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Thursday, June 4, 2009

Texas Tuxedo to Top Hat and Tails

Why is there so much drama when choosing bridesmaid dresses? Bridelines discusses this issue on Onewed.
Check it out at:

Now onto another important question - What is the deal with dress codes?

Black tie, black tie optional, festive attire, cocktail attire… any of these ring a bell?

When reading a wedding invitation, after the "please join us as we become Mr. and Mrs. at so and so country club at a given time in a given month" if your eyes travel down to the bottom right corner of the page there is most likely an instruction on how to dress. Attire for weddings is dependent on many factors, including time of year, time of day and mostly the bride’s overall vision of her wedding day (or in many cases, her mother’s vision).

Does the bride want her groom to be waiting for her at the altar in a top hat and tails, with seven matching penguins at his side? Or should he be in Khaki pants, a blue shirt and a Navy blazer to mimic the sailboats that are conveniently placed in the harbor directly behind him?

After you have decided the general vibe of your wedding, as mistress of ceremonies you get to mandate a dress code to the entire guest list!

Just make sure that you don’t confuse your guests.

If you want them to wear jeans…say wear jeans…if you want them in Black tie….say Black tie.

For once this is an issue that is seemingly more complicated for men than women. Hey, we may have more difficulty picking out dresses and clearly we spend way more money…but when it comes to attire the rules are generally more flexible for the ladies.

Black tie optional is like giving a child a choice of wearing a coat to school in April or not. Just as the child would rather freeze to death than wear a jacket, a man would rather just wear a suit he owns, rather than have to rent a tux for one event. So if you want men in tuxedos, just say black tie and then they will have no choice.

The whole attire issue gets muddled when things like Urban Chic or Cocktail Attire come into play. Does that mean a man can wear a suit with no tie? Does it mean a woman can wear a short or long dress?

Answering these riddles can be as painstaking as trying to spell the words on the National Spelling Bee. So let’s just call it a draw. If your invitation is hard to decipher then expect people to show up in a variety of outfits and don’t worry about it. But if you want your wedding to look like the Oscars…make sure you are clear an concise about your desires….or your crazy Uncle Larry may end up wearing a Hawaiian shirt and shorts to your Casual Chic wedding.


Anonymous said...

I have to agree that the language on invitations has become confusing, and easy to misinterpret. What is "Country Club casual"? What is dress to impress? Please brides just tell your guests what you want them to wear. Then do NOT be surprisd if the cost of a new outfit was not included in the wedding gift! You are the bride, wear what you want! Cut the guests some slack.

Liuba said...

Great post!

I was just at a bachelorette getaway this weekend with a bride who is having a "black tie optional" affair.

For the bride optional just meant not casual - it's an outdoor, country club wedding so I can see her point - but it was so interesting to realize how that term was understood in multiple ways. For some of the girls that meant floor-length gowns and for some it meant tea-length dresses. As for sorting out what to do about our dates, well, if they didn't have a tux, the bride said a dark suit was just fine.