Going to the Chapel… now what? I remember reading somewhere that the beautiful Teri Hatcher was walking out of the ceremony site for her friend and coworker, Eva Longoria. Teri, of course, was breaking all the rules of dress. She wore a powder blue prom dress – I might add she was really wearing that dress, which helps. There was a caption next to the picture that said something like: “At times, the usual rules of fashion etiquette don’t apply to the famous.” Nooooo! You don’t say. The article went on to tell the normal wedding-goer the dos and don’ts of wedding apparel. They would apply to you and me. Rachael Donaldson the host of Bravo’s “Project Runway” had some great tips about what to wear to a wedding. The rules are simple but sometimes I’m taken aback at what people wear to corporate meetings when the memo clearly states; business attire. Being in the thick of wedding season I don’t want to assume that guests know how to dress. So, I’m going to review Donaldson’s rules here. 1. When you receive the invitation, look for clues. If it’s an evening affair (after 5 pm) you’d be safe to wear a black gown or tux but if the invite says “Family Homestead or Farm” or “County Park” or something like “on the sunny beach of…” you may want to heed the warning and forgo the gown and wear a simple dress or dressy slacks. Should the invite have lots of pages, tissue papers and response cards on beautiful paper, it signals that this is a more formal event. 2. When in doubt, overdress. Donaldson states that “you can always take off your tie and unbutton your shirt” if it’s casual. There’s a huge however coming along here…. However, I’ve seen mothers of the brides, mothers of the grooms, guests and family show up in a very beautiful gown but it’s two sizes too small or worse yet too revealing. Don’t do it guys. And for you brides; don’t loose sleep over what so-and-so is wearing, if they ask for your opinion please be frank! – you’ll be happy that you were. 3. Don’t overdo it. It’s really distracting if you wear something inappropriate. Do not consider this a night out with the hubby when you feel like taking advantage because you lined up a baby sitter. In other words, don’t look like you’re going clubbing. 4. Black is a go, white is a no. I know that some say that it’s better for a summer wedding to choose navy blue instead of black because black isn’t “universally flattering” and can look more funeral-like than festive… I disagree. If done properly anyone can look fabulous in black unless you’re wearing that power suit that you gave a presentation to the board. Don’t wear white. Period. 5. Be discreet. This is a good one. If your dress is very sexy wear a wrap to the church. There are still some things in this world that are still being held sacred. That’s a church sanctuary. Have the big reveal at the reception so to speak. Take off that beautiful wrap at the reception site. This is a good place to show off your shoulders.
In a nut shell Diane Forden, the Editor-in-Chief of Bridal Guide magazine says this: Morning: Light fabrics, dresses knee-length, accessories discreet. Afternoon: Be festive but refine with a sleeveless dress, open-toe shoes (but I have to interject here… why do we, in Lancaster County, wear stockings with opened-toe shoes? Please, NO STOCKINGS!!!). Along with your airy outfit add a classy clutch and bangles to your ensemble. Evening: Wear a chic cocktail dress or gown when specified on the invite. Color is good even dark colors but avoid bold prints. Destination: A printed sundress is acceptable, beaded flip-flop thongs or metallic flats and a silky fringed shawl are perfect for a beach wedding. Before doing all of this be sure to RSVP on time. Which is a great segue; don’t add a guest unless the second envelope in the invitation specifically says you can. The inner envelope will say: Ms. C. Smith and guest. If it doesn’t don’t assume that you can bring someone. Don’t even dare to ask the bride if it’s ok. Trust me, she is counting on you to come alone. Lastly, don’t return your response card with a note jotted on it; “I’d like to sit with my cousin from Virginia, Claudia, but don’t sit us with Harry.” That’s tacky.
Daisy Pagan is a principal owner of Perfect Settings, 200 Locust St., Columbia. She studied Event Coordinating at Temple University and has been bringing together fabulous events for over 14 years before starting her business. Perfect Settings is a premiere reception venue that is very modern and chic. Perfect Settings specializes in extraordinary and elegant events. Daisy can be reached at 684-4455. www.perfectsettings.net or daisy@PerfectSettings.net