Etiquette School is in session! > "Why would I want to do that?"

Don't outshine the bride...smaids?

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A while back I attended the wedding of a lifelong friend- not an exceptionally close friend, just someone I'd grown up with.   Her bridesmaids were three friends from college (whom I had never met) and her older sister was the matron of honor.  I had no expectations of being asked to be part of the wedding and was honored that she had included me in her guest list.

 I was broke, so I had to go to my closet to find something to wear.  I chose a dress I had purchased while studying abroad in France: a simple but elegant black, woven, tea-length dress with spaghetti straps a few cream-colored flowers embroidered on one side of the skirt.  I figured it was classy enough for the church ceremony but also comfortable and durable enough for the outdoor reception that was to follow. 

The ceremony was beautiful and the bride looked stunning.  Afterwards, when I came through the receiving line, she greeted me happily and introduced me to her new husband, and her parents and sister all told me how good it was to see me again.  My parents and I headed to the reception - where several guests approached me and asked, "Where you TRYING to match the bridesmaids?" in that sickly-sweet tone that is full of underlying accusations.  It was then that I realized my dress was black and cream, and the bridesmaids dresses were black and ivory.  They looked NOTHING alike- the bridesmaid dresses were made of a silky fabric with a sheen, strapless, with a knee-length bubble-skirt and a removable ivory sash- but the coloring was very similar.  Well, NOW I remembered at the bridal shower several months earlier (the bride's and MOB's work schedules wouldn't allow for a shower closer to the wedding) that she had mentioned her colors were black and ivory, but I hadn't remembered that until now. 

I don't know why people would think I was deliberately trying to match the bridesmaids!  Did they think I was mad at the bride for not asking me to be part of the bridal party?  If the bridesmaid dresses had been more distinctive or if my dress had looked like something from a bridal shop (I don't see much woven linen with embroidery in bridal shops!), it might have been one thing, but to have such neutral colors and obviously different dresses??   I wish I had known the "Why would I want do that?" line!

It didn't appear that the bride and groom cared about my dress color, and, as it was their day and no one else's, I guess that should be all that matters.  However, in the back of my mind, I can't help but wonder if I committed some sort of wedding faux paus.  I know you aren't supposed to wear white and there is controversy over bright red, but is it so horrible to (unintentionally) wear the same colors as the bridesmaids, especially when it is such a neutral color? 

You forgot that this color scheme was mentioned.  The dress you wore doesn't sound like a standard bridesmaid style; therefore no faux pas.

Library Dragon:
No faux paus. I've unknowingly  shown up in bridal party colors and no one batted an eye.  It happens. The others were off for commenting.

Might they not have meant it as a put-down but were just making an observation? I know that I might have made a similar comment to someone, not being serious, just saying it as a conversation-starter or chit-chat to fill silence and meaning it like a "Oh, look at how clever and observant I am. I just noticed that you match the color scheme."

Considering that the "little black dress" is pretty much a standard for weddings and other social occasions, I think anyone who picks black as their wedding color has to expect that some guests will match the bridesmaids. And I say that as someone who had black and white bridesmaids dresses.


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