Is It Ever Okay To Wear A White Dress With A Print To A Wedding?

Trying to choose the right dress to wear as a wedding guest can sometimes feel like walking through a minefield, as there are so many guidelines to follow, and choosing the wrong dress could offend the bride. Vines Of The Yarra Valley says that one of the most important things to consider is the dress code, which can often be found either on the wedding website or the invitation. This will help you determine what lengths and styles are appropriate. However, when it comes to choosing the right color, things can get a bit tricky. While some believe that black is only suitable for funerals, others see no issue. Further, bright colors like red are sometimes seen as too eye-catching, but some disagree with this as well.


You've probably also heard that, unless the bride and groom are having an all-white theme, wearing white to a wedding should be avoided at all costs. However, what if the white dress has a colored print? Below, you'll discover if this is acceptable to wear.

Are white dresses ever acceptable?

The main reason why white is normally frowned upon is that it could offend the bride by stealing her spotlight. This is why white, cream, and beige dresses should typically be avoided. However, mixed opinions arise when it comes to dresses with a white background and a loud print. According to Newsweek, many agree that it really depends upon the amount of print versus the amount of white present on the dress. If, when glancing quickly at the dress, it appears mostly white, you shouldn't wear it. On the other hand, dresses that have just a small amount of white are perfectly acceptable, as they won't take away from the bride's appearance. 


There are, of course, some exceptions to this. Anthropologie says that dresses with a light pattern, perhaps in a pastel tone, should be avoided, as they will appear mostly white. However, a black and white dress where both colors are equally displayed may be fine. Further, wearing accessories like a white purse, shoes, or cardigan may also work, as long as they don't stand out. Diary of A Debutante adds that white dresses with lace, even if they're short, should be avoided, as lace is typically seen as a bridal material. Additionally, if your white printed dress is floor length, it would be best to choose something else.

How to style a printed white dress for a wedding

If you're not sure whether or not your white printed piece is acceptable, it's probably best to find a different dress. However, perhaps it's your only option, or maybe you just really want to wear it and can't be convinced otherwise. If so, there are a couple ways to style your dress, which will draw attention away from the fact that it contains white. 


First, avoid wearing your hair in an updo when wearing white to a wedding, as this could make you look too bridal. Further, pairing the dress with accessories such as a colorful overcoat, jewelry, purse, or shoes can take attention away from the fact that your dress contains white. Also, make sure the dress fits in with the dress code, as wearing something too casual or formal could cause you to stand out. Consider soliciting the opinion of trusted friends, family, or even the bride and groom themselves.