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Source: (consider it) Thread: Hospitality and Dress Codes
Erroneous Monk
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# 10858

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quote:
Originally posted by Lyda*Rose:
Erroneous Monk:
quote:
The bit I don't really get about the OP is the idea that you'll particularly notice on your wedding day what anyone except you and your beloved and maybe some of the wedding party are wearing - unless someone really does come in fancy dress, which seems unlikely.

It's probably more about the wedding pictures, I'd think.
I'm inclined to think that the more anxiety goes into making it look as perfect as possible, the more likely something is to disappoint, aesthetically speaking. Surely memories are about an awful lot more than perfect pictures?

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And I shot a man in Tesco, just to watch him die.

Posts: 2950 | From: I cannot tell you, for you are not a friar | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
But it does appear that Mrs Backslider and I should have insisted on the mediaeval dress we wanted and bugger everyone else's expense and inconvenience. Or am I still not understanding?

You were entirely free to insist on it.
But that's the point. I didn't think we were. It seemed rude and inconsiderate, so we didn't do it.

I shall never understand this stuff as long as a live, I swear.

You certainly won't understand it if you cut off the rest of what I said. Of course it seemed inconsiderate - you knew what the consequences would be for your guests and how your guests might respond. You knew WHY it wasn't a good idea.

There's a world of difference between having the right to do something, and it being a good idea to do. The bit you quoted was directed to whether you had the right to insist on it. It wasn't directed to whether it would lead to people thinking you were inconsiderate nincompoops. Entirely different question, but it was that different question which the rest of my answer - which you decided to cut off - was directed towards.

[ 02. July 2014, 14:01: Message edited by: orfeo ]

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Signaller
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# 17495

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The conventional etiquette of specifying a basic dress code (morning dress/evening dress/whatever) is from an era when all the people you invited would already own (or would have liked you to think they already owned) the specified outfit, and just needed a steer on what to pull out of the wardrobe for that function.

Now "individuality" rules. If you feel happy turning up at a wedding in jeans and t-shirt, when everyone else is in tails, feel free. You'll be sending a lot of signals about yourself to the other guests, some of which may be an accurate reflection of your personality. Or they may just think you're a scruffy jerk.

I've worn a suit every working day since I was eleven years old. I'd feel very uncomfortable wearing casual clothes in that situation. YMMV, obviously.

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Erroneous Monk
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quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
But it does appear that Mrs Backslider and I should have insisted on the mediaeval dress we wanted and bugger everyone else's expense and inconvenience. Or am I still not understanding?

You were entirely free to insist on it.
But that's the point. I didn't think we were. It seemed rude and inconsiderate, so we didn't do it.

I shall never understand this stuff as long as a live, I swear.

It looks like it's you, me and Mr Emerson in the corner marked "Mistrust all enterprises that require new clothes."

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And I shot a man in Tesco, just to watch him die.

Posts: 2950 | From: I cannot tell you, for you are not a friar | Registered: Jan 2006  |  IP: Logged
Dafyd
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# 5549

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quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
quote:
Rudeness is not caring about other people's reactions. Whether that's through negligence, weakness, or someone's own deliberate fault, it's still not caring.
I'm not sure there's a "not caring" going on here; it'd not even cross my mind that (were I a woman and wore frocks to weddings) that'd they'd put LVER's interpretation on it, so there would not be in my mind anything for me to care about. I think rudeness requires a bit more than that. If I said "well, they might not like black but I don't care", that'd be one thing. But somehow thinking I should know and therefore be in a position to care is quite another.
If you had received LVER's invitation you would know.
I don't see that knowing is a prequisite for caring. Caring about someone's feelings can motivate someone to find out what they are. And therefore, contrariwise, not finding out what someone's feelings are when one could do so is a sign of not caring.
This is, to apply the principle to a more serious matter, what is wrong with the missionaries who don't bother to find out anything about the culture they're addressing. Or paternalism in charity in general.

Obviously the extreme opposite position - everyone should be able to read my mind and intuit my most eccentric whims - is untenable. Moralising tends to be result in black and white ascriptions of responsiblity. Actual social interactions tend to have more nuanced ascriptions of responsibility and social failure.

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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# 76

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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
But it does appear that Mrs Backslider and I should have insisted on the mediaeval dress we wanted and bugger everyone else's expense and inconvenience. Or am I still not understanding?

You were entirely free to insist on it.
But that's the point. I didn't think we were. It seemed rude and inconsiderate, so we didn't do it.

I shall never understand this stuff as long as a live, I swear.

You certainly won't understand it if you cut off the rest of what I said. Of course it seemed inconsiderate - you knew what the consequences would be for your guests and how your guests might respond. You knew WHY it wasn't a good idea.

There's a world of difference between having the right to do something, and it being a good idea to do. The bit you quoted was directed to whether you had the right to insist on it. It wasn't directed to whether it would lead to people thinking you were inconsiderate nincompoops. Entirely different question, but it was that different question which the rest of my answer - which you decided to cut off - was directed towards.

