(Closed) Why did so many women wear white to my wedding?

posted 11 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 17
6610 posts
Bee Keeper

Bummer! Sorry this happened. But don’t worry—you were the bride so I’m sure all eyes were on you!

Post # 18
77 posts
Worker bee

@camrie: i totally agree with the sundress comment.  so many summer dresses are white with some splash of color.  unless you had some super formal wedding where people were supposed to be wearing cocktail dresses or evening gowns, it’s just part of the risk you run with having a summer wedding.  i don’t think any of the guests meant to be disrespectful, and you shouldn’t let it bother you.

Post # 19
220 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

I’m sorry you felt like random people were detracting from your gown!

As zaylee says, I think if it’s not plain white, it’s forgivable. After all, many sundresses, summer dresses, and formal frocks have a white background with flowers or black lace or whatever. The white dress with black sash does seem potentially wedding-y and the lace one certainly.

Although it would be a pity to photoshop out someone important (ie at the head table) just due to dress color.

But then, as disclaimer, I am wearing blue or purple or red to my family wedding, so I’m sure a lot of people will be wearing the same color! I’ll wear a white dress to city hall, where the others in white dresses will be brides! 🙂

Post # 20
10 posts
  • Wedding: October 2010

I can understand how something like this would irritate you. If I were you, I would prefer to think they did it out of ignorance because they didn’t know any different and try not to let it get under your skin. It’s easier to let things go when I do that lol..

To be honest, I never knew nobody but the bride should wear white to a wedding until after I was engaged, because I’d never been to many weddings and never read about things like that. It wouldn’t surprise me if they honestly didn’t know. I also wouldn’t be surprised if they actually chose white BECAUSE it’s a wedding and at the time they thought it seemed a more appropriate thing to do… white is a neutral color, a “wedding” color.. black seems like funeral..  can’t mess up your color scheme that way? =)

Post # 21
1260 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2012

I’m sorry but you are totally justified in feeling this way!! I would absolutely notice, definitely be irritated, and without a doubt be pissed about it after the fact wondering what the photos are going to turn out like with a buch of white-wearers in the bunch. Ugh! I’m sorry you’re getting feedback here implying you don’t have a right to be upset over it.

I do agree though, that you should try your best to give them the benefit of the doubt and not take it personally. If you let yourself think that they were intentionally rude it’s only going to make a bad situation worse. I know it’s hard to let go of something that’s so frustrating yet at the same time so easily avoidable and something you didn’t anticipate having to worry about, but do try to just focus on all the positives about your day. Again, though, I feel you!! Sorry you have to deal with this.

Post # 22
111 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

I think it’s so tacky for other to wear white on another person’s wedding. Future Mother-In-Law was going to wear an ivory dress to FBIL’s wedding and I told her that’s a no no because it’s so close to white. She didn’t quite get it but ended up wearing a lovely plum colored dress to respect the bride and groom’s wishes. She then tried to see if she could wear the same dress to our wedding, and I politely asked her not to.

Post # 23
7 posts
  • Wedding: January 2010

I saw this and needed to vent. I’m so sorry they wore white to your wedding too.

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 # 24
187 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2011


@anon1114:That’s just horrible. I think you were very understanding, overly nice, and tried to keep the peace – which is commendable – especially for your husbands friendship. She had the dress close to a month prior. She had time to get another. Formal dresses aren’t really hard to come by. It seems the couple knew the color may cause issue because they said it was lighter than cream and made excuses as to why a new dress couldn’t be purchased. Some people are ridiculous. I would just leave it as either they are extremely rude or just oblivious to your feelings. Sure, there’s also – they may not have fully understood the custom of only the bride wears white. However, from what you said – I think they did understand that. I would just let it go. People can be rude and thoughtless – at least you handled it with class.

Post # 25
130 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2011

I get irritated when I see women wearing white to other people’s weddings. It’s not that I think that they actually take away from the bride but I just want people to follow the rules. haha I’ve passed up plenty of pretty white summer dresses that I otherwise would’ve purchased while wedding guest dress shopping.

@anon1114:  That’s especially weird that that girl had a dress made to be cream/ white for your wedding. What’s wrong with people’s brains? seriously. I love that you photoshopped her dress so that it’s brown in pictures. 


Post # 26
398 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

this post makes me sad & mad. I’m so sorry that this has happened to so manny of you.

I’m seriously thinking of specifying in my invitations that no one should wear white or cream!!

Specially since all the guest are Latinos, like myself, and may not be aware of wedding etiquette 101. 

again bees, :[

if it makes you feel any better

no matter how much they try to steel your spotlight, its still YOUR big day & everyone knows that. You are the one who walked down that Isle!! :] 

Post # 27
7 posts
  • Wedding: January 2010

@dani ddha @ iHeartCupcakes:

Thanks so much for your replies and understanding. I really appreciate the input. It really helps a person to get passed that.

Post # 28
2414 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

I’m sorry it irritated you so much.

but I honestly don’t get it since White wedding gowns haven’t been THE THING for that long.  It started with Queen Victoria, so it really hasn’t been around for that long.

But I’m sorry so many of you ended up annoyed and irritated over someone’s choice in clothing on your wedding day.  

Post # 29
2 posts
  • Wedding: April 2005

I’m sorry some of you were also upset by your wedding guests wearing white. I realise this is an older thread, I found it while looking for a white dress to wear for a NYE do and wanted to offer support, because I think you are right to expect your female guests would have avoided white or off whites for their dress colour when attending someone elses wedding. I really think the only reason someone would do this is to upstage the bride considering the vast array of colours that could be worn instead.

My mother in law and sister in law both wore Ivory to our wedding – the same colour as my own rather simple wedding dress. Considering we had only invited 50 guests and these two ladies were going to be in the wedding photos and had already been informed of the colour and simple nature of my dress, I was very hurt by it on the day and hate looking back at the photos.

Even though I was much younger than both of them our wedding photos look like some kind of mixed up Brady bunch triple wedding! My husband’s brother was the groomsman so they wore the same suits just with different ties, father in law had a slightly different suit but still looked like he and the mrs were renewing their vows. My female guests – family and friends alike were shocked, particularly as my mother in laws ensemble was ankle length and not much shorter than my dress. My best friend was horrified that my new inlaws would be so insensitive.

Post # 30
3572 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2012

This really freaks me out. I know it seems very childish, but I really hate seeing people in white or ivory at a wedding (although I made that faux pas at 17 at someone else’s wedding).

Post # 31
433 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

Of the six weddings I’ve been to, in three of them there was another guest wearing white (actually for both of my cousins’ weddings, it was the same guest – wearing a tiara). It was so tacky. 

I’m getting married in France, and am concerned about how to let people respectfully know that in my culture, noboody but the bride wears white. What do you think is the best way to do that? Maybe put it on the website somewhere? 

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