It’s Personal: Don’t Wear White to a Wedding

Disclaimer: My thoughts about this are solely my own and are contingent on NOT being asked to wear white. If your goal is an all white wedding, I’m here for it, but that is not my goal.

“Cardinal Rule of Wedding Etiquette in Western culture is that guests, specifically female guests, should never wear white.” (

“White is reserved for the Bride, a tradition established by England’s Queen Victoria in the late 19th Century.” (

The only thing that stood out to me in the entire article was ‘wedding etiquette in Western culture.’ You don’t have to like it, you don’t have to agree, you don’t even have to honor it at your own wedding but you should never, EVER show up to anyone’s wedding in white UNLESS instructed via invitation, wedding website or the bride.

I have seen it happen first hand while being a member of a bridal party and it is obvious, it is obnoxious and it is premeditated. Everyone notices you, everyone talks about you, you become the center of attention which you should not be and it makes you look extremely selfish. If you can consciously pull out a white dress, you are deliberately deciding that you are just as, if not more important, than the bride and on that day nobody is more important than the bride (and groom).

This “cardinal rule” applies to everyone including family, assuming that you have not been asked to wear white. Mother of the Bride, Mother in Law, Step Mother, Grandmother, your title does not count as an exception. I understand you’re so happy and you want to stand out and you want everyone to know this is your son or daughter getting married but do not do it. Attempting it with your own daughter is one thing but PLEASE don’t do it to your son and his wife to be, like yes you are mom but don’t ruin her day. It is already enough that the bride (and groom) are doing their very best to please everyone, don’t add fuel to the fire by trying to wear white, ivory, ecru, eggshell, any of it.

I understand the need or want to ask; I have asked a friend who was getting married myself (one time only and the outfit wasn’t all white), but after thinking about it, the fact that I had to ask should have been enough to let me know I shouldn’t be wearing it. It has never been an issue for me since.

The feeling or thought of someone showing up to my wedding in white or any shade of it actually makes me anxious. I don’t want to feel like I need to babysit adults when it comes to wardrobe, but I do want to slide in a reminder like “Yeah, No. Just Don’t.” I stand by this so strongly that if someone showed up in white or any shade of it on my wedding day I would actually ask them to leave myself.

What are your thoughts about this? Am I being too harsh or doing too much? Sound off in the comments!

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