Hmm - you seem to be saying that one has the right to be inconsiderate, but one shouldn't, because it's inconsiderate. That's actually the bit I don't understand. I mean, in one sense, I have the "right", inasmuch as no-one's going to cart me off to a prison somewhere, to ask everyone to bring the moon on a stick. But I thought being inconsiderate was itself a no-no, so in the more restricted sense we're using here, I don't really have that right.

This particular comparison was more about Betjemaniac's comments about being expected to hire expensive formalwear from Moss Bros - that does strike me as inconsiderate and therefore whilst in one sense the couple have the right to require it, they are being inconsiderate, IMV, in doing so. So in another they don't.

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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# 76

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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:


Obviously the extreme opposite position - everyone should be able to read my mind and intuit my most eccentric whims - is untenable.

Perhaps I'm confused. I read LVER as saying she thought wearing black to a wedding was rude, period, because of the attribution she puts on it. That is, to me, being able to read my mind etc.

quote:
Moralising tends to be result in black and white ascriptions of responsiblity. Actual social interactions tend to have more nuanced ascriptions of responsibility and social failure.
Which some of us seem to find impossible to fathom and seem to give rise to unfair conclusions about people's motivations.

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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orfeo

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# 13878

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ADDENDUM: To summarise the logical essence of the exchange...

Karl: "Should I do X?"

Me: "You can do X. This is what might/will happen if you do X".

Perhaps it's just my professional training (in a role where I assist other people implement their policy, not decide policy myself), but to me the best way to answer 'should' questions is to say 'these are the consequences' and leave it up to the questioner to decide whether the consequences are acceptable. Whether I would do X, based on my evaluation of the consequences, really isn't to the point.

Which is exactly why it's not relevant how anybody else would weigh up the strength of their desire for guests to look a certain way against the degree of risk that guests would object to the request. Even with the same request, different people would weigh the importance of the positive and the risk of the negative differently.

[ 02. July 2014, 14:11: Message edited by: orfeo ]

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Firenze

Ordinary decent pagan
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quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:

But it does appear that Mrs Backslider and I should have insisted on the mediaeval dress we wanted and bugger everyone else's expense and inconvenience. Or am I still not understanding?

Back to my principle of What Exactly Constitutes Winning? The implicit contract for social dos seems to me that Host(s) provide occasion, venue, food, drink that sort of thing, and Guest(s) make a bit of an effort to dress up and bring a bottle.
The outrage sets in when either side is perceived to have unbalanced the level of reciprocity. So while I don't doubt your wedding was enormous fun, guests might have felt that the amount of entertainment available didn't quite equal the trouble of sourcing a wimple and cotehardie at short notice.

So the cost of 'winning' your right to have what you liked comes at the cost of pissing off your friends and rellies. In LVER's case I don't thing the tariff - no black frocks - is so high that the guests will be put off. Unless they're really determined egotists.

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orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
Hmm - you seem to be saying that one has the right to be inconsiderate, but one shouldn't, because it's inconsiderate.

No. I'm saying that one has the right to be inconsiderate, but one shouldn't, because there are consequences that arise from being inconsiderate.

EDIT: But if it so happens you're absolutely fine with the consequences, then go ahead and be inconsiderate if you want.

[ 02. July 2014, 14:13: Message edited by: orfeo ]

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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# 76

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I think it's more fraught than that, Orfeo. Suppose I received an invitation like the one that Betjemaniac describes tomorrow.

I wouldn't be weighing it up. I'd be really annoyed that I was asked to choose between missing a friend/relative's important event, or spending lots of money on silly clothes. I wouldn't be particularly happy with either option that I'd been given. I don't like making people unhappy (honest) so I wouldn't do that to someone else, so I'd feel rather miffed that someone had done it to me. It's not just a simple weighing up of cost/benefit.

Indeed, it would feel rather rude.

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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# 76

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quote:
Originally posted by Firenze:
quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:

But it does appear that Mrs Backslider and I should have insisted on the mediaeval dress we wanted and bugger everyone else's expense and inconvenience. Or am I still not understanding?

Back to my principle of What Exactly Constitutes Winning? The implicit contract for social dos seems to me that Host(s) provide occasion, venue, food, drink that sort of thing, and Guest(s) make a bit of an effort to dress up and bring a bottle.
The outrage sets in when either side is perceived to have unbalanced the level of reciprocity. So while I don't doubt your wedding was enormous fun, guests might have felt that the amount of entertainment available didn't quite equal the trouble of sourcing a wimple and cotehardie at short notice.

So the cost of 'winning' your right to have what you liked comes at the cost of pissing off your friends and rellies. In LVER's case I don't thing the tariff - no black frocks - is so high that the guests will be put off. Unless they're really determined egotists.

