Wear White to a Wedding?

Hey darlings! I have to apologize for our absence lately – we’ve been very bad bloggers and you’ll have to forgive us. Sometimes life gets crazy and inspiration is nowhere to be found. But rest assured we’re not abandoning our little corner of the internet! We’re checking in when we can, and we’ll be back with regular posts before you know it. So stay tuned, and stick with us!


I’m popping in today with a surprisingly controversial question. Two of our close friends will be tying the knot in September, and we couldn’t be more excited to celebrate their nuptials. And like any fashion blogger, I’m already outfit planning. Here’s the problem: I have a thing for white dresses. All I want to wear this summer is all white, all the time. It’s just the first thing my eye goes to. Anyway, I found a few options I loved before noticing a trend. They’re all white dresses with various floral patterns, like this pretty autumnal one from Zara.




But that’s fine, right? Our friends are super laid back and couldn’t care less about what I’m wearing. And it’s obviously not a wedding dress, or anything that would upstage the bride. So it’s fair game, right? Wrong. I googled it, and the internet is full of this heated argument over white printed dresses. “NO WHITE AT WEDDINGS PERIOD” vs. “WHO CARES” and such. What have I gotten myself into?


So I did a little research. The No White rule comes from a time when people dressed much more formally. Ladies wore lace and beaded gowns to run errands around town, and bridal gowns were usually not much different. So there’s a real chance that someone wearing a white dress to a wedding at that time could be mistaken for the bride, who was probably dressed in a very similar gown.


But these days, the difference between your run of the mill Zara shift dress and a bridal gown are very, very obvious. Especially if you add a colorful floral pattern. No one is going to mistake you for the bride, and I guarantee you won’t steal the show. But for many, the rule still applies. Tradition reigns supreme.


So I thought I’d come up with a little cheat sheet to help navigate these tough wedding-wear situations. I’m by no means an expert, but as an event videographer I have been to my fair share of weddings, and I’ve noticed what makes people stand out in all the wrong ways. Here are 3 handy rules to wear white to a wedding:


1. Consider the couple. Have they been dreaming of this day since they were little? Is every detail planned with bridezilla-like fervor? Is the wedding a traditional and expensive formal affair? If so, they might be more likely to take offense than the laid-back bride tying the knot in a barn.

2. Devil’s in the details. A white lace maxi dress is likely to garner a few dirty looks. If you must wear white, keep it short and patterned. Color blocking and floral are a-ok in my book. And if you’re on the fence, accessorize like there’s no tomorrow.

3. Ask a mom. Many people suggest that you ask the bride, but doing so puts her in an uncomfortable position. So do the next best thing: ask the person most likely to be sensitive to tradition. If mom is bothered, other guests might be as well. If not, you’re good to go.


All that being said, wear white at your own risk. People love their traditions, and it might be kinder and easier just to find something else to wear. I love the dresses below, but others might not. What do you think?


White Wedding

  • Here’s my take on it: a laid-back bride will probably have a very simple dress and she might not stand out as much if some guests are also earing white dresses. On the other hand, if she wears a huge ball gown, it will be easy to tell she’s the bride even if other women are wearing white. To me, it’s all about making sure that the bride stands out!

  • I love the ask a mom point. Most mothers of the brides are going to be very straight forward and honest – or at least that’s how my mom would be! Moms also have a knack at shutting down while being kind at the same time. I personally have worn a white/floral patterned dress to a wedding before and everyone lived. It’s a dangerous game to play, though!

  • I would never wear white, but I also don’t consider any of those printed dresses above to be “white,” really–imo bold prints are pretty much fine, especially with a cardigan!

  • Becky @Disney in your Day

    I agree that it depends on the situation, but I still would never wear white. Not even those dresses with prints. I know you’re not going to get confused with the bride, but when she is the only one in white at all I think it just makes her stand out more. Asking a mom is a great idea! And I also know there are more and more brides wearing colors other than white too.