Is It Cool to Wear White to a Wedding?

wear white to weddings

When picking out your wedding guest attire, you might wonder if wearing white is ever okay. You don’t want to look like your wedding is crashing, and some people may feel that the choice could be disrespectful to the bride, who almost always wears white on her big day. If you’re wondering when you can wear white to a wedding without offending anyone, here we will discuss when it’s appropriate to wear white as a wedding guest.

Wearing White to a Wedding: Cool or Not Cool?

Let’s talk at the most, asking the question to wearing white cool or not as a guest at a wedding. The answer to this question is simply yes. If you follow specific rules about wearing white at a wedding, you can wear white. As a wedding guest, you should stay within the color scheme of the event or ceremony. That being said, there are some scenarios in which you might be able to get away with wearing a color besides white when attending a wedding. For instance, if you have been invited as an honored guest, such as the maid/matron of honor or best man/man of honor, and if it’s your sister’s/brother’s wedding, it can’t hurt to bring a second outfit just in case.

However, most people would not overthink this point because these two instances where people can wear white at weddings are reasonably rare. The following person who can wear white at a wedding is someone wearing a dress for their wedding, but remember that only the bride should wear pure white. Another person who can wear white at a wedding is someone who has been asked to stand up for one of the couple’s parents during their vows.

Who Can Wear White to A Wedding?

Since you are planning your wedding or attending someone else’s, the last thing you need to worry about is whether someone you invited will be sporting an outfit that clashes with your color scheme or otherwise detracts from your special day. If you’re wondering whether sure guests can wear white to your wedding, here are eight people who can.

The Bride’s Maid

The Bride's Maid

The bride’s maid is the first person that pops into your mind when you think about who can wear white to a wedding, but others on this list can too. For instance, if the groom has any siblings, they can also wear white at their brother or sister’s wedding as long as they do not take away from the bride by wearing anything too flashy or showy. Another exception would be a close friend of the bride. If you want to add some color, consider wearing an off-white dress that will complement the bride’s dress without competing with her.

Junior Bridesmaids Can Wear White

Junior bridesmaids can wear white at a wedding and still look fantastic. The junior bridesmaids can help the bride prepare for the ceremony, ensure she is on time with pictures, give flowers that match the wedding party’s colors, hold her bouquet while she is walking down the aisle, and during introductions at dinner. She will have more responsibilities as a junior bridesmaid and many more responsibilities as a maid of honor.

If you are between age groups, you may not know if you are supposed to be a junior or senior bridesmaid. Don’t worry. There is no correct answer to whether you want more responsibility or less.

Groomsmen Can Wear White

Groomsmen may opt to keep it simple and classic by wearing an ivory suit with a black tie. If your groom chooses a darker color for his suits, such as navy blue or deep burgundy, he can allow his groomsmen to wear other colors such as light grey, tan, khaki brown, or navy blue (darker than the groom’s) without looking out of place.

The only thing that matters when choosing what color your groomsmen should wear is matching the color of their ties to their boutonniere corsages or shirts they will be wearing under their tuxedo jackets. It doesn’t matter if they’re different shades of one color: they all need to blend seamlessly so all their colors can complement each other.

Flower Girls Can Wear White

Flower Girls Can Wear White

If the bride wants the flower girl to be dressed in pure white from head to toe, she can simply purchase a dress off the rack at any clothing store. However, if they want a more tailored flower girl look, they may opt to get dressed up with lace trimming and bows to match their gown perfectly. When it comes to shoes, they should never go barefoot, so make sure to pick up some baby shoes made of white leather or satin. They are super cute and perfect for pictures!

The Groom’s Best Man

If you want to wear white at a wedding, don’t be afraid to go as the best man. Traditionally, this color is usually reserved for the bride’s attendants. However, there are some exceptions – like if the groom chooses to have more than one best man. In these cases, it can be appropriate for any of them to wear white. It is also acceptable for the groom’s best man to wear a different suit color to coordinate with the other groomsmen. They may decide to all wear navy blue or gray suits, for example.

wear white at a wedding

The Maid of Honor

The maid of honor can also wear white to a wedding. She does not necessarily need to match the bridesmaids’ dresses, but she should complement them nicely. For instance, if they wear light-colored dresses, the maid of honor can choose to wear dark colors such as black or navy. On the contrary, if they’re wearing dark colors, she can wear light colors such as white or light purple. What matters most is that she looks elegant and coordinates well with the rest of the party.

