• New Year’s Eve Country Club Wedding – Black Tie Optional
  • Creative Etiquette Solutions

New Year’s Eve Country Club Wedding – Black Tie Optional

Dear Didi,

What would you suggest that I wear to a Black Tie Optional New Year’s Eve wedding at a New Jersey country club? What type of shoes would you pair with it?

-Jessica, Pennsylvania

Dear Jessica,

For an evening wedding we like to recommend chiffon because chiffon dresses are easy to dance in all night long. Since it is also New Year's Eve, sequins and glitter are the way to go. We illustrate styles trending by having you look at Rent the Runway. Not only can you rent a fabulous dress for a special occasion, but you can buy it. Or just look. Go to renttherunway.com and clickon 'Occasions' then under 2 categories, 'New Years,' and 'Wedding,' to look for the designer's name and the name of the dress listed below: Allison Parris:  Grand Celebration Dress Eli Tahari: Chic Chantal Sheath Badgley Mischka:  Fifth Avenue Showstopper Dress Badgley Mischka:  Manhattan Socialite Dress (black) Badgley Mischka:  Navy Petunia Gown Badgley Mischka:  Helena Gown Badgley Mischka:  Flora Chiffon Dress (green) Milly:  Sweet Madeline Dress ML Monique Lhullier:  Madame Damask Dress ML Monique Lhullier:  Cynthia Dress ML Monique Lhullier:  Meet at Midnight Dress Sachin + Babi:  Statuesque Dress Osman:  Dotted Gold Dress As you'll see, the dresses are shown with suggestions for shoes and accessories, that  canalso be bought or rented. Should you find a style you like, look for it in a department store near you in Pennsylvania. The classic holiday shoe to dance you through years of parties to come is the image here, Manolo Blahnik's Metallic-Printed Patent Leather d'Orsay Pumps. How to choose when the dress code is Black Tie Optional?  It would depend somewhat on what your escort is wearing. If a tuxedo, you could definitely wear a long dress/gown. Otherwise, there is nothing chicer than a fabulous short cocktail dress. There are also a couple of dresses that are midi, not above the knee and not ankle-length, which are also appropriate for Black Tie Optional. We're here to help, if the above suggestions don't appeal to you, come back to tell us your size, best colors, and any other particulars we should know in order to help you find the perfect dress for a New Year's Eve Wedding.  

~Didi

  • Destination Summer Florida Wedding Dress Code
  • Creative Etiquette Solutions

Destination Summer Florida Wedding Dress Code

Dear Didi,

My fiancé and I are getting married in Florida in July. He is wearing a khaki vest and trousers with a tie and brown shoes and I will wear a full length dress.

The wedding is at 2pm and the reception will be a few hours later at a restaurant which requires business casual attire. What dress code should we request for our guests to wear? We opted out of tuxedos since it’s Florida in July, but also this is a destination wedding and our guests will be traveling from Pennsylvania. What’s your suggestion?

-R, Pennsylvania

Dear R,

For your destination wedding, the dress code 'Business Casual' is more about what NOT to wear: shorts, flip-flops, t-shirt, baseball cap, wife-beater, bare feet, bare chest or bare midriff. The restaurant uses the No Bare Bodies dress code 'Business Casual,' because they're encouraging  guests to wear sundresses instead of bikinis and trousers in favor of Speedos. For your khaki vest-themed wedding, you are looking for the men guests to wear a tie with either a summer vest or jacket. Tell your guests that by using the dress code 'Tie and Vest.' Out of respect for you, the bride, on her wedding day, the very least the men guests can do is to wear a tie and jacket/vest. It is traditional to have the wedding dress code coded for the men. For instance, the dress code 'Black Tie' means a tuxedo. As you say, it will be too hot in July for a tuxedo and 'Tie and Vest' would work wonderfully for your destination wedding dress code. On your wedding website their should be a place for dress code information. As well as listing the dress code 'Tie and Vest' (although not in quotes) on your wedding invitation, you would also put 'Tie and Vest' as the dress code for your ceremony on your wedding website. Men guests who do not own a summer vest will get it that they have the option of wearing a light-weight summer jacket -- that they can always take off when the dancing begins. We look forward to hearing more about your wedding and we would really like to see photos, if you care to share them with NewportManners.com.

