Woman sparks debate about what makes a dress too similar to a wedding gown

A woman looking for advice on what to wear to a friend’s wedding sparked a spirited debate about what makes a dress too similar to a wedding gown.

The woman, who goes by the Reddit user name u/phonate, shared a picture of her initial look in the popular forum r/Weddingattireapproval, asking: “Floral formal for late summer/early fall wedding by the sea Suggestions welcomed??”

The picture in the post showcased a tan lace dress with a deep V neckline and ruffled skirt, its entirety adorned with multi-coloured flowers. The outfit is currently being sold by designer fashion brand Teuta Matoshi for $749.

In the caption, the Reddit user described the dress code of the wedding and the itinerary for the event.

“Colourful formal with a floral twist…interesting patterns and prints, high-hats, scarves, oversized jackets, favourite dress,” she wrote. “Wedding ceremony by the ocean, followed by dinner reception and party. The setting of the party is a micro-village with festivities shifting between our garden, adjacent the ocean and at our house.”

She noted that while she thought the lace midi-dress would be a good fit, she thought that other people in the Reddit forum may have “better ideas” for her.

As of 18 May, the post has more than 2,200 upvotes, with fellow Reddit users expressing that the outfit looks too similar to the style of a wedding gown and encouraging her to find a new one.

“It’s pretty but find it in a different colour, I’ve seen bridal gowns that look just like this,” one wrote.

“I had to check and make sure this wasn’t a bride asking for opinions on her wedding gown. Sooo, probably not a good choice,”

A third shared: “I think it’s too light. I just saw a wedding dress that looked almost identical, Teuta Matoshi has a million different colours. I think green would be nice.”

However, other people felt like it was a good fit for the occasion given its dress code.

“I love this super specific theme tbh,” one wrote. “Love this dress + matches the theme perfectly!”

“I say WEAR IT!!! ITS FREAKING GORGEOUS,” another wrote, while a third added: “I think it works, especially because it’s tea-length and not white.”

The wedding guest later gave an update on the situation and revealed that the bride told her not to wear this gown, writing: “Checked with the bride and this dress is cancelled. Seeking recommendations for alternatives!”

It’s a general rule of thumb that guests should not wear white to someone’s wedding. With that in mind, wedding dress designer Madeline Gardner also told The Knot that there are some dress colours that guests should avoid.

“When you’re a guest at a wedding, the most important thing to keep in mind is not to upstage or upset the bride,” Gardner said. “It’s safe to stay away from any outfits that are predominantly white, cream or ivory.”

This is far from the first time a wedding guest’s outfit has sparked an etiquette debate. Earlier this week, Olivia Wilde was met with mixed reactions when she wore a backless white gown to Colton Underwood’s wedding to Jordan C Brown.

“Wore a wedding dress to a wedding just so I could make a joke about it in my toast,” Wilde captioned a since-expired photo of herself wearing the dress and holding a white parasol at the ceremony on her Instagram Stories.

Despite the criticism she faced for her look, the Don’t Worry Darling star revealed that the grooms “approved” her dress selection in a follow-up post.