Thursday, June 30, 2011

Getting Your Guests to Dress the Part

Let's Welcome's Guest Poster, Jennifer Lai:

Let’s face it—when it comes to your big day, you want everything to be perfect. You find the right venue, agonize over wedding colors, plan matching invitations and linens, and spend months looking for your dress—not to mention just about everything else. All the details are set, and you imagine walking down the aisle in your special day: the carefully-chosen flowers, the elaborate décor, your beautiful wedding gown… and Uncle Harry grinning at you in his favorite Hawaiian shirt, which is STILL stained from last summer’s cook-off. You try to ignore him and move on, but you just can’t help but notice your soon-to-be-husband’s college roommate in sweatpants (even though it’s been at least 5 years since he’s graduated), and your sister’s teenage son in his uniform of grimy ripped jeans. Talk about a ruined walk down the aisle. What happens when everything’s set, but the guests just don’t dress to impress?

We got that very question (regarding dress code and weddings) from one concerned bride. Jacqueline H. wrote, “What is a nice way to implement a dress code at the wedding? My wedding is a “casual wedding”, but I still want people to dress nicely.”

We went straight to our forums to see how engaged couples, expert wedding professionals, and married couples were responding:
One user, Amanda H., suggested that our bride-to-be include the dress code on the invitations directly—for example, “Please join us after the ceremony for our [insert phrasing for dress code] reception”. Amanda warned against saying formal, informal or casual—which can be very vague and not specific to guests at all. (What exactly do those terms mean anyways?) Instead she suggested terms like resort casual, cocktail attire, or business casual to give guests more detailed ideas. If you’re going to specify dress code, you might as well be specific—don’t leave your guests in the dark!

Linda M. brought up another great idea— using your wedding website and theme to inform your guests of the dress code. “[A wedding website] would be a good way to give people a vibe of what to expect at your wedding, thus giving them an idea of what to wear.” Linda definitely hit the nail on the head—if you unveil part of your theme for the wedding, guests will figure out quickly if you’re having a formal affair, more of a laidback cocktail soiree, or a fun rock & roll affair, as Linda mentioned.

But when it all comes down to the truth, guests will wear what they want to your wedding, and as Linda mentioned, “It [would be] unreasonable to enforce a dress code that is strict.” Do let the word out about your dress code (either formally by invitation, website, or by word of mouth) and then stop stressing! Although it is your special day, you can’t exactly control your guests, despite their fashion faux pas. If you’re still worried, just keep the photographers focused on you for your big day!
Thanks to all of the wedding experts and engaged couples at the forum for your ideas and advice! Want to see what people are saying about this topic? Check out the wedding conversation here!

Thanks, Jennifer! I'm also one of the wedding planning experts answering questions in the forums, so get one in there. It's a great place to find the answers you need.

See you at the end of the aisle,

Liz Coopersmith
Silver Charm Events
Post a Comment