Can You Wear a White Cardigan to a Wedding: The Comprehensive Guide

Weddings can be tricky when it comes to fashion etiquette.

This blog post breaks down everything you need to know about wearing white to weddings, including whether a white cardigan is appropriate.

We’ll cover traditional rules, modern takes, and styling tips so you can dress respectfully and fashionably. If you’re wondering “can you wear a white cardigan to a wedding,” we’ve got the answers you need.

Is It Acceptable to Wear White to a Wedding?

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Photo by Brochu Walker

Traditionally, guests should avoid wearing white so they don’t upstage the bride. However, the old rules have loosened up over the years. Today, white accessories like a cardigan are fine as long as your outfit has other colors too. The key is keeping the look understated. Save bright, attention-grabbing whites for another occasion. A pale white or ivory cardigan over a colored dress is a safe option. Just don’t wear head-to-toe white, which is still a no-no.

What Are the Rules Around Wearing White to Weddings? 

When it comes to wearing white to weddings, there are a few guidelines to keep in mind. First, avoid solid white dresses or outfits. Small white details are okay, like a floral print dress with white in it. White shoes and purses are also fine. Just don’t wear an all-white outfit.

Second, steer clear of white dresses or outfits that could be wedding dresses. Formal, floor-length white gowns should be avoided. Third, accessories like a white cardigan are acceptable if the rest of your outfit has color. A white sweater over a blue dress is perfectly fine. Fourth, stick to pale whites and creams rather than bright, stark whites. Soft tones are ideal. Just use common sense – don’t try to upstage the bride!

Tips for Styling a White Cardigan for a Wedding

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Photo by Brochu Walker

When wearing a white cardigan to a wedding, consider these tips to nail the look:

  • Go for a cropped style. A cropped cardi hitting at your waist or hip bone will ensure your outfit peeks through. A long duster style can look too much like a dress.
  • Pair it with bright colors. Wearing white head-to-toe can look bridal, so opt for a bold blue, pink or graphic print dress underneath.
  • Add layers. Try wearing the cardi over a slip dress with a contrasting skirt or pants underneath. Layers break up the white.
  • Accessorize with metals. Gold, silver or rose gold shoes and jewelry make a white cardi wedding-ready. Avoid pearls or diamonds.
  • Stick to light creams or ivories over bright whites. Soft hues read more guest than wedding party.
  • Look for texture. A chunky knit, lace detail or embroidered white cardi appears more casual and less bridal.

Ultimately, it’s about balance. Worn properly with colors, textures and smart styling, a white cardigan can work for a wedding if styled thoughtfully.

What Color Cardigan is Best to Wear to a Wedding?

When selecting a cardigan to wear to a wedding, consider colors beyond basic black or white. Here are some stylish options:

  • Blush pink cardigans are romantic and wedding appropriate. A soft pink flatters most skin tones. Pair with a print dress so you don’t look washed out.
  • For a spring or summer wedding, mint green cardigans are perfect. Mint looks great with pastels or darker greens and brings a fun, seasonal vibe.
  • Grey cardigans are chic and sophisticated. Go for a lightweight heathered grey to dress down a formal look or try charcoal grey for elegance.
  • Navy blue cardigans are nautical and preppy. Navy is easy to match with other colors and looks smart for day or evening.
  • Yellow cardigans bring sunshine and cheer. From pale lemon to bright canary, yellow makes a vibrant wedding statement.
  • Burgundy cardigans are rich and romantic for fall and winter weddings. Pair with other wines, blacks or earth tones.

When in doubt, choose a color that complements your dress or skin tone. Steer clear of loud neon brights or white, which can distract from the bride.

When Should You Avoid Wearing White to a Wedding?

White is traditionally reserved for the bride on her wedding day. As a guest, wearing white could be seen as distracting or drawing attention away from the bride.

