Google+ Personal Archives - Page 43 of 43 - Southern Weddings

Southern Weddings

Category: Personal

Welcome to our new series!  Every so often we’ll be discussing a common (or not-so-common) etiquette quandary, so feel free to send a query our way.

A while back, one of our favorite photographers, Fred Egan, posted a photo of himself preparing to shoot a wedding.  He was dressed smartly, as anyone who knows Mr. Egan would not be surprised to hear.  The only catch?  He was wearing white. 

Image credits, clockwise from top left: A Bryan Photo in Martha Stewart Weddings (yay Bryan and team!); from Fred Egan’s Twitter; A Bryan Photo; Sugar Love Weddings

After seeing his photo, we had a debate in the office over whether Fred had crossed the etiquette line.  I, having recently read the most recent edition of Emily Post’s Etiquette cover to cover (embarrassing but true), didn’t think Fred had done anything wrong.  When we asked what people thought about wearing white to a wedding on Twitter, however, the responsive was, shall we say, opinionated.  So I did a little research, and here’s what I found:

From Ms. Etiquette herself:

“In the past, no female guest would dare to wear white—the bride’s traditional color.  Today, that rule is no longer in effect, and you may wear white, with caution.  Whatever the shade of white, the outfit should in no way distract from the bride’s or her attendants’ dresses.  A creamy white, street-length sheath or tailored silk suit might be just fine, but not a full-skirted, white evening gown.  If you have any qualms, wear another color.”

There’s also an interesting trend in the bridal world of the wedding party wearing white or shades of white, sometimes to the point where it’s difficult to pick out the bride.  Though aesthetically I love the look, I don’t think I would choose this option for myself.

But then again, old traditions die hard in the South. 

What about y’all?  Would you ever wear white to a wedding?  Regardless of how you would personally dress, do you think it’s wrong for a guest to wear white?  And what about the bridal party?  Tell us what you think!

Images in header c/o Millie Holloman

Written with love by Southern Weddings
  1. avatar Jenny reply

    I’m just getting used to wearing black, I would never wear white!

  2. avatar Krista Photography reply

    I shot a wedding once where all of the guests were asked to wear white! It was such a cool wedding! Of course, I’ve had a bride call me upset b/c her bridesmaid wanted to wear white… I guess it all depends on the bride!

  3. avatar Lauren reply

    Oh wow, I think it would depend on the wedding and the season, but I would never wear a white dress to a wedding! When I was looking for something to wear for an outdoor wedding in the spring, I didn’t even want to wear a black and white dress! I personally had someone wear a white dress at my wedding, and I wasn’t too happy. As for the bridal party, I think it’s incredibly elegant to have an all white wedding!

  4. avatar Kellie S reply

    I say it’s an absolutely NO NO! It’s disrespectful, I really don’t care that times have changed, I believe this is one tradition that should be kept. I hate going to weddings when all the groomsmen have on white tuxs, its almost borderline tacky. At the most the groom (besides the bride) should be the only one in white. Also I think it is very distracting to see someone else in white when it’s pretty much known that only the bride should have on white.

  5. avatar Brit reply

    While I consider myself to be a very modern and foward-thinking bride and planner, I do not believe that a guest should wear white to a wedding. Especially since nowadays, brides are opting for different styles of wedding gowns, having a guest show up in a white, floor length sheath, is still pretty borderline.I am all for breaking tradition, but this one just sticks with me!

  6. avatar Stacy Reeves reply

    In an era where most wedding etiquette rules are falling by the wayside, I think this is one that is still very much in place. White should be reserved only for the bride, unless otherwise noted. I once had a bride pay me several hundred dollars in retouching fees to have a wedding guests who wore white removed from every single wedding photo. The bride was extremely upset that the guest would commit one of the most well-known wedding faux pas and considered it a personal insult. Not every bride feels this strongly about it, but I think this is one of those situations where it’s best to just avoid the whole thing altogether and wear a different color.

  7. avatar Megan reply

    Just a little tidbit I’ve read, although I do not if it is true or not, is that in the ancient Roman days (maybe?) the bridesmaids would wear white to confuse the devil who apparently was after the bride :)

  8. avatar Southern Weddings reply

    Yes, true Megan. Also, we’ve heard that bridesmaids would wear white to confuse potential suitors who would try to whisk her away on her wedding day.

  9. avatar Sarah reply

    Perhaps this is a little harsh, but as a bride-to-be I would be beyond upset if another lady chose to wear white to my wedding. I’m somewhat open to the off-white, maybe even blush (a la Christina Aguleria’s wedding) trend for bridesmaids. But guests- no mam.

  10. avatar Elizabeth Witt Walters reply

    I chose white for my bridesmaids and loved the way it looked. Our entire wedding was black and white and I couldn’t think of a color that I wanted to last forever in my pictures! As a guest, however, I would not wear white.

