Receiving an invitation to a wedding is a momentous occasion. Several things probably start going through your head as soon as you open the invite — what food will be served? What will the bride wear? What will you wear to the wedding?
Cream is close enough to white that it feels inappropriate to even consider wearing it to a wedding. However, there are situations where you can wear cream to a wedding, such as a summer destination wedding, or when it is explicitly stated that you must wear cream or white.
Below are 10 pieces of etiquette you should keep in mind before purchasing a cream dress, romper, or jumpsuit for a wedding you will attend.
Can You Wear Cream to a Wedding? Things to Remember
1. Avoid any color that resembles white.
You may have heard of the golden rule in weddings: do not wear anything white. People avoid wearing white — especially a white dress — to let the bride enjoy the spotlight, as it is the most popular color for a wedding dress.
In the same vein, you should reconsider wearing any clothes that look close to white. Besides cream, this rule also extends to champagne, ivory, beige, and other similar shades.
2. Do not wear the same color as the bridal crew.
Bridesmaids and groomsmen typically wear color-coordinated outfits, matching the wedding’s overall color scheme. For instance, they might wear a navy blue bridesmaids dress and navy blue accessories for the groomsmen.
If the bridal crew chooses to wear cream to a wedding, it might not be a great idea for you to wear cream. You might get mistaken for a bridal crew member.
It might be challenging to find out what the bridal party will wear to the wedding. Try asking a member of the crew, such as a bridesmaid or the maid of honor, what the color of their dress will be.
3. If the wedding is outdoors, it might not be smart to wear a cream outfit.
The wedding you will attend might be a destination wedding, a hiking wedding, or whatnot. In this situation, you might hesitate to wear cream to a wedding for practical reasons.
Cream — or any color resembling white — quickly gets dirty. Mud stains and marks might easily be noticeable, especially on a pristine dress. Abstain from wearing anything that would be a pain to clean after an outdoor wedding.
4. Wearing cream is acceptable if the bride says so.
The bride’s decision and preference take precedence over any piece of etiquette or norm. If the bride herself wants her guests to wear cream to the ceremony or reception, then you should follow her wishes.
Once you receive your invitation, read every card in the suite thoroughly. You will find information regarding the wedding dress code.
Otherwise, check the couple’s wedding website if they have one. Alternatively, they may have included this information in a social media post or email to their guests.
If you cannot find anything at all, consider asking anyone from the bridal party or the bride herself. It is better to be safe than sorry.
5. You can incorporate cream into your outfit as an accent.
If you want to wear cream to a wedding ceremony, do not make it the primary color of your outfit. Opt for a dress with a different shade, such as purple or green.
You can bring a cream purse. Since cream is a versatile and neutral shade, consider going for cream-colored footwear. You can also accessorize with cream-colored jewelry. The possibilities are endless; be as creative as you want while staying within the dress code.
6. You can wear cream to a reception.
Compared to ceremonies, the rules on what you can and cannot wear are not as strict and limiting at wedding receptions. At this point, the bride may have changed into a more comfortable outfit, or she simply does not care about what her guests are wearing.
If you have some time before the reception starts, you can change into a cream outfit before heading to the venue.
However, it is still best to check with the bride or the bridal party. The pieces of etiquette mentioned above still apply; for example, if the bridesmaids have cream dresses, reconsider going to the reception in a cream ensemble.
7. You can wear cream to a pre-wedding party.
While you are advised against wearing cream to the wedding ceremony, this rule does not apply to pre-wedding events. In general, these parties are more casual and informal; strict wedding etiquette does not necessarily apply.
With that said, feel free to wear a cream dress to your bachelorette party or a cream jumpsuit to a bridal shower.
Again, it is worth reiterating that the bride’s preferences should prevail. If she wants everyone at her bachelorette party to wear matching red tank tops, then you should wear a red tank top.
8. A cream dress with print can be appropriate depending on the season.
While a solid cream dress is strictly off-limits, you might get away with wearing a cream dress that has print on it.
For example, a cream dress with a floral motif is appropriate for a summer destination wedding. However, it is definitely not the right choice for a winter wedding.
9. You can wear cream to an all-white wedding ceremony.
In some cases, the bride will specifically plan an all-white wedding ceremony; guests are expected to wear white, even if it seems like a faux pas to do so.
If you are wondering whether you should wear cream to a wedding with this theme, you can—so long as the shade of cream has more white in it than yellow.
10. If the bride wants to do away with tradition, you might be allowed to wear cream.
Some couples identify as progressive and modern. For them, some traditions and pieces of etiquette should be left behind — especially those that do not make any sense. Prohibiting guests from wearing white to their wedding is one of those outdated rules.
If the couple has expressed sentiments in this perspective before, it might be safe for you to wear cream to their wedding. However, try to wait for any formal announcement about the dress code before planning your cream-colored outfit.
Some people say that if you feel like you have to ask someone if you can wear a certain outfit to their event, it might be best not to wear the outfit at all. However, there is no harm in asking just to be sure. They might give you the answer you want.