~Didi

  • Getting Married — Part One
  • Creative Etiquette Solutions

Getting Married — Part One

Dear Didi,

My boyfriend and I are engaged. We are getting married and don’t know where to start. It seems daunting. We should be making plans. Can you offer suggestions?

-Newly Engaged, Philadelphia

Dear Newly Engaged,

How wonderful. Nevertheless, -- not wanting to take the wind out of your sails -- but before you plan any of the fun stuff, make a budget. That may entail having a family pow-wow. Siting down with your families to discuss who can do what to help? Even if it is one or two members of your family at a time, be creative and find out what resources are available for you to tap and pool together. It is not enough to know that your fiancé's Aunt Geraldine owns a florist shop. You have to narrow in on a commitment as to how much of a discount she's willing to give you. Or will she do the bouquets for the bride and bridesmaids as her wedding present? Then give you a discount on the centerpieces? But what about decorating the church? When asking cousin Lewis to donate the party room at his waterfront restaurant, you want to made sure his offer is good for a weekend night, if in fact you're being married on a Saturday. He may happily offer it for Monday through Thursday, but not if your wedding date is a Saturday in August. In other words, get your ducks in order. Don't be timid about asking for help. That's the biggest mistake wedding couples make: not finding out who would be willing to step-up to the plate and pitch in to help.  Even when discussing the amount of a discount, show your appreciation to the relative or friend by letting them off the hook about additionally having to buy you a wedding present from your bridal registry. They can always do that without prompting. These family meetings will also help you find a date for the wedding.  If your art dealer mom has to be in Florida for a week during the Art Basel Miami Beach show, or the groom's best man, who happens to be his brother, will be studying for the bar exam, then mark the weeks around those crucial dates as N/P for not possible. Even if you suspect one of your siblings is pregnant, find out the approximate due date and mark that timeframe N/P. Besides setting up a spread sheet for name of guests/addresses/number in family, making up a calendar will help you narrow down the date when the major contributors and your closest friends and relatives will be able to attend. If your best friend will be on her safari honeymoon in Africa for the month of June, you'll need to find a more available matron/maid-of-honor to still be a June bride. Get to work, start a calendar, cull info and commitments from key players on to spreadsheets, make up a preliminary budget, and come back with a working plan that includes a realistic budget and we will happily help you fill in the details.  How to choose the formality of your wedding, as well as a dress code. The dos and don'ts of wedding etiquette, along with fresh ideas for making your wonderful dream wedding come true. In the meantime, if you have specific questions to help formulate your plans, we are here to help you and your families.

~Didi

  • December California Wedding Dress Code
  • Creative Etiquette Solutions

December California Wedding Dress Code

Dear Didi,

We are going to a Black Tie wedding in December in California. My husband has to rent a tux. What do I wear? Is that a long or short dress? Can you wear long sleeves in CA? I am from MN. Do I need close toed shoes if the dress is short? I am so not excited about this.

-sue, MN

Dear sue,

Not excited about a winter wedding in California? Think again, it will be wonderful fun and you won't see much snow. Temperatures in CA vary. If you are going to northern CA, you would dress more like you would dress in MN. Southern CA can be dressier, but much warmer. Look at the weather for the wedding town or city in CA on the internet during the timeframe you will be there and pack accordingly. This is a general answer because I don't know the time, location, or place of the wedding. The later in the day the wedding, the dressier the attire. If the wedding festivities begin after seven o'clock and it is a black-tie wedding, you should probably wear a simple long dress with beautiful shoes and carry a small clutch bag. Earlier, wear a knee-length cocktail dress. To illustrate the kinds of cocktail dresses we recommend for women over forty, we use the website Halsbrook.com. You can probably find similar dresses in a department store near you. In the meantime, go to halsbrook.com and look at the following dresses for a California wedding: Go to Occasions, then Wedding Guest to find these dresses: Maxmara:  Fiamma Stretch Wool Sheath Dress Maxmara:  Agente Wool-Blend Dress We like Halsbrook.com for the choices and the suggestions for accessories. These dresses could be a working part of your wardrobe for years to come. Yes, of course, you can wear long sleeves in CA. You might want to wear a 3/4 length sleeve for an evening wedding. Open toe shoes are always fine if your legwear does not show the reinforced toe. For legwear or shapewear to wear with an open toe shoe, go to Wolford.com and look for tights a shade lighter than your skin tone with a bit of shine to them.    

