Saturday, 11 October 2008

The day/night equilibrium


Are there rules for appropriate wedding guest attire in the 21st Century? A dress code can help with tie selection and dress length but it's the finer details I'm more concerned with. I've heard that you should never wear white as to not show up the bride. While others say never wear black “its for funerals” (and fashion editors) only. My Mum says you must always wear hosiery (black tie or cocktail) and my grandmother says you must never attend without a hat (this is her general rule for any function that involves a church or a marquee). So many rules but not enough clarity for me.
When planning a wedding outfit I try to consider the season and time of day the celebration is taking place. Weddings generally run in two parts. Part One: The church service; generally occurring in the late afternoon when the sun is shining. Followed by a short break where the wedding party have hundreds of photos taken and guests begin to get suitably boozed. We then move on to Part Two: which involves the reception celebration and meal, often beginning around half 6 under the stars.
I find this 'day into night' thing the most difficult to get right. It's all about finding the happy medium. I find cotton and any type of floral print lovely for a church service but too garden party for the dancing, drinking and swing band part. I fear satin or sheer evening fabrics become too dressy and possibly too sexy for a parish visit but are more than acceptable for a 3 course alternative drop meal and a quick step with the handsome (hopefully single) best man– are you seeing my conundrum?
Apparently in some parts of the world it's tradition to change outfits in between the 2 parts. This of course would put an end to my wedding outfit woes. Alas, in Australia this would be seen as absurd, OTT and somewhat indecisive. I figure when its my turn I'll push the boat out a little and host both parts in one part of the day. Church, dancing and home before the sun even sets or better still a service just after dusk and quick stepping all throughout the night. This should solve the problem of my guests not getting it right outfit wise. 
**Oh and I've also heard you should never wear the same colour as the invite, you can almost guarantee the bridesmaids will rock up in it also. Which of course would be a disaster. Someone needs to write a book about all these wedding rules. Hmmm... There's a business idea in that.

16 people have commented:

Shannon said...

I always have dilemmas with wedding wear. Once I rocked up to a wedding that SAID black tie on the invite in a dark blue full length dress to find guys with t-shirts and ties and girls wearing jeans with floral tops - I think a book on the subject would be a very good idea.

PS: I'm with your nan on the hat thing, but only so I have an excuse to wear them!

WendyB said...

I changed outfits -- from a wedding gown to a white leather halter and hiphuggers :-)

Blonde hair, Blue jeans said...

impressive shoot

*indie_queen* said...

The last wedding I was at, I wore a flowery dress all da- but it was a very funky flowery dress

ryan manning said...

ultimately life-affirming

Sal said...

I've heard black is totally acceptable now, but white is still off limits. But the rules DO change all the damn time, it seems!

susie_bubble said...

I ALWAYS change outfits...I don't really care whether it's unacceptable or not... it's just a necessity for me...

Lady Melbourne said...

Ha ha ha- I have always changed between the service and the reception and no one has ever battered an eyelid my way...perhaps thats because they all think I'm absurd!!!
I think it's almost impossible to dress appropriately for church and then what is basically a cocktail party with dinner- they just don't go hand in hand.
Change and have everyone talking about you, just don't wear white!
LM
x

sueper said...

you always have these beautiful detailpics

Cris said...

I reckon the best thing is to wear a great evening dress with a jacket or cardy for the church to make it daywearish and then in the evening you just whip off the top layer and hey presto you're ready to boogie!
C x

fashion herald said...

seriously, i have a wedding to attend and this weekend i'm at a loss. he's a high times writer, she's a jewelry designer, but still, at a loss! think i'll wear black. great great post.

La Fée said...

I genrally go for chiffon or silk dresses in abstract/painterly floral dresses with heels, no matter how cliche it may be...

woody said...

oh i love your blog!

Jami said...

I love love love your blog.. Its great. This post was so true especially the part about the invites matching the bridesmaids dresses.. When I read that everything became clear to me lol..
Btw I've tagged you in this posthttp://iused2lovehim.blogspot.com/2008/10/noo-im-not-at-all-narcissistic.html
:)
x.

Too Many Shoes said...

Maybe it's a Melbourne thing, but I change between the ceremony and reception all the time :)

A nice cardi over a more formal cocktail dress at the church might be a good suggestion if you cannot change?

Cheryl Lynn said...

The last wedding I went to (just last month) I wore an aqua skirt suit with a button down jacket and lace applique. It would have translated nicely to an evening if I had gone to the reception which I did not attend. Sometimes suits make it easier to transcend from daytime to evening.

I do know that black is no longer banned from weddings anymore. It it were, then most of the church would've have been guilty of a major fashion faux pas.