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Can My Bridesmaids Wear White? – A Guide to a Stunning New Trend

Bridesmaids in white dress

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Today, tradition seems to dictate that only the bride can wear white on her wedding day and that all others, including bridesmaids, flower girls and guests, should wear other colors. Wearing white was considered a wedding faux pas and one that served to upstage the bride.

The reasoning is that if only the bride is wearing white on her wedding day, she’ll stand out as she should.

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But this thought is changing and today, an increasing number of brides are requesting their bridal party and even guests to show up in white. If you’re curious about this trend, keep reading. We cover everything you need to know about bridesmaids in white dresses.

Can Bridesmaids Wear White?

Lady Sarah wedding

Lady Sarah, daughter of Princess Margaret, at her wedding in 1994 with bridesmaids in white.

The simple answer is – yes. There’s no reason why a bridesmaid cannot wear white, as long as the bride is comfortable with it. Traditionally, royalty tend to have all-white bridal parties.

If you think this is non-traditional, you’ll be surprised to know that in the past, bridesmaids were expected to dress like the bride to confuse evil spirits that were believed to be lurking about. This way, the evil spirits wouldn’t be able to single out the bride from all the similar looking women and would leave her in peace. So by having your girls decked in shades of white, you’re actually invoking tradition.

There are opposing views about whether bridesmaids should wear white. Here are some:

Maria: I’m not a fan of this look. I think it’s too trendy and won’t date well.

Summer: I don’t like the look or hate the look but I think it could get confusing for someone who doesn’t know the bride. Imagine when the first bridesmaid comes out in white… and they thought that’s the bride?

Natalie: If it’s good enough for Kate Middleton, it’s good enough for me. I think it looks classy, timeless and amazing.

Should Bridesmaids Wear White?

You might be worried, however, that if you’re bridesmaids wear white, the focus will not be on you, the bride. It’s true that an all-white bridal party can divert some attention from the bride, but it doesn’t have to be this way. The key is to make your dress stand out from theirs.

An all-white group of bridesmaids can create a cohesive look that’s truly delightful and one that works to bring out the beauty of the bride. To keep this from happening, consider the details of your dresses. Most brides who opt for white bridesmaids’ dresses ensure that there’s some differences in the dress styles.

How to Choose White Bridesmaids’ Dresses

How to choose white bridesmaids dresses

The bride’s dress should always stand out

Your dress is the most important on your big day and stylistically, it should be set apart from the bridesmaids’ dresses. Typically, your dress would have more detail, embellishment and a different silhouette.

If you’re dress is an opulent ballgown, think simpler dresses that would work for a bride in a more laid-back wedding. Think sheath or column style dresses for example. However, if you’re wearing a casual wedding dress, suitable for a bohemian or rustic wedding, your bridesmaids’ dresses should be even more casual. This can be done by picking out simpler fabrics or having them wear shorter dresses. This provides the perfect contrast to your dress.

Choose your accessories wisely as these can help you to stand out. A veil or a train will immediately set you apart as the bride. If you’re not wearing either of these, choose a different headpiece will also serve to distinguish you from your bridal party. If your ladies are wearing headpieces, like flower or leaf crowns, wear a different type of headpiece to stand out. Think a headband with crystals or a simple tiara. More prominent earrings, a different bouquet or long sleeves while your bridesmaids wear short sleeves are just some ways to distinguish your look.

Also, an important tip is to coordinate the shades of white. White comes in a wide range of hues, with warm and cool tones. If some of your bridesmaids’ dresses have warm tones and others have cool tones, the overall look will not be cohesive. There will be tonal clashes, and this can mar the look. This is especially important if your bridesmaids are buying their own dresses or you’re following the mismatched trend.