Frequently Asked Questions

Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Mother-of-the-Groom:
Q Is it ok to use a dress purchased for my first son's wedding that was cancelled, and now use it for my next son's wedding that is coming up?

A Of course, it is OK. In the wedding photos you won't have been in the dress in your first son's wedding photos.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 1:00 pm Wedding: Guest: Woman
Q My niece is getting married Sept. 12th, 1 PM, Catholic church, I am not one to wear a dress...can I wear black trouser leg slacks, white V-neck blouse, pink blazer and black heels? What would you suggest instead?

The dinner and reception is at a bar/grill place where they met.

A Your outfit sounds fine as long as the slacks are not a tight fit. Since you aren't one to wear a dress, you should be OK especially if this is the type of outfit that you would wear to church. Personally, I'm not sure about the pink jacket, but if the outfit fits you well and makes you feel good, then it should be fine.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 1:00 pm: Boyfriend's Dad's Wedding
Q Hi Didi
I am going with my boyfriend to his dad's wedding October 1st at 1 pm, and it's my first time meeting his dad's side of the family. I don't know what to wear! Please help.

A Firstly, a one o'clock in the afternoon wedding is not fancy, so you don't have to get too dressed up. Wear a very good dress that falls to your knees with beautiful shoes. You don't even need a cocktail dress, it is more about quality then glitz for an early afternoon wedding. Since I don't know your age, build, coloring or budget, this is a rather general answer. I also don't know your location, are you in the tropics, the Northeast, California? People dress differently in the different areas of the country in terms of climate and dressiness.

Wear a well-made dress with short sleeves made of good quality or a sheath with a little jacket, with beautiful shoes and carry a small clutch bag for your lipgloss.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 1:00 PM: Connecticut: Evening Gown
Q Attending a 1 PM church wedding on July 23rd in CT. Reception is at 6PM at an elegant restaurant on the shore. This is an Italian/Spanish wedding. I am 32 years old and my husband is in the wedding party. I have chosen a full-length evening gown in deep plum, sleeveless, with beaded detail that flows over one shoulder and under one bust line. Would this be inappropriate to wear and if so, what should I wear?

A You might feel I bit silly traipsing around at one o'clock in the afternoon in a beaded evening gown. A short cocktail dress that falls just above your knees would be more suitable for a one o'clock wedding and the reception at the restaurant. Unless the invitation specifically states Black Tie, the dress code is Suits and Dresses.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 1:00 pm: Iowa
Q What should I wear to a 1:00 PM wedding in early October located in Iowa. The wedding venue is a lake house. I'm 5'9, blonde, size 6-8. My boyfriend is in the wedding party and will be wearing a tuxedo, so I'm wondering what I should wear? (color, cut, shoes) I don't want to be over-dressed for the affair or under-dressing when I'm next to him... any advice would be much appreciated. Thank you :)

A Firstly, a one o'clock isn't dressy. The wedding party dresses formally, but the guests wear very good quality day clothing. That said, wear a beautiful, well-made day dress with beautiful shoes. Alternatively, in trend is wearing a beautiful blouse with a short skirt that falls just above your knees. Since you don't know if you'll be walking around outside near the lake, wear beautiful flats and carry a small clutch bag. By the way, a one o'clock outdoor wedding is a perfect opportunity to wear a hat.

Color is so personal. If you have blue eyes wear blue, green wear green, or Google Fall Fashion Colors 2011 to find trending colors for this fall that work for you. My two favorite styles for this fall are 1) the short-sleeved day dress that falls just above the knees, 2) a solid color long sleeve blouse with a short black skirt. Both with beautiful flats and small clutch bag.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 1:00 PM: Upstate NY:
Q I am invited to a wedding in June in upstate New York at a Catholic Church in 1:00 pm. The cocktails will be in a hotel at 4:00 pm and subsequent dinner at 5:00 pm. I am 30 years old. I am not sure what to wear. Do I need to change dress between church and dinner? Or is there something I can wear in both places? There is no dressing code on the invitation.

Thank you a lot!

A When there isn't a guess code for the wedding, it usually means Suits and Dresses. You don't need to change dresses. Just a wear a really pretty dress, beautiful shoes and a magnificent hat. Before going to the cocktail and dinner reception, you can leave your hat in your car at hotel.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 1:30 pm Ceremony: 5:30 pm Reception
Q I'm attending a friend's wedding in July that is at a Catholic Church at 1:30 and the reception is at a country club with cocktail hour beginning at 5:30, followed by dinner and then dancing. What kind of dress would be appropriate for this situation? I usually love dressing up as much as possible and love my heels, but don't know how to dress for this particular situation.

I also have another wedding the weekend before with the ceremony at a church at 4:30 and followed by a reception at a fancy ballroom. What would be the proper attire for this? I have a sateen cobalt blue cocktail dress I love, but didn't know if would be appropriate.

A Are you asking if you can wear your sateen cobalt blue cocktail dress to both weddings?

You could certainly wear it to the 5:30 pm reception for the first wedding and for the 4:30 pm wedding throughout.

For the 1:30 pm church ceremony, wear a simple linen dress because sateen will be too hot and too dressy to wear in the early afternoon. Just go home or back to your hotel and change out of your daytime linen-blend dress and into your cocktail dress. You'll have a good three hours to change and you'll find that others will have changed, too.

To clarify the dress code for the 4:30 pm wedding, when the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, then you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. That means a knee-length cocktail dress with beautiful shoes and a small evening bag.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 10:00 a.m. Wedding
Q What is the appropriate attire at a 10:00 a.m. wedding? Is it the dressiest time?

A No, it is the least dressiest time. You would dress as if you were going to church and a fancy restaurant for brunch afterwards. This means suits or jackets and ties for the men and coat dresses or suits and hats, scarves and gloves for the ladies.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 10:00 AM: Florida in May
Q I have been invited to a 10:00 a.m. wedding in Orlando, FL, in May. The wedding will take place outside with inside reception immediately following. I have a stretch taffeta dress with 3/4 length sleeves. Is this appropriate?

A Taffeta sounds a bit dressy for a morning wedding. Since I haven't seen the dress and you want to wear it, my only advice would be to take it down a bit on the accessories. For instance, wear flats or pumps instead of high heels. No tangle earrings or bangles on the wrists. A hat is always appropriate at a morning wedding and will help to make the dress more morning attire.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 10:00 AM: Hawaii: October
Q Is a brown top and light animal print chiffon skirt appropriate to wear for the guest at a beach wedding in Hawaii in October?

A Sounds perfect to me. Have a great time!


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 10:00 AM: Sport Attire: Agres 40 - 70: June
Q Hi Didi,
I enjoy reading your Newport Manners column and I find your answers very helpful. My work colleagues and I are attending a wedding in late June. The bridal couple is getting married at 10 am at an outdoor site in Providence with a reception to follow at the picturesque Colonial-era Smith-Appleby House in Smithfield, Rhode Island.
The wedding invitation states that the reception will feature kayaking, croquet, volleyball, badminton, table games, a barbeque, and live music. The groom mentioned that he'll be wearing a suit for the ceremony and changing to shorts for the reception. My work colleagues ages are 40, 50, 60, and 70. What do you suggest we wear to the wedding?
Sincerely,
Susie, Cumberland,RI

A I understand why it is confusing. First off, an early morning wedding is not dressy. It is more about the quality of your clothing than the dressiness of the outfit. You can relax.

Go with the "picturesque Colonial" and wear a cotton summer dress with a lovely hat and sandals. A dress you can move around in, either real short or knee-length. Ideally, you would wear a skort (shorts-skirt, such as something women play golf in), but they can be difficult to find. Make it relaxed, no fussy jewelry, and maybe take a bathing suit and towel, if you're planning on kayaking. Don't forget the sunscreen and sunglasses. A hat and sunglasses will be your most important accessories.

Happy you read my column, we like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 10:00: Pantsuit
Q Can I wear a white sleeveless pantsuit with brown embroidery and a tan wrap to 10 am wedding?

A You are not going to like my answer. Out of respect for the bride on her wedding day, don't wear white or trousers to her wedding. If you only ever wear trousers, then go ahead and wear a pantsuit, but not a white one.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 10:30 AM: Newport, Rhode Island: Age 32
Q Good Evening Didi,

Family guest to an all male wedding (inc wedding party)in Newport RI June 2014. Wedding is at 10:30am; however, wedding party will be in Navy and Steel Grey tuxedos. I am the sister-in-law of the groom, wife of the best man, mother of the ring bearer. The venue is Belle Mer, the most breathtaking in the state. I am 32, 5'10", size 10. I am struggling between a long dress seeming too formal but a short dress seeming too young. From the menu/venue/wedding party, it appears to be formal, but at 10:30 AM due to scheduling reasons. I wanted to find a dress like Lupina Nyong'o from the 2014 Oscars, but is that too formal? Also, is the plunging neckline amazing or too much?


A A morning wedding is not dressy. Your outfit would be more about the quality of the dress than the dressiness of the dress. You would wear a knee-length fabulous day dress or curvy skirt-suit. Sadly, a long dress is not going to work for you at 10:30 AM. Think about clothing worn to church on an Easter Sunday morning. That's what you are going to be wearing. Curvy is good, long is not an option in the morning.

We like hearing from you, but we also have to be honest. Please, let us know if we can help further.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 10:30 AM: Napa Valley
Q I am going to a 10:30 am wedding Saturday, 1/28, near Napa Valley. I have been told by the man I just started seeing that the men are wearing tuxedos and that he is wearing a suit. I have not met his family and I am flying in from VA, nor have I ever been to this part of CA so I am at a loss as to what to wear. I have a little black dress and a 3/4 gold sweater I was thinking about wearing and keeping jewelry to a min. but again at a loss for what type of shoes I would wear or if this dress would be appropriate. The rehearsal dinner is on the Thursday night before the wedding - that is new for me too...Any help, advise you can give me would be greatly appreciated.

A A morning wedding in California is informal. Wear the little black dress to the rehearsal dinner with the sweater, it does get nippy at night in Napa this time of year. I don't track your question with the intake info, so I don't know your age and therefore this is a rather general answer. Wear to the wedding what you would wear to a hip shower or lunch with your friends at a cool restaurant. If you have a thin black leather jacket, wear it over a wrap dress with classic black pumps. Any fine leather jacket paired with a simple dress and classic pumps is very chic and very California. Just so you know, when the invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress codes is Suits & Dresses.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 10-Year-Old Boys: 6:00 PM: Dallas
Q We are attending a 6 pm in Dallas, TX on May 5th for my husbands nephew. It is a church wedding. What should my 10 year old boys wear? Suit or navy blazer w khakis?
Thank you.

A If it is a black-tie wedding, meaning the dress code Black Tie or Formal Attire is specified on the wedding invitation, then your sons should wear dark suits. When the dress code is not mentioned, your boys can certainly wear navy blue blazers with khakis trousers, white collared shirts, and striped ties. Let them wear comfortable slip-on, loafer-style, brown leather shoes.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 11:00 A.M.: September
Q I am invited to a wedding in September @ 11:00 AM. What will be the appropriate attire to wear?

A A morning wedding is not formal. A man would wear a business suit or at the very least a tie and jacket. A woman would wear a knee-length skirt suit or day dress with beautiful shoes and carry a small clutch bag.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 11:00 AM Ceremony: October: Silver Shoes
Q Dear Didi,
My Uncle is getting married on October 7th and it's a morning wedding at 11am. My sisters and cousins and I are walking down the aisle, but sitting down. Then we are getting up in front and we're each doing a reading during the ceremony. They don't care about what we are wearing but only that we look nice. There is no specific bridal party. I bought a blue short appropriate dress that has a silver brooch. My question is what color shoes and purse is appropriate? I wanted to wear a silver pair I already have, but as it's a morning wedding, is silver okay? Shelly, Johnston

A Dear Shelly,
A morning wedding isn't dressy. Silver shoes are fine, if they are neither dressy or strappy. You don't want to look as though you're still in the same outfit you were out clubbing in the night before. Think about wearing a daytime outfit, such as a just above the knee length skirt suit or day dress that is tailored to flatter your figure, with closed dark or nude colored pumps or flats, and carry a small clutch bag that works with the colors. If you wear the blue dress with nude colored shoes, a nude tone bag would be classic. If you're looking for a fashionable pop of bright color for shoes to wear with your blue dress, cobalt blue is a trendy color this fall that works as well in the morning, as it does after midnight. ~Didi


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 11:00 am Wedding: Grandmother
Q My grandson is being married at 11 am and the ceremony is a casual affair. I have always thought that the grandmother should dress in a solid color dress or gown. I have never gone to a morning wedding and also casual. Is it appropriate for me as the grandmother to wear a floral dress or suit?

A You can wear a floral dress, but I think that a solid dress with sleeves or suit that both fall just below the knees would be more appropriate.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 11:00 am: Baton Rouge, LA
Q Dear Didi,

I am going to a wedding in Baton Rouge, LA. It is at 11:00 a.m. July 13. I am 42 years old and the bride is the daughter of a big political figure. There is a lunch afterwards. I am very small, 5' 2" and 98 pounds. I have a hard time finding clothing and closed-in shoes that actually fit. Please advise. Name and address withheld


A Dear Ms.,

To see what dresses are trending go to Rent the Runway and click on the following in this order:
Occasions
Weddings & More
Daytime

This will bring you to the 'Daytime Chic Weddings Boutique' where you'll see above-the-knee dresses with a bit of sleeve that are just right for a morning wedding. You want to wear a daytime dress that isn't as dressy as an after-five cocktail dress, with beautiful shoes. Carry a small clutch bag. I love a hat at a morning wedding and it will give you a bit more height, if you feel you still need it with your high heels. Here are some of the dresses that I think would be nice for a wedding luncheon as well as the shoes that look best with them.

Diana Von Furstenberg Limoncello Shift
Sachin + Babi Crimson Wave Dress
Vera Wang Blue Ripple Marks Sheath
Rachel Roy Good Karma Sheath
Lilly Pulitzer Touch of Sugar Dress
Ellie Tahari Sunset Daisy Sheath

You can probably find some of these dresses and similar shoes at your local department store. I just like to use renttherunway.com as a way of showing readers what is trending in terms of style and colors for a particular occasion. ~Didi


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 11:00 AM: California
Q I am going to an 11 am wedding in Orange County, CA in November. This is the first time I am meeting my boyfriend's parents and the first time he is introducing me to his friends. I really want to wear a mid-grey fitted cocktail dress with black heels and dangly earrings, but I feel like I would be overdressed for an 11 am affair. Please help.

A For a morning wedding, a cocktail dress would be way too dressy. Take it down a couple of notches and try to fit in to the nuances of the wedding and your boyfriend's family.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 11:00 AM: Charleston
Q I am a guest at an 11:00 am Charleston SC (church) wedding at the end of March. I am early 40's and would like to buy something new. What should I purchase?
Thank You,
Kim

A The great thing about buying something new for a morning wedding is that you will get a lot of wear out of whatever you buy. For an 11:00 AM wedding, you would wear either a well-tailored day dress of good quality or a skirt suit, both falling just above your knees, unless you would rather cover your knees.

As you no doubt know, morning weddings are the least dressy, so you would wear what you would normally wear to, say, a formal business meeting or a church service on Easter. In other words, you wouldn't wear a flirty cocktail dress or anything long. Coordinate the color of your shoes and bag with your outfit and you're good to go. Pearls are always appropriate at a wedding, as are a great hat and a pair of kid gloves.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 11:00 AM: Luncheon: Baton Rouge, LA
Q I am going to a wedding in Baton Rouge, La. It is at 11:00 a.m. July 13. I am 42 years old and the bride is the daughter of a big political figure. There is a lunch afterwards. I am very small, 5ft 2" and 98 pounds. I have a hard time finding clothing and closed in shoes that actually fit. Please advise.

A To see what dresses are trending go to Rent the Runway and click on the following in this order:
Occasions
Weddings & More
Daytime

This will bring you to the 'Daytime Chic Weddings Boutique' where you'll see above-the-knee dresses with a bit of sleeve that are just right for a morning wedding. You want to wear a daytime dress that isn't as dressy as an after five cocktail dress, with beautiful shoes and carry a small clutch bag. I love a hat at a morning wedding and it will give you a bit more height, if you feel you still need it with your high heels. Here are some of the dresses that I think would be nice for a wedding luncheon.

Diana Von Furstenberg Limoncello Shift
Sachin + Babi Crimson Wave Dress
Vera Wang Blue Ripple Marks Sheath
Rachel Roy Good Karma Sheath
Lilly Pulitzer Touch of Sugar Dress
Ellie Tahari Sunset Daisy Sheath

You can probably find some of these dresses at your local department store, I just like to use renttherunway.com as a way of showing readers what is trending in terms of style and colors for a particular occasion.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 11:00 AM: October: Silver Shoes
Q My Uncle is getting married on October 7th and it's a morning wedding at 11 am. My sisters and cousins and I are walking down the aisle, but then sitting down. Then we are getting up in front and we're each doing a reading during the ceremony. They don't care about what we are wearing but that we look nice. There is no specific bridal party. I bought a blue short appropriate dress that has a silver brooch. My question is what color shoes and purse is appropriate? I wanted to wear a silver pair I already have, but it's a morning wedding, is it okay?

A A morning wedding isn't dressy. Silver shoes would be fine, if they aren't dressy. You don't want to look as though as though you're in the same outfit you went out clubbing in the night before. You may want to take it down a notch by wearing a daytime outfit, such as a knee-length, or above, skirt suit or day dress that is tailored to flatter your figure with closed dark or nude colored pumps or flats and carry a small clutch bag that works with the colors. If you're wearing the blue dress with nude-colored shoes, pairing it with a nude-toned bag would be classic.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 11:00 Wedding: 6:00 pm Reception: Cleveland
Q I'm going to a wedding Oct. 1st in Cleveland. I'm not sure what to wear because the ceremony is 11 am in a Catholic church. The reception is an adult reception at 6pm at a country club. I want to wear the same dress for the ceremony and reception. What's appropriate?

A Since I know nothing about you, age, build, coloring, lifestyle, this is a really, really general answer. When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, then the assumed dress code is Suits & Dresses, or Cocktail Attire.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 11:30 AM Charlottesville in Winter
Q I am invited to an 11:30 am wedding at the Boar's Head Inn in Charlottesville, VA. What do I wear? I am female, age 47 : )

A For a brunch wedding in winter, a light-weight wool suit would be chic. Alternatively, a day dress with three-quarter length sleeves would be lovely, too. You would stay away from looking as though you were going to a cocktail party when it is really a very nice brunch or lunch celebration.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 11:30 am Service: Stepmother of the Bride
Q I am the stepmother of an adult daughter getting married for the second time at 11:30 a.m. She is wearing a lovely bridal gown, her father, my husband, is wearing a tuxedo. I have several lovely pretty gowns, solid colors...could I get away with wearing a long gown?? Thanks. The bride does not care if I wear long or short!

A I am sorry but you are not going to like my answer.

Don't wear a long dress to an eleven thirty wedding because you'll look and feel very silly. Most women over forty look incredibly dowdy in long dresses anyway, so why you would wear one when you don't have to is beyond me. As the stepmother of the bride you want to look dignified.

Find yourself a dress with a matching jacket or a very nice tailored suit that falls just below your knees. Since I don't know the date or climate of the wedding I cannot be more specific about what you should wear. However, I do know what you shouldn't wear. You shouldn't wear a long dress to a morning wedding.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 11:30 AM: Birmingham: Country Club
Q Dear Didi,

I am attending an 11:30 am wedding in Birmingham, Al. The wedding is at an Episcopal church and the reception is at the Birmingham Country Club. Can I wear an almond shell and pants in a soft but not shiny fabric? I would also wear a long sweater or long jacket with heels and small clutch.

Thanks, Beverly

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume that the dress code is Suits & Dresses. A morning wedding isn't dressy. However, when I tried logging on to the Birmingham Country Club (officially called Country Club of Birmingham) in Alabama to look for the dress codes for events, it was for members only. My best guess is that any club that is so private that it doesn't allow non-members to log into their Web site, has been operating formally as a country club for 113 years, and talks about maintaining club "values" on it's only public Web page, is the type of old-fashioned club where you would be expected to wear a proper day dress that falls to the knee to a wedding luncheon reception.

So, no, I wouldn't wear pants, but you can wear a beautiful day dress or an elegant light-weight skirt suit, that falls to the knee, with beautiful shoes and a small clutch. If you want to make a statement, perhaps a lovely hat would be more in keeping with the tone of the wedding.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 11:30 AM: Michigan: Four Hour Boat Tour
Q My boyfriend's buddy is getting married May 23, Friday morning, 1130 am, in Michigan. Followed by a four hour boat tour. What do I wear?

A Something warm. Find out the temperature for tomorrow morning and dress according. It isn't as much about the dressiness of the clothing and it is about the quality of the clothes and shoes. High heels on a boat usually aren't a good idea, although a low pump would be fine, ballerina flats would be better.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 14-Year-Old Male: Black Tie: July
Q We are attending a Black Tie wedding in July. Does my 14-year-old son need to wear a tuxedo, or is there an age where they are not expected to do so?

A Your son could certainly get away with not wearing a tuxedo. Why not rent him a white dinner jacket that he can wear with a pair of black pants. If he has a suit, he could wear that instead. Fourteen is on the shoulder of having to wear a tuxedo, so it depends upon your son and your resources. It would be best not to over-think this. Ask him what he would like to wear and leave at that. As long has he wears a jacket and tie, he should be fine.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 15 Year Old Brother of the Groom
Q Our oldest daughter is getting married on a Friday evening in August. Our middle daughter is the maid of honor. Our youngest child, our 15 year old son, is not in the wedding and does not care to have a part at all. The fathers are wearing tuxes as well as the groomsmen. The bridesmaids are all in peach knee-length dresses, each one wearing a slightly different style and different shade of peach. Kind of a rustic/country type look.

What should our son wear? He'd really like to wear cargo shorts with a nice shirt. He's an athlete and really does not enjoy dressing up. Any suggestions?

A Traditionally, as you no doubt know, when a boy turns to the double digit age of ten, he wears trousers. At the very least your son should wear khaki trousers or chinos to his sister's wedding along with a blazer or light weight jacket. By fifteen, he should be able to dress in trousers, a collared shirt, jacket, tie, and slip-on leather shoes out of respect for his sister on her wedding day.

Your son can were cargo pants all the time every day, but on his sister's wedding day he should dress like a fifteen-year-old, otherwise guests will think he is immature. Remind your son that many famous athletes wear tuxedos, trousers, blazers and ties when they attend grown-up parties. This is not a children's party. A wedding is a grown-up party and he should dress like a fifteen-year-old and not a nine-year-old. By the way, if the dress code for the men in the bridal party and the fathers is tuxedos, this is not a 'rustic/country' wedding.

Take this opportunity of your daughter's wedding to teach your son about how a young man dresses for very special occasions, even if your husband has to take him shopping.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 15-Year-Old-Boy: Maryland: Country Wedding
Q Hello. I am a 15-year-old boy. I'll be attending my cousin's wedding in three weeks. The wedding in at an estate and is a "country" wedding. I'm not sure what to wear. Many people will be wearing tuxes; however many will be wearing jeans. The location is in Maryland. Thanks.

A You wouldn't be expected to wear a tuxedo or a suit, but out of respect for the bride, you would wear a white collared shirt, a jacket or navy blue blazer and dress khakis, along with a tie and leather shoes and belt.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 18 Years Old: Noon: Tennessee
Q Hello. I am a teenager but I like to dress up. My friend who is 18 is getting married on Feb. 23rd. I am from Tennessee and I was wondering what I could wear?? The wedding starts at 12 and the reception is at 3. I have a dress that is black, beige and white on the top and I have some Jessicas Simpsons that are the same color. What do you think? Or should stay on a royal blue dress and find some silver heels? HEELP!

A Silver heels are really an evening shoe. Since the wedding is taking place in the early afternoon, don't wear silver heels to the the afternoon wedding. Both knee-length dresses sound nice, as long as you don't wear silver shoes. Nude colored heels, or shoes that match your skin tone, always work, because they make your legs look longer.

Just so you know. The later in the day that the wedding takes place, the dressier the wedding. Which is why an early afternoon wedding is not as dressy as an evening wedding.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 2:00 AM Winter Wedding:
Q I am doing a scripture reading in my best friend's wedding at 2:00 pm. I have a red/rose dress I was planning on wearing; is that too flashy?



A Red is such a great color. Please, do wear red. As it is an early afternoon wedding, you wouldn't wear a flirty cocktail dress. If possible that little red dress should have a short or three-quarter-length sleeve. If it doesn't, wear a pretty cardigan or shawl to cover your arms while you're in the church. Such a great honor!


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 2:00 pm Alabama in Summer
Q It is a 2:00 pm August wedding in Alabama inside church. Bride and attendants are wearing long dresses and groom and groomsmen are wearing tuxedos. I am the stepmother of the bride. The mother has chosen to wear a platinum short dress. I was told to choose a short dress also but not in any colors of the wedding: black, purple and red. I am a plus-sized 45 y/o woman. What style and color should I wear?

A Wear a navy blue short dress that falls just below your knees. Ideally that dress should have quarter-length sleeves, or at least short sleeves. A sheath would be fine with a matching jacket. If you can't find navy blue, try for a dark but not bright blue, or black. Black is very chic at weddings right now. Be sure that the fabric, no matter which color, is not shiny or has anything thing such as beads or spangles. Beige is another alternative, if you don't like navy blue or black.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 2:00 pm Birmingham
Q What does a 55-year-old woman wear to a 2:00 pm wedding in Birmingham, Ala. at an events location, not a church, in March? Is it appropriate to wear coral tailored dress with a coral sweater jacket that hits right below the top of the knee, with taupe shoes?

