The very fact that you even asked if you can wear white shoes to a wedding means you hold the bride and groom in high esteem!
Showing you want to get things right, from the outfit and accessories to the shoes on your feet, is a clear indication that you have a huge amount of respect for wedding etiquette and are aware of some of the unwritten rules.
Before we get there, though, we thought we’d share this with you. Social media quickly let one particular wedding guest know what they thought of her choice of dress after she posted photos and a video. Some people praised her champagne-colored gown, while others poo-pooed her for trying to outdo the bride.
But now it’s time to get back to the shoes, and the all-important question of whether it’s okay to wear white ones to a wedding.
Is It Okay To Wear White Shoes to a Wedding?
In years gone by, it would be a complete no-no for guests to wear white to a wedding. The bride’s white dress has long been considered the only acceptable article of white clothing on display!
Thankfully, times have changed, and with it, the rules around what’s acceptable as far as dress code goes.
Amongst the dos and don’ts, there are also a few “shoulds and shouldn’ts” to think about. So before you grab your favorite pair of white pumps, take a look at our helpful guide of things to keep in mind so that you don’t put your foot in it!
Be Culturally Aware
In different cultures, white represents different things. For example, it’s traditional for western brides to wear white, as it symbolizes purity and peace.
In other cultures, the color white represents sadness and is commonly worn to vigils, wakes and funerals, and events associated with mourning.
Being culturally aware will not only stop you from making a serious fashion error, but it’ll also show that you know and respect the bridal couple’s cultures.
If in Doubt, Check the Dress Code
It’s not uncommon for couples to include a dress code on their wedding invitation. This could be anything from casual, smart casual, or black-tie. There may even be a specific theme, such as “all-white”.
If you’re asked to wear an all-white ensemble, then a white pair of shoes won’t look out of place, so make sure you read the invite and take your cue as per the couples’ request.
How Laid-Back (Or Highly Strung) Is the Couple?
Talking about the couple, it’s worth taking their personalities into account.
A laid-back bride and groom won’t be worrying about what their guests are wearing on their wedding day, while a highly strung or easily stressed out couple will.
How well you know them will help you decide whether or not it’s safe to wear white shoes to their wedding.
Find Out What the Bridesmaids Are Wearing
If the dress code doesn’t give too much away, it’s worth checking with someone in the know as to what the bridesmaids will be wearing.
No, you don’t have to go undercover to find out the name of the designer, or the exact style, but it is an unspoken rule at weddings to not match the bridal party!
Fashion-Sense vs Sensibility
Sometimes your sense of fashion has to give way to sensibility. If you’re attending an outdoor wedding, it’s worth considering where it will be held and what the weather conditions will be like.
Wearing white high heels to an outdoor wedding might seem like a great idea, but in reality dust, mud, slush, or snow, as well as hiking trails or soft sand, will leave you feeling uncomfortable and your shoes worse for wear.
The Fabric of the Shoe
Traditionally, brides wear a shoe that matches the wedding dress and in some cases, the bridesmaids as well.
Examples include satin, lace, or fabric from the dress. More adventurous brides, after consulting with their designer, may even decide to take it up a notch with sequins, and other accessories that match.
If you’re adamant about wearing white shoes, make sure that you don’t go with too formal a look, like a shoe that’s covered in satin, lace, or too much bedazzling
If in Doubt, Go Nude
No, we don’t mean going that kind of nude! But what we do mean is opting for a natural, neutral, or “nude” palette to complement your outfit.
Think cream, beige, bronze, silver, or light gray – not only will you feel stylish and comfortable, but these colors are timeless and always in fashion.
Still Not Sure? Get a Second Opinion
There’s nothing worse than finding the perfect pair of white shoes that offers both style and comfort, only for doubt to creep in. If you’re not 100% sure, it’s worth getting a second opinion from somebody you know and trust.
The first prize would be to ask the bride. However, if that’s not an option, consult with someone in the bridal party. If they give you the thumbs-up, you’re good to go, if not then opt for a safer option!
Be Guided by Your Gut
The fact you’ve been invited to the wedding means you know the couple and should have a pretty good idea whether your white shoes will offend them in any way.
Our advice is to always go with your gut… except when it comes to certain shoes – yes, we’re talking Crocs and grubby-seen-better-days sneakers. These are ABSOLUTE no-nos and will leave a lasting impression, for all the wrong reasons!