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20-40-60 Etiquette: Wedding white

20-40-60 Etiquette, with Fashion Matters blogger and NewsOK contributor Linda Miller, wrestles with whether it's OK for guests to wear white to a wedding.
by Helen Ford Wallace and Lillie-Beth Brinkman Published: February 3, 2013

QUESTION: Recently I was trying to figure out what to wear to a wedding, and my white cocktail suit looked the best for that day. I realize that white is usually reserved for the bride, but this was a second (third?) wedding. What do you think?

CALLIE'S ANSWER: Today, some wedding dresses aren't even white. My sister's wedding dress was a beautiful pale green color. It was absolutely stunning!

It all comes down to your style and your opinion. Not wearing white to a wedding or rehearsal dinner is an old tradition and fashion rule.

In the end, it is the bride's day and it is her opinion, and I wouldn't want to offend her, no matter what number of marriage it is.

LILLIE-BETH ANSWER: Whether the etiquette “rules” about guests wearing white to a wedding have changed or not, it sounds like you now have second thoughts about your outfit.

I think the first thing to consider when deciding what to wear is whether your dress would in any way upstage or compete with the bride.

The second one is your inner voice questioning whether your dress was the best choice, although it's not a cut-and-dried answer.

If you enjoyed the wedding and the bride was beautiful let that be the memory you take away instead of agonizing over what you wore.

People in the wedding or etiquette industry are debating whether it's acceptable in modern times to wear white to weddings; traditionally, it was not, and many people still feel the same way.

However, writing in The New York Times last year, etiquette columnist Peggy Post of the Emily Post Institute said it was OK for guests to wear cream or white as long as it didn't look bridal.

by Helen Ford Wallace
Society Editor
Helen Ford Wallace is a columnist covering society-related events/news for The Oklahoman. She puts local parties online with daily updates. She creates, maintains and runs a Parties blog which includes web casts. She is an online web editor for...
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by Lillie-Beth Brinkman
Lillie-Beth Brinkman is a Content Marketing Manager for the Greater Oklahoma City Chamber of Commerce. She was previously an assistant editor of The Oklahoman
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