3 Wedding Fashion Rules to Break and 2 to Follow

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words by // Eve Green


Traditional etiquette has always dictated wedding dress code … but sometimes rules are meant to be broken. We’ve decoded some of the most well-known wedding fashion rules to help you determine which rules to break and which to follow.

Wedding Fashion Rules to Break

The Bride Must Wear White or Off-White

Brides haven’t always donned white for their wedding day. Almost 180 years ago, Queen Victoria changed wedding history forever by popularizing white wedding gowns, a choice that had previously been relegated to the wealthy who could afford to have their dress cleaned. Before that most women wore colorful gowns that would serve beyond their wedding day. While white and off-white remain the most popular options for bridal gowns, there are other colors available for the bride who wants to dress outside the box. Subtle alternatives include pale pastel tones, but ultimately no single color is off limits!

Every Bride Should Wear a Veil

The veil dates back to when it was customary for the bride to wear a face covering and for her father to give her away. However, modern couples don’t see the need to follow traditions that don’t fit their contemporary lifestyle. That being said, you don’t have to pay homage to its traditional roots to incorporate this beautiful accessory into your wedding day look. Some veils are still worn over the face, while others are arranged off the face. You may instead opt to replace the veil with hairpieces, or embrace the simplistic minimalism of no hairpiece at all. 

Matching Bridesmaids Dresses

Traditionally, bridesmaids have worn dresses in matching colors and styles. Matching bridesmaids’ dresses are still a popular choice, but many brides are mixing things up by purposefully mismatching their maids’ dresses. In order to pull off this unique spin on wedding party design, The Knot recommends that brides choose one consistent design elements and choose dresses in the same color family, ensuring the array of colors still complement each other and the bride. 

Wedding Fashion Rules to Follow

Match the Formality of the Wedding

Your wedding attire should correspond with the formality of your event. A formal wedding calls for a formal wedding gown, while more relaxed attire may be worn to a casual wedding. 

In addition, attire should correspond with the ceremony venue or house of worship. If the house of worship leans on the conservative side, head coverings, covered shoulders, or longer hemlines may be required. 

Only the Bride Can Wear White

White is still reserved for the bride unless she chooses otherwise. Some brides today are choosing white or off-white for bridesmaids’ dresses, opting for a monochromatic color scheme for the bridal party. As a wedding guest however, it’s best to steer clear of white or off-white. You may still have white in your attire, just be sure it’s not a show stopper that will draw too much attention. A good rule of thumb is that if you have to ask if it’s too much white, it’s too much!

The wedding fashion rules that you choose to break or follow are ultimately up to you. More now than ever, couples are embracing a unique approach to their weddings because who doesn’t want to stand out! Consider which time-honored wedding attire rules are important to you, and those you don’t need to subscribe to.