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As a wedding guest, you likely spend a decent amount of time figuring out what clothing you’re going to wear to a wedding, but don’t forget about the shoes! I know for me, I often times forget about this until the last minute and am scrambling to pick a pair of heels or flats that works “well enough” with my outfit.
While we all know that you should generally avoid wearing a white outfit as a guest, can you wear white heels to a wedding if you’re a guest?
Can You Wear White Heels to a Wedding as a Guest?
Typically, wedding guests should avoid wearing white heels to weddings, since white is usually reserved for the bride to wear. However, if you are wearing a long dress that is mostly covering your heels or heels that are off-white, it is probably okay to wear them.
The other thing to consider is the type of wedding you are going to. For example, if you are attending an Indian wedding, wearing white heels as a guest is fine!
As a rule of thumb, when in doubt, pick something else! It’s better to err on the side of caution than wear a pair of shoes that could upset the bride. Trust me – she’s already stressed out enough!
History of Wearing White at Weddings
The idea of wearing white to signify purity in both men and women originated in Western Europe. It was believed that wearing white clothes while getting married symbolized chastity. It was also considered a symbol that the girl was now married to a Roman matron.
As time passed, it was considered a symbol of wealth and status rather than chastity. Only wealthy brides could wear white silk gowns, as they were pretty expensive. Now, several designers have silk wedding dresses in their collection, coming in various price ranges.
Rules for Wearing White Shoes to a Wedding
Here are some rules you should remember when opting for white heels.
Avoid Wearing a Cream or White Outfit
If you want to wear white heels, try to avoid wearing a light colored dress, because it might look like you are trying to compete with the bride. White is the color typically reserved for the bride, and you do not want to steal her thunder.
Consider changing the color scheme of your outfit. The benefit of white accessories is that they pair well with any dress. Try pairing your shoes with a navy blue or pink dress that will look appropriate for the evening.
Consider the Season
Avoid wearing white shoes during the fall and winter seasons. The snow and mud can damage your shoes and make you look scruffy. Opt for darker-colored boots or flats that are appropriate for the season.
Consider the Dress Code
The dress code outlines the type of clothing the host expects you to wear to their wedding. It’s normally mentioned on the invite, on their social media posts, and even on wedding websites.
While most dress codes say formal and dressy casual, some can be a little more detailed. With times changing, some people prefer to have an all-white wedding where guests are expected to wear an all-white ensemble.
If you have received an invite like this, I recommend following the dress code and wearing a white dress paired with white accessories.
Consider the Cultural Background of the Couple
The color white is closely linked to marriage, peace, and the ideal of purity in many Western cultures. Because of this symbolism, women from these cultures frequently choose white wedding gowns.
White, however, does not carry the same connotations throughout many Eastern civilizations. The color white means hopelessness and grief according to cultures such as China and Korea. People wear white to funerals and events related to grief.
Cultural sensitivity is crucial, particularly if the soon-to-wed couple belongs to different cultural backgrounds. This explains why some brides object to wearing a white gown. As a guest, you should respect their culture and not wear a white dress or shoes.
Avoid Wearing White Heels to an Outdoor Wedding
If the wedding invite clearly states that the wedding is going to take place in an outdoor setting, we recommend that you do not wear white heels. The heels will sink into the ground, making it hard for you to walk, and all the mud and grass stains will ruin not only your shoes but also your overall appearance.
Can you Wear White Shoes as a Bridesmaid?
As a bridesmaid, it’s important to check with the bride on the shoes you can wear. Brides typically have a specific pair of shoes they want to wear during the wedding, so it’s not uncommon for her to have something in mind for her bridesmaids as well. But, if she requests that you wear white shoes, you definitely can.
If My Date Tells Me I Can’t Wear White Shoes, Do I Have to Listen?
If your date is part of the bridal party or is close with the couple, it is wise to listen to him. He will know what the bride and groom will like or dislike.
When it comes to picking shoes to wear to a wedding, selecting a pair of nude or black heels is a safe choice. If you wear white heels, is it the end of the world? Probably not, if you’re asking me. It boils down to the dress code, the bride’s wishes, and any cultural guidelines.