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What does it mean when a guest wears white at a wedding?

Everyone knows that a bride wears a white gown while walking down the aisle on her wedding day, but what about guests who show up to the wedding wearing white? Is it acceptable or just a big no-no? It’s a tricky situation, and one that raises a lot of questions when a guest chooses to wear white to a wedding. In this post, we will explore what it means when a guest wears white to a wedding and how it can affect the bride’s big day.

The History of the White Wedding Dress

Before we talk about what it means when a guest wears white to a wedding, let’s take a trip back in history to understand why brides wear white on their wedding day. In the past, many brides would opt to wear colorful dresses for their weddings or choose their best dress for the occasion. However, in 1840, Queen Victoria set a new trend for brides when she wore a white gown for her wedding to Prince Albert.

The Queen’s decision to wear a white gown was seen as a symbol of wealth, purity and innocence. Since then, the white wedding dress has become the norm across Western cultures and has remained one of the most important elements of a wedding.

The Etiquette of Wearing White at Weddings

The rule of thumb is very clear, guests should never wear white to a wedding. White is the color of the bride and it is the color that is reserved for her on her special day. It is considered disrespectful for a guest to wear the same color as the bride and compete for attention.

There are a few exceptions, however, such as when the bride specifically asks her guests to dress in white or if the wedding theme is white. In these cases, wearing white could be seen as part of the dress code or expected attire, making it acceptable.

The Meaning Behind Wearing White at Weddings

When a guest wears white to a wedding, it can mean a few things. It could be that the guest simply loves the color and wants to wear it to the wedding without thinking about the significance of the color. However, it could also mean that the guest is trying to compete with the bride and upstage her on her big day.

According to Samantha Leenheer, creative director and planner at Samantha Joy Events in Ohio, wearing white “can be seen as if you are stealing attention or trying to upstage the bride in some way.” The bride is the center of attention on her wedding day, and wearing white as a guest can be seen as a way of stealing that spotlight.

How to Avoid Wearing White at Weddings

If you’re attending a wedding and want to avoid making the faux pas of wearing white, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, always check with the bride or wedding planner to see if there is a specific dress code or if white is off-limits.

Second, steer clear of dresses or outfits that could be mistaken for a wedding dress. This means avoiding anything with a long train, veil, or lace details that look too much like a bridal gown.

Lastly, try to opt for other colors that are appropriate for wedding attire. Pastel colors, bright hues, and floral prints are all great options that are festive and joyful without upstaging the bride on her big day.


Wearing white to a wedding as a guest is a big no-no, and for good reason. The color is reserved for the bride, and wearing it could be seen as an attempt to compete for attention. Always think twice before choosing your outfit for a wedding and avoid making the mistake of wearing white. Instead, opt for other festive colors and prints that will help you celebrate the couple without drawing attention away from them on their special day.


Can a non virgin wear a white wedding dress?

Traditionally, a white wedding dress was a symbol of purity and virginity. It was believed that only virgins should wear white on their wedding day, and if a bride wasn’t a virgin, then they would typically wear a colored dress instead. However, this idea has started to become outdated, and nowadays, it’s much more common to see non-virgin brides wearing white wedding dresses.

In fact, many people now believe that the idea that you must be ‘pure’ in order to wear a white dress is rather outdated. Many brides choose to wear white on their wedding day, even if they aren’t a virgin, or even if they have children already. These days, white is merely chosen because it’s traditional and is seen as a symbol of celebration, joy, and new beginnings.

It’s important to remember that the decision about what color of dress to wear on your wedding day is a personal one, and there are no hard and fast rules about it. it’s up to the bride to choose what she feels comfortable and confident wearing. Some brides may prefer to stick with tradition and wear a colored dress if they aren’t virgins, while others may feel that a white dress is perfectly appropriate.

The old tradition that only virgins should wear white on their wedding day is becoming less relevant in modern times. While some brides may choose to follow this tradition, ultimately the decision about what color to wear is up to the individual. What really matters is that the bride feels beautiful and happy on her special day, no matter what color she chooses to wear.

Is it OK to wear white floral to a wedding?

The question of whether or not it’s acceptable to wear white floral to a wedding can be a bit of a tricky one. Traditionally, wearing white to a wedding has been considered a major faux pas, as white is typically reserved for the bride. However, in recent years, there has been a bit of a shift in thinking when it comes to wedding attire, and it’s become more common to see guests sporting shades of white and ivory.

While white is technically still off-limits in most cases, white florals are a bit of a different story. White floral dresses and accessories can be a beautiful and elegant choice for a wedding guest, especially for a spring or summer wedding. Floral prints are a classic choice for wedding attire, and pairing them with a white background can create a fresh and feminine look.

That being said, it’s important to exercise caution when choosing a white floral ensemble for a wedding. You don’t want to choose a dress that is too bridal-looking or that could be mistaken for the bride’s gown. Stick to dresses that are clearly meant to be worn by a guest, rather than a bride or bridesmaid.

Additionally, it’s always a good idea to consider the couple’s personal preferences and the overall vibe of the wedding when choosing your attire. If you know the couple is more traditional, it’s probably best to stick to non-white colours, even if you love the look of a white floral dress. And if the wedding is black tie, a white floral sundress may not be the most appropriate choice.

Wearing white floral to a wedding can be a beautiful and stylish choice, but it’s important to do so with caution and respect for the couple’s wishes. As long as you’re mindful of the situation and choose an appropriate outfit, you’re sure to look lovely and be a welcome guest at any wedding.

Is wearing white okay?

The rule about not wearing white after Labor Day until Memorial Day is an old-fashioned decree that some people still follow today. However, it’s worth noting that this “rule” is not a law, but rather a longstanding fashion tradition. It is believed that this tradition dates back to the early 1900s when wealthy Americans would return from their summer vacations and put away their light-colored clothing in favor of darker fall and winter clothing. As such, wearing white was considered a summer look.

However, fashion evolves over time, and many people today do not follow this tradition. In fact, white can be a stylish and appropriate color to wear year-round, depending on the occasion and how it’s accessorized. For instance, a white sweater with dark jeans and boots can be a great look for a winter outing. Likewise, a white linen sundress paired with wedges or sandals can be perfect for a summer day.

The decision to wear white after Labor Day is a personal one and depends on individual preferences and circumstances. If you feel confident and comfortable in white, there is no reason to limit yourself to wearing it only during certain times of the year. The most important thing is to wear what makes you feel your best and suits the occasion and weather.