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Can You Wear White Shoes To A Wedding As A Guest?

Kim Argosino
Kim Argosino
White shoes and invitation to a wedding


So, you’ve received that wedding invite, and now you’re facing the ultimate challenge– what shoes to wear without unintentionally sparking a fashion faux pas, especially in the land of “don’t wear white unless you’re the bride.”

With that said, we’ll answer your big question so you can dress your best during the wedding. We’ll also cover dressing up rules so you can dress to kill without taking over the bride.

Let’s start!

Table of Contents

Is It Okay To Wear White Shoes To A Wedding?

Certainly! Yes, you can absolutely wear white shoes to a wedding as a guest. Although traditional etiquette discourages guests from wearing white to avoid overshadowing the bride, this guideline mainly applies to dresses and outfits rather than accessories. 

White shoes and other accessories, such as jewelry, are generally considered acceptable and tasteful. Therefore, feel free to incorporate white footwear into your wedding guest attire.

White heels at a wedding

8 Rules To Follow When Dressing Up For Wedding As A Guest

While wearing white shoes to a wedding is considered acceptable, there are still certain instances and scenarios where it’s not always the best choice. Simply put, it’s not a one-size-fits all answer. Still, as long as you’re respectful and considerate of wedding traditions, customary norms, and cultures, you can easily fashion your way out of this footwear challenge.

Well, we’ve covered the basics, but let’s dive into a few more style secrets to ensure you’re not just a guest but a showstopper (without overshadowing the bride, of course!)

Rule 1: Respect the Color Code

When selecting your outfit for a wedding, it’s crucial to be mindful of the color code. Traditionally, weddings usually follow a white color palette, but depending on the season, wedding colors may change from dark hues to bright, intense shades. For example, a couple that has a dark wedding theme may prefer their guests to wear dark colored attire. If this is the case, it may be more appropriate to wear a black shoe than a white one.

Pro Tip: As a general rule, you can opt for white shoes with subtle designs to elevate your overall look. This allows you to rock your beautiful white shoes while still respecting the color code of the wedding.

Rule 2: Match the Formality Level

Weddings come in various forms, from casual outdoor ceremonies to formal black-tie affairs. It’s essential to match the formality level of your attire, including your choice of white shoes, to the overall style of the wedding.

Pro Tip: For a casual or outdoor wedding, consider white sandals or chic flats. If the event is formal, white heels or dress shoes can elevate your look. Paying attention to the formality level ensures you’re appropriately dressed for the occasion.

Rule 3: Consider the Season and Venue

The season and venue of the wedding play a significant role in determining your outfit, including your choice of white shoes. Lighter, breathable materials and open-toed white shoes are ideal for summer weddings, while closed-toe options may be more suitable for cooler seasons. Beach weddings, for instance, calls for more comfortable flats that you’re willing to plunge into sand and water (hopefully, not!).

Pro Tip: If the wedding is held outdoors, like a garden, choose white shoes that are comfortable for walking on various surfaces. Flats can be a good choice, but they may not be super stylish. Try on various shoe options so you find the best one for your comfort and style. 

Rule 4: Mind the Dress Code

Wedding invitations often come with a specified dress code, such as formal, semi-formal, or casual. A backyard wedding may have a more lenient dress code, but that doesn’t mean you can just wear whatever you want! As a rule of thumb, after taking note of the dress code, take note of the color code too as they go hand-in-hand.

Pro Tip: If the dress code is semi-formal, white heels or stylish wedges can be a perfect choice. For a formal event, opt for classic white pumps or elegant white dress shoes to complement your attire seamlessly.

Rose gold and gold dresses at a wedding

Rule 5: Avoid Overly Flashy or Distracting Shoes

While white shoes are a timeless and elegant choice, it’s crucial to avoid overly flashy or distracting designs that may attract unwanted attention. Imagine big white pumps with large designer logos or eclectic hardware. There’s nothing wrong with this type of shoe, however, it may not be the best choice when attending someone’s big day. Subtle and tasteful white shoes are the key to maintaining a balanced look.

Pro Tip: Choose white shoes with a classic and minimal designs. This allows your footwear to enhance your overall look without becoming the focal point. You don’t want your shoes to attract unwanted attention, right?

Rule 6: Mindful Dress Length

When choosing your outfit for a wedding, consider the length of your dress or attire in relation to your white shoes. While it’s acceptable to wear white shoes with various dress lengths, paying attention to proportions is key. For example, if you opt for a long gown, make sure your white shoes peek out subtly. 

Pro Tip: For floor-length dresses, choose white shoes with a modest heel or a stylish detail that matches the gown’s design. This creates a cohesive and balanced appearance for you entire outfit.

Rule 7: Coordination with Accessories

While white shoes are a versatile choice, it’s essential to coordinate them with the rest of your accessories. Aim for a cohesive color palette to tie your entire look together. This includes considering the color of your handbag, jewelry, and even a shawl or wrap if the weather calls for it.

Pro Tip: If your dress has intricate details or patterns, opt for white shoes with a neutral and understated design. As a rule of thumb, you don’t want to look like your accessories are wearing you. Keep it light, simple, and subtle. 

Rule 8: Know the Cultural Context

Different cultures may have specific customs or preferences regarding wedding attire. It’s essential to be aware of any cultural nuances and respect them when choosing your outfit, including the decision to wear white shoes. Some cultures may associate white with weddings, while others may associate it with mourning.

Pro Tip: If you’re attending a wedding with cultural customs unfamiliar to you, consider researching or asking the couple for guidance on appropriate attire. It’s best to ask than assume to avoid offending the couple and their whole families!

Guests wearing rose gold dresses and white shoes at a wedding

Final Thoughts

Alright, fabulous wedding trendsetter, you’re armed with the dos and don’ts of dressing up for that special celebration. From respecting color codes to considering the season and venue , you have all the details down. Whether you’re strutting in white heels or flaunting chic white flats, you’re set to turn heads without stealing the spotlight.

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Want stunning photos, excellent service, and rates that won’t break the bank? Request a quote from Photo Kings and let your memories be captured in style!

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