The other day my son asked me why men used to wear suits to baseball games. Isn’t it interesting that even a 9 yr old noticed that people don’t dress properly anymore? There have been those occasions when I wear pajamas to drop my kids off at school in the morning, knowing I am not getting out of the car but, if my foot steps out onto the pavement you had better believe that I am fully dressed in a (somewhat) presentable fashion. Which is why it is so odd to me that when I go to a wedding, I always see someone underdressed. In order to help you understand how to be the perfectly dressed guest at a wedding, I have put together some guidelines:
Daytime Casual – does not mean wear jeans and flip-flops. Wedding casual is different from ‘running to the grocery store’ casual. Wedding Casual means you could get by with a floral dress, sweater and skirt set, or even a sundress (weather permitting). For men open necked shirts with no tie are perfectly acceptable, in fact a nicer Hawaiian shirt for a beachfront venue is striking. Men and women both need to take note of the location of the wedding – if it is beach or grass, make sure you are wearing shoes that can handle nature without aerating the soil or sinking into the sand. For evening casual just kick it up a notch -no need to break out your finest but, perhaps a touch of sparkle wouldn’t hurt, either. Always keep the setting in mind.
Semi- Formal – Dress as if you were headed to the theater. A flirty cocktail dress and heels, or a dressy pantsuit. You want to be comfortable, able to move easily and to dance, of course. Avoid long dresses, it is too formal. For men- your suit doesn’t have to be black even though it is always a safe choice. You can also wear a blazer and slacks as long as you have a tie.
Black Tie Optional – this indicates that you can go formal if you want, but you don’t have to. Women can wear a dress that is long or short, as long as it indicates elegance. Some beads and/or sequins are acceptable. Men can wear a tuxedo or a nice dark suit.
Black Tie – this is when you can bring out your finest and not feel over-dressed. If the invitation says Black Tie – its time to bring out the beads; beaded accessories,shoes, sparkly earrings and perhaps a long silk wrap you have tucked away in a closet somewhere. Although in the past long dresses were required, it is acceptable to wear tea-length gowns but, avoid short cocktail gowns. Dress as if you were invited to aPresidential Inaguration Ball or the Academy Awards! For men it simple: Wear a tuxedo. Wear the tux with studs and bow tie and don’t forget to shine your patent leather shoes since no tuxedo is really a tuxedo without the right shoes.
If the invitation does not specify what type of event it is, look for clues so you aren’t over or (God forbid) under-dressed. The venue, the type of invitation, the time of day will all give you insight into what you should be wearing. If all else fails, call the bride or groom (if you feel comfortable) or a close member of the wedding party.
The most important thing is to feel comfortable in your choice. If you can’t move, sit or eat one bite – you will be miserable not able to enjoy this lovely event!
For more great tips and ideas on weddings visit Vines of the Yarra Valley, be sure to get tickets to one of our bridal shows in your area. Call 847-428-3320 for complimentary tickets to show in your area.
-Penny Frulla for Bridal Expo Chicago