Is This Still a Faux-Pas?

by Erin Mayer

Poppy Delevingne, Cara's older sister, got married in a gorgeous white Chanel gown this weekend. Cara also wore a white dress (Chanel Couture as well), prompting Vogue to declare that guests are now allowed to wear white to weddings.

White wedding gowns themselves are actually a fairly recent phenomenon, as far as centuries old traditions go. According to Reader's Digest, the tradition began with Queen Victoria "who wore white to her own wedding to Albert of Saxe-Coburg in 1840," although royal brides had been wearing white gowns long before then.

In this day and age, the white wedding gown is less emblematic of a bride's "purity," therefore losing some of its symbolic meaning. Beyond that, more and more modern brides are opting to wear colored dresses because they just sort of look cool. This may be part of the reason the No White For Guests rule is losing steam. If the bride isn't even wearing white, why should guests and members of the wedding party need to avoid the color?

However, it's still a touchy subject. One quick Google search for "can guests wear white to a wedding?" brings up a bunch of articles with titles like "19 Things to Never, Ever Wear to a Wedding." A white dress is the number one item on that particular list, with the caption:

Maybe it's an old-fashioned, old-school rule. Maybe the bride is super cool and doesn't give a sh*t. But wearing a white dress to a wedding just makes you look like an asshole. Really, you couldn't choose any other dress?

I think the author of that piece has a point. Unless you've spoken to the bride, or, like Cara Delevinge, are a member of the wedding party with a pre-approved dress, you should probably just avoid the color. There are literally a million dresses out there to choose from, why not play it safe with any other shade?

Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Sure, we're talking some old-school rules here, but most wedding traditions are simply that — traditions. Fathers still often give brides away even though (most of us) recognize that women are not property to pass along from father to husband. Your engaged friend is not likely to wear a wedding dress that symbolizes her purity. She may not want to wear white at all. But make sure you get enthusiastic permission before you show up at the ceremony in an LWD. Just because Cara Delevinge got away with it doesn't mean you automatically can too.