Can You Wear White Shoes to a Wedding? (Or Is It Rude?)

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So, you’ve been invited to a wedding. Congratulations! But now comes the hard part: what to wear? Fortunately, wedding guest attire is pretty relaxed these days. As long as you feel comfortable and look good (and are flattering to the bride!), you’re probably wearing the right thing.

This is especially true when it comes to shoes — closed-toe shoes in a dark color, preferably black, are always appropriate. But should you actually wear white?

Can You Wear White Shoes to a Wedding?

White shoes are considered acceptable for wedding guests to wear. In fact, it can be a very fashionable shoe choice with the right dress.

White is a very common shoe color paired with pastel or floral dresses that are often worn to weddings in the spring and summer.

Don’t worry about offending the bride because wearing white shoes to a wedding does not fall into the same category as wearing a white dress or outfit to a wedding. As long as you are not wearing a white dress as a wedding guest, you are just fine.

 

Is It Rude to Wear White Shoes to a Wedding?

In general, you should avoid wearing white to a wedding. The most important factor is that the bride should be the center of attention and feel special; what you wear should not compete or attempt to upstage the bride.

White is reserved for the bride, and while a hint of white may not be a big deal, you need to avoid any outfits that are predominantly white unless the hosts specify otherwise.

If your outfit is brightly colored, then a splash of white on your shoes is probably not a big deal; just make sure that you don’t have a white centerpiece to your outfit.

If in doubt, it’s safer to avoid wearing any white to a wedding. Ultimately, it’s up to you to judge how much white is appropriate and how sensitive the bride could be to you wearing white.

If you’re wearing any shade of white, it’s best to avoid wearing shoes that also fall under the white category. This rule applies to all clothing for men, women, and children — so if you’ve got a dress code that allows for “white or off-white,” leave the ivory wedges at home.

Is It Appropriate to Wear White Heels to a Wedding?

You can wear white heels to a wedding. However, make sure you stay away from styles that may look like something a bride would wear.

One of the most well-known fashion rules is; ‘never wear white to a wedding.’ These days though, some of the more traditional wedding policies are being less strictly adhered to.

In saying this, there will still be some that will tell you to avoid white at all costs. If you are in any doubt about wearing white heels to a wedding, you can always check with the bride.

Although wearing white shoes to a wedding may be appropriate, there are some things to avoid so that you don’t infringe on the bride’s special day. It is unfitting for any guest to stand out more than the bride – so be wary of wearing anything with too much bling or vibrant colors when attending a wedding.

Can Male Guests Wear White to a Wedding?

Male guests can, and commonly do, wear white to weddings. White dress shirts are very common for men to wear with suits, and are perfectly acceptable to wear to a wedding.

Because the white dress shirt is only a portion of the rest of the outfit including a suit and tie of a different color or pattern, this does not break the societal rule of not wearing white to a wedding.

It would be wise to refrain from wearing a white suit to a wedding or any outfit that is primarily white, but a white dress shirt is fine.

How Much White Can You Wear to a Wedding?

You really should avoid wearing any white to a wedding. White is typically reserved for the bride only, and it can be considered disrespectful and rude to wear white as a wedding guest.

You don’t want to draw any attention away from the bride on her wedding day.

If you are wearing a dress that has a pattern that includes white along with other colors, this would be acceptable as long as the primary color of the dress is not white. Anything more than that would be a fashion faux pas and may upset the bride as well.

If you’re not sure, err on the side of caution and wear a darker shade like ivory or eggshell. This way you won’t be stealing the spotlight from the bride and groom. If you do have an outfit in mind, talk to your bride about it so she can make an informed decision on whether or not it’s appropriate.


In summary, the appropriate shoe choice can be tricky. Some wearers think nothing of wearing white shoes to a wedding, while others would never consider it. However, the majority agree that you can wear white shoes to a wedding if you really want to.

You may also be interested in… Can You Wear Cowboy Boots with a Suit? and Do Heels Have a Weight Limit? (Can Overweight People Wear Heels?)