Do bear in mind we didn't actually have the mediaeval banquet, for the reasons outlined. And I agree that LVER's request is unlikely to be a major problem. Betjemaniac's example on the other hand of being required to spend an arm and a leg at Moss Bros does to me seem to be well into the taking the piss territory.

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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Firenze

Ordinary decent pagan
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There is, I suppose, no absolute standard of what I call reciprocity.

I recently travelled from Scotland to British Columbia for a wedding - which is a bit of a boat-push by any standards. But the whole experience was as so memorable, I feel it repaid the trouble and expense.

Also, each case differs, does it not? Surely there are some occasions worth any amount of trouble, and others where putting on clean socks seems a bit too much bother?

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Signaller
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# 17495

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Hiring a suit from Moss Bros will cost £55.
If that's too much trouble, or too much like showing off, middle-class English unspoken convention used to say that a man can turn up in a lounge suit, which he is expected to own as a matter of course. That sounds as though it may no longer be the case.

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orfeo

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# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
I think it's more fraught than that, Orfeo. Suppose I received an invitation like the one that Betjemaniac describes tomorrow.

I wouldn't be weighing it up. I'd be really annoyed that I was asked to choose between missing a friend/relative's important event, or spending lots of money on silly clothes. I wouldn't be particularly happy with either option that I'd been given. I don't like making people unhappy (honest) so I wouldn't do that to someone else, so I'd feel rather miffed that someone had done it to me. It's not just a simple weighing up of cost/benefit.

Indeed, it would feel rather rude.

But that IS the 'cost' I'm talking about. Making someone feel upset.

We were actually talking about the weighing up done by the person sending the invitation. The weighing up done by the person receiving the invitation is another process.

But is this not precisely what ALL our interactions are made up of? You do something, someone else responds, you respond back to what they've done, they respond to your response etc etc etc. Life is a chain of events. Friendships develop when the back-and-forth is mutually positive. Friendships can break down when the back-and-forth becomes negative in some way.

And you could very well end up with a invitor who is annoyed that their friend didn't comply with/made a fuss about a perfectly reasonable request, and an invitee who is annoyed that their friend put them in the individious position of having to deal with a completely unreasonable request and who thinks/says "I never would have given you such an unreasonable request". It's not as if there's an objective indicator of the relative value of the request and the effort required to comply with it.

But the very stuff of social interaction is trying to guess how your actions will affect others - if you want positive outcomes, you try to behave in a way that will get them. Sometimes, though, we guess wrong.

People who don't care about this back and forth, give and take are, by very definition, sociopaths. All you're really telling me is that you're not a sociopath and that you don't value getting what you want to the total exclusion of its effect on other people.

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Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

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cliffdweller
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# 13338

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for my 2 cents I would greatly appreciate the specific instructions. Perhaps it's my age (don't get so many wedding invites these days) or my geography (Californians seem to have very different definitions of things like "formal attire") but I have found parsing out what to wear to a wedding enormously difficult. In the past year I have attended three weddings, all of which indicated only "formal attire"-- one an evening East Coast (US) wedding at an upscale venue, one a European garden wedding, and one an afternoon wedding here in Calif. All required some degree of consultation to determine what "formal" meant in those circumstances. For the East coast wedding I reluctantly wore the only really fancy attire I have-- which was black. I was indeed uncomfortable about wearing black to a wedding, but turns out my advisors were correct-- color-wise I was spot on-- nearly everyone of both genders wore black. My outfit was not as fancy as most others', but was the fanciest I own so the best I could do after purchasing airfare, hotel room, etc. For the other two I ended up wearing (again, after much consultation) my 2nd fanciest outfit-- a festive dressy (but not at all formal) skirt & light sweater in a pretty bright blue/white pattern with nice jewelry. For the European garden wedding that seemed to be pretty much on target (wide variety of attire but none black), for the California wedding it was a bit overdressed. Yet all three bore the exact same dress code ("formal"). So yeah, in my experience any help you can give in parsing the expectations is greatly appreciated.

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Piglet
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# 11803

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quote:
Originally posted by Signaller:
... unspoken convention used to say that a man can turn up in a lounge suit, which he is expected to own as a matter of course ...

Thank God for that. I couldn't get D. to wear a morning coat for ours (26 years ago today [Smile] ), even though he'd worn one for his sister's - she's more bossy than I am - so he wore a dark grey lounge suit, admittedly bought for the occasion, but in those days he wore suits far more than he does now, so he got plenty of wear out of it.

As to wearing black, although I wear lots of black in the general way of things, I do try to avoid it for weddings. I'm currently looking for something to wear for a wedding in September, and generally dismissing anything in black (unless it's got a coloured pattern on it).

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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# 76

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quote:
Originally posted by Signaller:
Hiring a suit from Moss Bros will cost £55.
If that's too much trouble, or too much like showing off, middle-class English unspoken convention used to say that a man can turn up in a lounge suit, which he is expected to own as a matter of course. That sounds as though it may no longer be the case.

