Can You Wear White Shoes to a Wedding? A Comprehensive Guide

Learn all about wearing white shoes to a wedding. Discover the do's and don'ts, etiquette, and style tips for this popular fashion choice. Find out how to rock white shoes confidently while respecting wedding traditions.
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When it comes to attending a wedding, choosing the right attire is essential to show respect for the couple’s special day and adhere to the event’s dress code. One common question that often arises is, “Can you wear white shoes to a wedding?” In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the intricacies of donning white shoes at weddings, covering the dos and don’ts, understanding wedding dress codes, and providing style tips to ensure you look fabulous while maintaining wedding etiquette.

Can You Wear White Shoes to a Wedding?

The question of whether white shoes are appropriate for a wedding has been debated over time. Traditionally, wearing white shoes to a wedding was considered a faux pas, as white was reserved for the bride. However, fashion and wedding etiquette have evolved, and today, there are various factors to consider.

Wedding dress codes, the style and color of the shoes, and cultural norms all play a role in determining whether white shoes are suitable for a wedding. Let’s explore these aspects in more detail.

Understanding Wedding Dress Codes

Wedding invitations often come with dress codes, indicating the formality of the event and guiding guests on what to wear. Here are some common wedding dress codes and how they relate to white shoes:

  1. Formal/Black Tie Wedding:
    • White shoes are generally not recommended for formal weddings, as they might not align with the sophistication and elegance expected at such events.
    • Opt for classic black, dark-colored, or metallic shoes to complement your formal attire.
  2. Semi-Formal/Cocktail Attire:
    • Depending on the overall look, white shoes can work for semi-formal weddings.
    • Consider pairing them with chic cocktail dresses or well-tailored suits.
  3. Casual/Beach Wedding:
    • White shoes can be an excellent choice for casual or beach weddings, exuding a relaxed and summery vibe.
    • Sandals or espadrilles in white can be perfect for such occasions.

Dos and Don’ts of Wearing White Shoes to a Wedding

While it’s becoming more acceptable to wear white shoes to weddings, it’s crucial to follow some guidelines to ensure you don’t overshadow the bride or breach any cultural norms:

  1. Do Consider the Dress Code:
    • Always check the wedding invitation for the dress code before deciding on your outfit and shoes.
    • Choose white shoes only if they align with the formality and theme of the wedding.
  2. Don’t Wear All-White Outfits:
    • Avoid wearing head-to-toe white ensembles, as this may be too reminiscent of bridal attire.
    • Instead, pair your white shoes with colorful or patterned clothing to balance the look.
  3. Do Opt for Neutral Shades:
    • If you’re unsure about wearing bright white shoes, opt for off-white or cream-colored shoes, which are more subdued and versatile.
  4. Don’t Wear Attention-Grabbing Shoes:
    • While white shoes can be stylish, avoid choosing overly flashy or attention-grabbing designs.
    • Opt for classic, elegant styles that complement your outfit without stealing the show.
  5. Do Consider the Venue:
    • Think about the wedding venue and setting when selecting white shoes.
    • Stiletto heels may not be suitable for an outdoor garden wedding, but wedges or flats could be a better choice.
  6. Don’t Forget Cultural Norms:
    • If you’re attending a wedding that follows specific cultural traditions, research whether white shoes are appropriate in that context.

Styling Tips for Wearing White Shoes to a Wedding

Now that you know the dos and don’ts, let’s explore some stylish ways to wear white shoes to a wedding:

  1. Elegant Monochrome Look:
    • Create an elegant monochrome outfit by pairing white heels with a pastel-colored dress or jumpsuit.
    • Add a statement clutch and minimal jewelry to complete the look.
  2. Boho-Chic Ensemble:
    • For a boho-chic vibe, team white sandals with a flowing maxi dress, layered necklaces, and a wide-brimmed hat.
  3. Modern Suiting Style:
    • Ladies can rock a modern suit with cropped white trousers and sleek white pumps for a sophisticated yet trendy look.
  4. Classic Black and White:
    • For a timeless appeal, pair white kitten heels with a classic black dress, creating a stunning contrast.
  5. Romantic Florals:
    • Embrace the romance of the occasion with a floral dress and white peep-toe heels to add a touch of elegance.
  6. Beachy Casual:
    • A beach wedding calls for casual comfort. Wear white espadrilles with a flowing sundress or linen pants.

Remember, when wearing white shoes to a wedding, confidence and a genuine smile are your best accessories.


Can you wear white sneakers to a wedding?

While sneakers have gained popularity as fashionable footwear, wearing white sneakers to a wedding, especially a formal one, might not be appropriate. Opt for more elegant white shoe options like heels, sandals, or dressy flats.

Is it acceptable to wear white shoes to a traditional wedding?

For traditional weddings that follow specific cultural customs, wearing white shoes may not be appropriate. Research the cultural norms and dress code before deciding on your footwear.

Can the mother of the bride wear white shoes?

The mother of the bride should avoid wearing white shoes, as white is traditionally reserved for the bride. Instead, opt for neutral or complementary colors that align with the wedding’s color scheme.

Can you wear white shoes to a winter wedding?

Wearing white shoes to a winter wedding can be stylish and chic, especially if you choose closed-toe or ankle booties in white. Consider pairing them with a cozy dress and a statement coat.

What color shoes should you avoid wearing to a wedding?

Avoid wearing shoes in colors that might draw too much attention, such as neon or overly bright shades. Additionally, avoid any shoes that clash with the wedding’s theme or color scheme.

Can the bride wear white shoes?

Absolutely! The bride can undoubtedly wear white shoes, as it’s a traditional and classic choice that complements the wedding dress perfectly.


In conclusion, the decision to wear white shoes to a wedding depends on several factors, including the wedding dress code, venue, cultural norms, and personal style. While it’s becoming more acceptable to do so, it’s essential to be mindful and considerate of the couple’s special day.

If the dress code permits, embrace the elegance and versatility of white shoes by incorporating them into a stylish ensemble that complements the joyous occasion. Whether you opt for chic heels, comfortable sandals, or classic flats, remember to wear them with confidence and respect for the wedding’s atmosphere.

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