~Didi

  • Wedding Dress Code Legwear in Winter
  • Creative Etiquette Solutions

Wedding Dress Code Legwear in Winter

Dear Didi,

I’m attending a December 2014 wedding in Lexington, Kentucky. I’m wearing a light weight wool charcoal gray dress. I’m planning on wearing black leather or suede pumps. What type of leg wear should I wear?

-Jasie Mulloy

Dear Jasie Mulloy,

For a wedding, we recommend Wolford tights/legwear - from Wolford.com - with a bit of shimmer or shine to dress up the legs - in a shade lighter than your skin tone. Why a high-end dressy tight/legwear? Because when you're packing for a wedding you want beautiful legwear that will hold up and be less likely to run. At an evening wedding, with a charcoal dress and black shoes the color shade can go darker - but not opaque, which is not dressy. You still need the gentle shine of a shimmer. Taking a darker tone from the charcoal dress to your black shoes should be a subtle move.

~Didi

  • December Wedding Guest Dress Code in Florida at 4:30PM
  • Creative Etiquette Solutions

December Wedding Guest Dress Code in Florida at 4:30PM

Dear Didi,

My wife and I are attenting a December wedding in Orlando, FL. She has a beautiful knee-length, short-sleeved navy sequenced dress she would like to wear but does not know if it is appropriate. The wedding is at 4:30pm.

-Confounded husband, florida

Dear Confounded husband,

For a 4:30pm wedding your wife can certainly wear a short-sleeve, knee-length, navy blue sequin sheath dress.  Assuming the dress code is Suits & Dresses, meaning a short, chic cocktail dress, she will be right in style at the reception following the wedding. You might suggest legwear with a shimmer that are a shade lighter than her skin tone to dress up her legs -- if she hasn't planned for them already. We particularly love the legwear at Wolford.com.

~Didi

  • Evening Shoes for A Black Tie Formal New York Winter Wedding
  • Creative Etiquette Solutions

Evening Shoes for A Black Tie Formal New York Winter Wedding

Dear Didi,

I am going to a Formal Black attire wedding in New York on Nov 15. I have a long black dress accented with silver. Do I have to wear closed toe shoes? What kind of shoes do you suggest? I am 44 years old and tall. I usually wear mid heels. Can you please help me out.

-not sure what to do, The South

Dear not sure what to do,

When there is dancing, you want a really comfortable dancing pump -- as you know. In mid-November in New York either an open or closed toe pump in black, silver or a dark floral print is fine, as long as your stockings do not have a reinforced toe. If there is a lot of silver on the black evening dress, go with pumps such as the first two Jimmy Choos listed below. The third Jimmy Choo comes in different shades of glitter, look at the Isabel to start. Again, if the silver is minimal, these dark floral Minbra from Manolo are a wonderfully festive, yet elegant winter evening pump. Jimmy Choo:  Aza Black Suede Pointy Toe Pumps Jimmy Choo:  Vacant Black Flocked Mesh and Suede Pointy Toe Pumps (mid hight) Jimmy Choo:  Isabel Gunmetal Coarse Glitter Fabric Peep Toe Pumps Manolo Blahnik:  Minbra We use the Choo and Blahnik websites to illustrate trending evening shoes, that are comfy as well as gorgeous on the dance floor; you can probably find copies in a department store near you. No, you do not have to wear a closed toe evening shoes, but it shouldn't look as though you are wearing warm climate shoes in winter, which is why we love the above evening shoes for you.  

