Everything You Need to Know Before Planning an All-White Wedding

When it comes to planning your big day, there are seemingly endless factors to consider. There’s the dress, the venue, the music, the menu, the guests, and—you get the picture. With so much to plan for, you may consider selecting a theme to guide your wedding day choices.

For a classic and elegant look, many brides and grooms opt for an all-white wedding. Event designer Jung Lee of Fête NY is no stranger to this wedding trend. “It connects people with the default uniform,” she says. In order to pull off an all-white wedding, take note of Lee’s advice on how to handle everything from the invitations and flowers to enforcing the dress code and picking the menu.

The Dress Code

all-white weddings
Jose Villa

One staple of an all-white wedding is that guests are required to arrive donning an entirely white outfit. Picking out the perfect ensemble for a wedding can be a challenge on its own, but when you toss in a strict code, guests may have an even harder time deciding on a look. Lee suggests being clear and concise in your wedding invitations, noting the dress code with a simple “Attire All White” request. “You can always provide more details on your wedding website,” she advises.

Artifact Uprising Layflat Photo Album ($139)

all-white wedding advice
Jose Villa

No matter how clearly you spell out your all-white dress code in your invitations, you’re likely to encounter at least a few guests who manage to ignore your chosen theme. “Most men don’t have shoes and pants for an all-white outfit, which can cause stress,” Lee says. To get around this sticky situation, Lee recommends being prepared. “You can purchase some unisex white shirts, white elastic pants, and shoes to offer guests who show up in color,” she says. With extra options to offer guests a chance for a quick change before the ceremony, you won’t have to worry about anyone distracting from the crisp white color scheme you’ve thoughtfully prepared.

Canvas Home Lithuanian Linen Finge Napkin in White ($15)

The Bridesmaid Dresses

all-white wedding bridesmaids dresses
Jose Villa

The bridesmaid dresses are another story. While many imagine a traditional wedding in which the bride is the only one in white, an all-white wedding means white bridesmaids dresses as well. Plainly put, “the bride won’t stand out as much,” says Lee. “It will become more of an ensemble look,” she says. If the idea of blending in with your bridesmaids too much on your big day is not in your plans, Lee suggests dressing your bridesmaids in a shade of cream to allow for some visual distinction.

Michelle Park Lazette Stuff Every Bride Should Know ($10)

The Menu

all-white wedding ideas
Jose Villa

When it comes to selecting a menu, pepper in some creative dishes to enhance the event’s theme, but don’t stress over every item. “The menu doesn’t need to be all white,” says Lee. “It’s fun to do something during cocktails such as grilled white pizza or a mini white bean soup shooter, and then an all-white sweets table with bowls of marshmallows, white macarons, or white meringues.” As always, you’ll want to avoid offering messy food of any color.

Anthropologie Rediscovered Flatware ($36)

The Wine

all-white wedding tips
Jose Villa

While the food doesn’t have to strictly follow your theme, Lee believes the wine offerings do. “It’s a white party—everything should be white,” she says. So be sure to forgo serving red wine of any kind if you want to stay true to the white motif. In order to include a variety of drink choices, Lee suggests supplementing darker liquors and wines with a selection of white cocktails for a festive alternative to white wine or champagne.

Vera Wang Wedgwood With Love Cake Knife & Server

Vera Wang Wedgwood "With Love" Cake Knife & Server ($65)

The Flowers

how to plan an all-white wedding
Jose Villa

It may seem like white flowers could easily fade into the back of an all-white wedding, but Lee believes the key is to have white containers for the flower arrangements. As for what type of flowers to choose, Lee’s favorite white flowers are Dutch White Hydrangeas. “[They] are really enormous and offer many varieties,” she notes. Opt for a variety of white flowers to ensure your bouquet and centerpieces stand out from the rest of your white elements.

Vintage Milk Glass Vase

Luna Bazaar Vintage Milk Glass Vase ($19.31)

The Decor

all-white wedding venue
Michele Beckwith

In order to avoid spending an exorbitant amount of your budget on white drapery or the cost of attempting to hide colorful elements of a space, be sure to consider your theme when selecting a venue. “Choose a venue that is ideally all-white or a very neutral color palette,” Lee suggests. You may also consider having your wedding outside so you don’t have to worry about what the four walls of a traditional venue look like with your all-white wedding décor.

all-white wedding décor
Jose Villa

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