A Do or a Don’t? Wearing White to a Wedding When You Aren’t the Bride

We have always been taught it’s a no no to attend a wedding as guest in a white dress. But, white dresses are very in style right now and Pippa Middleton confused us all when she wore not just a white dress to the Royal Wedding, but a long, white, Maid of Honor dress by the same designer as Kate.

To be fair, there was nothing normal about the over-the-top nuptials that cost an estimated $32 million. There have long been many schools of thought on wedding attire “ don’t wear something too bright, don’t wear black and never never wear white. Times have obviously changed as now one can go to a wedding and see red, pink, purple, green, black and every color of the rainbow on guests without thinking twice about it. However, a guest in white can still elicit a double take from others. But, is this no-white rule fading along with the others?

So, what gives Pippa? Was she trying to steal Kate’s thunder? Was the younger sister possibly experiencing a bad case of sibling envy? Well, who wouldn’t? Her gorgeous sister was walking down the aisle to her a prince in a one-of-a-kind Alexander McQueen wedding gown. But, alas, jealousy is not the issue here. It turns out; the rules are different across the pond. It is a superstition in the United Kingdom that if bridesmaids wear white and dress similarly to the bride, they will ward off evil spirits.

Peggy Post, of the Emily Post Institute, which has been promoting etiquette around the world since 1946, claims that wearing white to a wedding is OK as long as it isn’t remotely bridal. Remotely bridal is a subjective term though. So, while you may think your lace, white shift dress steers clear of any bridal wear, the bride and her guests may think otherwise.  The Knot, a popular modern wedding magazine has a more strict view of the rule. Their experts believe that white is reserved exclusively for the bride. It is the bride’s special day and any version of the hue, even a cream, off-white, or ivory, can take the attention away from her. 

If you want to play it safe and make sure not to offend anyone, it’s probably best to opt for another color option. Even if the bride thinks it’s ok for you to wear white to her wedding, one of the many other guests most likely thinks it’s rude. Play it safe and save your new white number for church or a cocktail party.

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Tags: bride, royal wedding, style, weddings, white dress

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