A That sounds lovely. It is the perfect two o'clock wedding outfit. Have fun!


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 2:00 pm Ceremony: 6:00 Adult Reception
Q Dear Didi,
I am a 26-year-old, 5'8", size 6 female. I am to attend my husband's high school friend's wedding the last weekend of June in a small Michigan town. We attended the groom's twin brother's wedding 2 years ago, it was a rather informal event. The upcoming wedding appears to be similar to the first event. The church ceremony is at 2 pm with an adult reception at 6pm. The bridesmaids are wearing light purple. The invitation does not specify a dress code so I am considering a few options and hope you can steer me in the right direction. I have a one-shoulder pink seer sucker dress with gorgeous pink strappy heels but I'm worried this may be too casual. I have a strapless sea blue with black floral design and black satin ribbon cocktail dress with gorgeous black strappy Kelly & Katie shoes. I am concerned my second option is too formal for a 2pm ceremony, but I am confident no one attending the wedding will change outfits between events. I usually prefer to error on the side of being over-dressed and I am leaning toward the blue/black dress but do not want to wear something too dark for June, what are your thoughts?

Thank you!
Sarah

A Dear Sarah,
A two o'clock wedding as you know is not formal. When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, then you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses, which for you would mean a cocktail dress for the six o'clock adult reception. My guess is that you will have plenty of time after the two o'clock church ceremony to go back to the motel and change into your blue/black dress cocktail dress.

Let's put it this way, you're a fashionable young lady so wear your style, which sounds as though you would like to change for the evening party; other women will change because the group will be a bit older than they were at the last family wedding. Why not wear the pink seersucker dress to the ceremony and find out if other women are dressing up a bit for the adult reception? If they are, then change. If you don't want to change outfits, wear the blue and black dress.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 2:00 PM Ceremony: 6:00 PM Reception
Q We are invited to my grandniece's wedding in St. Louis County May 31 at 2:00 and then the reception is at 6:00 with dinner, dancing and cocktails.

No mention on the invitation about dress. We are from SC. I want to know if I can wear a black dressy cocktail dress (little below the knees) or should I change. Changing seems like a lot of fuss!!!!! Thank you so much.

A Your knee-length cocktail dress sounds perfect for both the ceremony and the reception. Add beautiful shoes and a small clutch bag and you'll be lovely.

We like hearing from you

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 2:00 PM Ceremony: 6:00 PM Reception: Little Black Dress
Q Help Didi....I am going to my nephew's wedding on Sat. Aug 9....at 2 pm and I only have a black tiered sleeveless dress with a chiffon overlay...is that going to be okay....Please help.
The reception is at 6 oclock for a sit down dinner at a very nice country club.

A Sounds perfect to me. There is nothing chicer than the LBD. Wear beautiful shoes and carry a small clutch bag.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 2:00 PM Ceremony: 6:30 PM Reception
Q I am attending a 2 pm church wedding with 6:30 cocktail hour 'followed by reception' at a formal wedding hall on Long Island toward the end of August, and trying to decide what to wear. We live too far away to make sense to go home in between, but not far enough that it makes sense to stay at a hotel. I imagine there will be plenty of time to kill so we could find a restaurant to change if that seemed like the thing to do, although I'd rather not bother if I don't have to.

I was thinking about wearing a navy almost full length sleeveless round-necked semi-sheer dress with subtle design and matching solid underslip so that it appears semi-sheer from neckline to bust only. The cut is fairly straight, so I would not have a lot of bulk to carry around - probably would be considered more of a long party dress than a formal dress. Was thinking of a cotton shrug for the wedding and a silky shawl for the reception. I would appreciate your opibnion.

A Remember others will be in the same predicament. In this situation it is more about the quality of the clothing than the dressiness of the outfit. Wear a beautifully made knee-length dress with gorgeous shoes and carry a small clutch bag. You can change into dressier shoes for the evening reception and carry a small decorative evening bag.

I am not a huge fan of the dreadful shrug. I think it makes women look dowdy, older than they are and it brings them down in height. A shawl will definitely pull you down to look shorter. You won't need a shrug or shawl in August.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 2:00 PM Ceremony: May 2014
Q What should a 54-yr-old woman wear to a 2 pm outdoor country theme wedding in the May weather of 85 degrees? Thanks

A In terms of style, if the wedding is in Florida you would dress differently than if the wedding were out West. For women over forty, I recommend the website Halsbrook.com to see what is trending. Under dresses, start by looking for:

Elie Tahari Holly Printed Cotton Eyelet Dress
Maxmara Piega Stretch Linen and Cotton Shift Dress (blue)
Les Copains Periwinkle Stretch Cotton Dress

Look under 'Weddings' and also under 'Occasions' to find the looks trending at those locations.

We like hearing from you, but we help you better when we have more information about you, the wedding, and the place.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 2:00 pm Formal Wedding
Q Hello Didi,

One of my co-workers is getting married and the invitation says the the wedding is at 2:00 pm and the attire is formal.

What do I wear????

A If you are a woman, you would wear a very good cocktail dress. Don't wear a long dress because you'll feel silly in a long dress at that time of day. If you are a man, sadly, you'll have to wear a tuxedo, or at the very least a very dark suit with a white shirt and dark tie and shoes. Try to get away with the dark suit because you'll feel like a head waiter at that time of day in a tuxedo.

What kind of cocktail dress depends upon your age, build, the date, and location. If you've got a good figure and are under 45, you can wear a flirty cocktail dress that falls just above the knees. If you are more mature, then you would wear a skirt suit and dress it up with beautiful shoes and bag and real jewelry. The best thing about a two o'clock wedding is that you can wear a beautiful hat.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 2:00 pm in Boston
Q I will be attending a church wedding in Boston. The service will commence at 2 p.m. I have bought my twelve-year-old daughter a white dress with large blue floral print and a cardigan, my husband a long sleeve blue shirt with a black tie. I have no idea what to wear or if these outfits are appropriate. I am 5'6", 190 and have red hair with white/ruddy skin tone. Can you please shine some light on this issue for me?

A Your daughter's dress sounds pretty. Your husband will need a jacket, black belt, shoes and socks. I'm not sure about the black tie. If he's wearing dark pants, the black tie should be fine. Ideally, he would wear either a very dark suit with a white shirt and good tie, or grey flannels with a white shirt and a navy blue blazer with a striped tie. Again, black socks, shoes, and belt.

You could wear a dress with three quarter sleeves that falls just below your knees. If the neck of the dress forms a V shape, it will make you look slimmer. A waist will show off your curves, and that's always a good thing. Heels with a bit of height will also elongate your silhouette. Black or navy blue would be good colors for a Boston wedding. Stay away from bold colors and patterns. Be sure your pantyhose are a slightly lighter color than your legs. A small clutch bag and pearl earrings will polish off your look. For a wedding in Boston, you want to look dignified and elegant.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 2:00 pm Newport in July
Q I am a guest invited to a 2 pm church wedding in Newport in July. I am in my late fifties, any ideas? I am about a size 12 and I do not want to be too hot...I am from Miami and am sure the protocol there is different. I am only finding fabrics here suitable for winter, cold-for some reason...heavy and dark colors...

A The temperatures in Miami this time of year I assume are in the high 80s to high 90s; in Newport, RI, they range from low 70s to high 80s during the day. If you have such a thing as a linen dress with short sleeves, that would be perfect; or a sheath with a matching jacket. A light-weight skirt suit would be perfect. All would fall just below your knees, or just above your knees depending on the shape of your legs. You certainly wouldn't wear anything longer in the afternoon.

If you're only finding dark colors, go with a navy blue or black and lighten up the darkness with a very pretty chic hat and beautiful shoes. Look on-line for day dresses and outfits in your local department stores. I'm a big fan of Eileen Fisher who does a lot of different styles in linen blends. Remember that we don't have as much air conditioning here in Newport as you do in Miami, so you do want to wear a light outfit. Ice blue and beige always seem elegant and dignified at a wedding.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 2:00 pm Outdoor Wedding in October
Q I'm invited to a 2:00 p.m. outside wedding with reception immediately following in October. I am in my mid-50's, size 12-14. What would be the proper dress code? My 31-year-old handicapped son has been invited also. His handicap is being non-verbal; but also he has depth vision problems; what should he wear? Would it be appropriate for him to wear shoes that he wears daily that he is accustomed to?

A For an outdoor two o'clock wedding in October you can wear a skirt that falls just below your knees with a nice sweater twin set and a light-weight jacket, along with pretty shoes that have a sensible heel because, if the soil is damp beneath the grass, high heels could possibly pierce through the turf and make it difficult for you to walk. Alternatively, you could wear a skirt suit or dress with a matching coat or jacket.

Since I don't know where this wedding is taking place, this is a rather general answer.

Your son can wear a jacket with a collared white shirt and tie of his choice. Khaki pants would probably be fine with the shoes that he usually wears.



Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 2:00 pm Outdoor Wedding in October
Q I'm invited to a 2:00 p.m. outside wedding with reception immediately following in October. I am in my mid 50's, size 12-14; what would be the proper dress code. My 31-year-old handicapped son has been invited also. His handicap is being non-verbal, but also he has depth vision problems; what should he wear? Would it be appropriate for him to wear shoes that he wears daily that he is accustomed to?. By the way the wedding is in middle Georgia.

A Hi, I think I just answered this question, but since I want to be sure that you received my answer and I didn't see that the wedding was in Georgia until too late, here is a slightly better version of my answer.

You could wear a skirt suit that falls just below your knees with good jewelry, good leather shoes with sensible heels, and a good, smallish leather bag. If you have a dress with a matching jacket, that would be perfect, too. Alternatively, you would be quite proper wearing a sweater twin set with pearls and a dark A-line skirt that falls just below your knees. I want you to be warm if it is chilly, but I also want you to look dignified. If the weather has been rainy, you would not wear shoes with a high heel because the heels might sink into the ground and throw you off balance.

Your son is the easy one. If he has a nice tweed jacket or navy blue blazer, he could wear either with a collared white shirt and the tie of his choice. Please, don't worry about the shoes. If he is wearing a pair of darkish khaki pants, he can wear whatever shoes make him comfortable. He probably should wear either khaki colored socks, if he wears khakis, or black socks, if the shoes that he usually wears are black. At any rate, his socks should match either the color of his trousers or the color of his shoes.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 2:00 pm Park Wedding
Q Dear Didi,

How should I dress for a 2 pm wedding (Sept.26) in the park? I'm 51 years old, but I look 35. Please help....

Thank you!

A It would depend hugely upon your gender, build and the climate.

If you're a man, for a two o'clock wedding in mid-September a cool, cotton-rich, two-button poplin suit with flat front pants in tan or navy would be fine. Accessorize with dark shoes and dark socks, a white collared button-down long sleeved shirt, and a snappy silk tie.

A woman would wear a lightweight cotton suit or a dress with sleeves that falls just below her knees. She might want to wear flats, if she'll be walking on the grass in the park.

As I said, this is a rather general answer because I don't know the facts. Late September in Arcadia National Park in Maine can be quite chilly, on the other hand, Savannah, Georgia is still quite summery at that time.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 2:00 PM Wedding: Charleston
Q My niece's wedding is a 2:00 in an Episcopal church near Charleston. I plan to wear a black sheath dress sleeveless (Micheal Kors) with a (Dolce Gabanna) leopard print elbow- length sleeved jacket. Pearls, black pumps, flesh-colored hose. I wear a size 10 and am 57 years old.
My question is this: are black gloves appropriate? They are unlined and stop short of my elbow .

Mid December

Thanks
Jewell

A Three-quarter-length black gloves would be fine for an early evening wedding, but I fear they would be too sophisticated for Charleston. The great thing about gloves is that you can always take them off and they are easy to carry. You could roll them and put them in your clutch. Why not wear the gloves and if they seem a bit much, take them off? In my opinion, beige kid gloves would be better for daytime. Also, remember that you want your legwear to be a shade lighter than your skin tone to look dressier.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 2:00 PM Wedding: Women Guests
Q I am a 71-year-old female. Can I wear brown slacks,brown small heel shoes and brown floral short cotton jacket to a 2:00 p.m. house wedding?

A Sounds fine to me. If you have a sweet, pretty clutch bag in your drawers, this would be the time to use it for your keys and lipstick. Should you have a one good piece of jewelry, this, also, would be an excellent time to wear it.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 2:00 pm: Beverly Hills
Q Hi Didi,
My cousin's daughter is getting married in Beverly Hills at 2 pm in February. It will be an Orthodox Jewish wedding and the invitation has called for Black Tie Optional. I am 49, 5'8" size 8-10. I don't feel a gown is appropriate for the time of day and I'm concerned about my outfit. I was planning on wearing a Navy St. John suit with a long jacket and knee-length skirt. My concern is that it may not be dressy enough.

Thank you for your help
Heather

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, but it is an option, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. As you say, a two o'clock wedding is not formal. The later in the day the wedding the dressier the dress code. Your navy blue St. John suit sounds perfect. You can dress up your legs with legwear a shade lighter than your skin tone that has a bit of shimmer to it. Beautiful shoes and a small clutch bag would also dress up the look. Personally, I love a lovely hat or fascinator for an early afternoon wedding.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 2:00 PM: Cape Cod: September
Q Hi! I am attending a cousin's wedding on Cape Cod in early September. It begins at 2 with cocktails on the beach followed by outdoor reception under tents on grass. I had planned on wearing a dress by Ted Baker - summer at dusk, which is long and looks like watercolors in blue, plum, light grey. I think I am going to be cold. What could I wear in lieu of a wrap or should I just pick a different dress and if so, what? Thank you so much!

A A two o'clock wedding is not dressy. When the invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire you can assume the dress code is Cocktail Attire. That means a knee-length dress with beautiful shoes and carry a small clutch bag. You won't necessary be cold at two, but when the sun goes down it will be chilly. I looked up the dress on the Ted Baker website and Summer at Dusk is a lovely line. If yours was one of the short dresses, I would definitely say you should wear it. How do you think you would feel wearing a long dress at two o'clock in the afternoon? You could certainly wear a long lightweight sweater with your maxi dress, which you could take off when the dancing begins. For instance on the JMcLaughlin.com website look at the Halsey cardigan in navy, which would be perfect with your maxi dress at a September wedding on the Cape.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 2:00 PM: Catholic Church
Q Hello Didi,
I will be attending an afternoon wedding at 2:00 pm in a Catholic Church, followed by reception at a elaborate private residence. I have not been able to decide between 2 dresses and I am hoping you can help me. The first dress is a chiffon dress, sleeveless in a deep rose blush. The second dress is medium gray with lace and bead accents throughout.
Thank You-

A Traditionally, a two o'clock wedding is not dressy. Both chiffon and lace with beading are for evening, weddings starting after five o'clock. When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress codes is Suits & Dresses. Wear a beautiful streamline linen dress with a lovely hat and carry a small clutch bag.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 2:00 pm: Covering Up Arms
Q Single 27 y/o female attending a 2 pm outdoor wedding in Nashville mid-late June. Problem is I have rather large arms with markings on them and I am embarrassed to have them exposed. Is there anyway I can cover my arms and still be cool enough in the heat? Reception is to follow also outdoors. Please help

A You can wear a thin bolero (jacket) over a short pencil skirt with beautiful shoes and look perfectly weddingish. To see what I'm talking about, look for the sheer boleros at leeandersen.com. Lee Andersen is known for making beautiful tops that cover the arms: boleros, jackets, and coats. Some are hip, some are festive; on the whole there is a wide selection for most anyone's taste. To keep cool, you might also consider wearing a great hat.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 2:00 PM: Florida: Lakeside
Q My friend is getting married outside if weather permitting in Florida in December at 2:00 in afternoon on the lake at her fiance's family's house. She said keep it simple; I have a light green satin dress which hits the knee area. Is that ok and if so what color shoes and do I wear hose?? I'm 46 yrs old, 5' 7" and 160. She is wearing white and bridesmaids black... so what do I wear??? Please help.

A When the invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. Your choice of a knee-length dress is correct for a two o'clock wedding and green is most certainly a lovely, elegant color. There is a shade of green for everyone and for every complexion, whether it's a pebbled green skirt suit for a morning wedding or a green satin knee-length cocktail for evening. And that's my point, satin is a luxury fabric worn usually in the evening. As I don't know much about you or the wedding, I would say that you should wear a well-tailored day dress or skirt suit with beautiful shoes and carry a small clutch bag. As to legwear, for a daytime wedding, wear sheer legwear a shade lighter than your skin tone with a bit of shine to it and nude-colored patent leather shoes to elongate the look of your legs.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 2:00 PM: Hat Color
Q I WILL BE ATTENDING A WEDDING IN THE FALL, CHURCH CEREMONY AT 2PM FOLLOWED BY AN EVENING RECEPTION. I HAVE A OLIVE SATIN DRESS WITH ACCESSORIES, I FEEL A BLACK DRESS HAT WOULD BE GOOD, IS IT ACCEPTABLE TO WEAR A BLACK HAT?

A Only because you're consulting an etiquette expert am I answering truthfully. Please, don't use all upper case letters because it looks as though you are screaming. Take it down a notch. A black hat this time of year in summer in Virginia might seem a bit dark, dreary and funereal. I'm a huge fan of hats, but during the day you might want to wear a beige hat if your hair is light, or wear a darker colored hat if your hair is dark, such as dark green, dark blue, dark red. Is a black had acceptable at a two o'clock wedding? In my opinion, you would want to be more cheerful.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 2:00 PM: Houston: November
Q Hi, Didi...
I am attending a 2:00 PM (Houston in November) wedding followed by cocktails and then a sit-down dinner at 6:00. I'd like to wear a long black lace skirt with a short-cropped dressy blouse...is this appropriate, as the actual ceremony is at 2:00? I am 59 and 5'7"...Thanks!

A Sounds like a two outfit wedding to me. Wear a well-tailored day dress or skirt suit to the two o'clock wedding ceremony and your long black lace skirt dress blouse with beautiful shoes to the dinner.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 2:00 pm: June
Q Hello,
I am attending a wedding in June at 2:00 P.M. The wedding will be in a church and the reception will be at a dinner club later in the evening. There is no dress code. I am 20- year-old woman. I was wondering if a dark jewel-toned blue chiffon cocktail dress with grey-colored pumps would be appropriate? The dress hits just below the knees and is sleeveless.

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify a dress code, you can assume the dress code is Suits and Dresses. Your blue chiffon cocktail dress sounds stunning and perfect for the dinner reception; however, perhaps a bit too much like a cocktail dress for an early afternoon wedding. If you have a day dress you could wear to the ceremony, you might feel more comfortable saving the cocktail dress for the evening.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 2:00 PM: New England: April
Q What is the proper attire for women going to a 2 pm wedding on a Saturday in April (New England area)?

A What is the dress code on the wedding invitation? When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. The earlier in the day, the less dressy the dress code. It is not so much about the dressiness of the the outfit as it is about the quality. An early afternoon isn't dressy. Wear knee-length cocktail dresses with beautiful shoes and carry a small clutch bag.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 2:00 PM: North Carolina in a Catholic Cathedral
Q What is the proper dress for a size 6, middle-aged woman to a 2:00 wedding in a Catholic Cathedral that is followed by a 5:30 reception at a country club? Wedding is taking place in Charlotte,NC

A Wear a dressy, well-make skirt suit of good quality with three-quarter-length sleeves and a low neckline, with beautiful shoes. If you're over sixty, the length should fall just below your knees; otherwise just above your knees. Carry a small clutch bag for your lipstick and keys. A two o'clock wedding is the perfect opportunity to wear a lovely hat.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 2:00 PM: November: Upstate NY
Q I am attending a 2 pm church wedding (with reception to follow - I assume that's 3pm) in Upstate New York in November. I was planning on wearing a cocktail dress but I am not sure if its too formal. There is no dress attire noted in the invitation. Also do I have to wear stockings? It's the daughter of one of the partners in my firm.

A An early afternoon wedding isn't terribly formal. When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. You could wear a pebbled tweed knee-length skirt-suit with thin leather gloves and beautiful shoes. As I don't know your age, this is such a general answer, but a jersey knee-length dress with a lovely soft leather jacket would be sophisticated and yet fun for a country wedding. Not having seen the invitation and not knowing the location of the reception, and going by the early afternoon time of two o'clock, I would say that a cocktail dress would be too dressy. Wear a very good quality dress and coat or a beautiful, well-made skirt suit with beautiful shoes and gloves. It's more about the quality of the clothing, than the "dressiness" of the outfit. For comfy legwear, go to Wolford online to find legwear a shade lighter than your skin tone because upstate NY churches can be drafty in November, and good quality legwear really can be comfortable. A department store near you probably stocks quality legwear, but I want you to see the kind of legwear I'm talking about before you go shopping.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 2:00 PM: October: Baltimore:
Q Hi Didi,

I'm attending a 2 pm wedding on October 22nd in Baltimore, MD. The ceremony is taking place in a church with the reception to follow soon afterwards in a location nearby. I am 38 years old and am only 5'3" tall. I am clueless as to what I should wear.

Joining me at this affair is my 38 year old husband and 6 year old son, who suffers from Autism Spectrum Disorder (he doesn't like button down shirts), what should they wear as well?

Thanks so much,

Tara

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black tie, or Formal Attire, then you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. As this is an early afternoon wedding, you would wear a really well-made day dress that falls just above your knees with beautiful high heels. Alternatively, you could wear a very good quality skirt-suit. Nothing works better at an early afternoon wedding than a lovely hat, which can be worn with either a short dress or skirt suit. Carry a small clutch for your lipgloss and keys.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 2:00 PM: September Outdoors
Q Will be attending a 2:00 outdoor wedding on Sept. 3rd at resort in northern Minnesota, almost to Canada. I am 52 years old, 5'9" and weigh 140. We are good friends of the bride & her family. What would be classy and appropriate for me to wear? What would you suggest for my handsome 53-yr-old husband who is 6'2" and 190 lbs??

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie,you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. Because you are friends of the bride's parents, you will want to represent that relationship with the family by dressing up a bit. You would wear either a dress that falls just below your knees with beautiful shoes and a great hat, and your hubby would wear either a lightweight dark suit or a blazer or sports jacket with dress khakis, or flannels, with a white collared shirt, a nice tie, dark shoes, socks, and belt.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 2:00 PM: Ventura, California: October
Q What do I wear to a 2:00 PM wedding in Ventura, CA in October?

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. An early afternoon isn't dressy, it's more about the quality of the clothing than the dressiness of the outfit. A man would wear a business suit and a woman would wear a well-made, knee-length day dress. I would have to know more about you in order to give you a more specific answer.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 2:00 PM: Ventura, California: Plus-Size Fashion
Q Dear Didi,
What do I wear to a 2:00 PM wedding in Ventura, CA, in December? I am 36, a natural blonde, blue eyes, 5'8" and 180 pounds, very curvy small waist and large breasts and hips. Not fat, but big in the sense I am not petite. I am an executive assistant at an engineering firm, drive a Chevy Impala, live on a pretty humble budget but know how to save to splurge on fine things. I have excellent hygiene and grooming, and I know how to do hair and makeup to fit the occasion. Thank you so much!!! Karen, Ventura, CA

A Dear Karen,
Look online for clothing at Eileen Fisher, ASOS Curves, and Forever 21+ or seek out their clothes in stores. Also, there are lots of fun, on-trend blogs with links to plus-size clothing sources to browse for outfit ideas:

Stiletto Siren
Fashion, Love and Martinis
Curvy Girl's Guide to Style
Stylish Curves from Bayside
Fat Girls Like Nice Clothes
Arched Eyebrow
Garner Style
Nicolette Mason

You might want to start with Nicolette Mason, who writes the size-plus column for Marie Claire magazine. For a wedding outfit, my best advice is to experiment with classic prints such as a zebra, leopard, dot or plaid. Wear a bra size that doesn't create bulges around your bra. To give you a smooth line wear shapewear all the time. Don't get hung up on size because sizes can vary from brand to brand. Shop online using your measurements. If you find something you like but it's only available in a size too large, have a good tailor fit the dress to flatter your curves. Don't be afraid of stripes, ruffles or blocks of color because they can balance your proportions. Have fun at the wedding. ~Didi


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 2:00 pm: Virginia in June
Q I am invited to a 2:00 June wedding in Virginia with cocktails at 4:00 and the reception from 5:30 until...
I honestly don't know if I should wear a cocktail dress or something a bit less in and in black, but again not certain. I did see a really great light gray dress but thought it was too close to white. I am a plus size 40+ woman.

A It is always best not to buy a dress for a special occasion, so try to find a dress which give you more wear. Instead of wearing black, why not navy blue or beige, both flattering in their own way. Have the dress, or skirted suit, fitted to your curves to flatter your figure. A well-tailored outfit is always more slimming than anything shapeless. A dress with a long V neckline will elongate your silhouette. To give you a crisp look, be sure that the hem of the dress falls just below your knees and absolutely no longer.

Remember, you can always dress up a simple tailored dress or skirt suit with an elegant hat for the wedding.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 2:00 PM: Winter: Middle-Aged Woman
Q What would be appropriate wedding attire for a middle-aged female at a 2 p.m. winter wedding?


