Traditional wedding etiquette discourages guests from outdressing the couple at their wedding. With this in mind, you may be wondering if wearing white shoes at a wedding is OK. See our answer below.
Is it disrespectful to wear white shoes at a wedding?
Generally, it is not disrespectful to wear white shoes at a wedding. The custom that discourages wearing white at weddings applies primarily to clothes. Going by that, you can wear white shoes at a wedding.
However, if you do intend to wear a white pair of shoes, there are some things you should know.
Below, we shed more light on wearing white shoes at a wedding. We talk about how to combine white shoes with your dress for a wedding, why wearing white at a wedding is a big deal, and much more.
Is It Disrespectful to Wear White Shoes at a Wedding?
It is not disrespectful to wear white shoes at a wedding. While it is not really OK to wear white at a wedding, the custom does not really apply to shoes, jewelry, and other minor accessories.
Still, if you plan to wear white shoes at a wedding, you should do so only under specific conditions. Below, we talk about some of those conditions.
When Can You Wear White Shoes at a Wedding?
When You Are Not Wearing Too Much White
If you are wearing an all-white outfit or your dress has too much white, it wouldn’t be OK to wear white shoes. In fact, it isn’t even OK to wear an outfit with a lot of white.
Ordinarily, wearing an all-white dress makes you look like a bride. And wearing white shoes with it will only accentuate the look.
So, you can wear white shoes at a wedding if you are not wearing too much white already.
When the Dress Code Allows It
Sometimes couples indicate the dress code for the guests on the wedding invite. In some cases, the recommended dress code is all-white.
When the dress code is all-white, wearing white shoes with an all-white dress will not be a problem.
But if the dress code indicates colors that your white shoes do not match, you may want to opt for a suitable alternative.
When It’s Spring and Summer
The seasons somewhat affect the suitability of white shoes.
White shoes may not be the best for a wedding or any occasion during fall and winter. Both seasons come with less favorable weather, so if you wear white shoes, there is a good chance the mud will ruin them.
When It Is an Outdoor Wedding
If the wedding is held outdoors, you need a pair of shoes that will not become uncomfortable with a lot of walking. Beyond that, you need shoes that will not readily get dirty or appear dirty.
So white shoes do not fit the bill since they will get dirty readily.
When It Is Consistent With the Couple’s Tradition
Some colors have different meanings across different traditions or cultures. So before wearing white shoes or anything white to a wedding, verify what white means in the couple’s tradition.
Generally, in Western cultures, white symbolizes concepts like purity, peace, and innocence.
Conversely, in Eastern cultures, white represents grief and death. It goes without saying, but if you wear white shoes to the wedding of a couple from an eastern region (like China), it may be awkward.
Some Tips for Choosing Shoes for a Wedding
When choosing shoes for a wedding, you can prioritize style over comfort or comfort over style. At our end, we are all in for prioritizing comfort over style.
For instance, if your shoes were too tight, your gait might be awkward. Of course, an awkward gait is unlikely to be stylish.
On the flip side, people argue that style should come before comfort because a wedding is not a daily event. Of course, since you won’t be attending a wedding every day, you can sacrifice that one day for style and prioritize comfort on other days.
Ultimately, whatever you do depends on your preferences.
If you do not mind a little discomfort to look elegant, prioritize style. But if you prefer being as comfortable as possible, prioritize comfort.
Ask the Bridesmaids for the Style of Shoe They Intend to Wear
When choosing shoes for a wedding, you may ask the bridesmaids for the type of shoe they plan to wear. Their answer can guide your own choice.
Generally, wearing the same shoe color as the bride and bridal party is not ideal. So by asking for some details about the shoes they plan to wear, you can avoid such.
You do not need all the details of the bridesmaids’ shoes. Basic info like the shoe color and style should suffice.
Wear Neutral or Earth Tones in Place of White Shoes
If you are feeling stuck and unable to choose something else besides your white shoes, try out shoes with neutral or earth tones.
In many cases, neutral tones and earth tones are fitting replacements for white. Thankfully, you can readily match them with outfits of various colors.
Besides, some earth tones will not readily get dirty or damaged in outdoor conditions. So you will have one less thing to worry about.
Can Bridesmaids Wear White Shoes?
Bridesmaids can wear white shoes. However, if they can, they should avoid wearing them for the same reasons as other guests. Instead of white shoes, the bridesmaid can wear black, nude, cream, or brown shoes.
In some cases, the bride may let the bridesmaids know her preferences regarding shoes and other parts of their attire.
If the bride prefers they wear white, the bridesmaid can wear white shoes without hesitation.
Why Wearing White at a Wedding Is Discouraged
Wearing white at a wedding can draw attention away from the bride and make her less unique.
These days, brides do not always stick with white dresses for their wedding. People now opt for color dresses, floral patterns, and virtually any color.
Still, white is the one color long associated with being a bride. And while people now opt for other colors, white is still the most popular.
Going by the above, most people expect to see the bride in a white dress on her wedding day. So if someone else were to show up at the ceremony dressed in an all-white dress, people might mistake her for the bride.
Besides, the custom is for the bride to be the only one wearing white on the day. Having someone else wear the same thing removes the uniqueness meant for her.
It is not disrespectful to wear white shoes at a wedding as long as you do not have too much white in your outfit.
You may rain on the bride’s parade if you have too much white in your dress. But if the only white in your attire is your shoes, there should be no problem.