  11. avatar Amandita reply

    I think it is fine for the bridesmaids to wear white, as obviously they would all coordinate their looks with the bride,…not that I would ever let my two sisters get away with wearing white on my day!I also can’t imagine wearing white to a wedding that wasn’t my own, unless I added a splash of color with a wrap and big jewelry.

  12. avatar Laura Reaux reply

    Interesting topic! I feel like it should be alright for guests to wear white if, as mentioned, it isn’t a full-skirted gown. That said… I personally probably would not wear white to a wedding in case that bride feels sensitive about the subject. In the end, it is HER day.

  13. avatar Meredith reply

    You are right, traditions do die hard in the South. But I think that some traditions are hard to let go because they aren’t supposed to be let go at all. They were meant to stand the test of time. So, with that in mind, absolutely no white to a wedding, and I think that a cream or off-white might be pushing it. I know that if I wore white to someone’s wedding, besides my own, my grandmother would roll over in her grave and my mother would skin my hide.

  14. avatar Tessa, Utah Bride and Groom reply

    Unless the reception calls for guests to dress all in white (which cold be very chic—think of P Diddy’s white party), I would say wearing white to a wedding is a no-no for ladies, maybe not as much for males. But I LOVE white for the bridal party—very ethereal, romantic and stylish!

  15. avatar Southern Weddings reply

    Elizabeth- I LOVED your wedding (shot by Michael Norwood) and thought the bridesmaids in white were perfect. {Elizabeth’s wedding was our very FIRST Southern Wedding of the Week:} Gorgeous! – LARA

  16. avatar notsojenny reply

    i’ve gotta agree with most others. i realize rules change and while i’m sure it can be done with great respect and look fantastic i could never wear white to someone else’s wedding. heck, i refuse to accept "winter white" and still refuse to wear any white after labor day… no matter HOW much i LOVE my shoes!!

  17. avatar Miss Type A reply

    Although I’m planning more of a casual wedding, and I’m not diehard about many traditions… I would be upset if a guest wore white to my wedding. I think it’s a different story if you CHOOSE to have your bridesmaids wear white. I would not choose this, but I think the look is different and modern and can look great if it is what the Bride wants. I would absolutely never wear white to another person’s wedding, so I expect that they would not wear it to mine.

  18. avatar Erin @ Blue-Eyed Bride reply

    For guests, I don’t think white to a wedding is ever acceptable. I mentioned a guest at a wedding I recently attended who wore white in one of my blog posts. One of the commenters said, "It’s hard NOT to wear white because so many summer dresses are white." I just find it hard to believe that someone doesn’t have any other color dress to wear so she must wear white to a wedding.I still ask myself, "Is it late enough in the day to wear black to this wedding?" I guess I’m super traditional.Now, bridesmaids wearing white… that’s up to the bride. I have no problem with that because that would be her decision and it’s her wedding. But guests don’t call the bride and ask, "Is it okay if I wear white to your wedding?" :)

  19. avatar Charity reply

    Most guests {I’m assuming!} will not have read Emily Post’s Etiquette book, so although she says white on guests is now allowable, I can just imagine the looks and comments that a guest in white would receive…especially from some of the older female guests! I’m all for revamping tradition, but not doing away with it totally! This is one wedding day rule that should stay firmly in place!Great topic!

  20. avatar Amy reply

    I have worn white…. or I should say cream to a wedding, but I accessorized with a big black lace belt, red shoes and a red necklace. Before going to the wedding, i also OK’ed it with the bride who was one of my good friends.As for an all white bridal party…. that was my original intention for my wedding, but after finding my dress, that changed! I still love the look of all white weddings, though, and I hope to one day be able to design the invites for such an event! (i’m about to start my own business doing this!)

  21. avatar Amy b. reply

    Okay, honestly… when I read the problem with the whole white thing.. I went… umm what?I had forgotten you shouldn’t wear white. Seriously, I’ve never worn white to wedding… and not really even my own. My Wai-ching dress is white… and ORANGE. And a guy in white? Um… I don’t get it. No one… no one… is going to confuse a guy wearing white for the bride (or probably even the groom) UNLESS it was a gay marriage. And well then does it matter even then?No. Sorry. I kind of vented there, but I guess I don’t see the big deal and never have. Maybe it’s because I don’t have the being upstaged complex.. or really bitchy friends (why would you invite them to your wedding in the first place?) and it never bothered me. *shrug* People may look prettier than me on my wedding day… to someone.. but they won’t look prettier than me to the people who matter… ie: my husband!! Seriously.