A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify 'Black Tie' or 'Formal Attire,' you can assume the dress code is 'Suits & Dresses.' A two o'clock wedding is not formal, as the later in the day the wedding, the more formal the wedding. You would wear either a knee-length wool or jersey dress with long sleeves or a really nice skirt suit, with beautiful shoes and carry a small clutch bag. In winter, wear gloves to the ceremony, which can be folded into your coat pocket when you take it off for the reception. A fitted sheath or knee-length skirt are other alternatives.

For women over forty I recommend the website Halsbrook.com. for fashion ideas. Take a look under 'Dresses' for 'Red Valentino Lace-Detailed Wool Dress." Also, look at What2WearWhere.com, under 'Dresses' for the Michael Kors Morino Wool black and purple color-block dress to get a sense of the type of outfit to wear to an early afternoon winter wedding.

We like hearing from you.
Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 2:00 pm: October: Coral Dress
Q Dear Didi
I am going to a wedding in a park (near the beach) in October at 2pm. The invitation does not list an attire, but the reception and cocktail hour are right after at 5 pm. I am in my early twenties, what should I wear? I have a lovely coral dress but is that too summery for an October wedding? M.C., Baltimore, MD

A Dear M.C.,
You're in luck. Tango Tangerine is the flavor of Fall 2012 and coral does the job. When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. Even though a two o'clock wedding is not dressy, a five o'clock reception means you'll be right in fashion in a coral cocktail dress. Since I don't know the climate where the wedding is taking place, you may need a jacket or cardigan sweater for the outdoor ceremony. It would be very cool to wear a soft leather jacket, or a yummy cardigan sweater, that you can take off when you enter the reception. That said, wear great shoes and carry a small clutch bag. ~Didi


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 2:00pm Ceremony: Dinner Reception
Q Going to a 2:00 pm wedding in France, the groom said ladies should wear a suit and hat. Does your hat need to match your shoes, etc.? My suit is a light blue grey and I'm thinking about at navy hat. My husband is wearing a dark navy suit. And what about the second outfit for the invite to dinner and dancing? Any guidelines?

A If we're talking about an August wedding, I would say a navy blue hat at two o'clock on a hot afternoon would be heavy looking. I'm all for wearing a hat, but the hat should either be a neutral color, such as nude, that you can match with your shoes, or a blue gray close to the color of your suit. On the other hand, if your suit was navy blue, the navy blue hat would be perfect.

For evening, wear a chic cocktail dress that falls just above your knees, if you're under 50, otherwise, just below your knees and beautiful shoes. If the invitation to the dinner doesn't specify Black Tie, then you can assume the dress code for dinner is Suits and Dresses. However, if I were you, I would check with the host.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 2:30 pm Formal Garden Wedding in October
Q I am attending a wedding in October. The church service is at 2:30 and the reception is in a tent at a formal garden. The invitation for this wedding is formal but states that women should wear appropriate shoes. Help!! I am at a loss as to what I should wear. I really appreciate any suggestions. By the way, this will be in Illinois.





A Early afternoon garden weddings--no matter how formal the gardens--are rarely formal, so you wouldn't wear a floor- length dress or shoes with high heels.

Even if the reception is in a tent, Illinois will be chilly in October at an outdoor wedding which means that you might want to consider a short dress with a sweater; or if you are older, you might opt for a pretty skirt suit that falls just below the knees. Other alternatives would be a long-sleeved dress that falls just below the knees or a sheath with a matching jacket or coat. By the way, an afternoon wedding is the perfect excuse to wear a wonderful hat that goes with your outfit.

Because you will be walking on either grass or pebbles--and remember most tents are not floored--you would wear beautiful pumps or a low heel. Pumps are very chic these days and you'll be right in style. If the ground is dry from lack of rain, heels should be fine, if they are not too pointy. On the other hand, if the ground is soft from a lot of rain, most heels will sink into the ground which is why your hosts are cautioning you not to wear your stilletos to their garden wedding. Beautiful boots paired with a short dress is the chic look this Fall, so if you can pull it off, do it.

As I don't know your age, build, or style, this is a rather general answer.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 2:30 PM October in Princeton
Q I am going to a wedding in Princeton, NJ on October 9. The wedding is at 2:30 in a church and the reception follows at a former estate mansion nearby. I am 57, 5'4, and fit. What should I wear, and what would be an appropriate outfit for my 57-year-old husband? Thanks

A Wear a really nice skirtsuit that falls just below your knees, beautiful shoes, and a small clutch bag. A sheath with matching jacket would be good as well, or a day dress with short or three-quarter-length sleeves. I'm a big fan of hats at weddings, so if you have a chic hat, this is your chance to wear it. You can always leave it in the car during the reception.

Your husband could wear a dark suit or a good blazer with gray flannel pants; a white collared shirt with a good tie and black shoes, socks, and belt.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 2:30 pm Outdoor Wedding in March
Q Hello, my name is Martha. My mom got invited to a wedding ceremony on March 27, 2010. It is at two thirty and is going to be in a patio outdoors. It is gong to be around two hundred people and just a dessert afterwards. She wants to know what will be the right outfit to wear? She is worried since it is the first American wedding to get invited to attend.

A Your mother should wear a very nice suit, good shoes, and a small leather bag that matches her shoes. Since I don't know where this is taking place, I can't help you with the weight of the suit or alternatives. A well-made dress with a jacket would be nice, too.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 2:30 pm: Pittsburgh in August
Q I'm invited to a 2:30 wedding - August in Pittsburgh, PA. I've purchased black silk loose fitting pants and a Lee Anderson silk silver jacket. Is that too much for an afternoon wedding?

A In my opinion, you wouldn't wear pants and you wouldn't wear silver for an early afternoon wedding in August. A summer skirt suit or summer dress with a beautiful hat would be more daytime and cooler. Yes, it feels a bit too evening-ish and hot. Perhaps, you could wear the silver silk jacket and black pants to the rehearsal dinner the night before. Or if the reception is in the evening, you could wear the Lee Anderson outfit to the dinner.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 20-Year-Old Guet: Wearing a White Dress
Q I am attending my aunt's wedding on November 19th. The wedding starts at 5:30 PM. Her wedding is being held inside a building. I was thinking of wearing a short one shoulder off-white dress with heels and compliment it with gold accessories. I am 20 years old and from Louisiana. Would this be appropriate for this occasion?

A When the invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. For a 5:30 pm wedding, you would wear a cocktail dress that falls just above your knee, with beautiful shoes and carry a small clutch. You wouldn't wear a white, or off-white, dress because the only one wearing white at the wedding is the bride. So the short answer is no, it isn't appropriate to wear a white dress to another woman's wedding.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 20-Year-Old: 3:00 PM: Indiana
Q Hello Didi,
I'm going to my friend's wedding this May. The ceremony is at 3:00 in a church with a reception to follow outside in an adjacent field. I'm 20 years old and married. I have a curvaceous body and the wedding is located in Indiana. I'm having trouble with what to wear. I'm thinking a cocktail dress or maybe a more summery dress. Help?

A Yes, a not too dressy cocktail dress is perfect. A three o'clock wedding is not dressy. Even if the bride and groom are formally dressed it is too early in the day to be wearing evening clothes. For ideas as to what to wear go to the website Rent the Runway and look at the category for 'bridal showers' and 'cocktail attire' and perhaps you can find something similar locally.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 20-Year-Old: 3:00 PM: Minnesota: Strapless Short Dress
Q I am going to my cousin's wedding on December 17th. The wedding is at 3:30 in northern MN. Everything is going to be inside, and the reception is being held at a country club. I am 20 and fair skinned. The dress I have in mind has a black skirt with a white ruffled top, it is strapless and a few inches above my knees. I was wondering if it is appropriate to wear a strapless dress? I would wear a little black shawl to keep my arms covered during the wedding. I am not so sure about the shoes, I was either going to pick strappy black heels or a little pair of black booties that go just past my ankle. Not sure which is more wedding and weather appropriate.

A Just so you know, a three-thirty wedding is not dre ssy. Why not wear a nice, thin black cardigan with your pretty dress to give you a slightly more tailored daytime look? Since I haven't seen either, I would wear the strappy black heels. You could wear the booties if you wore black legwear with the white and black dress. Black booties with a dress with a black skirt would look best with black legwear.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 20-Year-Old: 5 pm Ceremony: June: Georgia
Q I'm attending a 5 pm wedding on June 23rd in Georgia at a country club. The wedding is about 30 miles from Atlanta if that makes a difference. I'm 20 years old and I'm just shy of 5'4". I'm not very good at picking the right outfit for an occasion such as this. What should I wear?


A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. That means you would wear a lovely, pastel chiffon dress with thin straps that falls just above your knee with beautiful shoes and carry a small clutch bag.

Nothing says early summer wedding lovelier than a pastel floral chiffon dress for a person your age. Add a pair of nude-colored patent leather shoes and you'll dance all night. Chiffon is great for dancing!


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 22-Year-Old-Niece of the Groom: Boxing Day: 2013
Q I just found your forum using a Google search on what I should wear to my uncle's wedding. The wedding is the day after Christmas. I am 22 years old and live in Virginia, I was thinking about the only black dress I have and a pair of black boots with a black semi-dress jacket. Or do I need to wear a blouse with a black pencil skirt with a pair of flats. I wore a blouse and pencil skirt to my other uncle's wedding that was in October. I just don't want to seem to be wearing the same thing to both weddings.
Amanda

A Dear Amanda,
A LTD (little black dress) is always appropriate, especially in the evening. Accessorize with fun pearls or a pop of color. A fashion website for women in their twenties and thirties that you you might find interesting is called Olivia Palermo, at oliviapalermo.com. Even though most of the clothing is upmarket, I use it to illustrate fashion trending for women your age. You can probably find similar (copies) clothing in stores in your area.

We like hearing from you.
Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 23-Year-Old Woman: Country Club
Q I'm a 23-year-old female and I will be attending a wedding in September. I am attending as a plus-one and the invitation as well as the website do not actually say the dress code or where the wedding/reception will be held. All I know is it will be at a country club. What should I wear? Help!

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie, then you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. Wear a short cocktail dress that falls just above your knees with beautiful shoes. Nude colored patent leather heels are in trend right now. My favorite country club dress is a short pale chiffon with a delicate floral print. Take a small pretty clutch bag for your lipgloss.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 23-Years-Old: NYC: December: Rehearsal Dinner + Wedding
Q This is a time-sensitive question, please. For a wedding this weekend (12/3), my 23-yr-old niece will be in NYC for a 6 PM black-tie wedding. Her boyfriend is a cousin of the groom, and she will meet the whole family there. They are conservative (but not Orthodox) Jews; however the wedding is not to be in a synagogue; both the wedding and reception will be at a midtown hotel at CPS.

She has several not-too-short LBDs to choose from, but wonders about coat/wrap and shoes. She wants to wear sheer black hose, which rules out peep toe or strappy heels. Any particular suggestions, beyond basic dressy pumps? And any colors beside black that you would under such conditions recommend? Also, is her simple, black wool, portrait-collar coat sufficient for this event? And how much and what sort of jewelry will be appropriate? She is by nature a conservative dresser, and thinks a simple strand of pearls will do. Your thoughts, plse?

Also, she is invited to rehearsal dinner, the dress code for which she understands to be business attire. She plans to wear a black matte jersey wrap dress, black tights, and black patent pumps. Will this be appropriate?

Any other suggestions/observations are most welcome! She is quite nervous to meet the family and wants to make a good impression.

A In my opinion, for the wedding I would rather see your niece in shiny legwear a shade lighter than her skin tone than sheer black. Peep toes aren't really appropriate for NYC in December. I would love to see her wearing either red or nude colored patent leather heels. A simple black wool coat is sufficient; however, to give her a more contemporary look, she could wear a fine black leather tailored jacket. Sticking with the black wool coat for both nights, she should wear short, thin black leather gloves to polish off the look. As to jewelry, it depends upon the dress and how she wears her hair. For instance she probably wouldn't wear a necklace with a one-shoulder dress. The look right now is in a long, delicate gold chain link necklace with small discs. Against a black dress it adds a bit of glitter, but she wouldn't be perceived as wearing too much bling. Earrings would depend upon her hair whether they dangle or are simple diamond or pearl studs. One good ring on her right hand is sufficient. She wouldn't wear a watch unless it were a small evening watch. A simple strand of pearls would be lovely, if it isn't too short. Again it depends upon the dress.

For the dress rehearsal she can wear the sheer black legwear because, in my opinion, black opaque tights would look too heavy in the evening, especially in contrast with the shiny black patent leather pumps. With black patent leather pumps she would wear legwear a shade lighter than her skin tone or sheer black, but both would have a bit of shimmer and shine to them to dress up her legs.

As to other suggestions, she might reconsider not wearing a black dress both nights. For the rehearsal dinner, she could wear a small print jersey wrap dress with legwear a shade lighter than her skin tone that has a bit of shimmer to it. Personally, I like the Wolford evening legwear, or any similar quality legwear. For the rehearsal dinner, the dress should be a bit more fun, a bit more chic than black matte.

To prepare your niece for meeting her beau's family, have her remind her beau to be sure to introduce her. To have him say, "There's my Aunt Rose and Uncle Larry, let's say hi." With her beau's parents, she would say that she had "heard so many wonderful things about them," if she's looking for something to say after being introduced. It's always that first sentence after being introduced that is the hardest, so she should have a line she can roll off that isn't complicated. She should try not to say, "Nice to meet you." If she is well-groomed, and well-dressed, she should be feeling confident. Remind her that she is brilliant and beautiful as she walks out the door.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 24: Trending Fall 2011
Q Hi Didi,

I've been invited to my aunt's wedding. It's a 1:00 pm church service in a Catholic church, followed by the reception in an indoor venue at 6pm. I'm 24 and slim. What should I wear!?

I have a long-sleeved black blouse and a green/gold floral skirt which is just above my knees. Would this be appropriate? I also have a fairly plain black cocktail dress with short sleeves that's also slightly above my knees. Which do you think would be more appropriate?

Thanks for your help!!

A As much as I love little black dresses because they are so chic, the black blouse with the short green/gold floral skirt sounds divine and very much in trend. Beautiful long sleeve blouses with short skirts are the look this fall.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 25-Year-Od: Connecticut: October 2013
Q Hi Didi,

I am a 25-year-old female attending a wedding in early October in Fairfield County, Connecticut. The wedding starts at 2 pm at the Catholic Church and then everyone is heading to the reception location until the reception actually starts at 5:30 pm.

I'm coming from Florida and I'm not sure what we consider wedding appropriate down here will work in my home state. I would like to be appropriate but still dress like a 25-year-old :)

Appreciate any guidance you can provide!

A Basically, you want to be wearing a knee-length cocktail dress that isn't flashy. To find out what is trending in the fall, go to the Web site renttherunway.com and click on RTR Weddings Boutique and click on Daytime Chic to see the trend in style and colors. You'll find a Tracy Reese dress called Girls Will Be Girls that would be good for an afternoon wedding and 5:30 reception. Then look under Cocktail Chic there is a Shoshanna dress called Lace Cecile Dress, a Kate Spade New York called Grape Soda Pop Dress, a Thakoon called PB And Jelly Dress, and another Kate Spade called Carol Dress that would also work.

You might want to look at the site in a month or two when the dresses will be geared more toward Fall. Early October is neither summer or winter, so you want something in between that can be worn to the church that is dressy enough for the reception in terms of color and style. You probably don't want to wear strapless to the Catholic Church, nor do you want to wear a pastel in October, so that's why I'm showing you purples, pink and orange.

Rent the Run Way is a good way to view clothing that you can probably find in a department store near you, if you're not interested in renting a dress online. It's just to show you what's out there and available.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 26 Years Old: Coverup for a Strapless Dress
Q Hi Didi,

I read through a lot of your etiquette rules about what to wear for weddings...I prefer to be properly dressed at ALL times. I am sure what I have chose is fine but I always like to double check myself.

Is it appropriate to wear a silk taffeta strapless maroon dress that falls to about mid-kneecap to a 6:00 wedding in Houston, Texas? I am 26, slim and about 5'7. I intend to wear simple gold mid-size tear drop earrings with my aggie ring and maybe a single gold bangle as well as nude patent pumps. I was also thinking of maybe a cream or black pashmina since it is "fall".

Thank you in advance for your advice!


A Your outfit sounds perfect for a six o'clock wedding. Silk taffeta is such a lovely fabric for dancing because it catches the light and the blood red colors are trending this season. Nude patent leather pumps are great for elongating the legs. The only art of this I'm not a fan of is the pashmina. It tends to make even women with the best posture look stooped. I would rather have you wear a short thin leather jacket for a more youthful look.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 28 Years Old: Califormia: August 2012
Q My husband's best friend is getting married in California (Aug 2012) his fiancee comes from a wealthy family. It is going to be a high class wedding (not sure time of wedding but the location is breathtaking)...not sure what color or style dress/shoes to wear... I am tall, skinny and 28 yrs old. Thanks for your help

A Summer weddings are all about airy fabrics such as chiffon, taffeta, organza and other sheer materials in pastels or tropical colors. A sheer pale chiffon strapless floral print dress that falls just above your knee, with beautiful flats would be perfect for an August wedding. If you find yourself towering above your peers, don't wear heels. There are so many really pretty flats and dress y sandals out there that you will find plenty of options. Carry a small clutch bag for your lipgloss.

When you receive the actual wedding invitation and know more about the time of day and the dress code, I would be happy to work with you again. In the meantime, try Googling trending Fashion Colors Summer 2012 and you'll find not only the colors showing, but the look in dress styles that are predicted to be in fashion. When you find the color and style you like, Google the designer and by the time spring comes around the best of those looks will have been copied and available in your local department store, or you should also be able to find them discounted online.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 3:00 Delaware: May
Q I am attending a 3 o'clock hotel wedding in New Castle, DE, on May 28th. I've never met the bride or groom. I was invited by my boyfriend and his family. What do I wear?? Help!

A To a three o'clock wedding you would wear a pretty short dress with beautiful shoes. If you're into hats, you can be sure that you'll fit right in wearing a lovely hat or fascinator.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 3:00 Outdoor Country Wedding
Q What is the proper attire for an August 3:00 pm wedding in Alburgh, Vermont, service at house and reception at their airplane hangar?

A There is nothing quite as nice as an at home wedding. The men will probably be wearing blazers and either white or khaki pants with colorful shirts and no socks with their loafers. There is nothing prettier than cotton sundresses on a hot summer's day with strappy sandals or summer flats. A three o'clock wedding screams for a beautiful hat with a crown of flowers--very outdoor country. A pretty peasant or linen (depending on your style) blouse with a great skirt would also be lovely.

It will be hot in August in Vermont and when the sun goes down it could get buggy, so bring along sunscreen and bug repellent. Take lots of photos.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 3:00 PM Ceremony: Changing Into Tuxedo for Dinner Reception
Q We are English and attending our niece's wedding in Up-State New York. The wedding is at 3 pm and in England I would wear morning clothes for the wedding and black tie for the evening dinner and dance. Would this look odd in America?

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses or Business Attire. You should be who you are and wear what you would normally wear to a wedding; however, if the men are NOT wearing tuxedos, you may feel a bit over-dressed. Check to make sure.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 3:00 PM Ceremony: Plus Size: November
Q My husband is in a wedding November 1 at 3:00 pm. What should I wear??? I'm plus size. The wedding colors are cobalt gray and orange!!!

A When the wedding invitation arrives look for a dress code. A three o'clock wedding ceremony is not traditionally formal. Even when the wedding party is in formal garb, unless the invitation states Black Tie as the dress code. If it doesn't specify Black Tie, guests would wear Suits & Dresses, or cocktail attire. Wear a beautiful knee-length dress with gorgeous shoes and carry a small clutch bag. Don't wear either of the wedding colors, because you don't want to look like a wanna' be bridesmaid if you're wearing the same color as the bridesmaids. Wear navy blue or black for a slimming silhouette.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 3:00 pm Country Club
Q I am going to a wedding on October 24, 2009. The wedding is at a church at 3:00 p.m. and than the reception follows at 4:15 p.m. at the country club. The invitation says: black-tie optional. I don't know what to wear - I just bought a simple short (just above the knee black dress). I was hoping with some accessories I could get by with this, but I am not sure what to wear or what color of accessories to use. Also not sure what my boyfriend should wear. Thank you

A Your little black dress sounds perfect. You can accessorize with beads and beautiful shoes. Your boyfriend can wear a dark suit or a dark blazer with good khaki pants or grey flannel pants. With either he would wear a collared, long-sleeved shirt and a tie, dark shoes (preferably a black Gucci-style loafer) with black socks.

As this is a three o'clock wedding with a reception at a country club, he doesn't have to wear a tuxedo and you don't have to wear a long dress.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 3:00 pm in California
Q I am 55-year-old woman and I have been invited to a 3:00 pm October 17th wedding at Altadena Town & Country Club, California, with the reception immediately following. The invitation has no reference to formal, semi-formal, black tie...What should I wear?
My daughters and I have talked about a long black dress with either turquoise jewelry or colored wrap/sweater. Is this appropriate or should I wear dark slacks and a nice blouse?

A Please, don't wear long black dresses at three o'clock in the afternoon, especially when the invitation doesn't specifically state Black Tie, meaning formal attire.

If the hosts wanted you to dress formally, they would have made that perfectly clear on the invitation. You wouldn't wear dark slacks, but you could wear a dark skirt with your nice blouse. As you are a fifty-something woman, you want to look elegant and dignified at an afternoon wedding. Think about possibly wearing a tailored day dress that falls just below your knees with a very chic hat along with your turquoise jewelry. Weddings are a great opportunity for wearing an interesting hat. You can always take it off and leave it in the car before going to the reception.

As for your daughters, encourage them to wear pretty dresses, beautiful shoes and to carry a sweet little clutch bag for their lipgloss.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 3:00 pm in Granada, Spain, in November
Q What should I wear to a 3:00 PM wedding in Granada, Spain, in November? The reception is going to be outside, and the temp is 50's. Close friends and family only. I want to look hip and classy, but not freeze (I'm Texan). The mother of the bride is wearing a gown. I thought that was reserved for after 6. I'm 47. The bride is hip - music biz.

A Assuming you are a woman, you could wear a really good medium weight skirt suit, conservative, but trendy, with beautiful shoes and bag. That way, when you do go inside to dinner later, you can always take off the jacket for dancing, if you have a teddy or pretty shell on underneath the jacket. Alternatively, a straight short skirt with a long tailored jacket. It is hard to say which, because I don't know your height or build. Trust me, you do not want to be traipsing around Granada at three o'clock in the afternoon in a long dress.

My guess is that if this is like most European weddings, the afternoon ceremony and reception with champagne and cake will be followed later that evening with a seated dinner. Guests will probably retire and change clothes before rallying for a late dinner. With that in mind, you might want to pack a great wrap-dress (cocktail) dress, high heels, and a warm shawl to wear out to dinner.

A man would wear a medium weight dark suit with a beautiful striped collared shirt and tie, black shoes, belt, and socks.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 3:00 pm September Linen in Palm Springs
Q Hi, 3:30 wedding Palm Springs sept 25, suppose to be 105 degrees. For the man or women, too late to consider linen?

A Linen is perfect for an afternoon September wedding in Palm Springs. It is not too late, but do consider wearing linen that is anything but white. Or, If it is white, make sure it is off-white, and that the whole outfit isn't bright white. In other words, the man could wear cream colored linen pants with a navy blue linen jacket. The woman could wear an off-white linen skirt with a colored blouse. Linen isn't what is in question, it is the color white that is the issue.

Of course. The issue is wearing white. Think of the wedding photos. The bride should be the only person wearing all white. It is a matter of having respect for the bride on her special day.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 3:00 pm Wedding
Q My fiance is wearing linen pants to a 3 pm wedding; what are the proper shoes? Also it's my best friend/aunt; I am wearing all white with teal heels and teal and brown accesories. Is that appropiate?

A It depends upon the color of your finance's linen pants. If they are light colored, wear gray. If they are dark, wear navy blue socks. It should be a solid color. I am not sure who is the bride here. The only person who wears white at a wedding is the bride; therefore, the bride would wear white shoes with her white dress.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 3:00 PM: Boston: December
Q I am going to a 3:00 wedding outside Boston in Dec. I have a black dress that comes below the knees and it has a short jacket...long sleeve with some black satin designs on the front. I am in my early 60's. The neckline on the dress is scoop so I will wear a biggish necklace. The wedding is the son of a friend. Does this sound good for a 3pm wedding or not?

A A three o'clock wedding is not customarily formal. When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. In my opinion, to a three o'clock wedding you wouldn't wear black satin. Black is fine, and always very chic, but you really want to be wearing a very good quality day dress or skirt suit that falls just below your knees with beautiful shoes. If you want to make a fashion statement outside of Boston at an afternoon wedding, wear a lovely hat, not a biggish necklace. So, you're not going to like my answer, but in answer to your question: no, it doesn't sound good for a three o'clock wedding. This is the kind of wedding where the quality of the fabric and design of the dress are more important than the dressiness of the dress or the size of the necklace.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 3:00 pm: California Winery in July
Q I'm invited to a 3 PM wedding at a winery in Lodi, California, in July. (It should be quite warm!_I am 59 years old, 5'6", wear a size 12/14, and am quite fair (brown/blond hair). What should I wear?


