Most weddings are at four or five PM. Black tie is sort of tacky for a wedding, and old-fashioned, but hey -- each to his own. White Tie, unless you are royalty, seems a bit vulgar. If the wedding is black tie, the wedding must be after six. No dinner jackets before six!
A Few Hard and Fast Rules
- Women should never wear black or white to a wedding. No LBD = little black dress. Black shows disrespect, as if sorry to be in attendance.
- No matter what the dress code, ladies don’t have to wear a long dress ever. Traditionally you wouldn’t be in a long dress before the sun went down. Rules have loosened though. Women can wear a cocktail dress even for white tie.
- Velvet in the winter, silk in the summer...
- No ball gowns (even for white or black tie.) Think about it. You will have to sit in a pew. Evening gown instead.
- The purse should be tiny. Certainly never show up with a weekend purse.
- Don’t upstage the bride. Don't get sexy at weddings. It’s not appropriate. It’s a religious event.
- Men have very few rules so less trouble breaking them. They have an easier uniform. Men’s wardrobe is dinner jacket, suit, blue blazer. (They can travel the world with those three items and always be appropriate.)
- If you want to be elegant, you have to be comfortable. Simpler is better.
Decoding the Dress Code
- Black Tie optional: wear or not.
- Creative Black tie: God only knows what that means! Just dress up, like when you were a little girl. For a guy it means have fun. Wear a snazzy tie. Choose a tux in a different color, maybe navy. Add a velvet jacket.
- Semi-formal: fairly dressy. Basically girls can wear the same dress for any occasion but more jewelry at night. Girls can get away with absolutely anything -- your call as to what you would feel comfortable in. Men wear a dark suit.
- Casual: low heels. A less dressy dress. Depends on where casual is. South Hampton casual is fairly dressy except when it’s on the beach. Then very casual.
And one other thing to think about…
Usually there is dancing at weddings so keep that in mind when choosing your shoes. Nothing more unattractive than a woman hobbling on heels. Hobbling is not sexy.
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