It's not that it's too much trouble, it's that £55 is a lot of money and isn't something I can just spend.

Does convention say what a man is allowed to do if he doesn't have £55 to throw away on one day's wear of a suit (I mean, that's half what a suit I get to keep for ever would cost!) and doesn't own a lounge suit? (What even is a "lounge suit"?)

I asked Mrs LB and she reckons requiring that sort of sartorial expense is off too.

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HCH
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# 14313

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Do I gather correctly that no recent widows are invited to this wedding?
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Boogie

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# 13538

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quote:
Originally posted by HCH:
Do I gather correctly that no recent widows are invited to this wedding?

Do recent widows still wear black?

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la vie en rouge
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This has generated more interest than I expected [Eek!]

I agree that expense is an issue to be taken into account. That is why I’m not going to say anything about men wearing black, even though it’s not my preference. On the other hand, I know that the women who are liable to turn up in black frocks do own other clothes. I would be very surprised if it would cost them money not to wear black. If they don’t own a coloured dress themselves, I would expect them to be able to borrow one from somewhere. It’s really not putting them to that much extra trouble AFAICT.

No black at weddings is indeed an old-fashioned bit of etiquette. Back in the day it was one of those things that no one did ever unless they really were intentionally trying to be rude. I know that the women I saw dressed in black the other day were doing so because they were ignorant of said etiquette rule but I was brought up with it and that’s why it feels so rude to me. I dislike it intensely. When it’s not my wedding I keep my mouth shut about it, but well, this is my wedding. If anyone of my guests ask me why I am making this request, I am happy to explain it to them (in the culture I grew up it’s a very rude thing to do because black = funeral).

Up to a point, rudeness is in the eye of the beholder. I can see that it’s fair enough not to know what a person does and doesn’t find rude. OTOH, once you’ve found out that your host finds a particular thing disrespectful? M. mentioned “within reason”. Depends how you define “reasonable” I suppose.

I think Firenze is right that this is all to do with the social contracts around being invited to a do. There are expectations on both sides, ISTM. These days the nature of the expectations is much fuzzier than once it was, I think, which can make a bit of a minefield.

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Lyda*Rose

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# 4544

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quote:
Originally posted by Erroneous Monk:
quote:
Originally posted by Lyda*Rose:
Erroneous Monk:
quote:
The bit I don't really get about the OP is the idea that you'll particularly notice on your wedding day what anyone except you and your beloved and maybe some of the wedding party are wearing - unless someone really does come in fancy dress, which seems unlikely.

It's probably more about the wedding pictures, I'd think.
I'm inclined to think that the more anxiety goes into making it look as perfect as possible, the more likely something is to disappoint, aesthetically speaking. Surely memories are about an awful lot more than perfect pictures?
Oh, I entirely agree. I was just thinking about la vie en rouge's concerns. They wouldn't be mine.

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"Dear God, whose name I do not know - thank you for my life. I forgot how BIG... thank you. Thank you for my life." ~from Joe Vs the Volcano

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Gwai
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# 11076

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quote:
Originally posted by Boogie:
quote:
Originally posted by HCH:
Do I gather correctly that no recent widows are invited to this wedding?

Do recent widows still wear black?
I think traditionally people who were wearing full mourning turned down all social invitations because they were mourning too much to celebrate anything.

[ 02. July 2014, 16:25: Message edited by: Gwai ]

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A master of men was the Goodly Fere,
A mate of the wind and sea.
If they think they ha’ slain our Goodly Fere
They are fools eternally.


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Signaller
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# 17495

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quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
It's not that it's too much trouble, it's that £55 is a lot of money and isn't something I can just spend.

Does convention say what a man is allowed to do if he doesn't have £55 to throw away on one day's wear of a suit (I mean, that's half what a suit I get to keep for ever would cost!) and doesn't own a lounge suit?

Throw himself on the mercy of the host? Admit that he is out of his class?
quote:
(What even is a "lounge suit"?)


Lounge suit

[ 02. July 2014, 16:28: Message edited by: Signaller ]

Posts: 113 | From: Metroland | Registered: Jan 2013  |  IP: Logged
L'organist
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# 17338

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I've reached that stage where many friends' children are marrying, plus my own Godchildren are now of an age to tie the knot so I've been to quite a few weddings in the last couple of years.

Generally, dress isn't referred to, although the bride of one Godson did issue invitations which state 'morning dress'.

There were a further two which mentioned dress: in both cases a slip of paper was included with the invitation which stated simply 'This is a church wedding so please would ladies wear something with sleeves for the service - thanks.' I would have been surprised to read this but in recent years it seems to be accepted that a wedding means a strapless dress for the under 35s.

So, LVER, how about something like 'We'd prefer no plain black dresses' or something: so someone with a lovely black and white print won't be debarred from wearing it but the funereal plain dress won't be there to offend.