A For a three o'clock wedding, wear a wonderful summer dress with a great hat and strappy sandals. A small, interesting clutch and long beads would be really great accessories. If the summer dress idea doesn't appeal to you, how about a festive long skirt with a lovely blouse and you'll fit in gently with the afternoon's festivities.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 3:00 pm: Charleston, SC in July
Q Going to a July wedding in Charleston SC... in a church. 3:00PM. Reception at the yacht club. I am 49. Black dresses are common here for weddings as guests (which we are). Thinking linen versus cocktail dress, in dark brown or black with a raw silk shrug and strappy heels. Friends say it should be a 'satin' event. Seems a bit overdone to me... your thoughts?

A Maybe it should be a satin event, but it is a 3:00 PM wedding, and the time of day doesn't call for satin. I agree, linen instead of satin. Personally, I am not a huge fan of the color brown. I would even say black is a bit too sophisticated for a 3:00 PM wedding. I'm glad to hear from you that black dresses are common where you are because I get so many questions asking whether to wear black or not. I love black, but at a yacht club in the middle of the afternoon, I'm not so sure.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 3:00 PM: December: Age 21
Q I'm going to a wedding in late December with my best friend's brother. The wedding is at 3. What's appropriate for a 21-year-old year to wear and, if I go with something sleeveless, what can I wear to keep warm?

A A wedding ceremony taking place at three o'clock in the afternoon is not dressy. The later in the day the wedding, the dressier the dress. You may want to take it down a notch and go with a knee-length wrap dress with sleeves. As I don't know the climate where the wedding is taking place, here are a couple of options for keeping warm. Wear a fitted jacket to the ceremony, which you can take off for the reception. The fitted jacket can be leather, velvet or another cloth. Alternatively, of course, a coat. Wear beautiful shoes and carry a small clutch bag. Most important, have fun!


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 3:00 PM: Florida in October
Q I am going to a church wedding at 3:00 in Florida October 1st. I am 37 years of age? What dress is appropriate? Long or cocktail? Thanks

A A three o'clock wedding calls for a short day dress of good quality and design, along with beautiful shoes and a small clutch bag. If you're stylish, you'll wear a lovely hat or fascinator.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 3:00 pm: New Orleans
Q Hello,
I am in my late twenties and will be attending a summer wedding in New Orleans with the outdoor ceremony being at 3 pm followed by an indoor reception. I do not have an invitation to take cues from as I am plus 1. My question is what would be appropriate to wear so that I am neither over or underdressed and will transition well between the two settings? I have a very petite frame.
Thank you for any input.

A First off, please ask the person who invited you if the dress code Black Tie is included on the invitation and if the wedding couple has a wedding Web site. Then you'll be able to determine the formality of the wedding, just so you know.

My guess is that you would fit in perfectly if you wore a strapless dress that falls just above your knees, with beautiful shoes. More than likely, the couple's wedding Web site will display the wedding colors and that would help you decide on color. For instance, if the wedding colors are blue and yellow, you would stay away from both of those colors as you wouldn't want to look like a wanna' be bridesmaid. No matter what the dress code, Black Tie or Dresses and Suits, you will be dressed just right in a short, pretty dress and beautiful shoes.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 3:00 PM: North Carolina: September
Q I'll be attending a wedding in September in North Carolina. The invitation did not specify attire. I am having a difficult time choosing what kind of dress to wear. My husband is in the wedding party and the ceremony is at 3:00 pm at a local church followed by a reception at a nearby Museum (Museum of the Albermarle). I am 33 years old,5'6" and of medium build.

A When the wedding invitation does not specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses, which means cocktail attire. Even if the bridal party are in formal outfits, it does not mean guests follow suit.

We use a couple of websites to illustrate dresses that are available for wedding guests in stores and/or online: JMcLaughlin.com (preppy), renttherunway.com (lets you rent, buy or just look), what2wearwhere.com (grownup preppy), oliviapalermo.com (high fashion). Clicking on Occasions and then Weddings at most of the sites will show you knee-length dresses that will be lovely on you paired with beautiful shoes and a small clutch bag.

We like hearing from you and hope you'll visit us again.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 3:00 PM: Suits & Dresses: Pacific NW
Q What would be the dress code wording be for a 3:00 reception in the Pacific NW being held at a Country and Golf club?
The wedding will be held in the East Coast the week before.
This reception is for those who were not able to fly to DC for the wedding.

Dressy casual? Business attire seems a little stuffy.

A You could use the dress code 'Suits & Dresses,' which means the men will wear jackets and ties, or say it plain and clear with 'Jackets & Ties.' Guests find 'Dressy Casual' confusing when what you probably want to get across is that it is more about the quality of the clothing than the dressiness of the outfit. 'Business Attire' means dark suits, when what you really want is probably jackets with collared shirts on the men instead of denim jeans and vests.

We like hearing from you and hope we haven't left you too confused.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 3:00: May: Knoxville, TN
Q I am a single 51-year-young female! I am wondering what what to wear to a "connected" cousins' daughter's wedding in Knoxville, TN on May 3, 2014. The time is 3:00 pm -3:45 with great reception following!

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. That means cocktail attire, which is knee-length cocktail dresses with beautiful shoes and carry small clutch bag. An afternoon wedding is the perfect opportunity to wear a fabulous hat.

To illustrate trending styles for women forty and older, I use the website Halsbrook.com. Click on dresses and find:

Peter Som Floral Printed Stretch Cotton Shift Dress
Les Copains Blue Crepe A-line Dress
Maxmara Mino Linen Dress
Elie Tahari Holly Printed Cotton Eyelet Dress
Armani Collezioni Light Blue Linen Dress
Issa Royal Blue Ribbed Knit Dress
Paule Ka Polka Dot Silk Dress

You can even click on the 'complete look' to see recommended accessories for each dress.

We like hearing from you, please, let us know if we've steered you in the right direction. If not, we'll be happy to send you to other sites.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 3:00: May-December Couple in Reverse
Q I am attending an afternoon wedding at 3 pm with the reception to follow at 5 pm. I will be attending with my boyfriend who is friends with the groom, I will not know anyone there. I am 42 yrs old and my boyfriend is 29. I was wondering what I should wear? I can't tell by the invitation if it's supposed to be formal or not. Can you help please? Thank you so much for taking the time.

A When the dress codes Black Tie or Formal Attire aren't specified on the invitation, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. A three o'clock wedding is not dressy. Although the wedding party might be formally dressed, the hosts are not asking guests to dress formally. Wear a lovely, soft, feminine dress that just covers your knees, with beautiful shoes and carry a small clutch bag. Don't wear sequins or stilettos higher than three inches. Dress quality over glitz and you'll be fine.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 3:00PM: Inn in Connecticut
Q Hi Didi,

I will be attending a wedding in CT in March at 3:00 at an inn. The invitation says to dress casual for a fireside feast which ends around 7 pm. I am in my late 20s and a friend of the bride and groom. What is the appropriate dress for this type of wedding?

A Allison, ideally, you want to be wearing a really comfy suit or dress with beautiful shoes and carrying a small clutch bag. A really nice blouse or sweater with a knee-length skirt would be cozy at well. With this type of wedding it is not about the fussy dressiness of the wedding, it is all about making everyone feel relaxed and happy. The quality of the clothing is the focus, as opposed to the dressiness of the outfit.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 3:30 pm in November: Old Palm Springs
Q I will be attending what I can only assume will be a chic 3:30 wedding event at an inn in Old Palm Springs in early November. I am a young 55-year-old woman, 5'6" lean build
(with a limited budget) who prefers bohemian style dress - what would you suggest?

A Wear a nice day dress with a great hat. Alternatively, a sheath with a small jacket. Chic hats are perfect for an afternoon wedding. After the ceremony, you can leave the hat in your car when you go to the reception. If you want the bohemian style of dress, you can always wear a long skirt with a peasant blouse as long as it doesn't make you look dowdy. For a daytime wedding you want to look elegant and pretty.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 3:30 PM + 6:00 PM Reception
Q Hi! I am attending a wedding on Sept. 06 in Pennsylvania at 3:30 P.m, I'm a little concerned about the dress I have chosen, it's a long,blue mermaid style,polyester gown with golden paisley prints... also, the wedding party will start at 6:00 p.m, I'll really appreciate your expert opinion.

Thanks!

A Wear a day dress to the ceremony and change into evening clothes just before going to the reception.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 3:30 PM Ceremony: Cincinnati Catholic Church
Q I'm attending a 3:30 pm wedding in Cincinnati, OH in a Roman Catholic church in August. The cocktail hour, dinner and reception starts at 6:30pm in a hotel. Should I wear two different outfits...one for church and a cocktail type dress for the reception? Can I wear a sleeveless, floral dress to the church or should I pick one dress for both parts of the event? Thanks.


A Most of the guests probably won't be changing for dinner, but you certainly have the option. Personally, I like to change for dinner and it gives one a chance to freshen up before the evening festivities. Sleeveless is fine in August, not to worry about that.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 3:30 pm: California in October
Q Hello Didi,
I am attending a 3:30 wedding in Gilroy, California, on October 21st, 2011. The ceremony is being held at the groom's family ranch with the reception following at the same location. The invitation does not specify dress code, so I am assuming "suits and dresses". My question is, what type a dress would be proper for me to wear? I am a 26- year-old woman, 5'5 and heavy. I would like to wear shimmering champagne colored heels and a grape or black colored dress. Is this too dark for the afternoon? Would a shawl be appropriate? Maybe a nice hat? Also, my partner is thinking about wearing a charcoal colored suit, white shirt and a tie to match my dress. Would a dress shirt, slacks, vest and tie be to casual for him? Is a jacket a must? He is 28 years old, 5'11 and also heavy around the middle. Thank you for taking the time to answer my questions.


A Your outfit sounds perfect. Ditch the shawl. Hats are perfect for an afternoon wedding.

Your partner's outfit sounds fine as well. But tell him to drop the vest, if he is "also heavy."


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 3:30 pm: Columbia, Mo.
Q My cousin is getting married December 1st in Columbia MO at 330 pm in a Catholic Church with a reception to follow that evening at a historic hotel. Her wedding colors are black and white. My husband has a grey suit that he will wear, he can either wear a white shirt or a maroon shirt. I am 28 and have two children that will be attending with us.

A What exactly is your question? When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. Your husband's suit sounds perfect, but he should wear a white shirt with a grey suit; and a handsome tie. You would wear a a beautiful knee-length dress with nice shoes and a small clutch bag. Your children would wear what they would wear to church or their favorite party clothes. I would have to know more about you and they to be more detailed.

I will tell you this. A 3:30 pm wedding is not formal. The bride will be in a long gown and the groom will be in a tux, but it is daytime going into cocktail hour time, so you don't want to be overdressed. It is more about the quality of the day time clothing than the dressiness of the outfit.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 3:30 PM: Kansas in September
Q I will be attending my great niece's wedding that my husband, (a minister), will be officiating. It is outdoors in KS., early Sept. in the couples backyard at 3:30 in the afternoon. It is also a private wedding. The main invitation is for the reception at 7 at their home, also outdoors with a dance under a tent. What do I wear? My sister. the grandmother said anything is fine....she is wearing a black dress, (don't know the length or style) and my niece, (the brides mother), is wearing a dress with a jacket, again I don't know the length or style. I am a young 68, petite, with short blonde hair and 5'2" 108 lbs. I was thinking of wearing a black a-line just above the knee dress with some beading down the front with nylons, black? suntan? (my legs aren't tan and have some broken veins) but thinking this may be too dressy...a sundress with a jacket, I also have a cute chiffon cocktail dress with butterfly sleeves and layered down the front sort of a swing skirt, but it is very bright colors (reddish orange, yellows, pinks, greens) and don't want to stand out. I have a hard time dressing my age as I don't feel or look (as others say) my age.
What do you suggest?

A The only look I can really get a hold of is the black cocktail dress for the evening reception. However, you would wear legwear a shade lighter than your skin tone; however, to cover your veins why not wear black, but not an opaque, a sheer with a bit of shimmer to it.

For the ceremony, wear the sundress with the jacket.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 3:30 pm: New York City in June
Q Hi Didi,

I am invited to NYC wedding in June. It's 3.30pm church wedding followed by cocktail hour and evening reception. Invitation states "Black Tie Optional" and my partner will wear a tuxedo. I am 30, very tall and size US 6. I don't feel it is appropriate to wear a long evening gown to the church, so I chose the following outfit to last the whole day and evening: embroidered, silver Escada knee-length dress, which is nicely fitted paired with nude Christian Louboutin slingback shoes, accessorized with silver Diane von Furstenberg clutch. Does this sound ok? Also, am I required to wear a hat or any formal head piece in the church (sorry for this question, I am from the UK and we wear hats here). Thanks

A The outfit you have chosen sounds perfect. However, as this is not a country wedding, I'm thinking that you might want to check to find out what time the dinner reception starts. If it turns out that there is a lapse of several hours between the ceremony, which we can assume will be over at 4:30, and the reception starts at seven o'clock, you might wear something simpler to the ceremony and save that fabulous Escada cocktail dress for the dinner and dancing.

Whether there is a lapse in time or not, I think your outfit sounds elegant and lovely, and if you wore a hat to the ceremony, you would fit right in. As you no doubt know, traveling from the UK with a hat can be awkward, so I would recommend a fascinator, which is so much easier to pack.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 3:30 PM: New York: 50 Years Old
Q I am attending a wedding in New York Oct 15th, the wedding is at 3:30 pm on Park Avenue with the reception at 6pm at the Cosmopolitan Club. I am 50 yrs old with a nice figure size 2 and 5'7". Would it be appropriate to where a conservative dressy jacket to the church and then have a gold/champagne colored sequined dress just above the knee with a cowl neck back for the reception? The MOG tells me that the reception will be quite dressy? Need help in Cincinnati

A In my opinion, you would be over-dressed in a gold sequined dress at three in the afternoon in the church and then at the reception in the ultra conservative "Cos" Club (as we call it). NYC, is my city; it is dressy, as the MOG says, but you might feel more comfortable fitting in wearing a very good quality black dress that falls to your knee with beautiful black shoes and a small black clutch bag. In NYC, it is all about the quality of fabric and design, and not about sequins. Beige would be lovely, but the combo of the gold and the sequins is not chic in the afternoon anywhere. Sorry, but you asked and one of my best friends is from Cincinnati.

When the MOG told you that the reception would be quite dressy, what she really meant was that the quality of the clothing would be sophisticated and high-end.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 3:30 Wedding: Outside: Women
Q I am a 48 year old woman whose best friend is getting married at 3:30 in the afternoon outside (not on the beach) in Florida in March. I have no idea what to wear. I would appreciate your help.
Thanks!

A Wear a pretty dress with dressy sandals and a fun hat. I am assuming that the dress code is casual and not black tie. It is mostly about the quality of what you wear rather than the dressiness of the outfit. For instance if you have a wonderful fresh linen dress, you could wear it with a string of pearl, beautiful pumps and small clutch bag to dress it up.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 3:30: Block island in June
Q Hi Didi
I am invited to a 3:30 wedding in Block Island in June with dinner and dancing. The MOB is wearing long. The invitation is formal. I'm 58, size 2-4, petite blonde. cI have an ecru, knee-length lace dress. Is the this ok? I'm concerned about the color.
thx

A I would feel better about the dress if it wasn't ecru or long. Out of respect for the bride who should be the only one wearing white, you wouldn't want to take the attention away from her by wearing white or off-white. Find yourself a short, chic pretty dress that isn't white or off-white.

3:30 PM is a bit early in the day to be wearing a long dress. The wedding dress should be the only long dress at a daytime wedding, especially on wonderfully, relaxed, laid back Block Island. You might feel a bit silly traipsing around in a long, white dress in the afternoon, if you're not the bride.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 4:00 p.m. Outdoor Wedding
Q Hi, is it appropriate for a 29-year-old to wear a black and white knee-length strapless A-line w/empire waist dress to a July 4:00 pm outdoor park wedding in the Midwest? Dinner and dance immediately following at a lake-side supper club. Invitation style is informal.

A Yes, a knee-length strapless A-line, black and white dress would be appropriate. Wear bone, black, or red shoes, but not white.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 4:00 P.M.: Nashville: July:
Q I am attending a wedding in Nashville in late July. It is at 4 pm at a church followed by a hotel reception. First, I am unsure about how formal it will be. The invitations are pearl and white with black scroll imprinted lettering and formally worded. My husband is a groomsman and will be in a black tux. What is proper etiquette for my attire? I don't really know if 4 pm is considered a daytime or evening wedding.

A Four o'clock is a late afternoon wedding and unless the invitation specifically states Black Tie, you wouldn't wear an evening dress. The dress code then, when not stated otherwise, would be Suits and Dresses. Wear a well-made cocktail dress that falls just above your knees with beautiful shoes. If you're into wearing a lovely hat to the ceremony, please, do, as you can always leave it in the car before going into the hotel for the reception.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 4:00 pm Atlanta September Ceremony
Q My young cousin's wedding will be in Atlanta at 4:00 on Sept. 18th at a church followed by a dinner reception at a downtown restaurant. Invitation states "formal/semi-formal" dress.
I am 57 (told I look much younger), 5'4", and 120 pounds with good legs and usually wear a size 4. What would be appropriate attire for myself and my husband, who is a very fit and slim 62?

A In my opinion, you would wear a a well-made, slightly tailored pretty dress or a beautiful silk skirt-suit, both would have either short or three-quarter length sleeves and fall just below your knees. You want to look elegant and dignified and yet contemporary. Nothing is more fun at an afternoon wedding than a great hat (and it would give you a little height), which you can leave in the car before going into the restaurant. It goes without saying that beautiful shoes and a small clutch and a touch of real jewelry are the best accessories.

Your husband would wear either a light-weight dark suit with a collared shirt, a silk tie, and black shoes, socks and belt. Alternatively, a handsome jacket or blazer and gray flannels would fit in as well.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 4:00 pm Black-Tie Ceremony
Q Hi Didi:

Urgent - wedding this weekend.

Your website has been, by far, the most helpful, but I do have a couple of questions. Wedding at 4:00 pm in Austin, TX, followed by a dinner/reception at 7:00 pm (Black Tie) in San Antonio. I called the mother of the bride to inquire because I'd been to wedding receptions at the venue (Aygyle Private Dinner Club) and seen lots of older women (I'm 60) dressed in nice suits (not business, more like MOB). I have a beautiful chocolate crepe suit with a lovely neckline, brown patent leather pumps (dressy with cut-out sides), gold pearls with some gold bling, gold bag. She said that sounds great. Do you agree?

Also - what should my husband wear to look right with me? The dressiest thing he owns is a double-vested black jacket with gold buttons. I say that he should rent a dinner jacket and pants, but not a tux. What do you recommend? Thanks so much. SueAnn

A When the invitation says Black tie, then your husband needs to rent a tuxedo. Sorry, I want you to do the right thing here and if all the other men are in tuxedos, your husband is going to feel out of place if he's the only one not wearing a black tie, white shirt, and tuxedo. Just be sure that the white shirt and tuxedo are conservative and tailored to fit him properly. My problem with him wearing his black dinner jacket is the brass buttons, which are sporty. Your dinner suit sounds fine, but I am not sure about the brown patent leather pumps with the gold bag. Patent leather pumps sound a bit tailored with a gold bag. If you have silk, satin, or suede pumps, either in brown or black, perhaps that would be chicer. Alternatively, you could wear the brown patent leather shoes and use a brown or black bag instead of gold. Gold is a bit brash at four o'clock in the afternoon. Of course, there is the option that you leave the gold bag in your car during the ceremony and use it just for the reception.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 4:00 pm Bride's Dress
Q What length should my wedding dress be for a four o'clock wedding inside?


A Your wedding dress length would reflect the formality of the wedding. A formal wedding might allow for a long train and veil, whereas for a less formal wedding the dress might be long but not puffy, not have a train, and only a simple veil. If the dress code is black tie, then it is a formal wedding. So, as you can see, it is not so much the time of day as the dress code. Choose a style either formal, less formal (that is not black tie but navy blue blazers or dark suits), or informal and carry the theme throughout the wedding. If your reception is a seated dinner with a live band, then it would be formal or semiformal. If your reception is a barbecue, then you would not have the men wear tuxedos. Since your wedding is inside at four, but I don't know the plans for the reception, I would say the men would wear dark suits and shoes, the bride would wear a floor-length strapless well-cut, elegant dress with a short veil, and the bridesmaids would wear short strapless dresses, if they are under forty. If you would like to return to my Web site to ask the question again giving more details about the venue of the wedding, perhaps I can give you a more precise answer. For instance, if you are over sixty and have a large build, you probably would not want to wear a strapless wedding dress. So, the more details you can give me, the more help I can be. Also, if the wedding ceremony is not in a church at four o'clock, you would not necessarily wear a long dress.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 4:00 PM Ceremony: March: North Carolina
Q Hi Didi, I am 52 y.o., barely 5', 141 lbs. I`m attending a 4:00 wedding the beginning of March in NC, chapel in Airlie Gardens following with reception at an art museum. I bought a sleeveless sheath dress, navy blue with some off-white color, pearls for accessories and navy blue shoes, or taupe/buff colored shoes? Navy blue shrug/sweater? Help

A I'm not sure you need help. What do you think you need help with? I don't get the shrug thing. A short cardigan sweater or a fitted jacket would be even better because it would give you a bit of curvature. Wearing a hat, which you can take off for dinner, will give you a bit more height.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 4:00 pm Ceremony: Society of Cincinnati Reception: Black Tie
Q I am attending a wedding at 4 pm St John's Church (Washington DC) with reception to follow at The Society of the Cincinnati ("Black tie" printed on reception card). Does this mean that I should wear a different dress to the wedding and change into black tie for reception? Does one wear a long black dress or what other colors are appropriate for April?

A You wouldn't need to change outfits for a four o'clock church wedding when the reception immediately follows the ceremony. You would not be expected to wear a long dress to a four o'clock wedding. A dressy cocktail dress or dressy knee-length skirt suit (also called dinner suit) would take you from the church to the Society of the Cincinnati in style. Wear beautiful shoes, carry a small clutch bag and wear thin kid gloves to the church; but you know that already.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 4:00 pm Charleston in November
Q I would like to know what to wear to a 4 o'clock wedding in November in Charleston, S.C. It is at a church followed by a reception? I am a 44 year old female.

A As I don't know your build or coloring, this is a rather general answer. To an afternoon wedding, wear a pretty dress that falls just above your knees and a gorgeous hat. Hats at daytime weddings are always welcome, but leave it in the car when you go to the reception. Wearing a hat to the church will give you a bit of drama because when you appear at the reception hatless people will take a second look. A pretty chiffon dress with a shawl or pashmina, perhaps in one of the berry colors that are so popular right now. Wear pretty shoes that are comfortable enough to dance in and take a small clutch for your lipgloss and car keys. Then again, since I don't know your build, I would imagine that if you are short in stature, you're used to wearing very high heels, and flats if you're quite tall. Accessorize with quality legwear a shade lighter than your skin tone that has a bit of shimmer. Pearls are always proper at a wedding, especially in Charleston.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 4:00 PM Church: 6:00 PM: Country Club Reception: July
Q Attending a 4:00 pm church wedding on July, the reception is at 6:00 pm and dinner at 7:00 pm at a country club. I'm 67 years old and the dress code is cocktail dresses. Is a mid-gray lace dress appropriate? It's a very simple, long sleeve v collar dress. Any advice will be greatly appreciated.

A Your grey lace knee-length dress sounds perfect.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 4:00 pm in Botanical Garden
Q I am attending my boyfriend's sister's wedding this Saturday. It is a 4 o'clock wedding, but is a second wedding for the bride and the groom. It will be in a botanical garden by a large fountain. I am at a total loss as to what I should wear. Help!
Samantha Armstrong

A To a four o'clock wedding, wear a nice dress that falls just above your knees with beautiful shoes and a small, pretty clutch bag. As I don't have a clue as to your age or build, this a rather general answer. Basically, you want to wear what you would wear to an upscale restaurant. Most likely there will be a reception afterwards, which would call for cocktail party attire, often called business attire--meaning the men will be wearing ties and jackets and the women will be in shortish cocktail dresses and pretty shoes.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 4:00 pm in California Vinyard
Q Hi Didi,
I am a 30-year-old and don't know what to wear to my boyfriend's nephew's wedding. It is a 4 pm outdoor wedding at a vineyard in California. I am an hourglass shaped size 14, and don't know what is appropriate in this situation; it is also the first time I am meeting a lot of my boyfriend's family.
Thank you

A One of the things I like to advise readers to do is to Google the vineyard's website and look at photos and videos of previous weddings. You will see, for instance, that women your age are wearing pretty dresses that fall just above their knees. If you know the wedding colors, you would stay away from wearing one of those colors because you wouldn't want to look like a wannabe bridesmaid, but you'll get the feel for the style.

Keep it simple. You want to fit in with these people you don't know, but you also want to look your best, so wear a dress that flatters your shape. A tailored look will flatter your hourglass figure, and short or three quarter sleeves will cover your upper arms, if they aren't buff. If your legs are shapely, the hem can fall just above your knees; if not so much, the hem can fall just below your knees. Wearing high heels that are comfortable to dance in will elongate your figure.

Pick a dress that flatters your figure and have it tailored if it looks a bit sloppy around the mid-drift or waist and if it isn't the right length. The color of the dress could be a dark blue or deep berry color. If the celebration goes into the evening hours, you'll want to take a pashmina, a thin shawl. A small pretty clutch bag for your lipgloss and keys is always a must.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 4:00 pm in Cancun
Q Hi Didi My husband and I are invited to a Cancun wedding on Saturday, October 4th, 09. I am 5 ft and I weigh 128; my husband is 5"5 and he weighs 165. The ceremony is at 4 pm with the reception to follow on the beach unless it rains. Help please..... what should we wear?

