Post # 6
2018 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

i am so against guests wearing white! unfortunately, most people (non-brides) don’t even realize that this could be an issue. i would very casually say something but don’t be rude! she probably doesn’t know any better.

Post # 7
869 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

I’d go bridezilla on someone’s ass if they were wearing white at my wedding. You should make something up for that girl and say something like, “I’m really superstitious about another woman wearing white at my wedding. I’m already going to be nervous enough so could you please help me out by picking a different dress?” Offer to help her out shopping or something.

I think it’s super inappropriate to wear white to another woman’s wedding. In my family it’s a big no-no and I’ve seen someone actually asked to leave my cousin’s wedding a few years ago. SUPER AWKWARD!!

Post # 8
3132 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: January 2012

Totally not okay.  Tell her so.

Post # 9
7086 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: June 2011

You should talk to your friend.  You could tell her in a way that will not make her upset by saying that you were just read this discussion online and you don’t want people talking about her. 

Post # 10
4211 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: August 2010

I dont think that an all white GOWN is acceptable but I am fine with an all white short, summery or cocktail dress…let me explain

I didnt think that I would ever be ok with this and thought it was one of the worst wedding faux pas – until I had 3 (yes, 3) women wear white dresses to my wedding. The 3 women? My aunt, my best friend from childhood and my younger cousin. Did I care? NO! I could have cared less! Honestly they did not steal any sort of spotlight from me in any way and there was no mistaking who was the bride. Even when I show people pictures theyre like omg that person wore white and I say I just didnt care.

But a long white gown is definitely a no no!

Post # 11
625 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

You aren’t crazy. That is a general rule about wedding and definately one I would never break! But, if you stop and think about it, your dress will be the obvious gorgeous white wedding dress and nobody will even be looking at her. Although, I would still try to see if she can wear something different. For me it is the principal of the thing.

Post # 12
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.

Post # 14
1166 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: February 2014

@mrs.peters.to.be:  This seems to be a MAJOR hot topic lately.  

I think it’s more awkward for the person that was rude enough to ask the woman wearing white to leave.  Unless this woman that was wearing white had other issues with the family it was completely uncalled for to ask a guest to leave a wedding reception – I hope she took the gift back with her as well.  I think asking a guest to leave a wedding for wearing white is much more out of line.

OP – you, of course, can request that she not wear white but I think, in traditional American culture, it’s an outdated rule and frankly, as I’ve said in other threads, I think not wanting guests to wear white comes down to insecurity.  Why would anyone care that a guest wore white?  How is that disrespectful in and of itself?  Because it’s trying to take the attention off of the bride?  How many people actualy have guests that would do that?  and if that’s the case it’s the person that’s offensive, not the dress.  If a perfectly nice person wore white to my wedding….I would be find with it because I know they wouldn’t mean harm.



Post # 15
260 posts
Helper bee

@skippydarling: i agree.

I find this “rule” ridiculous. I can assure you that when I get married NO ONE, in any color dress — white included — will outshine me. No one will actually mistake a guest in white as the bride, unless they wear a big gown  (which as a pp said, the problem is that person’s character and not the fact that the dress was white). None of your guests should be trying to show you up if they are really friends/loving family members. 




Post # 16
1178 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@Coloradolov:  More and more people today have no idea about traditional etiquette. Must admit that in my 20s, I was invited to one of my first weddings and I thought about an all-white dress. Was lucky enough to have a friend who told me “no one wears white but the bride.” She saved me from embarassment.

I didn’t even know that the bride and groom’s family sat on different sides at the church, and was a little confused when an usher guided me. Mentioned that to the same friend after the wedding, and she said something along the lines of “some things you just assume everyone knows.”


I’ll bet these folks just don’t know, and I am not sure what can be done once they have already arrived in a white dress.

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