Wedding dress codes: Bride's attire request sparks 'outrage' among guests, slammed as 'ridiculous' online

Screenshots from bride's TikTok video
The bride's seemingly simple request was met with backlash, with some of her relatives even threatening not to attend her wedding. Photo credit: @samanthatwist / TikTok

Every bride-to-be wants their big day to go without a hitch, but between the bottles of bubbly, buzzed bridesmaids and toxic relatives you invited as a formality, there's plenty of opportunity for things to go belly-up.

The dress code can also become a bone of contention. For most weddings, there is a tacit code of conduct that most guests are aware of: wearing white, of course, being the primary no-no. Not opting for a flashy outfit that risks upstaging the bride also tends to be an unspoken condition of attendance. 

But one budding bride's seemingly simple stipulation for her guests' attire dramatically backfired, leaving her family and friends "outraged".

Documenting her experience in a widely viewed video on TikTok, a Canadian woman who goes by the username @samanthatwist revealed that a request for her guests to wear a certain palette of colours prompted "outrage" among even her nearest and dearest.

In the clip, which has amassed more than 500,000 views since it was reposted to her platform, Samantha explained that she'd asked her guests to wear "light, earthy and neutral tones" to her nuptials. 

The bride said she had shared some information to their wedding website alongside the invitations, outlining the dress code and her preferred colour scheme. 

"I posted on our wedding website some examples and just said, 'Hey, I would like it if you could wear something like this'," she explained in the clip, illustrating with an image of her wedding page. 

On the page, she had provided some links to examples of the neutral outfits she had in mind. She also detailed "colours to avoid", which included red, orange and "obviously any shades of white".

The bride also provided a palette of neutral hues to help her guests, spanning nudes, browns, pale greens, lighter oranges, grey-toned blues, mint and warm pinks. 

"Basically, everyone was outraged," Samantha continued.

"I got so much crap for posting this. One of my aunts even told me if I care so much about what she wears, she's just not going to show up.

"My mother-in-law was calling my husband, at the time fiance, saying like, 'What the heck is with Sam? Does she not understand that people don't have money to buy whole new outfits?'

"Wanting cohesive wedding photos that will look good on our wall is sending me to hell I guess," she added sarcastically.

"Everyone basically thought I was the devil for asking them to wear near-neutrals, although I think most people have grey or beige or navy blue in their wardrobe.

"The amount of calls my husband especially got, and then our family members, was insane."

Despite the dress code sparking drama among her guests, many viewers didn't see what the problem was with her request. Many took to the comments to reassure Samantha that she wasn't in the wrong, with some sharing examples of their own wedding day dress codes. 

"Our dress code was formal. I honestly can't stand people that show up in whatever to a wedding. It's an important day; make an effort," one said.

"I would love that level of instruction. I hate feeling underdressed and also overdressed!" another added.

"I don't get the hate. It's disingenuous to pretend aesthetics aren't a part of a wedding. I personally love a theme! It's like we all coordinated," a third chipped in.

"My favourite part is that none of them could go to you directly because they knew that they were in the wrong," a fourth pointed out.

However, others were unconvinced, claiming Samantha had enforced "ridiculous" expectations on her guests. Some pointed out that brides should only be dictating the dress code for their bridesmaids, while others said the "aesthetics" of the wedding shouldn't override people's comfort and ability to have fun and celebrate the nuptials.

"If you want to decide [on] my outfit, you'll need to pay for it," one clapped back.

"I would go along with it if asked, but also [I kind of] think it's getting ridiculous how obsessed people are with looking 'aesthetic'," another opined.

"It's an important day for you and a normal one for everyone else. Chill a bit. It's more important that people come and have fun and celebrate with you," a third stated, to which another agreed: "What weddings are actually supposed to be about: celebrating with family and friends. What weddings seem to be about these days: 'aesthetic'."

"I personally think it's ridiculous. The people attending aren't there to be your decor or whatever," a fifth weighed in.

"So people should spend money on clothes they might not like and will never wear again?" another pointed out.

"I don't think you're the devil, you just didn't have empathy for how other people feel. I can't imagine the stress some people must have felt."

"For the 'it's a lot to ask' [people] - these are colour options that pretty much everyone already owns! And it wasn't a requirement! Black tie is harder," one viewer said in defence of Samantha, to which she replied: "Exactly! And we were originally asking [for] black tie but felt like that was too much $$$."

Despite the backlash, opting for a dress code may not be the worst idea when faced with some examples of what guests have worn to weddings before. Last year, a bride was horrified when her bridesmaid picked out a white, glittery bridal gown for her nuptials. 

And in 2020, a bride divided the internet after she asked for opinions on a "hideous" and "unflattering" zebra-striped dress her sister wanted to wear to her intimate wedding.