A What fun that should be!

I gather it is not a black-tie wedding, thank goodness. You could wear a pretty cotton sundress with high strappy sandals. Your husband can wear a great Hawaiian style shirt with white or khaki shorts or trousers and sandals without socks.

The dress code in Cancun is from "Anything Goes" to "Clothing Optional." You will see some pretty creative outfits, especially after dark when you go clubbing. Nevertheless, you might want to wear a bikini under the sundress that you wear to the wedding ceremony.

You and your husband cannot go too far wrong with whatever you wear that's tropical; however, you just might dress slightly more daytime-ish to a four o'clock wedding--knowing that you can change into something more creative later on when you go clubbing.

Beware, because it is rumored that the bartenders in some of those clubs put funny pills in ladies' drinks.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 4:00 pm in Georgia in November
Q Wow! Your site has been most helpful! However, I'd like an answer specifically for me. What is the appropriate dress attire to wear to a 4 o'clock wedding in November? Location is at a former Catholic Church in Georgia. I'm a mid 20's female and the wedding is for a co-worker. I don't want to appear too dressy. Also, what should my husband wear, he refuses to wear a jacket? Thanks so much! -MC

A Thank you for your kind words, but I am afraid that your husband is not going to go along with my answer. If the wedding couple were getting married on a farm, then he could dress as a farmhand, if they had chosen a mountain top, then he could dress as a ski bum, if the marriage were taking place on a beach in Hawaii, he could wear a lei around his neck and not much more. The problem is two-fold: Because the wedding is being held in a church (even though the church no longer holds services and has parishioners), the bride will most likely be wearing a conventional wedding gown and her groom a jacket and tie; therefore, your groom should wear a jacket and tie, as well. When in Rome, as the saying goes, do as the Romans do. The second reason is that I don't want your husband to feel uncomfortable being the only man over the age of 21 who is not wearing a jacket and tie during the ceremony. Why don't you compromise? Remind him sweetly that when he gets to the reception he can take off his tie and jacket and dance up a storm.

You, my dear, are free and clear to wear a fun cocktail dress with high heels. Yes, of course, you can wear some dowdy long dress that is not as dressy as an evening dress, but I want you to have fun with your husband and co-workers, so wear something slightly daring. Perhaps a pashmina over your shoulders during the ceremony, but if you have half-way decent legs, show them off and wear a dress that you can have fun dancing in and have a good time.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 4:00 pm in Sweden in July
Q Dear Didi, I have been invited to a wedding the first weekend in July in Sweden. The ceremony will take place at 4 o'clock on an island and the dress code required is black tie. It is my first black-tie wedding and I would not like to be the one wearing an inappropriate dress. I know the bridesmaids will wear knee-long cocktail dresses, but being black-tie I am not sure if I should go for a long dress or shorter. The invitation says ceremony will be followed by dinner and dance if that can help. Thank you.

A There are two facts in what you have told me that make it clear to me that you would wear a short cocktail dress. Firstly, as it is a four o'clock wedding, you wouldn't wear a long dress at four o'clock in the afternoon unless you were the bride. Secondly, the bridesmaids are wearing short dresses.

Black-tie doesn't necessarily mean that you have to wear a long dress. Men usually need a dress code, whereas women dress according to the time of day and pick up the style of dress by what the bridesmaids are wearing.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 4:00 pm Iowa Outdoors in September
Q I am in my 60's, 5'9, wear size 14. I'm going to a 4:00 Iowa outdoors wedding in September. What should I wear? Can I wear flats?

A Yes, you can definitely wear flats. Probably either black, beige or nude would be best. Wear what you would wear to a very good restaurant or a cocktail party. You wouldn't wear a long dress to a four o'clock wedding, but you could wear a nicely tailored dress with sleeves that falls just below your knees or a light-weight well-made skirted suit.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 4:00 PM Northern Florida
Q Outdoor 4:00 February wedding in north Florida-it does get cold here. Second marriage for bride who is wearing a Nicole Miller oyster-colored gown. I am thinking of a cocktail dress in black. My question is: Does anyone wear hosiery? Living in Florida one can get away with no hose in the spring and summer with a light tan or even spray tan, but not in the dead of winter. My husband will wear a black suit. This is a formal wedding, but the time of day and temperatures are making me question hosiery options.

A It may be formal for a four o'clock wedding, but four o'clock weddings don't require guests to wear tuxedos or long dresses. Your black cocktail dress sounds splendid. As I don't know whether you're wearing open-toe shoes or not, if you're not, you could wear good quality legwear a shade lighter than your skin tone with a bit of shimmer to it that will dress up your legs. For open-toe shoes, just make sure your legs are buff and shimmery. There are plenty of products on the market to give your legs that shine to take you from late afternoon into evening. Your husband's dark light-weight suit sounds perfect, too.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 4:00 pm October: Barelegged in Michigan
Q I am invited to an outdoor October wedding at 4 pm in Michigan. Is it proper etiquette for a woman wearing a dress to wear nylons or should she go without?

A If the lady's legs are well-groomed, she can most certainly go barelegged. Her legs don't have to be tanned, but they should have a bit of glow. That glow can be achieved with a really good moisturizer. Not to worry, bare is beautiful--especially when aglow.

A bit of talcum powder coating on the inner soles will help to keep at bay uncomfortable friction while dancing.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 4:00 pm Service
Q I am invited to a wedding with a 4:00 pm church service followed by a reception. I have heard that some women will change their dresses for the reception since the service is rather early and in a church. Do you know if it is typical to wear two different dresses?

A It depends upon the time of the reception. If the reception starts at seven o'clock or later and the dress code is formal, then you would change from an afternoon church outfit into a dress that you would wear to a dinner dance.

It is customary to change outfits when there is a time difference of several hours between the service and the reception. For instance, English church weddings are usually held at two or three o'clock, followed by a Black- Tie dinner dance that commences at 7:30 PM. As you can see, there are two different dress codes involved with a mid-afternoon wedding and an evening dinner dance. Since this service is at four o'clock, whether you change or not depends upon the starting time of the reception.

When the reception immediately follows the church service, you do not have to change your outfit. Depending upon your age, I would recommend wearing a flirty cocktail dress, if you are under 45. Otherwise, a dressy skirted suit that falls just below your knees or a dress with sleeves or a jacket would be appropriate. That way you can take off the jacket for the dancing.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 4:00 pm Wedding Casual Cocktail Attire
Q I have been invited to an August 9, 4:00 pm outdoor wedding (held in a canopy or ten)] at a river side resort in Montana. The couple is from Brooklyn, New York - the invitation states "casual cocktail attire". I would guess that Montana tends to be less formal than Brooklyn but I am at a loss as to what would be appropriate to wear for both my husband and me!
Thank You!
Julie

A Not knowing your build, or age, I would suggest that you wear a skirt that falls just below your knees with a pretty blouse, and strappy sandals. I am usually a big fan of a short dress with a bit of swing that is good for dancing, but it might be more fun to wear a festive skirt and blouse. Why not take both and ask the other women guests what they are wearing when you get there? Your husband would wear a lightweight jacket, perhaps a navy blue blazer, with light colored trousers and a collared shirt. He might take a tie in case he gets there only to find out that the other men are wearing ties. I've seen men wearing shorts at casual summer weddings with a jacket and tie, but that might be more of an East Coast look. To get back to you, if you do go the slightly festive route, wear some marvelous beads and earrings, and perhaps a wide belt, with the skirt and blouse. Casual cocktail attire in New York is dressier than it would be in Montana; however since it is a wedding, adding a festive flare to your outfit would make it more fun. In other words, the preppy East Coast look and the tailored New York look might seem a bit stiff in such a laid back, relaxed setting.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 4:00 pm Wedding: Mother of the Bride
Q I would like to know if it is ok for me as the MOB to wear a mid-calf length dress. The bride has a very full Cinderella-type gown and bridesmaids are all wearing long dresses. I think the MOG wants to wear a long dress too. I am a size 0 petite and not quite 5' tall and feel I look better in a short versus long dress. The dress is navy silk sleeveless The wedding is 4PM early November in VA. The dress also comes in full length so I really could do either, what do you think?

Thank you,
Carol



A In my opinion, long dresses and tea length dresses are rather dreary and very dowdy looking on most women over the age of forty-five. For a four o'clock wedding the mother of the bride and the mother of the groom would look better in a dressy dinner suit, say, a silk suit that falls just below the knees in a soft color with nice details and dainty gold or silver heels. For a four o'clock wedding, I certainly wouldn't make the bridesmaids purchase long dresses. Why not have them wear a solid color, perhaps navy blue, short strapless dresses that they will be able to wear again and again, also with gold heels. I always think that at a four o'clock wedding the bride should be the only person wearing a long dress, as well as the only woman wearing white. The long dress look with the mothers and the bridesmaids, if it is not a candlelight eight o'clock dinner dance, is so over. Make it a chic four o'clock wedding and focus on the quality of a shorter designer outfit made of a better fabric, rather than having everybody wearing dreary long dresses that nobody will want to wear again. As for sleeveless, think of the wedding pictures. Unless your arms are incredibly toned from lifting weights or plastic surgery, upper arms on women over forty do not photograph well; when you see those wedding pictures, you might wish that you had worn a chic, dressy, fitted dinner suit to your daughter's wedding. My advice to you, especially if you are petite, is to stay away from that awful MOB look that most bridal shops try to sell and find an outfit that suits you and that you will wear again. Go with your gut: if you look better in a short dress, wear a short, chic suit that hits just below the knees and beautiful high heels.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 4:00 pm: California: July
Q I am attending a 4 o'clock July wedding in California. The invitations are black scroll script on off-white. It starts outdoors and is followed by cocktails, dinner and dancing. I purchased an off-the-shoulder, above-the-knee gold/bronze dress. The shoes are bronze high heel sandals. Is the dress appropriate? I am 5' 6', 125lbs.

A Your outfit sounds just right. Both the dress and shoes are perfect. My only suggestion, not even having seen the outfit, is that you take it easy on the accessories. A great pair of earrings, cocktail ring, one nice bracelet, and that's it.

Not having seen this for myself, I would suggest getting a second opinion from one of your friends before wearing any kind of necklace. The only problem I see with one shoulder short dresses is how to wear long hair and do you wear a necklace? Some will wear the long hair to one side, others pull it back. At any rate with long hair and the one shoulder, earrings and necklace, there is a lot going on there in a relatively small space. A good way to handle this is to put it all on, look in the mirror and take at least one accessory off.

The short answer is, yes, the dress is appropriate, just don't over-dress it with too many accessories because gold and bronze are festive enough colors that can stand alone with out much help.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 4:00 PM: Charlottesville in April
Q 4 pm wedding early April Charlottesville, VA -- We are invited to a wedding of a couple in their 50s/60s. The ceremony is at a church and a reception will follow at a nearby dining club. Out-of-town and other guests are then invited to their home for a late supper after the reception. I am in my 50s, around size 8, fit and from NYC and don't know the local dress customs. Would a sleeveless medium berry colored dress to my knee (a party dress that is not tailored but also not too dressy/cocktailish) be appropriate? Or should I go with a tailored black dress or soft jacket and black knee-length skirt? Also, is a suit a must for my husband or can he wear a blazer and slacks? Thanks very much.

A The berry dress sounds very chic. Dress as though you are going to an upscale NY restaurant or cocktail party. Your husband should wear a dark suit, as he is of a certain age and will be more comfortable and distinguished looking in a tie and suit with black shoes, socks, and belt.

The tailored black dress with the soft jacket sounds lovely, too, and might be warmer since the wedding ceremony is at 4:00, and you'll possibly be partying until midnight; you can always take the jacket off when you start dancing. It might depend upon the weather as to which outfit you wear, so log-on to a Charlottesville website and find the projected weather forecast for Virginia while you're packing your bag. At any rate, if you decide on the berry, it would be best to take a jacket or light-weight coat to wear out on your way to the various evening activities.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 4:00 PM: Chicago : May
Q I am attending a wedding in Chicago in May. It's from 4:00-5:00 pm in an Episcopalian Cathedral followed by a reception at a private event hall at 6:00 pm. Would a beaded, knee-length cocktail dress be too formal? What attire would you recommend for a 35 yo female? Do my shoulders need to be covered?
Thank you so much!

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. Meaning your cocktail dress sounds perfect. In an Episcopal church you wouldn't need to cover your shoulders, although in May in Chicago, you may need a raincoat, light-weight jacket or thin cashmere cardigan sweater. Check the weather on the Internet a week out from the wedding to find the forecast.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 4:00 PM: Chicago: Black Tie
Q I have a 4:00 wedding in a cathedral in Chicago. The cocktail hour is from 6-7 and the reception begins at 7:00. The invitation states black tie. I was planning on wearing a long gown but don't want to be too dressy. Is a long gown acceptable to wear to the service?

A You will find that some of the guests who live nearby will go home and change between the service and cocktails. Yes, you could wear an evening dress to the service, but you might find that most of the women will be wearing very dressy, good quality cocktail dresses that fall to the knee, or above the knee if they're under fifty, with beautiful shoes. Black Tie doesn't mean that you have to wear a long gown, especially when the wedding starts at four o'clock. If the dinner were at eight, you would need to wear an evening dress, but before then a chic and lovely cocktail dress is much more fun.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 4:00 PM: Chicago: October
Q I am attending a wedding downtown Chicago Oct. 15th. Church service at 4:00, cocktails, dinner and dancing at 6:00. My number one dress choice is a black chiffon, one shoulder dress with a rhinestone/ sparkly knot on the shoulder. It hits just above the knees. I will be wearing a wrap in and out of the cab. Is this dress appropriate for a fall wedding in Chicago and if so what shoe should I wear? I know no jewelry except for a ring or bracelet. My 13 year old daughter says the dress may be too dressy.

A The dress, as bomb as it sounds, might be a tad dressy for a four o'clock wedding in a church. However, I love black chiffon for dancing, which you'll be doing later on. Wear the dress and the wrap, but take it down with accessories: classic black shoes, small black clutch, possibly fake diamond earrings and possibly a cocktail ring.

Wear a classic black shoe, don't get all strappy or rhinestoney because you've already got that rhinestone/sparkly knot on the shoulder.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 4:00 pm: Georgia
Q My husband and I are attending a 4:00 Country wedding in November (in Georgia) this weekend. I am 23 years old, 5'4 and size 18. What would be appropriate for me to wear?

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. Traditionally, a four o'clock wedding is not formal. The later in the day the ceremony, the more formal the wedding. Even if the bride wears a long bridal gown, the dress code for guests is Suits & Dresses. Wear a well-tailored, simple, knee-length cocktail dress with beautiful shoes and carry a small clutch bag.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 4:00 pm: Hamptons
Q I am attending a wedding in the Hamptons the second weekend in September beginning at 4 pm. Weather permitting, the ceremony will be held outdoors and the reception outdoors under a tent overlooking the bay. The venue advises against high heels because of them sinking into the grass. I'm a 25 year old female...what to wear!?!

A When the wedding doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, then you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. For a four o'clock wedding wear a beautiful dress that falls just above the knees with lovely flats and carry a small clutch for your lipgloss.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 4:00 pm: Maryland: Outdoors
Q 4:00 Wedding. Maryland by the water. November 1st. So it will be chilly.

I am 21 years old I have a boyfriend of over 2 years. His sister is getting married on November 1st. It is chilly around that time the ceremony will be outside at 4 p.m. I have already ordered a bronze sequin dress. It has sleeves but not long and isn't tight. Is it appropriate? I don't know what else to do after it will come in the mail? I'm sure she will say it's okay to wear but just want to hear your opinion also on what to wear with it.

A You will probably need to wear a coat or jacket over your bonze sequin dress that time of year. Your dress sounds very chic, but do you think it might be a bit dressy for an afternoon wedding? Sequins are more appropriate for an evening wedding. If the wedding invitation specifies Black Tie or Formal Attire, then the sequin dress would be fine. When there is no dress code listed, then you can assume that it is not a formal wedding.

By the way, the ceremony may be outdoors by the water, but the reception will most likely be inside.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 4:00 PM: New Jersey: August
Q Hi Didi,
I have a wedding to go to in Jersey City in August. No dress code is specified. The invitation is formally worded but not engraved; the ceremony is at 4pm with a reception to follow, both being held at the Harborside Financial Center. I'm a Californian, 28 years old, 6 feet tall, size 4, fair coloring. How formal should I be? I was thinking of wearing a dark purple satin tailored sheath dress (knee- length) with a beading detail at the neckline. Is satin too formal? Is dark purple too dark for a summer wedding? Should I wear a flowy floral dress instead?
Thank you!

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specifically state Black Tie, you can assume that the dress code is Suits and Dresses. Your dress sounds fabulous; however, because you asked, in my opinion, you might find satin a bit heavy in August in New Jersey. A short chiffon, just above the knee dress might be more weddingish in August. A chiffon with a bit of swing in the skirt on the dance floor might be a bit more youthful. I fear the dark purple satin sheath with beading, as beautiful as it sounds, might be too evening dressy for a four o'clock wedding. A soft chiffon would swing both ways.

By the way, since I don't believe in buying a dress of a specific occasion, the short, purple satin would be absolutely fine, but wear nude colored shoes to bring it down a notch.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 4:00 PM: October
Q I am attending a 4:30 wedding in late Oct. I'm not sure what to wear...Is a black spaghetti strap dress ok? It can be cold here that time of year, so do I wear hose or not? I don't want to be cold!

A Where is here? Are you asking about a wedding in Florida, Texas or Michigan or Maine? If you're not in a warm climate, legwear would be a good idea. Wear legwear a shade lighter than your skin tone with a bit of glitter to it. Don't be cold. Google the weather where the wedding is taking place while you're packing to go to the wedding to figure out how to be comfortable.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 4:00 PM: Upstate New York
Q Hello, I am attending a wedding this weekend in upstate New York. The wedding is at 4 pm. I have a dress I was thinking of wearing. It's a short platinum grey with palettes. The sequins are in a pattern, not covering the entire dress. Your thoughts.


A Sounds lovely. However, it depends upon the color gray. If the platinum/gray is light enough to be mistaken for white, then don't wear it because you don't want to look like a wannabe bride.

The lovely platinum gray dress sounds a bit dressy for the up-country at four o'clock. Take it down a notch or two with the accessories. High heels might bring you down, if the ceremony is on grass, so you might want to wear beautiful flats. On the other hand, you could wear a great hat or fascinator at that hour.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 4:00 pm: Virginia in August
Q Hi, wedding in August, invitation 5x7 outlined is purple/pink border black print cursive, no dress indicated on invitation, wedding at a church in Virginia 4:00, reception at a hotel afterwards; any ideas on what type of dress is appropriate? 40 years old, size 10 36D...the church w/ hotel afterwards... has me confused. What is the etiquette on this type of wedding, business dress cocktail, no skin, some skin, please help?

A There is no need to be confused. When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie, then you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. In other words, Cocktail Attire. Since the church might not be air conditioned--even in August--don't worry about showing skin because it will be bloody hot. Wear a beautiful dress that falls just above your knees with really pretty shoes. It can be sleeveless, strapless, or just a really well-made "sundress." If you wish to wear a hat or fascinator to the church, headwear is all the rage, especially in Virginia.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 4:00 PM: Toronto
Q My husband and I are attending a 4:00 wedding in Toronto. Is it appropriate to wear a patterned dress? The dress is solid black on top with an empire cut and the lower half is white with large black circles--not polka dot. Is that too busy of a pattern?

A Sounds great. Not to worry, the dress is fun and chic.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 4:00: September: One-Shouldered Dress
Q I am going to a 4:00 pm wedding and evening reception in mid-September and was wondering whether a one-shouldered dress would be appropriate. It is deep purple, hits above the knee, and has a Greek style to it. It also has a silver metal band cinching in the shoulder fabric, and I was wondering if I can pair a necklace with something like that.

A Your dress sounds lovely, if a bit dressy for a four o'clock wedding, although I don't know the location of the wedding. A big city ballroom wedding is far dressier than the more relaxed country church wedding. Either way, I would dress it down because, after all, it is an afternoon wedding ceremony. One-shoulder dresses are difficult to accessorize. If you have long hair and are wearing it down, then wear great earrings. If your hair is short, you can wear a choker necklace and earrings. Stay with the silver metal for the jewelry, but keep it simple and clean.

As my daughters say, "Look in the mirror on your way out the door and take off one accessory." Otherwise you can look cheesy.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 4:00pm: Shoes
Q 4:00PM wedding - just below the knee empire waist kind of a satin material dress, is it ok to wear tan colored open-toe high heels with this dress or should I wear silver?...

A I am a huge fan of nude colored shoes right now. They elongate the legs. Silver is more wintery.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 4:30 PM: June: Silver Shoes
Q Are silver dressy shoes okay for a 4:30 pm outdoor June wedding?

A Yes, if they are delicate and neither chunky or clunky. Silver is very chic, but nude colored shoes are even chicer.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 4:30 in the Park in Minneapolis
Q Hi Didi,
4:30 pm wedding at a park, followed by reception at the Museum of Science in Minneapolis. Young-looking grandmother and very young-looking aunts (fit and healthy and appearing ageless) as well as two uncles wonder what we should wear. Read your column, which you suggested more specific info would glean more specific suggestions. Thanks for this wonderful service!
Very sincerely,
Kay Metherell
director@silverstar.com

A Assuming that this is a summer wedding since the ceremony is taking place in a park, you would not wear formal attire. On the contrary, the women would wear great day dresses, perhaps cotton sundresses with strappy sandals and the men would wear light colored slacks and jackets with collared shirts and colorful ties, and brown shoes, but not necessarily socks.

More specifically for the women, pretty, cheerful dresses or skirts with beautiful blouses. The length would be just below the knees or above the knees. Less of a tailored Ralph Lauren style and more of a flirty, festive look. Because I don't know your builds or coloring, this is a really general answer.

You might also think about the weather, because if it's been raining a lot, you wouldn't want to wear heels that are too high because they will sink right into the moist earth. It can still be sunny and hot at 4:30 PM, so a straw hat with a colorful band of flowers would be the perfect look for a late afternoon wedding in the park.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 4:30 P.M.: Indiana
Q I'm going to a wedding that is at 4:30 pm in May in Indianapolis, IN, and it's at the Avon Gardens. Should I wear a spring bright-colored dress or go more formal?

A Please, don't wear a long dress. In trend is wearing a brightly colored, chic, short dress. My advice is to wear an above the knee dress with strappy sandals or beautiful pumps.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 4:30 pm Black Tie or Not?
Q Having black tie/non-black tie dilemma for the wedding. On one hand, Manhattan in late November and venue is fairly formal (and having formal dinner and dancing party). On the other hand, perhaps a "bit much"? My ceremony is at 4:30 pm in the afternoon (which in my opinion is too early for black tie in the city) and let's be frank, I am not exactly throwing an over-the-top wedding in the Four Seasons. However, I am always happy to be invited to a black tie if only because it's so clear what both men & women are meant to wear. Any thoughts would be welcome!!!!!



A Because it is a 4:30 wedding it is not a black-tie wedding. The chicest New York weddings that I have been to in the past few years were not black tie. If the Bushes didn't have a black-tie wedding, then you know that the trend is non-black-tie weddings. At this moment in time, the trend is not black tie and a black-tie wedding seems pretentious. The exception would be if it was a candlelight ceremony starting at eight o'clock. That is a formal evening wedding these days; usually held in a glamorous (read tacky) ballroom. Dark suits are so easy for most men and little black dresses are de rigeur for most young women at weddings that time of year. I would rather go for chic than formal any day. Anybody can do formal, but to be chic is the ultimate in sophistication.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 4:30 pm California in March
Q I am attending a 4:30 p.m. wedding at the Pelican Hill Resort in Newport Beach, CA, this March. Can I wear black velvet pants and shell with a dressy jacket and beautiful jewelry? I am an older woman (early 60s...still attractive with a classy short haircut...makeup well done)? I'm not sure whether pants are acceptable and whether velvet is okay to wear in March?


A It is good that you asked. I am not a big fan of women in pants at weddings unless that is your only style of dress--your trademark. Velvet would be too warm to wear in Newport Beach, CA, in the late afternoon. Since you are still attractive, why not wear a sheath with a matching jacket or light weight coat, or a silk spring suit that is well-made and tailored to fit your figure. You ask if it is okay? No, it is not okay.

After looking at photos of the Pelican Hill Resort on the Internet, it is hard to imagine guests wearing velvet at a 4:30 pm wedding. Palm trees and velvet don't mesh. In my opinion, you would keep the shell, dressy jacket and beautiful jewelry, but substitute the velvet pants for a beautifully tailored skirt, or a chiffon skirt that falls just below your knees and pretty shoes.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 4:30 PM: Age 54: March: Columbus, Ohio
Q I have a family wedding on March 22 in Columbus Ohio at 4:30 pm with cocktails, dinner and dancing immediately after ceremony at The Athletic Club of Columbus. I am 54 years old and would like to know what is the appropriate attire to wear. I like dark colors and wear heels well.

A Look at the invitation for a dress code. If the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. That means you would wear a knee-length cocktail dress with beautiful shoes and carry a small clutch bag.

