I recently came across a post where Peggy Post of the Emily Post Institute informed a reader that she could wear a white cocktail dress as a guest to a wedding. (It’s the second question in the link.)
It blew my mind.
I’ve written on this topic before, and said, more or less: “No! Don’t wear white, guests! Seriously!” Btw, the adorable lady above is not a guest, but a bride (and my sister-in-law). You’ll see why she’s included in this post in a bit.
With this new stance from Peggy Post, I decided to check back in with myself and see if my feelings have changed on the subject.
(Two second later….)
They have not.
Maybe I’m a fuddy-duddy — and the fact that I’m using the word “fuddy-duddy” is probably a pretty good sign that I am one — but I just don’t get this desire that non-brides feel to wear white to a wedding.
But in an attempt to be open-minded, I am now going to list the reasons that I could be wrong.
- Weddings are more relaxed, and I need to chill out and not care if guests wear white to a wedding. (OK, that’s a possibility.)
- Brides don’t even regularly wear white anymore, so why should the color be off limits to the rest of us?
That’s all I can think of. I think these reasons are mediocre at best. Am I missing something?
Here are my reasons for guests to never ever wear white to a wedding.
- With weddings becoming more casual, it’s not uncommon for brides to wear short white dresses that don’t have traditional bridal details. (Note the dresses in this post, above and below.) If as a guest you wear a short white dress too, you may end up looking a little more like the bride than you expected.
- Even if you ask the bride if you can wear white and she says yes, it’s possible she said that to be nice and doesn’t actually feel that way. She doesn’t want to hang out in the fuddy-duddy corner with me. But she’s hanging out there in her heart, folks.
- Maybe the bride truly doesn’t mind you wearing white. That doesn’t mean no one else (her family included) will. Do you really want to wonder all night whether people are whispering about you behind your back? I’ll tell it to you straight: They are. And you can say it’s their problem (it is) and they’re being catty about something that isn’t important (they are), but you’re the one who will probably feel weird about the whole thing all night long. It’s not like you can wear a sign saying, “The bride said I could!”
- It’s rare in life when we have a designated color intended to make us stand out on an important day. Maybe I’m alone in my opinion, but I think there’s something nice about this and see no need to upend it.
- There are so many other colors. Why do you need to wear white? Seriously.
And let me say for the record, I am a white dress-loving maniac. I saw a white, strapless, eyelet dress just the other day that I really, really wanted to live in my closet. It would have been the perfect summer frock for a outdoor July wedding I’m attending — except that it was white. I have since tried to concoct imaginary events I might need to wear it to, but I am unconvincing. I have not purchased it.
All that is to say, white has a pull on me too. I just resist it for other people’s wedding. I also resist it for engagement parties, bridal showers and rehearsal dinners because I’ve noticed more brides wearing it for these events too. There’s no set rule about this (i.e., no one is likely to talk about you behind your back if you wear white to these events). I just figure, let the bride have that color if she wants it for all her wedding events — if for no other reason, it makes her easy to spot.
So I’ve rambled on at length on this one. It’s time to see what you think. I already asked in an old post whether you thought it was appropriate for guests to wear white — feel free to click through and weigh in. So this time, I’m going to ask something slightly different:Sorry, there are no polls available at the moment.
If you’re the bride, you can find a beautiful dress at a local bridal shop!