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April 25, 2018
Wedding Weigh In: Should Guests Wear White to a Wedding?

With wedding season fast approaching, it’s time to start considering which dresses you’ll be wearing. You open your closet and that one particularly lovely dress catches your eye, the only problem? It’s white.

Tradition dictates that you shouldn’t be caught wearing white to a wedding, unless it’s your big day of course. But as society changes, generation to generation, so too do wedding traditions.

Having planned and hosted numerous weddings at our spacious Columbus venue, our experts at The Grand Event Center put together a useful guide to cover the ifs, whens, and whys surrounding wearing white to a wedding.

We’ll make one definitive statement and then move on to some exceptions.


White and the surrounding shades are normally left for the bride and her bridesmaids. However, let’s discuss this topic further with a couple of exceptions.

The White Wedding

Believe it or not, this is certainly a thing. Maybe the bride got a little too inspired by a certain Billy Idol song, or maybe it’s just that her favorite color is white. But if the bride and groom have specifically instructed you to do your best to stick to a white wedding theme, then it’s obviously okay to stray from tradition.

The Partially White Dress

There’s no magic percentage of white that is deemed to be appropriate to wear to a wedding. We’ve included this part to tell you that it’s okay if your floral dress has a white base. The whole point of not wearing white to a wedding is to refrain from upstaging the bride on her special day.

Use your best judgement when determining whether or not the dress you’re planning to wear is too white.

The Off-White Exception

In most cases, there is no off-white exception. There’s really no reason to push the envelope. Whether it’s eggshell, ivory, Navajo, seashell, cream or cosmic latte, it’s probably too close to wear a solid colored dress in that shade.

So, the question remains, where does the shade limitation end? The best advice would be to stick with a neutral that leans into the brown family, as opposed to the gray.

The Bride Break Tradition

A very interesting situation we see more and more of every year at The Grand Event Center is – what if the bride has decided to not wear a wedding dress? This is the instance, along with our first example, where it is reasonable for you to wear white. However, it still comes with some caution as you never want to make it seem like you’re making an attention grab.

So, as a guest, should you wear white to a wedding? Unless it’s a case mentioned above, the answer is no.

Photo by: Chelsie Burkhart Photography