For women over forty I use the Halsbrook website to illustrate effortless elegance for special occasions. Go to halsbrook.com and look at these dresses:

Tara Jarmon Cobalt Wool-Blend A-line Dress
Paule Ka Gathered Off-the-Shoulder Crepe Dress
Armani Collezioni Black Milano Jersey Dress
D.Exterior Navy Stretch Jacquard Knit Dress
Lyn Devon New Sandrine Cotton Lace Dress
Les Copains Blue Crepe A-Line Dress
Armani Collezioni Navy Printed Silk Chiffon Dress
Red Valentino Lace-Detailed Wool Dress
Elie Tahari Maura Tweed Jacquard Dress
Elie Tahari Beverly Printed Silk Dress (blue and black)
Elie Tahari Luella Crepe Jersey Dress

Another website I use to illustrate outfits for women your age is What2WearWhere.com. Lastly, I also use netaporter.com, which has the largest selection, but not all the dresses are age appropriate. Once you see a style you like, it is possible that you could find a similar dress in a department near you. The objective is to find a style you feel good wearing.

We like hearing from you and we would appreciate learning whether or not any of these ideas were helpful. Thank you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 4:30 PM: Black Tie Encouraged
Q What does black tie encouraged mean? This is a wedding we will be attending in the early evening. (4:30 PM)
The reception is at a country club.

A Basically, what the hosts are trying to say is that they want guests to wear their best Suits & Dresses. When the wedding doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses, which is Cocktail Attire. Men don't have to wear a tuxedo, but the hosts want men to wear suits with ties and not show up in cargo pants or jeans.

The problem is this: 4:30 PM is too early to call it a formal wedding because a formal wedding is after six o'clock, so they are edging on wanting it to be formal, but are saying that if you don't have a tuxedo, you don't need to rent one if you have a good suit. Country Club dress code at that hour would be Suits & Dresses (short cocktail dresses) and no tuxedos. "Black Tie Encouraged" is my least favorite dress code because it is a wannabe formal dress code for a party that isn't formal. Please, don't tell your hosts I told you that. Thanks.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 4:30 pm: California: Wearing Black
Q I have a wedding to attend this Saturday in Hollywood , CA. Church ceremony is at 4:30 and reception is at 7. My husband wants me to wear my black dress 3/4 sleeves and the length to mid-legs. Is it ok to wear it?

A Can you wear a black dress to a late afternoon wedding? Yes, you can, but you might want to lighten up the all-black by wearing nude colored shoes.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 4:30 pm: Dallas, TX: Couple: November
Q I am attending a wedding with my boyfriend in early November in Dallas, Tx. Its a 4:30 pm wedding with a reception following the ceremony. The weather in Dallas that time of year can be a bit tricky. It could be very nice or cold. What is the appropriate attire for us?

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. Assuming that, then you would wear a knee-length cocktail dress with beautiful shoes and carry as small clutch bag. Your boyfriend would wear a medium-weight dark business suit with a white shirt and handsome tie, black leather belt, shoes and socks.

What I usually do is watch the weather in the city where I'll be going ahead of time, even up until while I'm packing, and pack accordingly. Aside from a matching coat, a good jacket is always useful to take along. Alternatively, you could wear a dressy, knee-length skirt-suit with a lace shell underneath, so that you could take off the suit jacket for the dancing.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 4:30 PM: Hats
Q I am going to a wedding next weekend and want to wear a hat. The wedding is at 4:30 in the afternoon. What should I do?

A Wear a hat, hats are perfect for weddings. If you don't have a hat already, look for one that doesn't have a huge brim because you'll have to hold on to it every time you go to kiss someone.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 4:30 pm: Indiana in September
Q I am attending 4:30 wedding in late Sept. in Indiana. What is the proper attire for a woman?

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, then you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 4:30 PM: Minnesota September
Q What to wear to a 4:30 pm wedding Memorial Day weekend, outside under a canopy at a lakeside resort (Drummond Island)in Upper Peninsula, MI.? Temp range could be 40* to 70*...! (Bride and groom moms said they are prepared to wear long underwear under their long dresses with jacket.) I'm 50 and fit, hourglass figure, 5'8" but, blown veins mean I no longer wear knee-length skirts which you seem to generally advise. It's either long or pants for me. Which would you advise? I do have a sleeveless, collarless, chocolate brown knit long sheath which I have paired with both a seafoam green jacket or a tan, with lilac flowers jacket but both have small rhinestone buttons....too dressy? I do have a pashmina I can add to that for warmth but am concerned that I may still be cold. Help please!

A You've pretty much decided what you will and won't wear, so I certainly won't try to talk you into wearing anything else. Of the two, wear the jacket that doesn't have the rhinestone buttons. And pack the pashmina, because you might need that, too.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 4:30 pm: October
Q I am attending a fall wedding. (Early Oct.) The ceremony is outdoors and the reception will take place on the terrace. Is it okay to wear an aqua/teal charmeuse dress with a square neckline and a an A-line silhouette? I thought about accessorizing with browns. The ceremony is at 4:30 on a Friday with the reception following immediately.

A Be fair warned, I am not a fan of accessorizing with the color brown for a late afternoon into evening wedding, and the brown/blue combo is very last year. That said, I would suggest that you wear nude-colored patent leather heels with your satin dress. As I don't know what other accessories you're planning on wearing, I can only recommend that since aqua/teal is such a strong and earthy color duo, that you keep to a neutral hue. Or stay with a totally aqua/teal look.

Alternatively, think about accessorizing with navy blue or black, if you don't like nude and want to introduce another color. And I wouldn't mind a really good looking small bright red clutch bag to give you a bit of pop. Or you could wear a beautiful felt hat or feathered fascinator to a late afternoon fall wedding to look more fascinating.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 4:30 pm: South Carolina
Q One of my friend's is getting married in November at 4:30 pm in Clemson, South Carolina. What should I wear? The reception is to follow and all the invitation says is dinner and dancing to follow.

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. The later in the day the wedding, the more formal the attire and this is a late afternoon wedding, meaning you would wear cocktail attire. Weddings at this time of day are not so much about the dressiness of the clothing as being about the quality of the outfit. Wear a well-made knee-length, elegant cocktail dress with beautiful shoes and carry a small clutch bag. I would have to know more about you in order to give you more specific advice. Have a great time at the wedding.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 4:30 PM: Summer Heat: Suits & Dresses
Q Hello,I LOVE your site ;)
Wedding- JULY 30 @ 4:30p.m.-

My husband an I are attending a 4:30 p.m. wedding reception in a Presbyterian Church with a sit down reception following at a historic train station that basically has a banquet hall. I am baffled at what we should wear considering the time and the difference in venues. The invitation is pretty casual and the bride and groom are more fun, laid back people...but do dress nice and our trendy. I have a trendy, floral, a-line, semi- cocktail dress with nude pumps I could wear- but didn't want to look to dressy/fussy..? Or, I have a trendy one- shoulder dress that is red in the background with a fun, bit more casual floral pattern with a darker nude strappy sandal..? My husband has just about anything to wear. He has everything from suits to sports coats to trendy button- downs as well as suspenders/braces- ;) I would love any comments and advice you would love to share.
Thank you!

A When the invitation doesn't specify Black Tie, you can assume that the dress code is Suits & Dresses. Your short cocktail dresses sound perfect, but do remember that since the ceremony is being performed in a church, the dress code might not be as laid back as you imagine. My point is this, it is a church wedding and a short above the knee cocktail dress would be perfect. Not all churches are air conditioned, so your husband will want to wear his lightest weight summer suit or a summer blazer with white or off-white pants, with a collared shirt, great tie and loafers without socks. He can dust a bit of talcum powder in his shoes to keep his feet from sticking. Remind him that he can always take off his tie and jacket at the reception.

If you want to add a bit of trendy flare, why not wear a great fascinator or hat, which you can leave in the car after the church service?


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 4:30 PM: Tampa: October: Garden Wedding
Q Ok, I'm going to my niece's wedding on Oct. 18. The wedding is at 4:30 pm and it's a garden wedding at St. Pete's beach, Tampa Fl. The reception will be in the garden also. I'm 59 and I don't know what to wear. I hate sleeveless dresses.

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. If you don't like sleeveless dresses then find a knee-length dress with sleeves. To illustrate the kinds of dresses appropriate for women over forty to wear to a wedding I recommend the website Halsbrook.com. Click on Occasions and then Weddings where you will find lots of dresses with sleeves.

We like hearing from you and hope that you will visit us again.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 4:30 PM: Williamsburg, VA: June
Q 4:30 pm wedding in Williamsburg VA invitation says "formal reception to follow". I am 53 and the wedding is in June.

What do I wear?

A A 4:30 pm wedding is not traditionally very formal. When the invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses, meaning cocktail attire. A man would were his best dark lightweight business suit and a woman would wear a beautiful knee-length cocktail dress with great shoes and carry a small clutch bag.

To illustrate the look I think you should be going for, I use a website for women over forty at Halsbrook.com. If you look under 'dresses' you will find a tightly chosen collection of well-made dresses with accompanying accessories. Once you have an idea of what you think you might like and there are none like this in your closet, visit a department near you. But before setting out, look at these:

Issa Printed Metallic Ribbed Dress
Elie Tahari Holly Printed Stretch Cotton Dress
Les Copains Blue Crepe A-line Dress
Maxmara Piega Stretch Linen and Cotton Shift Dress
Issa Printed Jacquard Knit Dress
Elie Tahari Holly Printed Cotton Eyelet Dress
Red Valentino Orange Stretch Cotton Dress
Maxmara Rauche Cotton and Silk Dress

This is a rather general answer since I don't know your build, size,coloring, lifestyle or budget, but you'll get the picture.

In a situation such as this it is more about the quality of the dress than the dressiness of the outfit. Do let us know if we've been helpful.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 4:30: South Carolina: August
Q I am going to a 4:30 church wedding in South Carolina in August, reception to follow at a local reception hall..I am 54, 5'4", size 6....Is a teal green linen sheath dressy enough (1 inch above knee)...if so, what shoes do you suggest? (the wedding is not super formal...bridesmaids dresses are jersey knit, halter style) Any other suggestions?

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. Your teal green linen sheath sounds lovely. Linen is a luxury fabric and perfect for a 4:30 wedding. You might want to think about wearing a pair of nude-colored patent leather heels to give you a bit more height. A pretty brooch and/or a fascinator would both give you a festive, wedding look. If not a fascinator, a beautiful hat is always a great look on a wedding guest; you can leave the hat in your car before going into the reception. Carry a small clutch bag for your lipstick and keys.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 4:30pm: Jewish Ceremony
Q I have a 4:30 pm wedding on a Sunday in September in Connecticut. It will be a Jewish ceremony. Am I expected to wear a long dress? Should it be fancy or simple? Any thoughts, suggestions or ideas welcome. Both the ceremony and the reception are being held at the Inn at Longshore www.innatlongshore.com
Thanks so much

A Look at the wedding invitation. When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. Which means cocktail attire. You would wear a knee-length cocktail dress with beautiful shoes and carry a small clutch bag.

We like hearing from you,

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 4:30pm: Newport Beach, CA
Q Dear Didi - I am a 53-year-old woman attending my niece's wedding in Newport Beach, CA, in December. The wedding, held in a church, will be at 4:00 p.m.; reception following at 5:30 p.m. at the Balboa Bay Club. I'm considering wearing a fairly tailored black dress with 3/4 length sleeves that falls just below the knee. I'm wondering about shoe color and jewelry, and whether or not this dress will be acceptable to wear to the wedding, as well as the reception.

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. Your 3/4 length sleeve, knee-length black dress sounds perfect for an early evening wedding. Suits & Dresses means cocktail attire and your dress sounds like a cocktail dress. Black heels would of course be very safe, but women our age shouldn't be too matchy-matchy, so you might want to wear a colorful necklace, cocktail ring, bracelet, or carry a small, colorful black bag.

That said, I wear all black and pearls or gold, but NYC and Newport are dressier, more formal than Newport Beach, CA, which is why I'm suggesting that you have fun with a whimsical brooch or nude-colored patent leather or leopard skin shoes. Have a great time at the wedding.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 5:00 P.M. North Carolina in April
Q I was invited to a wedding recently and the invitation did not state a dress code, I have no idea what to wear! The wedding is at 5:00 PM with a reception following, in the middle of April, and at a plantation home in North Carolina. I am 22 years old tall and slim. I was wondering if a knee-length fuchsia cocktail dress with a decorative warped front that is not flashy would be appropriate with strappy gold heels that have large gold jewels down the front? This is the outfit that I wore to my sorority's winter cocktail if that helps give you a better idea of the type of outfit it is.

A Your hosts assume that if you're being invited to their daughter's wedding, you know how to dress and they are right. When the invitation doesn't state Black Tie, then assume that you would wear what you wore to your sorority's winter cocktail. Non-black-tie weddings are very chic right now. It is the quality of the dress and the men's suit that is important. Any man can rent a cheap tuxedo. You're on the right track.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 5:00 pm Black and White Wedding
Q Is it ok for the stepmother to wear a black dress to a 5pm black and white wedding?

A In my opinion, a black dress is always incredibly chic. If you want to make that little black dress more wedding-ish, load on the pearls. To lighten up the look, wear slightly shiny or shimmery legwear a shade lighter than your skin tone. To summerize the look of the black dress, wear something turquoise of aquamarine, perhaps a ring, brooch, earrings, or a nice, small clutch bag.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 5:00 PM Ceremony: Texas
Q What would be appropriate to wear to a 5 o'clock Sept. 13 Texas wedding. Ceremony is outdoors and reception is indoors. Would a light aqua with little white swirls maxi dress be okay? I'm 65, 5'3" and about 130 lbs. Shoes?

A Sounds great. Wear nude colored high heels and carry a small clutch bag.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 5:00 PM Florida:: Outdoors
Q We are attending a destination wedding in Florida. It is a 5pm wedding, formal and outdoors. What to wear??

A Traditionally, a five o'clock wedding is not that formal, especially if it is outdoors, so you wouldn't want to overdress. If the invitation doesn't specifically state Black Tie, you would wear your best dark, lightweight suit instead of a tuxedo. If you're a woman under fifty, you would wear a beautiful cocktail dress that falls just above your knees, with great shoes and pearls. Otherwise, a dressy dinner suit that falls just below your knees would be appropriate. As I don't know your builds or ages, this is a rather general answer. Remember that just because the groom and groomsmen are wearing tuxedos, it doesn't necessarily mean that it is an ultra formal wedding, so find out.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 5:00 pm in Atlanta in August
Q What do you wear to a 5 pm wedding in Atlanta in August; reception at a private club; formal invitation?

A Depending upon your gender, if you are a man, you would wear a tuxedo when the invitation is formal. South of the Mason-Dixon Line (which divides the North from the South, as any state south of Pennsylvania and Delaware is considered to be in the South), he also has the option in the warmer months to wear a white dinner jacket with black tuxedo pants, a collared white dress shirt, and a black bow tie, along with black leather shoes and black garter-length socks.

A woman would wear a dressy short dress, dinner suit, sheath with matching jacket, or blouse and skirt, that, depending upon her age, either falls just below her knees or just above her knees (if she is under fifty).

A five o'clock wedding, even though it says formal is not as formal as an eight o'clock wedding, which is why the woman probably wouldn't wear a floor-length dress to a wedding that starts before six o'clock. Since long dresses tend to make most women look dowdy, the option to wear a short dress is usually taken.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 5:00 pm in Charlestown, Ma.
Q Hi Didi,
I'm attending a wedding in Charlestown, Ma., at the end of May at 5 o'clock. I'm on the heavy side and would appreciate any suggestions for attire.

A What you wear would depends upon so many factors: the formality of the wedding (Did the invitation state Black Tie?), your gender, and age. Since I know nothing about you, or the event this is a general answer.

For a five o'clock wedding, you would wear a dark suit, with a white shirt and silk tie, along with black shoes, socks, and belt. If you are, say, in your twenties, you could wear a dark navy blue blazer with grey flannel pants or dress khakis, with the same accessories.

A woman would wear a dressy skirt suit that is nipped-in at the waist. A sheath with a matching jacket or pretty sweater would work as well. Luckily, you are off the hook about having to wear a long dress because it is a five o'clock wedding, so there is one thing we know: no long or tea-length dress. Women over a certain age tend to look dowdy in lengths more that an inch below their knees. You would wear beautiful shoes and carry a small clutch. As I said, if you are over forty, you want to look dignified and elegant. A well-tailored outfit that follows your curves would flatter your figure, whatever your age. If you are under forty, do wear a dress with a flirty skirt good for dancing.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 5:00 pm in Chicago in May
Q I am attending a 5:00 pm wedding at the end of May (in a suburb of Chicago). It will be held on a golf course with the reception to follow in the clubhouse. My husband is the best man. What kind of attire would be appropriate? A black cocktail dress or a mid-calf black and white printed dress?

A The mid-calf black and white printed dress would be more appropriate for a spring wedding.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 5:00 pm in Memphis
Q My husband and I are attending a 5:00 wedding October 30th at a vineyard in Memphis, TN. My husband is wearing a black suit?? I have no clue what to wear. I am 24 and slenderly built. The wedding will be outside if weather permits.

A Wear a pretty dress with a flirty skirt that falls just above your knees and beautiful shoes. You want to look pretty when attending a wedding so wear something special. You'll be going to lots of weddings so have that special outfit in your closet for just such an occasion. The dress should be slightly glamorous and yet comfortable enough to dance in. Take a small sweet clutch bag for your lipgloss and ID.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 5:00 pm in Philadelphia
Q I am invited to a 5:00 wedding in October at a beautiful historic building in Philadelphia. The wedding and reception are in the same location. The invitation does not specify the attire. I am 53 years old and have a pretty slender figure. I bought a 2 piece dark purple outfit that looks like a gown and drags on the floor in the back, i.e. slight train as is the current fashion. It has no sequins or beads and the top is very fitted with 3/4 length sleeves and a little low cut. The skirt is straight with a slight flare at the bottom. I am concerned that it is too dressy given the 5:00 hour. I am wondering if I should buy a short dressy dress instead.

A In my opinion, the outfit you describe is too formal for an informal wedding. When the invitation doesn't state Black Tie and the ceremony is at five o'clock, you would wear a dressy skirted dinner suit or a cocktail dress, not a long dress and especially not with a train of any length.

The reason there is no dress code on the invitation is because a five o'clock wedding is not formal. Your instincts were correct and I'm sure your dark purple outfit is stunning, but at this wedding the only woman wearing a long gown will be the bride. Do go out and buy yourself one of those chic draped cocktail dresses that falls just below the knees.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 5:00 pm in Shreveport, La.
Q Didi

I am going to a 5pm church wedding, with dinner reception in a casino ballroom. I am 53 and wear a size 16; would a nice pair of black pants and a dressy blouse be okay for this wedding? I don't wear dresses often and hate to have to buy something I probably will not wear again. This wedding is in Shreveport, LA.

A You're not going to like my answer: I'm not a big fan of women wearing pants to a wedding. At your age you want to look elegant and dignified. Wear a simple well-tailored dress. Alternatively, a skirt suit that falls just below the knees would be fine. If you wish to wear the dressy blouse, that's fine, too, but buy yourself a flattering skirt and some beautiful shoes. You might find that it's fun to have a new look.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 5:00 pm Maine Wedding in August
Q I'm attending a 5 o'clock wedding in Boothbay, Maine, August 2nd . The wedding is going to be outside . The bridesmaids are wearing a tank-style baby blue dress just below the knee. I think a satin material The reception is then going to be inside the inn. I'm not sure if a black dress would be ok or a sold color dress, what length to wear, or even what color. Would it be ok to wear a strapless dress? Please help.

A Yes, do wear a strapless, but maybe not black. If it were a big city wedding, I would say black is where it's at, but Boothbay, Maine, is more laid back. Depending upon your build and age, you can certainly wear a strapless dress that falls just above your knees. The color would depend upon your coloring. I, personally, love white chiffon with a floral pattern dress that has a good swing for dancing, with strappy sandals. Alternatively, a wrapdress or a silk sundress would be fine, too. For a solid color, you wouldn't want to wear baby blue; any color but red would be fine. At a wedding, you wouldn't want to draw guests' attention away from the bride by wearing red. As to length, I am not a huge fan of long or tea-length dresses, as they tend to make most women look dowdy. If you're under fifty and your legs are fairly decent, by all means, let the hem fall just above your knees. Older, the hem should fall just below the knees.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 5:00 pm New York City: Summer
Q I am a 30-year-old woman whose boyfriend will be in the wedding, and wearing a tux. The ceremony is being held in a large catholic cathedral and the reception will be held in an old and distinguished club in New York City at 5:00 pm in the summer.

A When a wedding invitation doesn't specify a dress code, then you can assume that the dress code is Suits and Dresses, despite the fact that your husband, who is in the wedding party, has to wear a tuxedo.

Wear a short cocktail dress that falls just above your knees, with beautiful shoes and a pretty small clutch. Wear the kind of dress you would wear to a dressy cocktail party or to a very upscale restaurant or club.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 5:00 pm Newport in July
Q We are attending a weekend wedding in Newport RI end of August; there are 2 occasions: rehearsal dinner on boat cruise at 4:30...next day 5PM formal wedding at the Goat Island Marina.

What is the proper dress for both men and woman for these occasions? Thank You

A For the rehearsal dinner, if the invitation didn't state "Black-tie" or "Jacket and tie," then a male guest would wear either a blazer and khaki pants or a shirt with shorts; a woman would wear a skirt or slacks with a nice top. A lightweight sweater casually tied over the shoulders is always a practical good look. How dressed up you get really depends if the rehearsal dinner is on a sailboat or a dinner cruise boat. It could be either. Some of the dinner cruise boats are quite formal and a jacket and tie is de rigueur; however, the less formal boats are more relaxed. For the formal wedding, if the invitation states "Black-tie," it means that the man would wear a tuxedo or dark blue lightweight suit and the woman would wear a short, dressy cocktail dress. Five o'clock is really too early for a "formal" wedding, which is why, in my opinion, you would not be required to wear a tuxedo or a long evening dress. It is best in an ambiguous situation such as this that you talk to a member of the bridal party, who is also attending the rehearsal dinner, about the dress code.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 5:00 pm Outdoor Formal Wedding
Q Is it appropriate for a man to wear a teal jacket , navy pants to a 5:00 PM outdoor formal wedding?

A Teal and navy are a great combination, but not for a formal wedding. If the invitation states "Black-tie," you will need to wear a tuxedo, or at the very least a dark navy blue lightweight suit with black shoes. You better check with someone in the wedding party to find out about the dress code because five o'clock is early for a formal wedding.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 5:00 pm Service
Q My wife is 51. We are attending a 5:00 PM wedding. She wants to wear a red dress which has a red jacket. What kind of shoe and what color should she wear? This is a Fall wedding indoors. The dress is long. She dresses very conservatively. She really never wears heels.

A In my opinion, your wife shouldn't wear a long dress to a five o'clock wedding. If she does, she will feel overdressed. She could wear her best cocktail dress that falls just below her knees and has sleeves. Alternatively, a dressy skirted dinner suit in a fine fabric would be a good fit. If she doesn't normally wear heels, she doesn't have to because pumps and ballet style flats are very much in fashion.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 5:00 PM Wedding In France
Q My husband and I have been invited to a French wedding. This is a family my daughter lived with while studying abroad and we have become good friends. They have come to U.S. for her wedding and my son's and we are invited to her daughter's. She happens to be a countess also. I thought it would be very formal but she said just to wear a short dress. How formal? The wedding is Aug. 30 at 5:00 p.m. in the church in the small village. Cocktails and hors d'oeuvres are back at the Chateau for 1 1/2 hours and then the dinner will be in a tent after that on the grounds of the castle (her words). Her attire at our weddings was a nice short dress but not real formal. My husband was told no tux just a suit. Can you help me?

A For a five o'clock wedding you wouldn't wear a long dress or a tuxedo. The short cocktail dress is perfect for such an elegant occasion. Try looking on-line for a cocktail dress at local department stores. Look for a very simple, well-tailored, sheath with a matching jacket or short sleeves or, alternatively, a short, dressy, well-cut dinner skirt suit. Stay away from pale colors and stick with a solid color. For a wedding such as this, it is all about the quality of the fabric and design. A good department store will have a tailor who can fit the dress or suit to you. Your hem would fall just below your knees. A small evening bag and beautiful low heeled shoes would also be of good quality. Wear your best jewelry, but not too much of it.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 5:00 pm: California
Q Dear Didi,

What do I wear to a 5:00 wedding at the Four Season's Hotel in Westlake, Ca?

Thank you1

Marilyn

A What I usually do is go to the wedding event website and look at the photos. In this situation the Four Seasons in Westlake, CA, and click on weddings to see what people seem to be wearing. When the invitation does not specify black-tie, you can assume that the dress code is Suits and Dresses. With that in mind, remember that CA tends to be a bit less dressy than the East Coast.

In my opinion, depending upon your build and age, you would wear a well-made beautiful cocktail dress that falls just above your knees if you are under fifty, just below the knees otherwise. Fabulous shoes always look great on the dance floor, and a small pretty clutch for your lipgloss is a must.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 5:00 PM: Castle Lawn in July
Q Hi Didi,

I am attending my boyfriend's mother's second wedding, which will be fairly small and take place in July at 5 pm on a castle lawn with a reception on site. My options are a dark green flutter sleeve lace dress which is knee-length in the front and slightly longer in the back, a cream lace dress which is about knee-length and which I would wear with a hat, or a fitted gold and black brocade sheath with a matching bolero jacket. The family is very conservative, so I would like to look classy without looking matronly as I am 19 years old.

