has Kate Middleton done to wedding day fashion? I can only assume that the
Duchess of Cambridge is to blame for the number of laments I hear from
brides-to-be about their wedding guests turning up dressed in white, since
Pippa’s sister dressed her bridesmaids in shades of ivory and turned convention
on its head.
I’m honest, I actually spend more time worrying about what colour the
bridesmaids are going to be wearing as no one wants to turn up to a wedding looking
like the desperado who didn’t get picked for the team. Nonetheless, there seems
to be an undercurrent of not-so-quiet resentment amongst brides about the newly
perceived freedom to wear white when it’s not your big day.
it has to be said there are some brides out there who are really quite vocal
about their distaste for guests turning up in any shade lighter than a dove
grey. My friend got married last year and had put several remarks on her
Facebook page in a not-so-jokey way that anyone who considered turning up
dressed in white would be turned away. It was an almost farcical moment
therefore when we stood in the loo together with her somewhat tipsily
disparaging a relative who had had the audacity to wear a predominantly white
maxi dress (imagine a rant in the style of Catherine Tate’s Nan,
“Whaddaf***inliberty” etc) when said guest emerged from a cubicle and scuttled
out of the ladies.
a case to be made for the fact that you should be allowed to be the star of the
show on your own wedding day and that any guest who wears white is
disrespectfully competing with the bride. Traditionally, white was a symbol not
only of virginity, but of youth and purity too. Could it be that when more than
one member of a wedding party turns up dressed in white that they’re diluting
the sanctity of the bride’s honour?
got to be honest, my feelings on this subject verge on the mildly amused, even
though I’ve seen more than one bride-to-be getting into a tizzy on the subject.
I think that:
who goes to your wedding is going to know that you are the bride (if they don’t, why are you inviting
them?!), so the chances of them mistaking anybody else who coincidentally
happen to be wearing white are slim to none.
fashion means that even if a guest does turn up wearing white, the style
of her dress is likely to be as far away from your wedding dress as
possible. Last time I checked, silk chiffon and duchess satin weren’t
doing well on the High Street…
- I have
never met a guest who has intentionally dressed in order to rival the
bride. I have met plenty of guests who have just wanted to look their best
and chosen pretty frocks, which may happen to be of a pale hue, but none
that have ever tried to upstage the star of the show.
being said, there are a few things that throw a spanner into the works of my
logic on this one. If the bride in question has chosen to wear a coloured or
non-traditional wedding dress, does it then become more perilous for a guest to
wear white? Is it easier for those further removed from the bride to get away
with wearing white rather than close family meambers? I was pretty horrified
when a betrothed friend told me she’d had an icy conversation with her Ma when
the Mother of the Bride announced she’d seen a lovely white/ivory dress to wear
to the wedding. Even I can see that
might be going a step too far.
as a wedding guest, you’re in any doubt, the easiest thing to do is to ask the
bride in advance what her feelings on the subject are. If she’s anywhere in the
spectrum between politely wavering and emphatically forbidding, then stay away.
If she couldn’t care less, go for it. I’d recommend going for an opposite
length and style to the bride so that it’s clear that there’s no intention of
drawing comparisons and perhaps steer away from overly embellished gowns.
I’ve never really found white to be an overly flattering colour and would much
rather go for a pop of colour, but I’d love to hear your thoughts on the dress
etiquette of wearing white to someone else’s wedding. Are you a bride who is
dead set against any guests trying to rival your style? Would you include a
dress code on your invitations? Have you ever made the faux-pas of turning up
to a wedding in white? Is this an antiquated and outdated tradition?