  22. avatar Leslee Mitchell reply

    Personally I wouldn’t DARE wear white to a wedding as a guest. And now that I think about it, I can admit that I would probably look down my nose at someone who did. As far as the bridesmaids wearing white, I think it would definitely depend on the setting and in the perfect setting it could be stunning!!!! And the right photographer could rock an all white wedding.However, and because I am rarely an actual guest at a wedding rather the photographer, I HAVE NO EARTHLY IDEA how Fred pulled off all white while shooting a wedding. That is insane. Maybe it’s just me or my style of shooting, but I get filthy when I shoot b/c I shoot lying on the ground a lot. And I don’t skimp on my wedding attire b/c of this. But I definitely DON’T show up in all white. If I did it would definitely draw attention away from the bride b/c my all white would be all mud & all grass stains before the bride ever made it down the aisle. But hey, kudos to Fred for being able to pull it off. I’m more than impressed for sure. What works for him is what he should continue doing. And he’s the style man, so an all white suit is definitely something only he could rock. WAY TO GO FRED!!!!

  23. avatar JLT reply

    I think the comment from one of Erin’s posts (Blue-Eyed Bride) is ridiculous! If someone "can’t" find anything other than white to wear to a wedding I think they are just trying to make someone upset. I don’t get this. Why would you want to even have the small chance of upsetting someone on their big day. My best friend got married in June and TWO women wore white! I wanted to ask them to leave. I think it is disrespectful and silly. I don’t know why this gets me so worked up. But every woman knows this "rule" and so many choose to ignore it anyways. As far as wearing black goes, I am completely ok with that and would honestly believe someone who said they don’t have anything other than black dresses. I think the majority of brides would not be upset because someone wore a black dress to their wedding. And as a matter of fact, I’m wearing one to an evening wedding this weekend. Great topic!

  24. avatar kjb reply

    oh, i do not think it is a good idea to wear white to a wedding. it is the bride’s day, after all, so she should stand out! with so many other beautiful colors to wear, stick with tradition and skip the white to the wedding.however, the all shades of white for bridesmaids is beautiful! if the bride picks white for you, then of course it’s ok.

  25. avatar Victoria Joanne reply

    I don’t like the look of the bridal party wearing white.. it’s just too in competition with the bride. And the white suit that wasn’t too apealing either LOL As for guests wearing white to a wedding. Well if it was a little white with some color mixed in as in some kind of accent that was prominent that would be arlight but all white… that would be tack in my opinion… again competion for the bride in a way. Also other colors and especially styles would be inapropiate to wear too… I was at a wedding one time and there were to women who were totally hookered out LOL – one was in a tight black sequin mini dress – and the other in a tight red mini dress – they looked as though they had a date for the steet corner after the wedding :) So color isn’t the only issue it’s also design/style of dress. :)

  26. avatar stbmnola reply

    I am a second time bride. My future mother-in-law wore white to my first wedding and while I knew she was going to do so (and honestly, wasn’t thrilled about it but kept my mouth shut and let it go), there were guests who definitely looked down their nose at her. After the wedding, there were certainly a fair number of people who mentioned it to me and felt she was very rude to have done so. Well, honestly, there are more important things in life than to get upset over that and let it cause strife within the family. ha haWith that being said, I do think that it is rude to wear white to a wedding unless the bride has specifically requested you do so (like if they are doing an all white wedding and the bride is wearing a red dress or something like that). As a guest, I also try to find out (if I can) what color the bridesmaids are wearing and stay away from that. I think being considerate is part of being a good guest. Just like you should never (IMO) bring a gift to the reception- have it sent to the home instead. But a lot of people do bring gifts to the reception. *shrug*

  27. avatar Girl Dresses reply

    Fantastic post on girls dresses. Well I am also doing this business related to flower girls dresses which is mostly use in wedding and parties and this post will help to make my dresses more effective and fashionable.

  28. avatar suz reply

    Is it still bad to wear a dress that is patterned with a white background? I have a very sweet summery dress that is white with large blue flowers on it — is that bad to wear to wedding? OR are we just talking about strictly plain white dresses?

  29. avatar Wholesale Clothing reply

    There’s also an interesting trend in the bridal world of the wedding party wearing white or shades of white, sometimes to the point where it’s difficult to pick out the bride.

  30. avatar Maryam reply

    I would never wear white, black, or red to a wedding. No way. Not in a pattern, nothing – there are so many other colors out there that a person could wear and you can go find an outfit that is an appropriate color.

  31. avatar Boys Wedding Suits reply

    I absolutely adore this wedding! The dress are so elegant and beautiful.

Southern Weddings reserves the right to delete comments which contain profanity or personal attacks or seek to promote a business unrelated to the post.  And remember: a good attitude is like kudzu – it spreads.  We love hearing your kind thoughts!

Reply to: