Wedding Guest's Printed White Dress Sparks Debate Over Fashion Etiquette

There's pretty much one golden rule when it comes to a wedding, and that's don't wear white—unless you're the bride.

Most people will have heard a story about a spiteful mother-in-law or an attention-seeking guest trying to steal the spotlight from the bride by wearing that color.

Arguments have raged over champagne and ivory shades, but a debate over a printed gown has been ignited, after a disgruntled guest claimed she fell foul of the "bridezilla" with her dress choice.

The woman, posting to Reddit under the name Amazing-Time-4044, asked: "AITA [am I the a**hole] for wearing a PRINTED white dress to a wedding?"

She explained she attended the nuptials of her "mom's family friend's oldest daughter," in an unknown location, and chose a white frock with a floral design. Despite having multi-colored flowers on it, she claims the bride was angry her dress featured any white at all.

The post, shared to the forum website on Monday, says: "For the wedding, I wore a floral multicolored dress with a white background. I honestly thought it was fine because of the floral print which takes up the vast majority of the surface area of the dress.

"The wedding and reception were fine and everything, but the day after I got many angry calls from the bride, who started b******* about how I f****** upstaged her with my so called white dress. Like I said before, it wasn't a white dress.

"If anything it would be considered a multicolored dress, which just happened to have a bit of white background, which isn't even the first thing that someone would notice. Most people at the ceremony and reception with me didn't say anything about my dress being inappropriate, but apparently according to Mrs Bridezilla it ruined her wedding."

Fierce Debate

She asked Redditors if the choice was in "poor judgment," or whether the bride had overreacted, sparking a fierce debate. The guest shared a link to a dress that was "pretty close" to her outfit, from Dressbarn, revealing a frock with barely any white background visible amid the flora and fauna.

The post amassed nearly a hundred comments, as SaraRainmaker commented: "NTA [not the a**hole]—If the dress you posted is fairly close to the one you wore, then you wore a print dress, not a white dress and the bride needs therapy."

Screengrab of floral dress for sale.
A screenshot of a floral dress for sale. A guest shared a link to a dress that they said was "pretty close" to what they wore. Dressbarn

SayerSong wrote: "If there was more color, and more floral print than there was white background (and the floral print was not an extremely light coloring that blended into the white background or make it look like a wedding dress), then NTA."

"That is not an inappropriate dress for a wedding. I was fully expecting something with a tiny print for the upset level you described her as being," TibbleTabbs1114 thought.

NightQueen6969 reckoned: "NTA. This is not white at all but multicolored. And no offense, how ugly was her dress that a simple printed white dress would "upstage" her."

Agreeing, Freakinuk said: "NTA this is perfect wedding attire, I suspect there's something else going on, perhaps people were saying how good you looked."

But Naturalmouse103 suggested: "I personally don't see anything wrong with the dress and had I of been in your position probably would have assumed it was acceptable. I admit though I'm not a fan of weddings or wedding traditions so in that sense may not have the best judgement on this.

"My judgement is NTA but I do think it is worth apologising for and explaining to her why you didn't think it was an issue. I do think they way you have described her reaction is a little AH but can understand that if she really is reacting in the bridezilla way not just expressing she is upset."

Lunariacarrier stated: "YTA. That dress looks what some brides wear as wedding dresses. The white background with colorful flowers is very in these days. At a wedding, it's your one responsibility to not wear something that could fall into the category of white and cause drama. You owe the bride an apology."

JerseyGirl412 saw both sides, explaining: "While your NTA since I've seen worse at a wedding.

"I have found it surprising as of recent how many people choose to wear white to a wedding these days. I am a Covid Bride and I was honestly floored how many people wore a dress like that to my wedding (while it wasn't the worst thing that happened to me that day - I can understand after months and months of planning how it could be)."

Wedding website The Knot stressed guests should avoid wearing white at all costs, unless explicitly directed to.

They quoted Ranu Coleman, CMO of wedding fashion brand Azazie, who stressed: "While it's probably obvious to most guests, it's important not to wear any shade of white to a wedding unless it's specifically stated in the invitation."

Although they claimed hints of the color could be acceptable, with the website adding: "It's also acceptable to wear a dress or a jumpsuit with a hint of white as long as it's not the main color. When choosing what you should wear to a wedding, use your best judgment to pick outfits that are not primarily white."

Newsweek reached out to Amazing-Time-4044 for comment.

File photo of a wedding.
A file photo of a wedding. A woman's printed white floral dress has sparked a debate over fashion etiquette. Getty Images/Getty Images