News: There is a new Ehell Kindness Project!  Check it out in the "Extending the Hand of Kindness" folder or here:   

  • November 25, 2015, 04:39:17 PM

Login with username, password and session length

Author Topic: No white (or nearly white) to a wedding...right?  (Read 8531 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.


  • Member
  • Posts: 1293
Re: No white (or nearly white) to a wedding...right?
« Reply #45 on: June 23, 2014, 10:17:34 AM »
OP, I don't see anything wrong with the answer you're giving at all. The rule is that female wedding guests shouldn't wear a dress that could be confused with a wedding dress, so it has to do both with color and formality. A white dress with a bold pattern would ok, because it's clearly not a white wedding dress. There are certainly shades of gray - like an ivory formal suit. It is likely that the bride will be wearing something much more dressy, but why risk it?

If you feel like you're being perceived by your friends/ family as too dictatorial about it (not that I think you are), you could say in response to their question, "Well, I've been doing a lot of reading up on the etiquette books, and generally female guests stay away from an all-white dress. Other than that, the level of formality is X." That it to say, you could couch it in terms other than your own desires. However, I do not think you are being whimsical or a bridezilla at all. If people don't want an honest answer, they shouldn't ask!


  • Member
  • Posts: 4
Re: No white (or nearly white) to a wedding...right?
« Reply #46 on: June 23, 2014, 11:51:42 AM »
Personally, I think it's odd guests are running their outfits by you for approval. I would never dictate what a guest of mine could wear to any event I was hosting.

I also find the explanation for the no white rule of "don't want to be confused with the bride" a bit ridiculous. If you don't know these people well enough that they could possibly be confused as to who is getting married, why have they been invited to your wedding?


  • Member
  • Posts: 2599
Re: No white (or nearly white) to a wedding...right?
« Reply #47 on: June 23, 2014, 12:13:42 PM »
I am going to admit it.  I wore an white suit to my now SIL's wedding (well over 20 years ago now).  I had never heard this rule, and that suit was one of the nicest ones I had.  For a summer wedding I thought it was perfect-lightweight, pretty, traveled well.  I cringe a little looking back, but at the time I had honestly never, ever heard this rule.

My SIL and my PILs were gracious and never brought it up even once, though I am sure they noticed.  I have my issues with my PILs, and often make fun of their nearly hysterical hospitality (DH's wording for their over the top need to get you something, anything, every time you sit down).  But they were certainly gracious about my faux pas.

I think it is a silly rule.  Noone was going to mistake my business suit for a wedding gown.  That being said, there are plenty of rules that I think are silly that I nonetheless follow in order to get along with folks.  These days, I would never wear that outfit to a wedding.

Back to the OP:

A surprising number of the women on both sides want to wear white or ivory skirts or tops. I thought it was a pretty well-known "rule" of weddings and receptions that nobody but the bride wears any kind of "bridal" color, but evidently that's not the case? Can anyone confirm that for me?
My understanding (now) of the rule is that you should not wear a white/ivory outfit, but a white/ivory blouse or sweater would certainly be within the realm of okay and a white/ivory skirt would quite possibly be okay, depending on what it was paired with and the style of the skirt.

It's making things a bit awkward...I was able to steer people away from white on the basis that my dress is ivory, and I was afraid it'd look dingy next to a true white. But now some family members are coming back with ivory options. I'd like to find a way to communicate that I want ivory as a me-and-groom-only color (his tie will be ivory, with a different colored shirt) without sounding like a controlling bridezilla, especially to the future in-laws I don't know quite as well. Anyone have a gracious suggestion for how to do that?
I think others have had better suggestions than I would come up with on this though I do think it is a bit much to expect that noone includes a white/ivory piece in their ensemble for the day.  Since they are asking, I don't think it is out of line or bridezillaish to state a preference.

But I do think you are stretching the rule to presume that noone will have white/ivory as a component of their outfit.  Many men will almost certainly be wearing white shirts with their suits, at a minimum.  And you might even get some poor soul, like I was back then, who isn't aware and wears a white outfit.

"Anyone who considers protocol unimportant has never dealt with a cat."  Robert A. Heinlein


  • Member
  • Posts: 724
Re: No white (or nearly white) to a wedding...right?
« Reply #48 on: June 23, 2014, 12:23:20 PM »
When a friend's future MIL said she'd found a lovely ivory dress for friend's upcoming wedding, friend blurted out "But only the bride is supposed to wear white!".  Friend immediately felt terrible about it - she loved/loves her MIL and MIL had searched and searched for something flattering - and now my friend had ruined it.  Her MIL wore a 'backup' dress and friend always felt bad.

However the story served _me_ well as when my future MIL announced she had found the perfect dress - flower print on an ivory background - I was smart enough to hold my tongue and not say anything even teasingly or jokingly about wearing 'white'. 

My dress was ivory.  My MIL was lovely and happy.  I have never ever looked at pictures and compared the two shades or worried that my bridal aura was diminished in any way.


  • Member
  • Posts: 611
Re: No white (or nearly white) to a wedding...right?
« Reply #49 on: June 23, 2014, 01:09:07 PM »
Many of us (including me) said that if asked to avoid white entirely, we'd comply, even if we thought it was silly or a bit controlling.   By the way, when your guests ask you, I'm guessing they were asking about formality or length, not colors. 

If the bride told people not to wear a print dress with a white background, or a dress that is part white, and part other colors, I would feel no obligation to comply because there is no logical reason for it, and I don't feel obliged to comply with unreasonable requests. That being said, I've never known anyone to make that kind of a request.