Photographers

It’s the day you marry your best friend, and why not have a photographer who understands what it means? Some of the most beautiful moments in a couple’s life happen on their wedding day, so it makes sense to want professional pictures capturing all the magic. That way, when you’re telling stories about this incredible day with your family and friends, you can share photos of your big day and some breathtaking candid shots. Many talented photographers can capture this moment for you on your special day. They may come in different styles or vary in price, but they will take care of every detail from start to finish to ensure they catch all the special moments at the reception.

Parents of the Bride

Parents of the Bride

One person who can wear white at a wedding is the bride’s parents. It has long been a tradition in many cultures for the groom’s parents to wear white, so this one is given without much explanation. One of the bride’s family members may also be asked or choose to wear white, often her mother. Some parents might feel they should wear an off-white, tan, or even black dress to a wedding as a sign of respect. This is not the case. They will look fantastic and unique if they wear a white dress to a wedding.   They can pair it with sparkly jewelry like earrings, necklaces, and bracelets.

Maybe they can bring along some flowers too. Sometimes, friends will give the bride’s mom a corsage to put on their wrists during the ceremony. The groom’s mom can wear flowers too. These traditions came from ancient Greece when brides wore white dresses and grooms wore dark clothes to differentiate them from each other. The colors have reversed over time, but there are still ways people can honor these traditions today.

Groom’s Parents

Groom’s parents can wear white at a wedding because it’s their son’s big day. They are just as important as the bride, so they can dress how they please on this special occasion. They can also wear white at weddings because they’re likely helping with some event planning and organizing aspects. Plus, what better way to support your son in his union? No one will think less of them if they wear white.

Best Man’s Parents

A best man’s parents can wear white at the wedding without fear of looking too much. Sure, they may not be the groom’s parents, but they are essential to the wedding. After all, they’re supporting their son on his day in every way possible by being there as a best man and bringing up essential conversations. And if you think about it, you could see them as almost part of the groom’s family. They should still get to wear what they want and feel fantastic doing so.

Priest

It doesn’t matter what religion is involved with the wedding. A priest can also wear white because he is officiating over one of the most sacred days for two people pledging their love for each other in front of everyone that matters to them. Plus, this is a day when vows are said and promises exchanged between these two individuals. The priest can be seen as another witness who will help keep the couple together in good times.

The Officiant

The officiant is one of those people who can wear white to a wedding and still look fabulous. They usually wear something lighter than white or pastel so they won’t be too visible. Plus, it’s traditional for them to wear a robe-like garment. And finally, the bride and groom can always ask them not to wear their robes if they don’t want their officiant in white. Let someone else do the honors might be worth it since they can wear white at weddings and still rock a fantastic outfit.

Other People

These are just some of them; many other types of people can wear white to a wedding. From friends of the couple to family members, anyone can don white clothing as long as they don’t upstage or overshadow the bride. Even if the person isn’t going to walk down the aisle, they can still wear white attire to support the couple during what will hopefully be a joyous occasion. It may seem like a small detail, but your guests will appreciate the effort to make everyone feel welcome. You can go one step further and try to match the colors of your attire with those of the flowers used in decorating for added effect.

You’ll find that choosing appropriate attire can make all the difference on such a special day. By being mindful of these details, you can ensure everything goes smoothly. There’s nothing worse than showing up to a wedding only to realize that you’re overdressed or underdressed due to a lack of planning. So keep this list handy next time you’re attending a ceremony, whether yours or someone else’s.

Daytime Weddings

Can You Wear White as a Wedding Guest?

Here are ten times it’s acceptable to wear white to a wedding as a guest so you can enjoy your special day in style!

