"If you think business and manners don’t mix, try talking with your mouth full.” - Diane Gottsman, Modern Manners & Etiquette Expert, Author, Media Resource

Should Bridesmaids Wear White?

May 5th, 2017 by

Dear Diane,

I have heard that the only person who can wear white to the wedding is the bride. I am getting married next summer and would like my bridesmaids to wear white dresses. Will I be breaking a major wedding rule and committing a fashion faux pas?

Joanna C.

Dear Joanna,

As the bride, you can choose whatever color you prefer your bridal party wear. While you want to be careful their dress does not look similar to a wedding gown, an ivory or white bridesmaid dress would be pretty and fresh for the spring and summer months. Something to consider is it can be difficult to pull off in pictures when everyone in the photo is stark white. The background will have to be well thought out and a professional photographer will need to make sure and select the best lighting and backgrounds.

Also, white does not work well on all skin tones and body types. Various shapes and sizes require modified versions of the same white dress. Ultimately, it’s your day and you can choose any color you would like when it comes to dressing your wedding attendants. Keep in mind the overall look you are trying to achieve.

Give yourself and your bridesmaids ample time to find the perfect dress. The search should start shortly after you decide who will be in your wedding party. Keep in mind how hard it is to find your own wedding dress and be considerate of your bridesmaids’ quest to locate and tailor their dresses. Six to eight months in advance is not too early to start researching. Allow a month for alterations and refitting. Remember custom dresses take longer. Generally, bridesmaids cover the cost of their dresses and you should take their budgets into consideration unless you want to assist with the purchase. A dress they can wear again is the goal to make the investment worthwhile.

Best of luck,

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Categories: Ask the Etiquette Expert