| September 7, 2012

We all know wearing white is off limits on the bride's big day, but what about the night before? We asked around and here’s what we learned:

Don't Steal the Bride's Thunder

When choosing your rehearsal dinner ensemble, keep in mind that you don't want to step on the bride's toes, even if it's not quite her big day.

Anna Post, etiquette expert and co-author of the 18th edition of "Emily Post's Etiquette," says there is no rule about whether or not you can wear white to a rehearsal dinner, but added that "it's probably the last color I would pick" as most wedding guests are anticipating the bride's white-dress moment.

"You don’t want to steal her thunder before she gets her chance,” Post says.

Don’t Be “That Girl”

When it comes to wearing white and wedding events, play it safe, says Sarah Pease, Owner and Creative Director of Brilliant Event Planning. “Even if you have a killer white dress that you're dying to debut for a special event, my best advice would be to avoid being 'that girl' and wear a different color.”  

Want to take a risk? Be aware that you may set tongues wagging.

"If you wear white, it's guaranteed that some of the women in the room will be trash-talking you,” says Katherine Gier, who didn't wear white to her rehearsal dinner five years ago, but banned her guests from donning the hue.

Not All Brides Care

"You can certainly wear white to a rehearsal dinner,” says bridesmaid Colleen Guiltinan. “When it comes to the rehearsal dinner, any color goes whether the bride be wearing white or not. What’s more important is that you don’t show up in a ball gown to the rehearsal, because it’s all about what’s appropriate.”

And If You Have Nothing Else to Wear...

Accessorize! Add a colorful cardigan, scarf, belt, necklace or even shoes to make it "very distinctively not bridal," Post suggests.


Ultimately, it's up to you to feel the situation out. Look to the bride for your cue. If she seems like she might turn into a "bridezilla," then there's your answer.