Daytime Weddings

Summer and winter weddings can be great times to wear white. However, you might want to avoid wearing white in the event of a summer wedding if you’re wearing anything from an air-conditioned space in the scorching sun. In this case, you should opt for lighter colors like pastels or off-whites less likely to show dirt and sweat. If it’s a winter wedding, feel free to layer up with darker tones such as navy blue and eggplant purple. As long as you pay attention to what your other guests are wearing, there is no time when it is not appropriate to wear white.

Beach Weddings

The general rule is that if the bride wears white to her wedding, it’s not appropriate to wear white as a guest. With beach weddings being all the rage these days, this rule may need to be amended. If you’re attending a destination wedding at the beach, check with the bride to see what she wants for guests and find out whether or not there are any restrictions on the dress code. It’s always best to err on caution when in doubt! For example, even if you know the bride will be wearing white, don’t wear anything too close in color just in case.

Floral Attire

You can wear white to many different weddings, like an intimate black-tie ceremony or beach wedding. For an intimate beach wedding with minimal guests, you could wear just a breezy white dress and carry flowers. If you’re in charge of seating arrangements at a luncheon-style affair, you could get by with all-white dresses for the whole bridal party. Or if your best friend is getting married on her family’s farm, wear white jeans to the barn bash reception.

No matter what kind of event it is—a more formal gathering or one that’s more casual—you’ll want to ask your host their preference before making any final decisions about your outfit. That way, you don’t show up to a black-tie affair in white pants! The same goes for winter weddings—the bride may prefer darker colors because they have less chance of making her feel cold when she’s outdoors.

Religious Attire

Religious Attire

Many faiths have restrictions on when wedding guest attire can be white. Some churches and temples may request white dresses only be worn on Easter or significant religious holidays, while others have no rules at all. If you’re uncertain about wearing white to a Catholic mass, ask the church if there are any restrictions beforehand so that you don’t offend anyone in attendance. In many traditions, bridesmaids wear white gowns—not just because of tradition.

It’s often easier to coordinate the color palette if everyone is wearing the same hue! However, if you receive an invitation with no mention of a dress code, go ahead and decide based on what will work best with your skin tone and hair type. Remember: One of the easiest ways to stand out at a wedding is by wearing something other than what everybody else has picked out! In this case, selecting a different shade of white might be the way to go.

Wearing White at a Wedding: 11 Simple Rules to Follow

If you’re attending a wedding, you may have been given the unique honor of being one of the groomsmen or bridesmaids who gets to wear white at the event. While this responsibility carries no special obligations, as it’s simply about adhering to tradition, there are still some guidelines you should follow when wearing white at a wedding. If you’re unsure where to start, here are 11 simple rules to follow when wearing white at a wedding.

Stay Away From Bright Whites

Stay away from bright whites such as blue-white, green-white, pink-white, and yellow-white. These colors clash with the white wedding dress and party attire. This rule is fundamental if you are not wearing cream-colored clothing. You don’t want your guests’ eyes darting off your dress and onto someone else’s clothes! Instead, wear ivory or champagne hues that have just a hint of color in them. Ivory looks beautiful on everyone because it can match any skin tone and hair color.

If you’re worried about looking washed out, add a pop of bold jewelry for some drama! For example, emerald earrings will stand out beautifully against an ivory gown, while purple sapphire earrings will make a statement against beige or khaki. Another way to create contrast without being in your face is by wearing one statement necklace and matching earrings. Avoid chunky necklaces, though – they’ll cover up your gorgeous gown!

Avoid Fluffy White Accessories

While fluffy white accessories are adorable and perfect for the winter season, avoid them when it comes to wedding attire. If your invitation asks guests not to wear white, or if you’re attending an all-white affair, refrain from wearing any sort of fluffy white accessory. Instead, opt for something more neutral, like gold or silver. Make sure that none of your jewelry matches another guest. Try to find out who is also attending before you buy anything so as not to duplicate someone else’s look.

Try adding some beading detail onto your dress with pearls or beads, but make sure they’re small enough, so they don’t overwhelm the rest of your outfit. Pair one simple necklace with earrings and a bracelet for an effortless look that will still match your ensemble! The last rule is to always go with what makes you feel most confident on your big day – even if it means going against these rules!

