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We all know that it’s taboo to wear white to a wedding. It’s the bride’s day– let her own the color for just one evening. The thing is, though, that the gray area surrounding the ambiguous ritual isn’t usually addressed. Does ivory count as white? Are printed whites acceptable? Are white skirts an exception to the rule? While packing for Kyle’s cousin’s farm-style wedding in Colorado, I did a little research on the whole wearing white to a wedding debate. To be honest, I had just received this darling floral chiffon maxi dress in the mail– and I really wanted an excuse to wear it. I’m fairly certain this is a dilemma most avid female wedding goers have faced. Although a zipper malfunction prohibited me from actually getting to test out these theories for myself, I found some interesting perspectives on the subject.
Wearing White to a Wedding: Yea or Nay?
When it comes to wearing white to a wedding, there are certain styles you want to always want to steer clear of– like anything that even comes close to resembling a wedding dress. This includes white lace (length is irrelevant) or any floor-length ivory gowns. According to Cosmo, “You want your dress to look as little like a wedding dress as possible. This means no lace, no beading, no tulle, no chiffon, and no maxi skirts. Leave those elements for the bride. Besides, all that fussy stuff doesn’t really feel that modern anyway. When you’re wearing white to a wedding that’s not your own, you want to look modern.”
A 2016 BRIDES American Wedding Study gave some really interesting insight into the latest wedding trends that I wanted to share. Even though 93% of brides still choose a white or off-white wedding dress color, there are a number of ways to get away with wearing white to a wedding without looking bridal. White-based prints, like this breezy pink floral chiffon maxi dress, white pants and/or jumpsuits, and heavy colorful accessories are all viable solutions.
Lastly, and most importantly, you need to consider the personality of the bride. Read the situation accordingly. Now-a-days, more and more brides (11% according to BRIDES) are looking to make a splash by wearing something non-traditional themselves, like a cocktail-length dress, separates, jumpsuits, and non-white gowns. If this is your bride, you’re probably 100% in the clear. If your bride has been planning her fairy tale wedding since she was 4 and is more on the traditional side, maybe don’t wear white to avoid offending her– and potentially getting thrown out. It does happen.
Wearing White to a Wedding: How to Do It (If You Dare)
As mentioned above, white-based prints are widely acceptable. If you’re nervous about them, try to choose a bold or colorful all-over print, like this pretty pink floral design, to distract from the white base. This particular style is light, breezy, and features a tiered skirt– all characteristics of a non-traditional wedding gown. It makes a killer fancy brunch, date night, and/or church outfit, too. Plus, it’s currently on sale for $65 and is worth every penny! I ordered an XS, and it fits true to size. You can find full outfit details at the bottom of this post.
What are your thoughts on wearing white to a wedding? For more wedding guest outfit inspiration, click here for a round-up of spring wedding guest dresses under $50. If you’re a fan of vintage, click here for an affordable $18 dress you’ll love!