Wediquette Wednesday: Is it OK to wear white to a wedding with no bride?

Each Wednesday, we tackle wedding etiquette. At times, it’s a reader question or one from a colleague, friend or family member and other times we’ll cover a popular issue. (Note: Questions may be edited for clarity and brevity.)


Question: My cousin is getting married to his partner of seven years here in New Orleans this summer. Both of the grooms are planning to wear gray tuxedoes. I thought it would be fun and practical — given the heat — to wear a knee length, tailored, white cocktail dress. Is it OK to wear white to a wedding with no bride?

Answer: With the historic Supreme Court decision in June of 2015, making same-sex marriage legal in all 50 states, questions relating to the etiquette considerations for LGBT weddings are becoming more and more frequent. My go-to guide for years has been Steven Petrow, Washington Post columnist and author of “Steven Petrow’s Complete Gay & Lesbian Manners,” book and website and “The New Gay Wedding.” But before turning to Petrow, my gut reaction was no, unless the couple has requested that guests wear white for a visual effect they are trying to achieve for the Big Day. In a 2014 interview on the subject on the Jezebel website, Petrow, says because everyone knows the rule, it makes you more noticeable if you break it. “No doubt about it, they’re going to draw attention to themselves. And that’s the problem. That’s the faux pas,” he is quoted as saying. In the same piece, Lizzie Post of the Emily Post Institute says to consider the couple and whether or not one or both is very traditional. As always, it’s best to err on the side of caution. A family member’s wedding is not the time or place to make a fashion statement.



Do you have a solution to share or a wedding etiquette question? Respond in the comments or email


*P.S. Save the date for the June 2016 New Orleans Magazine Bridal Show, 6 to 9 p.m., at the Hyatt Regency Hotel. Meet with the city’s premiere wedding industry professionals and plan every aspect of your Big Day from the engagement to the honeymoon and everything between! Click here for advance tickets and additional information. 



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