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Rara temporum felicitate ubi sentire quae velis et quae sentias dicere licet

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Albertus
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# 13356

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quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
...Does convention say what a man is allowed to do if he doesn't have £55 to throw away on one day's wear of a suit (I mean, that's half what a suit I get to keep for ever would cost!) and doesn't own a lounge suit? (What even is a "lounge suit"?)...

Surely not hard to find, in a round of your local charity shops or from Oxfam online, a presentable lounge suit (and that is the correct term in this context, at least in the UK) at minimal cost. And if it is from a charity shop you could offset it against other charitable donations until the cost has been recouped.
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Firenze

Ordinary decent pagan
# 619

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I'm pretty sure one of my female friends was wearing black at my wedding. And one of our witnesses was in a suit that should have been taken out and shot. Mr Firenze and I were costumed courtesy of the People's Republic of China. And we had gladioli and a bonfire and a lot of champagne.

Other than that, it's a bit of a blur (six years ago: long time).

The main consideration is to have nothing which ever afterwards is a thorn in the memory. We did it by the expedient of being largely unplanned and not giving a damn. Best if you can toss out the No Black thing lightly - and, equally, be undisturbed if some woman does turn up in black* (it can happen: people can be very inattentive to the small print).

*unless it's a thick veil and she spends the service rocking and crying and shrieking out your beloved's name.

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Schroedinger's cat

Ship's cool cat
# 64

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quote:
Originally posted by Ricardus:
quote:
Originally posted by Schroedinger's cat:


Requesting people not to wear black seems fair, but could be seen as a negative comment. I would have suggested that a more positive wording - so maybe request that men requested to wear something green, and women something orange* (if appropriate). It makes it a positive request, and can be understood as a way of getting interesting and consistent photos. It seems like a fun and interesting thing to do, rather than a restriction, although the effect is the same.

It isn't the same, though. Saying people shouldn't wear black, when you know all the guests possess non-black clothes, isn't placing an imposition on anyone, because everyone can follow that prohibition without incurring expense.

Conversely, saying everyone must wear green forces people to buy green clothes if they don't have any.

But I wasn't saying "You must wear green". I was putting a request that people wear green, accepting that some will not follow the request, but anyone buying for the event (or accessorising) will have some guidance. I think many would find something that would fit in with a green and orange set, so that they would fit in.

In some ways, men have it easier, because a dark suit is the normally expected formal occasion wear (and I would agree with Chive, that casual wear is not appropriate unless this has been explicitly requested). This can be combined with a sombre shirt and tie, or a bright shirt and tie, to cover funerals, and weddings.

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ecumaniac

Ship's whipping girl
# 376

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quote:
Originally posted by Lyda*Rose:
Erroneous Monk:
quote:
The bit I don't really get about the OP is the idea that you'll particularly notice on your wedding day what anyone except you and your beloved and maybe some of the wedding party are wearing - unless someone really does come in fancy dress, which seems unlikely.

It's probably more about the wedding pictures, I'd think.
Then photoshop them.

Fat ladies already have a hard time finding decent and not super expensive formal wear. They may only have dresses they feel good in that are black. If I was on a more restrictive budget and could only have one formal dress you bet it would be a "little" black dress.

Do you want your friends to be there or do you want the photos to look coordinated?

(This is the generic "you". The OP may well not have any poor and/or fat female friends.)

I have before declined weddings that I thought had too aggravating conditions attached. Frankly they didn't notice me missing on the day and I saved myself the expense of a gift.

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it's a secret club for people with a knitting addiction, hiding under the cloak of BDSM - Catrine

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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# 76

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quote:
Originally posted by Albertus:
quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
...Does convention say what a man is allowed to do if he doesn't have £55 to throw away on one day's wear of a suit (I mean, that's half what a suit I get to keep for ever would cost!) and doesn't own a lounge suit? (What even is a "lounge suit"?)...

Surely not hard to find, in a round of your local charity shops or from Oxfam online, a presentable lounge suit (and that is the correct term in this context, at least in the UK) at minimal cost. And if it is from a charity shop you could offset it against other charitable donations until the cost has been recouped.
I've lost count of the number of things allegedly readily available at charity shops but which I can't get. Maybe, maybe not.

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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# 76

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quote:
Originally posted by Signaller:
quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
It's not that it's too much trouble, it's that £55 is a lot of money and isn't something I can just spend.

Does convention say what a man is allowed to do if he doesn't have £55 to throw away on one day's wear of a suit (I mean, that's half what a suit I get to keep for ever would cost!) and doesn't own a lounge suit?

Throw himself on the mercy of the host? Admit that he is out of his class?