~Didi

  • December Florida Wedding Dress Code & The LBD
  • Creative Etiquette Solutions

December Florida Wedding Dress Code & The LBD

Dear Didi,

Is it appropriate to wear a knee length, 3/4 sleeve, black dress with brooch at waist to a 3:00 p.m. church wedding with the reception to follow from 4:30 – 9:30 p.m.? The wedding is in Florida the beginning of December.  I guess the real question is:  Is the color black OK or should I choose another color?

-L. M., Florida

Dear L. M.,

There is no chicer look than the little black dress. My concern is the heaviness of the fabric. If it is a lightweight fabric,then you are fine, however if it is a wool blend, you may be warm. Not only will you feel warm, but you could look warm, especially with the sleeve length. Nonetheless, assuming the wedding is taking place indoors where there is air-conditioning, you may be happier in the 3/4 length sleeve. And, as I said, there is no color chicer than black. It is a myth about not wearing black to a wedding. Because of the brooch at the waist, if it is jeweled, take it easy with other jewelry. Less is more. Be sure to wear leg wear a shade lighter than your skin tone with a bit of shimmer to them to dress up your legs.    

~Didi

  • November New Hampshire Country Club Wedding Guest Dress Code
  • Creative Etiquette Solutions
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November New Hampshire Country Club Wedding Guest Dress Code

Dear Didi,

What do I wear to a 6:00pm November wedding at a country club in New Hampshire? I am a 29-year-old female, 5’4″ 104 lbs, blonde hair. I am from California and not sure what is proper attire for a wedding in New Hampshire.

-A.B., San Francisco, CA

Dear A.B.,

November can be rather chilly in New Hampshire, especially going to an evening wedding, however, think about what you would wear to a wedding in Northern California. To illustrate dresses that are trending I use four websites: JMcLaughlin.com (preppy country club clothing), what2wear where.com (more fashionable country club styles), oliviapalermo.com (even more trendy). But let's go to renttherunway.com where you can see what's in the stores in your area, as well as dresses you can rent or buy right now. Click on 'What's New' to find the following dresses: Clover Canyon: Lady Wilde Dress Clover Canyon: George Bernard Shaw Sheath Carmen Marc Valvo: Spin in Scuba Dress Carmen Marc Valvo: Red Alert Dress More importantly, if you are a friend of the bride, find out what the bridesmaids are wearing and choose a dress that is similar in style, but a different color. It goes without saying, that you will need the perfect warm quilted or soft leather jacket or knee-length chic coat from Belstaff.com, which will serve you well in both California and New Hampshire.  The Belstaff 'Aynsley' jacket has a rugged elegant, practical appeal and is a stamp of authentic  and understated cool. Wolford.com tights that shimmer and are a shade lighter than you skin tone will not only dress up your legs, but they'll also keep them warm.

~Didi

  • Catskills Outdoor-Indoor November Wedding Guest Dress Code
  • Creative Etiquette Solutions
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Catskills Outdoor-Indoor November Wedding Guest Dress Code

Dear Didi,

I am attending a wedding in early November in the Catskills.  The information on the website says the ceremony and the cocktail hour will be outdoors and to “dress accordingly.”  I believe the reception will be inside (and with a lot of dancing, will end up being very warm) so I am not sure how to dress for the two different settings–outside and then inside.

The ceremony starts at 5pm.  Even though I’m in my early forties,I have no idea how to dress. Any advice would be gratefully appreciated!!

-Ali, Brooklyn, NY

Dear Ali,

Look for a dress code on the wedding invitation or wedding website. When 'Black Tie' isn't specified, you can assume the dress code is 'Suits & Dresses.' As a bit of a chic freak, I would say you should keep warm in a knee-length or midi-length stretch wool or knit sheath wrap or gathered dress, worn under a soft leather jacket, sweater coat or other lightweight knee-length coat. For women over forty, we use the Halsbrook.com site to illustrate trending wedding guest dresses. Sheer shiny leg wear, such as those from Wolford.com, in a shade slightly lighter than your skin tone will dress up your legs and also help to keep you warn, along with lined leather gloves. When you go inside for dinner you should be able to check your coat and if not, drape it over the back of your chair before tucking your gloves into your jacket pocket. Earrings, a bracelet, cocktail ring, and beautiful shoes and evening bag will jazz up the outfit when your coat comes off.

~Didi