I am often asked whether wearing white to a wedding is still taboo, since at Western weddings, most brides wear a shade of white. And wearing white as a wedding guest is thought of as “upstaging the bride”, taking away her limelight, and being disrespectful. 

In my experience, this aspect of wedding guest dress code etiquette has relaxed a bit over the years. I usually suggest that wearing a white dress or suit to a Western wedding where the bride will wear white is probably not the best idea – just to be on the safe side. But wearing a white separate like a skirt, top, or jacket with a non-white support act is acceptable, as is wearing white shoes and accessories. As long as you’re not wearing white from head to toe, you’ll be fine. I’ve worn a white shirt and accessories to weddings, and as far as I know, it was not frowned upon at all.  

I believe that wearing white to a non-Western wedding is not a problem because the brides themselves don’t usually wear white. But let me know if I’m wrong about that. I’ve also once dressed a client for a Western wedding in which the guests were requested to wear all-white. Fancy that! 

What’s your take on wearing white to a wedding when you’re not the bride? Is the “rule” dated? Is it a regional thing? Should you stay away from any and all white items in order to avoid creating offence, or is wearing a white separate, accessory or shoe perfectly acceptable?