I hope you're intentionally trying to be funny. "out of his class" indeed. [Mad] [Mad]

[ 02. July 2014, 17:04: Message edited by: Karl: Liberal Backslider ]

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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Albertus
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# 13356

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Well, they do always have more women's clothes than men's (probably because we have a more generous view of what constitutes a still wearable garment) so if pushed you might have to do a Grayson Perry.
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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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# 76

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I do recall needing a DJ for choir performances (why people expect singing penguins I don't know, but they do) - looked for months in charity shops, everyone assuring me there were plenty there. In the end Mrs LB made me one. Did eventually buy one from Matalan for about £60; it looked OK but was very uncomfortable and scratchy.

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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St Everild
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# 3626

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What to wear when is an absolute nightmare nowadays.

My DH hired a morning suit on one occasion, as that was what the bride had specified on the invitation. My dad's thoughts on the subject were highly amusing...basically, he felt that it was pretentious to expect guests to hire their wedding attire, and that the only people who could be expected to west morning dress were those people who already possessed their own. (He did not have his own morning suit, btw.)

A little black dress accessorised with a colourful jacket or pashmina and a pretty hat would not be "unrelieved black" and could well tick all the boxes regarding colour at LVER's wedding while still allowing the wearer to feel comfortable and happy in her wedding outfit.

Just don't get me started on people who wear white to a wedding (unless you are the bride, of course)...

I am at the stage of life where I never get invited to weddings anyway, so what to wear isn't really a problem!

Posts: 1782 | From: Bethnei | Registered: Dec 2002  |  IP: Logged
Snags
Utterly socially unrealistic
# 15351

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Ref. the OP, a few simple observations:

a) It's your wedding, so request what you like within reason, but be aware that it may have implications on both who comes, and the graciousness/comfort of those who do.

b) Rather than an outright ban on females in black, a more generic "We would prefer it if guests did not wear black" might get you a better spread of non-black across both sexes, and also leaves the door open for someone who only has a black suit/LBD as their sole piece of smart clothing

c) it's your wedding. Presumably you're inviting people you mostly care about and who care about you. Therefore by and large they will cope. OK, doubtless there are some outlying relatives and compulsory invites who may not, but chances are you'll never see them again anyway, at least not until the next big family event

I would assume that anyone who knows you well will shrug and comply. People who don't know you well but care and are polite will private think "FFS, why ever not?" but smile and comply.

Anyone who's going to pointedly not comply and get the massive hump shouldn't be on the invite list in the first place.

Widening out: on a personal level I'm a lot like Karl. Although I do own a lounge suit (and know what it is) I very, very rarely wear it these days (weddings & funerals, and not always then depending upon the hosts). I look crap in clothes, I don't really care about clothes, and I don't have the money to get well tailored clothes, which I would still look crap in anyway because as a friend once observed "Scruffy is an attitude, and you have it in spades".

But I'll put the effort in for people I care about. I can't imagine being invited to a wedding for someone I didn't care about (or for whom Mrs Snags didn't care, so I do by extension, just with more grumbling). That's just polite.

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Vain witterings :-: Vain pretentions :-: The Dog's Blog(locks)

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Ariel
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# 58

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quote:
Originally posted by Gwai:
I think traditionally people who were wearing full mourning turned down all social invitations because they were mourning too much to celebrate anything.

Yes, if mourning was for a close relation. In the Victorian era, as a woman you were expected to wear nothing but black for the first year then grey for the second year which was half-mourning. If you went to a wedding in the second year of mourning you could wear grey or purple. You could then also wear a hat, instead of the black mourning veil which marked the first year.

The last time I went to a funeral (about three years ago) people were wearing bright colours, by special request of the deceased. Unfortunately that instruction hadn't percolated through either to me or the people I went with, so we were there, a little solid knot of black-clad ex-colleagues, amidst a sea of bright colours. I dislike black, and wished I'd known.

As for weddings:

"Married in black
Wish yourself back"

goes the old rhyme.

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Ethne Alba
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# 5804

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(My 2p worth as a woman)

Anyone receiving an invite to your wedding is either friends or family.

So they all know you and it won't come as a surprise if you say "No Black Dresses ...please!"

tbh, i wouldn't be offended ....In The Least ....were i to ever receive that kind of an invite.

As for the men and the suits? Who knows.

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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# 76

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quote:
Originally posted by Snags:
I very, very rarely wear it these days (weddings & funerals, and not always then depending upon the hosts). I look crap in clothes, I don't really care about clothes, and I don't have the money to get well tailored clothes, which I would still look crap in anyway because as a friend once observed "Scruffy is an attitude, and you have it in spades".

Oh yes. I don't know whether it's an attitude or some face/body shapes or what it is, but there are some people, and I'm one of them, who would look scruffy in the finest Saville Row suit costing more than my car.

quote:
But I'll put the effort in for people I care about. I can't imagine being invited to a wedding for someone I didn't care about (or for whom Mrs Snags didn't care, so I do by extension, just with more grumbling). That's just polite.
Indeed. I'm usually looking for the first clue that it's about to become socially acceptable to remove ties and undo top buttons.