A Such great choices. Love the cream lace dress, but you probably want to stay away from wearing anything close to white, even off-white, because you don't want to look like a wanna-be bride. Without having seen any of these three dresses, my guess would be the dark green with the flutter sleeves. It sounds charming and youthful. The fitted gold and brocade sheath with the bolero jacket might be a bit dressy for a country wedding, which is why I have less difficulty imagining the dark green dress with the flutter sleeves on the green lawn. I always try to imagine the photos. When you see the photos, how do you want to be remembered?


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 5:00 PM: Colorado
Q I'm going to a wedding on October 1st in Beaver Creek, Colorado, reception to follow in Vail, Colorado. The wedding will take place at 5:00 p.m. The attire is black tie. I've bought a dress that is long and one shoulder. It is a aquamarine, light blue color. I'm doubting the dress now, hearing that it's smarter to wear a darker color to a black tie wedding. The wedding is a close family friend, and I would like to make a good impression for me and our family. Thoughts? Advice?

A First off, you don't have to wear a long dress to a five o'clock wedding. Just because it is a formal wedding, it doesn't mean you have to wear long before six o'clock. Wear a chic black cocktail dress that falls just above your knees (if older than sixty, just above your knees), with beautiful shoes and a small clutch bag.

Personally, I think the light blue dress sounds lovely, so if you look and feel great in it, wear it with nude colored high heels and a small pretty clutch. As I don't know your age or build, this is a very general answer.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 5:00 pm: Country Club
Q I am attending a 5 o'clock church wedding with a dinner and dancing reception/sit down dinner at a country club. I live in Ohio. The wedding will be early May. Attire was not requested on the invitation. Do I have to wear a long dress? Is it okay for me to wear a knee-length dress?

A Please don't wear a long dress. If the dress code Black Tie is not stated on the invitation, you are off the hook about having to wear a long dress. I have no idea of your build, age, or style, but for a five o'clock church wedding followed by a seated dinner and dancing at a country club, you would wear a very good cocktail dress that depending upon your age would fall above your knees or just below your knees. Wear beautiful shoes with a heel, but not too high because you'll be dancing. Your legs will look best in quality legwear that is a tone lighter than your legs and that has a slight shimmer to it. May can be chilly in Ohio, so you want to have a pashmina or dressy sweater to wear if there is a chill in the air. A pretty clutch bag is always chic. Pearls are de rigueur for weddings, so if you have them, wear them or buy good imitations.

About the dress. A lot depends upon your build and age. If you're under 45, by all means wear a dress that has a flirty skirt that makes dancing fun. If your arms are not as buff as you wish they were, wear a dress with short or three quarter length sleeves. Remember that a dress with a V neck will make you look slimmer and that a dress that shows your curves always flatters your figure.

If you are older, a dressy dinner suit or a dress with a matching jacket are both perfect for a wedding. A dress with a matching light-weight coat is lovely as well. The older you are the more dignified and elegant you want to look.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 5:00 pm: Country Club
Q What should I wear to a 5pm wedding..reception is at a country club. There will be cocktails, dinner and dancing. Could I wear linen white pants with a dressy blouse and sling-back shoes?

A In my opinion, you wouldn't wear white linen pants unless you were a man and it was a summer wedding or the wedding was taking place in the tropics. As I have no idea of your age, gender, build, or the dress code, I would recommend country club dress code, which for a five o'clock wedding would be a cocktail dress with a flirty skirt, if you're under fifty, and a dressy skirt-suit or sheath with a matching jacket if you are older.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 5:00 pm: Formal Attire
Q Wedding 5:00 Outdoor Wedding and reception, invitation states "Formal Attire". The entire evening will be at the groom's parents home. Ceremony will be held under an old, beautiful tree, the reception will be under a large event tent which will include a sit down buffet dinner with dancing, open bar and dancing. What is the etiquette for a woman guest to wear? Can I wear black or should I stay with a dark grey lace overlay fitted above the knees dress I have purchased? And what color shoes would you wear grey, neutral or would you add a pop of color? Thank you.

A You can definitely wear gr ay lace if it is a dark gray and clearly not an off-while. Have satin shoes dyed to match the dress or wear black for evening.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 5:00 PM: Garden Wedding: Men
Q Please "dress" my husband for a 5:00 garden wedding.

A Assuming the dress code is Suits and Dresses, he would wear a navy blue suit or a navy blue blazer with off-white pants, either would be worn with a white collared shirt with a great tie, and black Gucci-style loafers. He wouldn't need to wear socks in the summer.

Since I don't know the age of your husband, this is a very general answer. If he's older than forty, men of that age are more comfortable wearing a light-weight dark navy blue or gray suit to a wedding and not loafers but tie black shoes, black socks and black belt, perhaps with a white handkerchief in his breast pocket.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 5:00 PM: Greenwich, CT: Shoe Color
Q Is it appropriate to wear nude/taupe heels to a 5 PM church wedding in July? Or would black be better for evening? I'm wearing a turquoise sheath type dress which comes to just below the knee. I'm 62 yrs old, 5'6", about 145 lb. The wedding is in Greenwich, CT.

A Either nude/taupe or black heels would be fine. For evening it is dressier to match the color of the evening bag and shoes. Silver is also good with turquoise. Nude/taupe may be less dressy for a formal wedding.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 5:00 PM: Hats
Q Hi Didi,

Is a hat appropriate for a summer evening wedding? The ceremony is scheduled for 5pm on a castle terrace, and the reception will also be outdoors. I have a beige halter dress with a black sash and some black heels that I intend to wear, and I had hoped to wear a big black hat for the ceremony and take it off for the reception. The sun doesn't set around here till almost 9, so the atmosphere is more nearly that of an afternoon wedding.

A Shall you or shall you not wear a hat to a five o'clock wedding? In my opinion, you would be very silly not to take advantage of such a fun weapon of coquetry. A little silk or straw hat would be quite elegant, I say "little" because little is much more convenient to travel with and to greet with a kiss. Weddings, and their receiving line, are very much about kissing, sometime one check and then the other, so a hat with a wide brim could be awkward should you have to hold on to your hat while greeting someone with a kiss. The shape, or line of the hat, and the quality of the materials is of course terrifically important.

A beautiful hat, whether it is dignified, happy, or elegant, is the quintessence of femininity.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 5:00 pm: Memphis: Black and White
Q Sorry - I sent a wedding etiquette question about the 5PM Memphis wedding in July...forgot to mention that it is a church wedding. Not sure about the location of the reception.

A No need to apologize, the time doesn't really make a difference. Black and white dresses are always chic, they always fit in and are appropriate for most occasions, just don't wear white accessories.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 5:00 PM: North Carolina: October
Q I am attending a wedding at Bald Head Island NC late October at 5 pm. Wedding will be held outside at the lighthouse. What is the appropriate attire? I was told the mother of the bride will be wearing a short "skirt" length. Not sure about the shoes because I don't know if the turf is sand or boarded, so to be safe wear beautiful pumps or flats.

A Depending on your age, build and gender, the dress code, unless otherwise stipulated, would be Suits and Dresses. An early evening outdoor wedding ceremony and on the sea, no less, will be chilly. Again depending on the above, a dress with a matching jacket would be great, as would a skirt suit, both would fall just above your knees if you're under fifty, otherwise just below your knees. A fall dress with a pretty cardigan sweater would be lovely as well. Not sure about the shoes because I don't know if the turf is sand or boarded, so to be safe, wear beautiful pumps or flats as you wouldn't want your high heels to sink into the sand or get caught in the space between the boards.

A man would wear either a mid-weight suit or a jacket or blazer with dress khaki pants or gray flannels, both with collared shirts and a great tie. Dark loafers and socks with a matching dark belt would be appropriate.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 5:00 pm: North Shore, LI: Private Club
Q Hi Didi, We're attending a wedding in July which will be held at a very nice club on the North Shore of Long Island. I want to look my best (size 18) but I also do not want to look like I'm trying to be part of the bridal party. Ceremony is at 5 pm with reception following (all air conditioned) but the invitation did not say formal or black tie. Since it was hard to find a dress with sleeves, I bought a clearance mother of the bride gown at a boutique with the intent of shortening it to knee-length and bringing up the sleeves. It has a lot of beading, but I thought the alterations would tone it down. However, after meeting with the seamstress, found out I would lose the beading on the jacket to shorten the sleeves to 3/4. She also convinced me that tea-length would be better than at the knee(I'm 5'5"). I think the dress is probably as flattering as I can find, but now I'm worried that it will be too formal and/or wintery. They do seem to dress on the formal side on LI, but I don't want to overdo it. (mon cheri style 26904 in black). Even at clearance off the rack, it was an expensive outlay. But I will find something else if this is inappropriate. Do you think I should wear it? Thank you!

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. Meaning you would wear a knee-length dress with beautiful shoes and carry a small clutch bag. The mon cheri style 26904 isn't exactly a cocktail dress. Even if you had it hemmed to the knee-length, there is something about it that looks a bit cheesy. Tea gown-length is not a flattering look unless you are very tall. Why? Because it cuts your calves in half making you look shorter than you are.

On the North Shore of Long Island, to a five o'clock summer wedding that is not black-tie, you would wear a beautiful silk jacket with a skirt. For examples of the kind of look you want to be going for, go to mariapucci.com and look at the silk and linen jackets. You may already have a pencil skirt you could wear with them.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 5:00 PM: Ohio: September
Q For a niece's outdoor lakeside evening wedding in early September, in OH, I wanted to dress in 1940s or 1950s vintage style. I'm weight and height proportionate petite curvy, in my 40s but look younger.

I have a navy blue knee-length (a little below, actually but I intend to somehow shorten to the knee with fashion tape), short sleeved 40s 50s "wiggle dress" that wearing like a sheath dress with wedge heels and small navy purse.

First, would white gloves be ok? And secondly, is it appropriate to wear a vintage sun or straw hat, or is 5 pm too late for hats?

Thank you!

A How creative of you. Go for it. As for the white gloves, you wouldn't wear short white gloves in the evening. You might also reconsider wedge heels because they aren't easy to dance in unless you've really mastered dancing in them. A straw hat would be great, if it doesn't have a brim. Hats worn in the evening have a narrow rolled brim, or they are usually snuggled to the head like a cloche, so they are easy to wear while dancing. It might look and feel awkward dancing in wedges while holding on to your hat. Look for a fascinator, which resembles a decorated headband, but is more of a head piece and fashion station.

We like hearing from you and hope to hear from you again. We like your spunk.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 5:00 pm: Raleigh, NC: Slacks
Q Flying to a wedding in Raleigh NC on March 2nd. Wedding is at 5pm. Can I get away with nice slacks? Also attending the rehearsal dinner the evening before and the invite for that says "cocktail-style rehearsal dinner. Does that mean I should wear a dress? I don't much care to wear a dress and really did not want to have to buy two. I am 56 yrs old (5'6", 170#).

A You can probably get away with wearing whatever you want. However, you might want to read the invitation first. When a wedding invitation does Not specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses - meaning knee-length. If I were you, I would wear the nice slacks to the rehearsal dinner, which is usually more casual, and wear a knee-length dress or skirt suit to the wedding. If you wish to wear pants, wear a dressy, well-made pantsuit. Slacks are too casual for a five o'clock wedding. After all, you want to show respect to the bride on her wedding day. Besides a well-fitted dress or skirt suit would be more flattering on you.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 5:00 PM: Santa Barbara
Q What is the proper attire to be worn to a wedding that begins at 5 PM at the Biltmore in Santa Barbara?

A When the invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code for a five o'clock wedding is Suits & Dresses or Cocktail Attire.

We like hearing from you, but to give you a more detailed answer we need to know more about the wedding and you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 5:00 pm: September: Golf Club
Q Hello, I am attending a 5 in the evening wedding with reception to be followed at a golf club on September 17. Please help, I have my eye on a espresso brown strapless evening gown. Is this okay

A My guess is that an evening gown is too dressy. You want to be wearing a short snappy cocktail dress with beautiful shoes and a small clutch bag.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 5:00 PM: Tea-Length + Ankles
Q DIdi, I am wearing a pale pink chiffon tea-length dress to a 5:00 wedding. I would like to know what color nylons and shoes to wear. I do like closed-in shoes. When
I ordered the jeweled neckline dress, the model was wearing silver strap shoes. Although very pretty, my feet are not. Please help...

A I'm not the person to ask, as I'm not a fan of tea-length, although, I do love chiffon. Wear a quality legwear, such as a piece from Wolford. It should be a shade lighter than your skin tone and have a bit of shine to it that will make your legs glow as though they were well-groomed and buffed. For a five o'clock wedding, nude colored heels would be lovely. Personally, I think straps at the ankles tend to make ankles look thicker than they actually are, so if you don't like strappy sandals, look for a beautiful pair of nude colored pumps or high heels and you'll find that you'll get a lot of use out of them. They are very chic just now.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 5:00 Wedding: Women Guest
Q What is the proper attire for a lady to wear to a 5:00 P. M. wedding?

A It would depend upon the climate and the style of the wedding, as well as the age and build of the woman. The invitation should give you clues. For instance, if the wedding is taking place on a beach in Nantucket and there is a reception and dancing in a tent afterwards, you might wear a mid-calf dress with a pretty shawl or jacket. If the invitation states Black Tie, you would wear the kind of dress that you would wear to a dinner dance. If you are under 60, that might mean a flirty low cut dressy dress. If you are older, it might mean a dressy dinner suit or dress with matching jacket of good quality with, say, dressy buttons and trim. Wear comfortable but pretty shoes for the service that are also good for dancing and carry a small, dressy clutch bag. Shawls or jackets are a must because you might be going from a chilly church to an overheated ballroom, so dressing in layers is always a good idea when the venue changes locations. If you would like more specific information, you will have to tell me more about the wedding and yourself and I will help you find a flattering look for the wedding. For instance, I am a big fan of hats and gloves at the wedding that can be left in the car during the reception.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 5:00: East Hampton
Q I'm attending my niece's 5 PM wedding in East Hampton in mid-May and the dress code is semi-formal with the suggestion that female guests where flats or wedges as it is outdoors (likely a tent) at a private estate. Can I wear a short (not too) black cocktail dress? My real question is about the color black, is it OK?? These is a wedding of NYC sophisticates. Thank you.

A The color black is always chic. The LBD is always appropriate from five o'clock on. You certainly can wear a knee-length cocktail dress to a wedding in May. You shouldn't have any problem finding beautiful flats or ballerina slippers.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 5:00PM: September: New Jersey
Q Hi Didi, I am 67 y o woman in relatively good shape and toned- I am 4' 8" tall and 107 lbs. I have been invited to 5 pm wedding on a Saturday night. No dress requirements stated . I usually wear pants to give me a longer look but wonder if a dress or dressy suit is more appropriate. Also I have a St. Johns dressy suit that is 10 years old. Do these go out of style ?
Thanks for your suggestions. The wedding is in New Jersey in late September.
Thank you

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume that the dress code is Suits & Dresses. That means best cocktail attire. St. Johns never seem go out of style and certainly nobody will remember it. Personally, out of respect for the bride on her wedding, wear a knee-length cocktail dress with beautiful shoes and carry a small clutch bag.

For women over forty, I use the Halsbrook website to illustrate the look that I think would be the most flattering. Go to halsbrook.com and click on Occasions and then Weddings to see dresses with accessories that will look well with each dress. Under the Best Dressed Guest, I like the following for fall:

Maxmara: Fiamma Stretch Wool Sheath Dress
Armani Collezioni: Cobalt Milano Jersey Gathered Dress

Both dress will make you look taller and accentuate your curves. They are timeless dresses that you should get a lot of wear out of over the next ten years. I even like the accessories. You should also look under Sale for the following dresses:

Philosophy: Black Crepe Pique Dress
Les Copains: Blue Crepe A-line Dress

At any rate, you'll understand the look we're going for here. We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 5:00pm: Wearing Nude to a Wedding
Q I am attending at 5 o'clock wedding at a mountain resort. Cocktails and ceremony are outside and reception inside. Is it ok to wear a nude/cream colored short dress to wedding?

A Sounds perfect to me. I know you're asking about the cream aspect and as I don't know how close this nude/cream is to off-white, I would suggest you wear nude/beige shoes and accessorize with coral or/and turquoise, if it is an upcoming summer wedding; a fall color of burnt orange or jade green if later in the year.

Obviously, you're sensitive to the fact that you don't want to look like a wanna' be bride, but I too love nude/beige and understand. So, the colors you accessorize with make you look authentically you.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 5:30 Atlanta n August: Women
Q I am invited to a 5:30 PM church wedding in Atlanta the end of August. The reception will be in a nearby club. I am 60 years old. If it's Black Tie, I know what to do, but if it's not, any suggestions? I have a tea-length pink linen with a white linen cut jacket with pink beading. Strappy sandals, beaded purse and simple jewelry?

A If the invitation doesn't clearly state black-tie, then you are off the hook about having to wear an evening dress. Since the invitation states 5:30 pm, you do not have to wear a long dress. Because I don't know your style or your build, my best guess is that you should wear a cocktail dress with three-quarter-length sleeves that falls just below your knees.

In my opinion, tea-length is rather dreary unless you are a teenager. Dresses that are too long tend to make older woman look dowdy. Have your pink dress shortened to just below your knee caps and wear legwear a shade lighter than the color of your legs. If the legwear has a bit of shimmer or shine to it, then they will look slightly dressy.

Even if you find out that it is a black-tie wedding, 5:30 is still too early to be in a long dress. You want to look elegant and dignified--which you would look, if you wore a just below the knee-length, dressy skirt-suit (often called a dinner suit) or dress with a matching jacket.

Not sure about the strappy sandals. If you have really great legs and ankles, fine, but when in doubt, don't call attention to areas that aren't your best asset. Strappy sandals tend to cut your legs off from your feet visually and therefore make you look shorter; they are usually worn by those under fifty. Look for a comfortable pair of soft leather or satin sling backs with a small to medium heel that would be comfortable for dansing. A beaded purse sounds a bit dressy for a late afternoon-early evening wedding. A plain colored satin, linen, silk or soft leather clutch would be simpler. Wear your good jewelry, but remember that less is more.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 5:30 January in Georgia: Country Club
Q What should I wear to a 5:30 p.m. January wedding in a Georgia Church with reception following at the Country Club?

A This is a really general answer because I don't know the formality of the wedding or anything about you, your gender, age, build, coloring.

Wear what you would wear to an upscale restaurant. A man would wear a dark business suit, a collared, non-button down long-sleeve shirt, great tie, black belt, shoes, socks and watch band, if it is leather. A woman would wear a dressy skirtsuit, a dress with matching jacket, or cocktail dress that falls just above her knees, or if she is older than sixty, just above her knees and the dress would have sleeves. Accessorize with beautiful shoes and a small clutch bag. I'm a huge fan of wearing a chic hat to a wedding and leaving it in the car when you go into the reception.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 5:30 p.m. on May 1st
Q Hi Didi! My sister and I are attending a wedding, in a church, 5:30pm. The wedding is 5/1/10..... We are both between 170-200lbs... We are shapely and have cleavage.... We want to make sure we are dressed appropriately for the event. There is no specification of "black tie" or anything to give me clues about what to wear! Thanks in advance for your help.

A If the invitation doesn't state Black Tie then you are off the hook about having to wear a long dress. Since I don't know your age or where the wedding is taking place, this is a rather general answer. On May 1st the temperatures could well be in the high 50s as far south as South Carolina, so you would wear a dressy skirt suit with at least a three quarters length jacket, or take a sweater or shawl. A dress that falls just below the knees with a matching jacket would go well, too. You made no mention of the reception, so if there isn't dinner and dancing you wouldn't be wearing a dress with a lot of cleavage just to go to the church.

The formality of your outfits would depend upon the venue for the reception. How much leg and how much cleavage you show would depend upon how young you are and how cold the temperature.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 5:30 PM Atlanta: Ceremony Outdoors
Q What do you wear to a 5:30pm wedding in middle October?
The wedding is being held outdoors and will be in Atlanta, Georgia.

A Depending upon the dress code of the wedding, whether it is informal or formal, your gender, age, build and coloring, that's how you determine how to dress. If the invitation doesn't specifically state Black Tie, which I assume it doesn't, then 5:30 would mean men would wear light-weight dark suits, collared shirts that are not buttoned down, a bright silk tie, black socks, shoes, belt and watch band (if leather).

A woman under fifty, once again depending on her build, would wear a flirty cocktail dress with beautiful shoes and carry a clutch bag for her lipgloss. An elegant, dignified, well-made skirt suit or dress with any kind of a sleeve, would be most well suited for the rest of us.

When you say outdoors, I am assuming that that there will be a floored tent for the tables, chairs, and the dance floor.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 5:30 pm in Pittsburgh on July 4th
Q Hi Didi-

I am going to a 5:30pm wedding in Pittsburgh on Sunday the 4th of July. The invitations don't say specify whether it is formal or not, but it does say 5:30 pm in the afternoon, not evening. It is indoors. How formal should my dress be? Will my boyfriend need to wear a tux or will he be ok in a suit?

Thanks!

A You've picked up quite a few cues on the invitation for the 5:30 in the afternoon wedding. Since there is no dress code stating Black Tie, your boyfriend should not wear a tuxedo; a good suit is perfect; however, because it is summer he could also wear his best blazer with cream colored (or colored) pants, as long as he wears a collared shirt, silk tie, black socks and shoes and black belt.

You would not wear a long dress, instead a pretty dressy cocktail dress with a flirty skirt that falls just above your knees would be perfect. It is a great outfit for dancing. Beautiful shoes are always best on the dance floor. Your dress does not need to be formal, but it should be well-made and of good quality material. I am thinking a pale chiffon with a floral pattern that flatters your waistline. Carry a soft, pretty small clutch for your lip gloss.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 5:30 pm in Vegas
Q I am attending a wedding at 5:30 pm in Vegas. I have a right above the knee black satin dress kinda form fitting. What type of shoes, earrings and necklace if one is needed?

A Any sparkling, dangling earring that you would wear in the evening would be smashing. Strappy high heels are always fitting for a short black satin dress. They don't have to be black; silver or gold would work, too. Whether you wear a necklace or not would depend upon the earrings. If the earrings are significant, then skip the necklace, but you could wear a cocktail ring.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 5:30 PM: August: Dress Length
Q I am attending a 5:30 pm wedding in late August (ceremony outdoors and reception will be indoors). The invitation says "cocktail attire". I am 45 yrs old and a size 12/14...5'-7". I want to wear a long "understated" patterned skirt (flowy fabric) that hits right above my ankles. My top is a v neck draped black top...not sure it is dressy enough? Can I wear all black or would that be inappropriate for a wedding? I am not a dress kinda gal...tend to wear black dress slacks. Am I correct to avoid any shimmer and bling?

A When the invitation doesn't specify Black Tie, meaning formal attire, then you can assume that the dress code is Suits & Dresses. Cocktail Attire is Suits & Dresses. Cocktail Attire doesn't mean long dress.

You're not going to like my answer because I am not a fan of long patterned skirts. Personally,I think they are dowdy and tend to make a woman look dreary. I'm not talking here about getting into the shimmer and bling, I'm saying don't look dowdy. Wear a short cocktail dress that falls just above your knees with beautiful shoes and a small clutch bag for your lipgloss and keys.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 5:30 pm: Black Tie in California
Q What would you wear to a black-tie wedding at 5:30 PM in California? The wedding and reception are at a resort, and weather will be warm. My husband has a tuxedo, do I need to wear a floor-length dress? (I am in my thirties.) I have a teal satin floor-length dress that is strappy on top.

A You do not have to wear a long dress to a 5:30 PM black-tie wedding. At a warm weather resort, a silk chiffon dress with a flirty skirt that falls just above your knees would be perfect with beautiful shoes.

Of course, if you wish to wear a floor-length dress, you certainly can do so, but for dancing at a resort in warm weather, you might feel more comfortable in a short chiffon with a skirt that has some swing to it. A long satin dress sounds a bit hot for a warm summer night.

You asked what I would wear: I would wear a pale chiffon dress, perhaps with a floral pattern, that falls just above my knees and really good quality, elegant, open-toed, sling-backs with a medium height, thin heel. I would accessorize with a soft cloth clutch, a pearl necklace or beads, and a colorful cocktail ring on my right hand.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 5:30 PM: Black Tie: Chicago
Q My daughter and her fiance will be attending a wedding in Chicago in August. The ceremony is at 3:30 in a downtown hotel with cocktails at 5:30 followed by the reception. It is a very large, elaborate affair. The invitation says black tie. Given the daytime wedding and going into evening, we are a little torn with appropriate attire for the both of them. What is your advice? Thanks.

A Understandably, it is upsetting as 5:30 weddings are not traditionally Black Tie. Your daughter's fiance can wear a white dinner jacket with black pants, shoes, socks, belt, and bow tie. It would be totally appropriate for your daughter to wear a dressy cocktail dress that falls just above her knees, with beautiful shoes and a small, pretty clutch bag. Just because it says the wedding is black-tie, be assured that guests don't want to be traipsing around Chicago on a horribly hot afternoon in an evening dress or tuxedo. Others will fall into the "just barely BT attire," so don't let the kids suffer. Recommend that they take it down a notch from Black Tie because of the time of day. Not to worry, they will fit in.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 5:30 PM: Charleston: March (before Easter): Male: Age 27
Q I am attending a 5:30 pm, Friday wedding ceremony for friends. The ceremony is at a church on Isle of Palms in Charleston, and the reception follows at a plantation (indoors). It will officially be Spring, but it's also before Easter. What attire do you suggest for a fit, southern, 27yo male? Is it too early to don a linen suit? For a 5:30 ceremony, what color suit is most appropriate?