Skip the Strappy Heels

Step away from the towering heels. There’s nothing wrong with pumps, but skip strappy high heels unless you’re sure they’ll be comfortable all night. Strappy shoes can feel very precarious when dancing or even walking downstairs in them. Plus, these are special occasion shoes, and you want to be able to wear them more than once for other occasions. If your shoes look uncomfortable, don’t try them on (or buy them).

Your feet will thank you later! When it comes to your hair, opt for some lovely curls or an updo. You want your hair to be out of the way, so you’re not worrying about it while trying to enjoy yourself. Choose some simple jewelry that complements the dress – no need for tons of bling because your dress is already quite showy. When it comes to makeup, go natural; save those big eyeshadow looks and heavy lipstick shades for another time.

Go for Understated Décor

White is the quintessential color for weddings. These days, guests are eager to show off their bridal bling by donning white instead of an outdated all-white ensemble. This has led some vendors and wedding planners to report an uptick in demand for white clothing and understated décor that won’t upstage your sophisticated ensembles. While everyone wants to look good, nobody wants to steal attention from the bride!

Stick with subtle floral arrangements, soft-colored wedding centerpieces, soft lighting, and chic accessories like pearls or lace gloves. Remember that you want to be able to enjoy yourself on your big day without feeling like you’re constantly being watched – so find a balance between looking like you care about fashion while also not coming across as self-absorbed.

Ensure Comfort Over Style

Casual wearing

While the bride will usually get the first choice regarding what color she would like the bridesmaids to wear, white is traditionally one of those colors, and there’s not unusual for there to be rules about who wears what. Women generally wear knee-length or above dresses, whereas anything below the knee for women is usually reserved for junior bridesmaids. Bridesmaids should also keep religious observances, such as wearing long sleeves if required.

Matching your outfit with the bride’s mother can also be a good idea – they might have a dress they bought and then realized they didn’t need it anymore, so you can look elegant without spending too much money on something you’ll only wear once. However, if the bride’s mother opts for an off-white color instead of stark white, it may signify that other guests are permitted to do so. Some wedding invitations even state whether or not guests are allowed to wear black shoes, while others allow red ones instead. If all else fails, just ask the maid of honor!

Keep Textures Light and Soft

Ensure your wedding dress, shoes, and accessories have light and soft textures. A crisp white tuxedo or snowy white lace dress are perfect choices. It’s best not to wear metallic jewelry in this scenario as it may be seen as gaudy and flashy. Stick with pearls, crystals, and ivory-colored pearls for an elegant touch.

A pair of simple gold or silver earrings are also the perfect choice for an addition to the outfit. Choose to accessorize your hair with soft curls rather than wearing up styles such as ponytails, buns, etc., which can make you look too formal. Finish off the outfit with soft makeup and neutral lip color. The goal is to look like you’re attending a traditional church service, not getting married!

Avoid Wearing All White

All white might seem like the perfect choice but think twice before you take the plunge. While it’s the most common and expected, don’t be surprised if someone looks over at you and says Wow, she’s wearing all white. If you want to stand out from the crowd and make a fashion statement of your own, consider another color or stick with lighter shades of white. Mixing different whites or wearing pastels instead of primary colors is also an excellent way to break tradition. These decisions will set you apart from the other women wearing all-white dresses.

The most important thing is just to have fun! With all the planning involved in weddings, it’s easy to forget that they’re supposed to be one of the happiest days of your life. That being said, stay within these rules, and you’ll never go wrong!

Select the Primary Color Other Than White

Dress in red, gold, cream, or pale pink to complement the bride and groom. Use neutral colors like black or brown only when appropriate and when you will be standing out against other dark-colored outfits. Some brides and grooms are more relaxed about what color their guests wear, so if you are invited to a more relaxed wedding that does not specify an all-white dress code, feel free to opt for another color! For example, if the bride has picked a palette of shades of browns and grays with just an accent of gold and dusty rose among all the neutrals, then a red accent dress would be perfect!