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

Posts: 17938 | From: Chesterfield | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Pomona
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# 17175

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I think it is much ruder to impose a dress code on guests. My smart clothing is all black, and I think nowadays black is associated more with smartness and formality than funerals.

Similarly, I was always taught that wedding lists or other gift requests were rude. Presents are to be welcomed but not expected. Expecting guests to spend money on new clothes is definitely rude - IMO it means you're putting clothes above spending time with people you love, and expecting guests to spend lots of money on travel without paying for a hotel room for them is also rude.

IMO being a good host is putting your guests first - back when formal dress codes were expected, this was part of it, but nowadays insisting on a dress code does more inconvenience than convenience. Etiquette is all about making guests feel comfortable, and IMO nowadays a dress code does not do that with the exception of very formal events like meeting royalty.

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Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent? [Ecclesiastes 7:13]

Posts: 5319 | From: UK | Registered: Jun 2012  |  IP: Logged
Amanda B. Reckondwythe

Dressed for Church
# 5521

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I'm surprised no one has yet mentioned Matthew 22:11-14.

A wedding is not a theatrical performance (no, it really isn't). Invited guests are not cast members who must wear whatever costumes the director orders. Nor are they props to be festooned in whatever manner suits the whims of the bride.

That said, a lady or gentleman dresses appropriately for whatever the occasion, and would never dream of dressing in such as way as to cause offense. To make a fashion statement, yes, but not to cause offense.

Surely in the whirlwind of showers that will precede the happy occasion, the bride-to-be may say to her guests, "Oh, I just hate the new style of wearing black at weddings. To me, black is for funerals. I certainly hope that none of you would do such a thing!" Any lady present would take the hint; anyone so dense as not to is not a lady.

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"I take prayer too seriously to use it as an excuse for avoiding work and responsibility." -- The Revd Martin Luther King Jr.

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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# 76

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Maybe it's a pond difference, but over here there'd be one hen night, not a "whirlwind of showers", whatever that means other than an unusual meteorological event, which wouldn't include all the women invited to the wedding.

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

Posts: 17938 | From: Chesterfield | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Pomona
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# 17175

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quote:
Originally posted by Amanda B. Reckondwythe:
I'm surprised no one has yet mentioned Matthew 22:11-14.

A wedding is not a theatrical performance (no, it really isn't). Invited guests are not cast members who must wear whatever costumes the director orders. Nor are they props to be festooned in whatever manner suits the whims of the bride.

That said, a lady or gentleman dresses appropriately for whatever the occasion, and would never dream of dressing in such as way as to cause offense. To make a fashion statement, yes, but not to cause offense.

Surely in the whirlwind of showers that will precede the happy occasion, the bride-to-be may say to her guests, "Oh, I just hate the new style of wearing black at weddings. To me, black is for funerals. I certainly hope that none of you would do such a thing!" Any lady present would take the hint; anyone so dense as not to is not a lady.

Here, a lady is someone married to a lord. I am not a lady and have never pretended to be one.

And we don't have wedding showers here either.

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Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent? [Ecclesiastes 7:13]

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QLib

Bad Example
# 43

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I remember a national newspaper (the Mail, probably, in the days when it was still fairly respectable) criticising some Royal for wearing white at a posh wedding, arguing that it must have been a deliberate attempt to upstage the bride.

Another vote for: "We would prefer guests not to wear black."

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Tradition is the handing down of the flame, not the worship of the ashes Gustav Mahler.

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hilaryg
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# 11690

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I think "our day, our way" is generally the best mantra, provided it is done with sufficient grace and tact to ensure your guests still feel welcome.

I am also planning a wedding, and we do not have any dress code. We weren't even planning on mentioning it, until we realised that some people were worried about being posh enough for the ceremony venue. Most of our guests will be from out of town and so we will be pleased enough if they can come. As hosts we want to ensure people are comfortable, so we've said to dress up as much or little as they like. I'm reasonably confident no-one will turn up in jeans, but even if they do it won't ruin the day, at least they turned up.

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Brenda Clough
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# 18061

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I move in arty circles. The gatherings I go to, we are grateful if people are clothed at all, never mind in anything of a standard appearance.

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Science fiction and fantasy writer with a Patreon page

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Antisocial Alto
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# 13810

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Agree with Amanda B. Specific preferences about clothing or gifts should be delivered in person, not in writing.

I would certainly find a specific dress instruction on the invitation to be officious, as opposed to a more general guideline like "Formal" or "Beachwear". Ideally the venue of your wedding should clue your guests in to the range of what's appropriate, and if they wear something wrong, it's their problem and not yours.

La vie, forgive me if I'm wrong but I get the sense from previous posts of yours that you're a pretty visual person, and also fairly fashion-aware. I think if you're gifted in these areas you may have to accept that other people are often going to fall short of your standards. (Certainly musicians and foodies have to put up with inferior products at weddings too- I don't mean to single out fashion here.)

The important thing is that your loved ones and your community are there to support you, not what color frock they wear while doing so (as long as they're not deliberately being rude). Better not to be controlling over a fairly minor detail.