  • Avoid solid white dresses or outfits. An all-white look reads as too bridal and is best avoided.
  • Steer clear of white clothing that could be mistaken for a wedding dress, like gowns, full-length dresses or anything too formal.
  • Accessories in white are generally fine. A white sweater, blouse or skirt paired with other colors will not look like you are trying to upstage the bride.
  • Prints that blend white with other colors are usually safe bets. The white background won’t stand out too much.
  • Off-whites like ecru, ivory or cream read less starkly white, making them better choices than bright optic white.

When in doubt, check with the bride ahead of time. She may not care if you wear white, but it’s best to confirm. Ultimately, be thoughtful about your choices as a guest. Avoid outfits where white dominates to let the bride shine.

How to Accessorize a White Cardigan for a Wedding

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Photo by Brochu Walker

A white cardigan can be an elegant choice for a wedding when styled thoughtfully. Consider these tips for accessorizing a white cardigan:

  • Jewelry is key. Opt for bold statement earrings, a dramatic cuff bracelet or an eye-catching necklace. This draws attention upwards and creates contrast against the white cardigan.
  • Use accessories in rich colors like emerald, sapphire or gold. Metallic shoes or a clutch can also offset an all-white look.
  • Try a colorful scarf or wrap tied around the neckline or shoulders. This breaks up the white while adding a pop of color.
  • Cinch the cardigan with a belt in a contrasting hue at your natural waist. This defines your shape and adds visual interest.
  • Carry a small bag or clutch in a color that complements your look. A bright pink or red bag is a fun accent.
  • Add layers of necklaces in varying lengths for dimension. Suspending chains and pendants stand out against white.

White cardigans can easily be dressed up or down for a wedding. With the right styling, you can look chic and polished from ceremony to reception.

White Cardigan Outfit Ideas for Weddings

A white cardigan is a versatile piece that can be styled in many ways for a wedding. Here are some chic outfit ideas:

  • For a daytime or casual wedding, pair your white cardigan with a flirty dress or skirt in a bright, happy color like coral, yellow or azure. Add some wedges or strappy sandals and a sun hat for a springtime vibe.
  • For an evening wedding, choose an LBD or sequin skirt and pair it with your white cardigan. Metallic heels and a clutch will finish the elegant look.
  • If you want to wear pants, go for a crisp white pair with a colorful blouse in jewel tones. Elevate the look with bold earrings and nude heels.
  • A white lace dress is gorgeous for a wedding. Layer a cropped white cardigan on top for added interest and a touch of modesty.
  • For a unique look, pair your cardi with a printed maxi dress or jumpsuit. Try boho floral prints or abstract patterns to complement the white knit.

A white cardigan can add polish to any wedding guest outfit. Have fun playing with different colors, prints and textures for a stylish look from ceremony to reception.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I wear white cardigan at wedding?

It’s best to avoid wearing a full white cardigan to a wedding unless the bride has explicitly said it’s okay. A white cardigan could be seen as trying to upstage the bride. Consider wearing a cardigan in a different color or pattern instead.

Are white accessories okay at a wedding?

Small white accessories like a purse or shoes are generally fine to wear to a wedding. Just avoid large or statement white accessories that could be seen as distracting or drawing attention away from the bride.

Is it okay to wear a dress with white in the pattern to a wedding?

It’s usually fine to wear a dress with a small amount of white in the print or pattern, as long as white is not the dominant color. A dress that is mostly white or all white would not be appropriate.

Can you wear a cardigan with a formal dress?

Yes, you can absolutely wear a cardigan with a formal dress. Choose a cardigan in a fabric like cashmere or silk. Opt for a thin, sleek cardigan that complements the style of your dress. Stay away from chunky or casual cardigans.


The key points are that you should avoid wearing all white outfits and accessories that could upstage the bride. However, small white details and accents are generally fine. When in doubt, check with the bride before wearing white to her wedding. As a rule of thumb, you can wear a white cardigan to a wedding as long as it is not a full white outfit and you have the bride’s approval.

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