Never Wear Anything Sheer

You’ll probably obsess over the idea of wearing white at your wedding and have many conversations with your bridesmaids. So here are some of our guidelines on how to wear white on your wedding day. Some things are an absolute no-no, like anything sheer or tattered (we’re looking at you, poor Gertrude), so let’s start there. No matter what dress style you go with, the rules still apply. For example, if you’re wearing a full skirt that would show off any undergarments—let’s just say we don’t want to see that—then the only thing that should be showing underneath it is skin!

Now, this rule can be bent depending on the hemline of your dress; as long as it isn’t too short, you should be safe from being seen in any other way than up close. You might even get away with wearing high-waisted panties since they will never be seen.

Watch Out for Mixing Prints

Mixing prints is one of many people’s most common fashion mistakes. If you’re wearing a bright floral print dress and want to wear white shoes, you’ll look like you have on two different patterns at once. If your dress is printed in white color, you should probably just wear black heels instead of shoes in any other color. You can also try matching a different shade of the same pattern so that it blends with your outfit without breaking the wedding dress code. If you don’t want to worry about all this or are attending an informal event where colors are not a concern, mix your patterns – keep them subtle.

Wear Bright Colors With White If The Wedding is Casual

The rule of thumb when it comes to wearing white at a wedding is that anything goes! You might feel safest going with all white, but you’ll have more fun if you mix it up. If the event is formal or semi-formal, you can wear any colors you want so long as they’re lighter than the bride’s dress. To ensure your outfit doesn’t compete with her gown, go for light blue, pink, or yellow. And don’t forget to match your accessories and jewelry – from shoes and purses to headbands and necklaces.

Conclusion

Planning for a wedding can be stressful, especially since it is such an intimate event with all of your closest friends and family. One thing you can always count on is that if you wear white to a wedding, the dress should not be too formal or too ornate. Luckily, some people can wear white at the wedding while still looking awesome: bride’s maids. Even though they have the most challenging job of helping plan the entire wedding, they can relax regarding what color dress they will wear on their best friend’s big day.

If the groom wants to make sure his best man doesn’t steal the thunder by wearing a tuxedo, he can inform him ahead of time so he can wear a suit in any other color but white. When picking out shoes, ensure you don’t look like Cinderella with her glass slipper! And lastly, don’t forget the parents – even if they may not be walking down the aisle with their son or daughter, Mom and Dad deserve to look stunning just as much as anyone else does on this special occasion.

wear white wedding dress

Frequently Asked Questions About Wearing White as a Wedding Guest

Should I Only Wear White If I’m At a Bridal Party?

No. Although it’s customary to wear white at the bridal party, it’s okay to wear a white dress or suit if you’re not at the wedding. Many couples prefer their guests to wear something bright and colorful so they can be spotted easily during the reception festivities. In addition, many people know how many colors can be associated with different cultures and faiths (for example, black is traditionally worn at funerals). As such, while wearing white may not typically have any specific connotations associated with it other than being traditional, plenty of other colors do.

Do My Shows Need to Match My Dress?

As long as you wear something formal, you’ll be fine. If you’re wearing white shoes and your dress has straps, then yes. If it doesn’t have straps, you can wear either flat or heel shoes that go with the dress’s color. Don’t worry about matching your accessories to the color of your shoes; make sure they’re not inappropriate for a wedding.

What If I Want My Nails to Be Different?

If you don’t want to match your nails to the wedding dress code, think about where the event is being held and dress in accordance. For example, if it’s taking place at an outside venue, then maybe wear red toga sandals or tangerine-orange polish. You’ll be able to see your hands when you clap, so let those do all the talking!

Does It Matter If My Purse Isn’t White?

It doesn’t have to be white. It just has to match your outfit and not have too much contrast against it. If you’re going for the polished look, then, yes, try to have a purse that matches. We recommend sticking to earth tones or trying neutrals like black, navy blue, brown, or taupe. Stay away from reds and yellows that will add too much visual interest in the middle of your outfit! For all-white outfits, avoid shoes with colored soles. Stick with neutral colors like black, navy blue, or tan, which will work well with any color dress. You’ll also want to skip wearing jewelry that might distract attention from your outfit—too many accessories can make an outfit feel cluttered, so we recommend playing up only one piece at a time and keeping things simple!

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