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Oscar the Grouch

Adopted Cascadian
# 1916

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As one who has officiated at numerous weddings and seen far too many fashion disasters, LVER's request is not that big a deal. As far as "Bridezillas I Have Known" go, LVER is not even on the scale. If friends or family get huffy over such a simple request, then that really is their problem.

Like others, I think it would be best given in a positive direction, pointing people towards colour, rather than a purely negative "no black".

In my experience, friends and family enjoy entering into a wedding where the couple have a clear idea of what they want, which expresses who they are. If a couple really ARE into punk or Goth, it is amazing how far friends will go to make the day special and fun. But equally, it is good not to be too specific or controlling - to leave space for each guest to express his or her own individuality and character.

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Faradiu, dundeibáwa weyu lárigi weyu

Posts: 3871 | From: Gamma Quadrant, just to the left of Galifrey | Registered: Dec 2001  |  IP: Logged
cliffdweller
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# 13338

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Again, for myself, the more help parsing these rather vague terms "formal", "dressy", etc., the better. That being said, and taking into consideration the huge geographic and generational differences in the way these terms are understood, for my social location anyway, it might be easier to comply with the colorful request if you say something like "dressy" rather than "formal". In my generation & lifestage, anyway, I'm unlikely to have anything that is truly "formal" and if I do, it would be black. Far easier to comply with colorful dressy clothes-- a pretty print dress or skirt that can be dressed up with nice jewelry and accessories.

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"Here is the world. Beautiful and terrible things will happen. Don't be afraid." -Frederick Buechner

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GCabot
Shipmate
# 18074

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quote:
Originally posted by Signaller:
I've worn a suit every working day since I was eleven years old. I'd feel very uncomfortable wearing casual clothes in that situation. YMMV, obviously.

Wait, you have been working since you were eleven-years-old? Is that not slightly illegal?

quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
I think it is much ruder to impose a dress code on guests. My smart clothing is all black, and I think nowadays black is associated more with smartness and formality than funerals.

Similarly, I was always taught that wedding lists or other gift requests were rude. Presents are to be welcomed but not expected. Expecting guests to spend money on new clothes is definitely rude - IMO it means you're putting clothes above spending time with people you love, and expecting guests to spend lots of money on travel without paying for a hotel room for them is also rude.

IMO being a good host is putting your guests first - back when formal dress codes were expected, this was part of it, but nowadays insisting on a dress code does more inconvenience than convenience. Etiquette is all about making guests feel comfortable, and IMO nowadays a dress code does not do that with the exception of very formal events like meeting royalty.

This is pure nonsense. The social convention for weddings is quite clear, of which your notions are the antithesis. If you are so offended at the idea of having to spend anything on attending another's wedding, then just do not go. The wedding is about the couple getting married; it is not about you. The couple should not have to tailor their plans around your personal convenience, if that was even a tenable solution for every guest. You do understand that throwing a wedding itself is expensive, right? To expect the couple to pay for the entire wedding, all the personal expenses of the guests, and generally work their plans around your personal whims, is not only rude, it is downright arrogant, selfish, and offensive. Do you really think that little of your friends and family?

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The child that is born unto us is more than a prophet; for this is he of whom the Savior saith: "Among them that are born of woman, there hath not risen one greater than John the Baptist."

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Twilight

Puddleglum's sister
# 2832

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This sort of came up for me last summer. I received a wedding invitation and knew I would have to buy something, as I had zero dressy clothes in my closet. I had no dresses at all and mainly black wool trousers and nice tops for church, jeans and sweaters for the rest of the time.

I went shopping in the only nice department store in town. They had one rack of "dressy," outfits in the back of a rather large store. It held a few floor length gowns in loud colors and a few dressy pant suits. The only thing that fit me was this: Black silk pants with coordinated gray silk jacket trimmed in shiny black, over a silver knit shell.

I told the clerk it was for a wedding, so maybe it shouldn't be black? He, as well as some shoppers standing around, said it would be perfect and that the "no black at weddings," thing went out fifty years ago. I bought it, wore it, and noted that more than half the women there were wearing either black pants or skirts. I think it stems from the fact that black is so slimming and only the very young and thin think they look nice in pastels. It certainly didn't mean anyone was wishing bad luck on the wedding.

This outfit, plus shoes to match, came to about a hundred dollars. I could have driven to another town and shopped for something I would never have worn again, but it would have been hard and I had already gone out of town to find a gift where the bride had registered and spent about a hundred dollars there.

If the invitation had requested "no black," I would have complied, just as I go along with the relatively new custom of the bride telling people what gifts to buy her through the registry. It just seems a bit bossy to me.

The guests are there to witness the vows and wish the couple well. They are not really part of the bride's perfect stage production with herself as the star and all colors of the set and costumes fading toward her gleaming white presence. That's what the bridesmaids are for.

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