A March first is considered the beginning of Spring in Charleston, it's the shoulder season. That said, it's unlikely to be hot and the evening air could be chilly, so you would wear a light-weight wool or wool blend suit rather than linen.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 5:30 PM: Georgia
Q Not sure what to wear (I have options)...am attending a 5:30 p.m. wedding on the lawn of a B&B, May 21, in Athens, GA. Help PLEASE!

A If you're a woman, you would wear a short dress that falls above your knees, otherwise just below your knees with strappy sandals or beautiful pumps. A man would wear a light weight suit or a blazer with dress slacks, a collared shirt and tie.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 5:30 pm: July: North Carolina Mountains
Q I am invited to a 5:30 July outdoor wedding in the North Carolina mountains. The bride is a textile heiress and the ceremony and reception will likely be lavish. As is the custom in the South, the invitations make no reference to attire. The invitation itself is not a typical engraved invitation but beautifully engraved one-of-a-kind with hand-written calligraphy for addresses. I add this as it might give you further insight into the wedding.
I have a couple of options in my closet:
a knee-length silk patterned (Escada)dress with wrap
a St. John silk pants and top with a beaded jacket

I have beautiful pumps to wear with either and a nice clutch.

Any suggestions would be welcome. I still have time to shop if either would not be suitable. The mountain location has prompted my inquiry. I'm 50ish.

A The Escada dress sounds perfect. Since I'm not a fan of women wearing trousers to a wedding, wear the trousers and jacket to the rehearsal dinner. Beautiful pumps and a small clutch are always good.

I'm also not a fan of wraps. They tend to make a short woman look shorter and a tall woman dowdy. In July, you won't need a wrap.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 5:30 PM: Kentucky in May
Q I will be attending a late May wedding in Kentucky as a guest with my boyfriend. The ceremony will be held in the chapel of a religious college and the reception will be held on campus as well. The ceremony begins at 5:30. I am 23, 5'5, 120 lbs with blonde hair and green eyes. I have a bright floral print one shoulder dress that is fitted at the waist and falls above the knee. Would this dress be acceptable with nude pumps and pearls?

I will be attending a wedding later in May that begins at 6:30 and will be held at a historic building in downtown Lexington, Kentucky. There is a reception following and an after party thrown by the grooms family at a hotel downtown. The venue is a very nice location and guests will include many college friends and sorority sisters. What sort of attire would be appropriate for this wedding?

A Your bright floral print one shoulder dress sounds perfect. As it is a religious college, you might want to wear a lightweight pashmina or pretty cardigan, which you can take off and leave in the car before going to the reception.

You could wear that same outfit to the 6:30pm wedding. However, if you wanted to take it up a notch, you could wear bright colored shoes that are one of the bright colors in the dress and wear dangle earrings instead of the pearls, or a different necklace. I'm always curious with one shoulder dresses whether you wear your hair on the bare shoulder side or strap side, or both, or pull it back? You certainly could experiment by wearing it one way for the first wedding and another for the second, if you're looking to refresh your look.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 5:30 PM: Men: Not Black-Tie
Q Hi Didi,
My husband and I, along with our 28-year-old son will be attending a late August wedding. The ceremony is at 5:30 pm at a chapel on the property (Bonnet Island, NY). reception following in the beautiful ballroom. The invitation states Formal Attire but not Black Tie. What is the proper attire for the men? The Mayor of NY along with Judges and Attorney's will be there.


A When the invitation doesn't specify Black Tie, then you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. In this case, where politicians are present, the uniform will be dark suits with white collared shirts, ties, and black socks, shoes, and belt. Your son can certainly get away with wearing a navy blue blazer and white or off-white pants with a white shirt, tie and black loafers. If he doesn't have white pants, he can wear dress khakis.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 5:30 PM: Newport
Q I am a "young" 62 and will be attending a 5:30 PM wedding in Newport, RI, with a dinner reception following. What is the proper attire?
Thank You!

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. Meaning dressy cocktail attire. A woman would wear a knee-length well-made cocktail dress or a dressy skirt suit with beautiful shoes and carry a small clutch bag. The fabric and style would depend largely on the time of year and the location of the wedding dinner reception.

We like hearing from you and we're happy to help further; however, we would need more information. There are a variety of venues for a wedding dinner reception from a clambake to a fancy dress ballroom.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 5:30 pm: North Carolina
Q Going to a June wedding at 5:30 in NC. What do I wear? The groom is Catholic, bride is not. Ceremony will be held in local Catholic church, however it won't be a full mass.

Always was under the assumption that 5:30 is formal. Is that the case anymore?

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. A 5:30 pm wedding is on the cusp of being formal. Especially when a formal dress code isn't listed, therefore you would wear cocktail attire. A man would wear his best dark lightweight suit and a woman would wear a knee-length cocktail dress, beautiful shoes and carry a small clutch bag.

Nowadays, even when the groom and groomsmen are dressed in tuxedos or white dinner jackets, it is not necessarily the dress code for the guests when formal attire isn't specified. A 5:30 pm wedding is not so much about the formality of the wedding but the quality of the clothing.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 5:30 PM: Pinehurst, NC in June
Q I am 52 years old, 5'5", 150 lbs, athletic (but not buff) build. The wedding I am attending is to be held late June in a Catholic Church, 5:30 pm, in Pinehurst, NC; reception following ceremony at the Country Club. I have a very flattering v-neck, shawl collar, 3/4 sleeve dress....the color is a deep plum. I plan to wear my gold jewelry. I have 2 questions:
1.) Is the color too dark for a June wedding?
2.) What color shoes should I wear?

Many thanks!

A No, the color plum is not too dark to wear to a June wedding. As for shoes, to soften the dark plum and elongate your overall appearance, wear shoes that are closer to your skin color. Wearing beautiful shoes that are near in hue to your skin tone will make you appear longer and leaner, especially if they have a bit of a heel to them and your legs are well-groomed and shiny.

Since you didn't mention the length of your dress, I wanted to remind you to keep it short. No longer than just below your knees will keep you from looking dowdy. You want to look chic and elegant, which it sounds as though you are.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 5:30 pm: Restaurant
Q My nephew is getting married Sept. 29th at 5:30. I am wondering what I should wear. The reception is to be held at 7:30 in a very nice restaurant. I am 62 years old. My husband is 65.

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. Therefore, for a 5:30pm wedding, you would wear either a knee-length dressy skirt suit or a lovely cocktail dress, with beautiful shoes and carry a small clutch bag. Your husband would wear a dark suit with a white collared shirt, handsome tie, and black, belt, shoes and socks.

When unsure about the dress code and it's not clearly stated on the wedding invitation, ask your nephew's mother what she and her husband are wearing to the wedding.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 5:30 PM: Shoe Color
Q I am attending a wedding at country club at 5:30 in Warrenton, VA. I purchased a berry colored sleeveless dress. I don't know what color shoes to wear with it. Please help me.

A Look for a nude or beige/nude colored shoe. Black would be too wintery for right now. You can also accessorize with a beige/nude small clutch bag. Alternatively, navy blue is equally chic.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 5:30 PM: South: Men and Women
Q Hi Didi, my boyfriend and I are going to a 5:30 pm wedding in the South in November. I am planning to wear a knee-length cocktail dress. He's considering just a button down dress shirt, dress pants and shoes with no coat or tie. Is this sufficient? I am 25 and he is 30.

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. Your dress sounds perfect. Out of respect for the bride, your boyfriend would wear a tie and jacket. Remind him that dress shirts are worn after six o'clock, so he needs to wear a white shirt that does NOT have a button down collar. If your boyfriend was a teenager or still in college, he could probably get away with not dressing up for the wedding, but in the South weddings are a fairly dressy affair. Take him to your local thrift shop and have him buy a dark suit, dress shirt and handsome tie. Alternatively, dark dress khaki pants with a well-made jacket. He'll also need dark shoes, socks and belt.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 5:30pm
Q What is the attire for a 5:30 pm wedding?

A The short answer is: Cocktail Attire. When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. Also, referred to as Cocktail Attire.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 6:00 Wedding
Q What is proper attire for guest of a 6:00 pm wedding? The invitation did not specify.

A As the invitation did not specify "Black Tie," you would not wear a tuxedo or a long dress. What you do wear depends upon your gender, age, build, the location of the wedding, climate, and whether it is a formal, semiformal or informal wedding. We've ruled out formal and time of day, so for a summer, semiformal evening wedding, a man might wear a dark lightweight suit or summer jacket with lightweight gray flannel trousers, a collared long sleeved dress shirt and a summer tie. Black shoes and black or navy blue socks that are high enough so that they don't let flesh show when the man is seated. Or he might wear a navy blue blazer with white pants, a colored or striped dress shirt and a tie with light socks and dark brown shoes. With either, he would wear a belt or suspenders but not both at once.

The location of the wedding reception might give you a clue as to whether you should dress up or dress down. For instance if the reception is a clambake on the beach, you might not wear a tie, jacket, socks or tie shoes or high heeled shoes. However, if the reception is at an expensive restaurant or private club, you would want to dress your best.

A woman might wear a pretty dress that falls just below her knees or is three-quarters length, with sling-back or strappy heels. She might wear a lightweight shawl or scarf and a small decorative evening bag. An older woman might wear a dinner suit in a quality fabric with decorative buttons or a beautiful long sleeved blouse and skirt that falls below the knees with sling-back low heel shoes for dancing, and a pretty evening bag. If the reception is at a hotel or restaurant she might want to be sure that she takes along something to cover her arms in case the facility is air-conditioned. The emphasis would be on simplicity of cut, quality fabrics, and small decorative touches, such as piping and buttons, pretty earrings or brooch.

If you would like to return to my Web site and ask the question again telling me more about the location of the reception and the climate at the time of the wedding, I will give you a more precise answer. I would also need to know your gender, age, and build.

www.newportmanners.com

Thank you, Didi


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 6:00 PM
Q Can I wear long white button-down skirt w/ black top to 6:00 pm wedding?

A Out of respect for the bride, you wouldn't wear white as one of two of your primary colors. Quite frankly, you wouldn't wear a long dress either.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 6:00 pm at Southern Baptist Church in April
Q I am 56, my neice is getting married in a southern baptist church at 6:00 pm, April '09. Can I wear a spring floral tea-length skirt? or should I wear something darker. I am 5-2 and about 140 lbs., white/silver hair Thanks Cathy

A Cathy, in my opinion, most women look dowdy in longish skirts and dresses. Go with a more tailored look that will flatter your figure. For instance, a dress with a matching jacket or a dressy suit, both of which would fall just below your knees and have a nipped waist to show off your form. A tailored dress with short or three quarter length sleeves would also be appropriate. You can wear a hat to the church and leave in your car when you go into the reception. A spring floral dress or skirt that falls just below your knees sounds fine, though a solid color or subtler pattern or texture might be more sophisticated, especially in April. For solid spring colors, blues, reds, and greens are always good with white/silver hair.

If your skirt is silk and you have a gorgeous solid silk blouse, you could certainly wear them with pretty high heels, although I think a more coordinated look will elongate your silhouette.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 6:00 pm Atlanta in September
Q I'm a California beach girl (used to be, now I'm 54 & married) and will be attending a late September wedding at 6 pm at Park Tavern, Atlanta, Georgia. The invitation is black with pink and white and then wrapped with a black bow. Apparently the bridesmaids are in black and the flower girl in pink. What would be appropriate to wear?

A Wear a very chic black cocktail dress that falls just below your knees, or any well-made cocktail dress. When I say cocktail dress, I refer to a dress that you would wear to a very upscale restaurant where you know the waiters will treat you better if you're well-dressed. Black and white would be fine, too. Wear beautiful shoes comfortable for dancing and take a small, pretty clutch for your lipgloss. Since I don't know your coloring or your build, or the dress code for that matter, this is a rather general answer--but it's probably accurate.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 6:00 pm Church Ceremony: Outdoor Games Reception
Q My niece is having a 6:00 church wedding in NC mid- September. The bridesmaids are wearing floor-length black dresses with little to no detail. However, the reception is outdoors at a residence with a sit-down dinner where I think she is having chicken of some sort. There will be outdoor games such as cornhole, ladder golf...and a bonfire for smores and roasting marshmallows. I am having a difficult time trying to figure out what to wear considering the different types of formality. Plus...most heels will sink in the grass. I have a cute black dress just above the knee with peach, orange, melon stripes. What do u suggest?

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. Even though the bridesmaids are wearing long dresses, that isn't necessarily the dress code. Your knee-length cocktail dress sounds perfect. You're so right about those stilettos spiking into the turf. Why don't you wear either a pair of strappy wedges or beautiful ballerina flats with your cocktail dress.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 6:00 pm in October
Q I have a wedding to attend at a small church on October 16, 2010, at 6:00 p.m. What should I wear? Also, the reception will follow at the groom's house. Should I wear the same dress to the reception or should I wear something else?

A As the reception immediately follows the church ceremony, you would wear the same dress to both. Put on a hat for the ceremony and leave it in your car when you go into the reception. Weddings are always a great excuse to wear a chic hat.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 6:00 pm in Arkansas: Woman
Q I'm invited to an outdoor wedding taking place at 6:00 pm in the deep, humid south of Arkansas. I know the bride has told male guests that no tie is required although the wedding party will wear ties. I'm 60 years old and would like to wear a just above the knee print silk dress? Is this appropriate? Thanks.

A I guess it would depend upon the dress and your legs. A moo-moo, would be a no-no. A well-tailored pink linen, silk or linen-silk blend, would be fine. People expect women of a certain age--whether the wedding is in Boston or Arkansas--to be and look elegant, refined, and dignified. Try on the pink print silk dress, look into a full-length mirror and ask yourself, "Do I look elegant? Do I look dignified?" If the answer to either is resoundingly "No," then move on to an alternative.

To start, unless your legs are buff, well-groomed, and devoid of unsightly spots or veins, the length of your dress should end just below your knees. Knobbly knees don't always age well--and certainly don't make you look any younger. You don't want to look like as if you are trying to compete with the ingenues at the wedding. Rethink your priorities. There is nothing, whatsoever, wrong in going for a dignified, elegant look. Dressing your age, acting your age is all about being elegant and dignified. I'm not saying you have to look severe and stuffy, I'm saying look in the mirror. In answer to your question, just above the knee is not appropriate for women over fifty in either Boston or Arkansas.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 6:00 pm in Birmingham
Q What attire to wear to a wedding in Birmingham, AL, on a Saturday that starts at 6:00 pm?

A What you wear depends on some huge factors: the dress code, which helps determine the formality of the wedding, your gender, age, and build.

Assuming that the invitation does not state "Black Tie," you are off the hook about having to wear a tuxedo. You would, however, wear your best dark suit with black belt, shoes and socks, a straight collared dress shirt, and a very good silk tie.

If you're a woman, depending upon your age, you would either wear a dressy cocktail dress or a skirted dinner suit (if you're over fifty) that covers your knees, or a flirty silk chiffon dress that falls somewhere above your knees. A six o'clock wedding usually means dinner and dancing, so you will need to wear your sexiest dancing pumps and carry a clutch bag for your lipstick. A good piece of jewelry in Birmingham is always appreciated, and you won't have to worry about a wrap because it hasn't gotten chilly there yet.

You must realize that with the limited amount of info, this is a rather general answer. How dressed up you get, also depends upon the place where the wedding is being held. A wedding at a banquet facility would be less sophisticated then, say, a wedding at a private home or club. Sophisticated doesn't necessarily mean "dressy." It means well-dressed; where less is more and when quality of fabric and design, and not fussiness, are key.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 6:00 PM in Los Angeles
Q My sister is getting married at 6m in July in Los Angeles. She wants to have a "Black and White" wedding. Does this mean it would be ok for guests, including females, to wear white or to wear colors other than black and white? Would a long dress be considered too formal for this "suit and tie" event? What should be labeled on the invites so the guests know how to dress appropriately?

Thank You

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, then you can assume that the dress code is Suits & Dresses, otherwise called Cocktail Attire. Since I don't know the time of day of the wedding, I'll assume it is around six o'clock and in that case the proper dress code would be Suits & Dresses.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 6:00 pm May Church Wedding + Country Club Reception
Q I'm going to my cousin's wedding at 6 o'clock in the evening" at a Lutheran Church on May 15th, Saturday night. Reception to follow at the Country Club. I am 38 and single, and bring my boyfriend. What do you think would be appropriate dress for the two of us? Thanks so much! Oh, I do like to dress up, but don't want to be over dressed.
Amy

A Assuming that your cousin's wedding is not Black Tie because that dress code doesn't appear on the invitation, your boyfriend is off the hook about having to wear a tuxedo. He can wear either a dark suit with a white collared shirt and a tie, or a navy blazer with grey flannels or dress khakis, black shoes, socks and belt. As you both probably know, country club dress code usually requires a man to wear a jacket and a tie after six o'clock. Your boyfriend can always take off his tie and jacket when the dancing gets going.

Your outfit can be fun. Wear a flirty black cocktail dress that falls just above your knees with beautiful high heels and shimmery legwear a shade lighter than your skin tone. Add a great pair of earrings, a small clutch bag for your pink lip gloss, and a pashmina, shawl, or pretty sweater--as I don't know where this is taking place and it can still be quite chilly in mid-May in the northern half of the country.

You don't have to wear black, but if you don't have a great short black dress, this is the time to find it. I love a short chiffon dress for dancing, but they are not always easy to find. The look you're going for is sophisticated yet fun, and is both elegant and glamorous. Have fun!


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 6:00 pm Wedding: Guest: Women
Q Southern summer wedding - what should a female guest wear? Ceremony is outside in a garden of a Victorian house at 6pm. Reception is inside house. Invitation was not formal, but funky. Groom is from England and there will be guests from many parts of the world.

A Depending upon on your age and build, you could wear a silk chiffon flirty floral dress that falls just above your knees. If you are over forty, you might want to look dignified and elegant by wearing a dress with short sleeves that falls just below your knees. Whether the dress is cotton, linen or silk chiffon, the quality of the fabric and design should be your top priority. Beautiful shoes, real jewelry, and a small clutch would be your only accessories.

British women love their hats, especially at weddings, so if you have a special summer hat, this is the time to wear it. However, you would leave your hat in your car before going into the reception.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 6:00 PM: April: Country Club: South Carolina
Q Hi Didi,
I'm invited to a 6:00pm outdoor wedding ceremony with a sit-down dinner at a country club. The invitation didn't indicate the attire but the bride's wedding website said black tie optional. The wedding is in North Myrtle Beach, SC at the end of April. I'm in my late 20's.
Thanks

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. Wear a short (just above your knee) chiffon in a spring color or floral print with nude colored heels or shoes and small clutch bag in the color of one of flowers, and you're all set for an outdoor ceremony followed by and dinner and dancing.

Tea length cocktail dresses are very popular this season (2013) in a floral or solid. If you don't have either of these, go to the rental website Rent the Runway to see what styles are trending this season, and you may find one to rent for the wedding.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 6:00 pm: Atlanta on a Farm
Q Hi Didi-
I found several of your responses on “proper etiquette” regarding dress attire but thought I would email to you the specifics with the wedding I am attending. The wedding is in a “rural” area west of Atlanta on Saturday, August 20 at 6:00 pm. It is going to be outdoors in a farm-like setting (rustic, next to a pond). I am attending as a guest to the father of the bride..,not sitting with the family. The invitation did not specify the attire; however the guys are wearing black tux and the bridesmaids (2) are wearing short pink dresses. I have 3 dresses (1) being purple silk (sleeveless) and royal blue sleeveless chiffon with diagonal flat ruffles in front and back (both were purchased at Nordstrom’s). I have a 3rd, that is primarily white with appliqued flowers (I was not able to attach a picture as it is my favorite as I purchased it at RoseMary Beach last week) as know you should not wear white but it isn’t all white : ). Any advise you can provide would greatly be appreciated!

http://www.foxwoodsga.com/index.html Location of wedding and inside reception.

If you can provide another email, I can send the picture of the white with flowers.



Many thanks!
Rhonda




A I love the sound of number three. You can accessorize with color to get away from the all white look. Please send the photo to this email address, which I use only for follow-up questions. So, for future questions, please go through the NewportManners.com web site. Thanks.

In the meantime, just so you know: when the invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses, or Cocktail Attire.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 6:00 PM: Beach: Black Tie
Q I have been invited to a Black-Tie wedding at 6:00 pm on the beach. Reception will be in the ballroom. I am 50. What should I wear as a guest?

A It would depend on your gender. You say it is a Black-Tie wedding, then wear a tuxedo or a dressy cocktail dress that falls just below the knees and beautiful shoes. You can take your beautiful shoes off for the ceremony and walk in the nice warm sand barefoot. A man would not necessarily have to wear a tux, and who wants to wear a tux for a beach wedding? Nobody. If you you have a white dinner jacket, that would be perfect.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 6:00 PM: Black Dress
Q Hi Didi - I am invited to attend a friend's wedding which will start at 6 pm I don't know what color of the dress would fit to that hour because I really love to wear black dresses but of course I must need an idea really that I wont be looking like stupid in there..please help me thanks a lot.

A A little black dress is perfect for a six o'clock wedding. The LBD is always chic, especially when worn with beautiful shoes. Carry a small clutch bag for your lipgloss and keys.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 6:00 pm: Charleston in October
Q Party after wedding 6 to 10 pm, invitation says casual will be held at a park in Charleston S.C. in October - I am over sixty, what should I wear?

A If you are a man, you would wear either a two-button dark poplin suit with a white collared shirt, silk tie, and dark shoes and socks, or a pure cotton, two-button seersucker suit with white bucks. Alternatively, a navy blue blazer with dress khakis or grey flannel pants are always classic.

If you are a woman, you would wear a dress with sleeves that falls just below your knees, or a beautiful blouse with a long skirt. If you have a decent figure, you can wear pants with a gorgeous tunic. As the reception is outside, you will want to wear flats or pumps because high heels will sink into the grass, if the soil beneath the grass is damp.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 6:00 PM: Civil-Christian Service
Q Hello Didi, I am attending a civil-Christian wedding at 6 P.M. followed by a small reception at the church on January 30th. It's supposed to be casual. I have no idea about what to wear. I have a dark blue flowered dress, v neck (no sleeves), the length is right below my knees. Do you think it is appropriate? What should I wear on top of it to cover my shoulders and arms? What color?

A When the invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. Your navy floral print knee-length dress sounds perfect. A short jacket or knee-length swing coat would be appropriate. If you're young and hip, a thin black leather jacket would be very cool.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 6:00 PM: Cocktail Dress
Q What should I wear to a six o'clock wedding that said coat and tie on the invitation? I am sixty-two and a size six. I have a silky two piece cocktail dress. Would that be too dressy?

A A two-piece, silk cocktail dress that falls just below your knees sounds perfect, with beautiful shoes. When the invitation doesn't specify Black Tie, you can assume the dress code is Suits and Dresses, even though the invitation states Coat and Tie, which basically means the same thing. In different areas people call those two dress codes one or the other. At a six o'clock wedding all the men should be in jackets and ties and the women in dresses, dressy dinner suits, or dresses with bolero jackets. After all, it's a wedding!


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 6:00 PM: Colorado
Q I am the makeup artist for a wedding at The Stanley Hotel in Estes Park Colorado and I have been invited to stay for the wedding at reception with my friend. The ceremony is on the lawn of The Stanley Hotel and the reception is in the Concert Hall. I did not see the invitation but the wedding is at 6ish. I have a very lovely long black bustier, center jewel and straps. And a long full skirt, 38" in length, white with large black different size circles and tulle under the skirt.

A Your dress sounds fabulous; however, it sounds a bit much. In order to give you the best advice, I would need to know if Black Tie is specified on the wedding invitation, as a six o'clock wedding does not necessarily require an evening gown. Since you're so close to the bride, heck, you're the one who is making her look good in the photos, you should be able to text her or talk to her long enough to ask if it is a Black-Tie wedding. If you don't want to do that, wear a dressy above the knee cocktail dress with beautiful shoes. What I'm saying is this: Don't assume that just because she can afford to hire you, evening dress/ballgowns are de rigueur for the wedding. I would be happy to work with you further, should you have more information. Remember when Black Tie isn't specified on the invitation, then the dress code is Suits and Dresses, which is the chic current dress code.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 6:00 PM: Couple: Charleston, SC
Q What is the typical attire for a 6:00 pm ceremony directly followed by a cocktail hour and reception in Charleston, SC, in June? I am 54 yrs old and a size 10. How formal should I go? Also as for the men, in the Northeast it would be a dark suit and tie. Is that too formal?

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. Wear a dressy knee-length skirt suit with beautiful shoes and carry a small clutch bag; alternatively, a great cocktail dress. Your husband would wear his best dark business suit, collared shirt (not button-down after six o'clock) and tie.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 6:00 pm: Florida Plantation: August
Q Please advise on what to wear to a 6 pm north Florida plantation wedding, in August - 100 degrees. There is a chapel where the ceremony will take place and a ballroom for the reception. (The time was determined by the angle of the sun through the chapel windows.) Lots of dancing. I am 53 and not a matronly dresser! I just want to be comfortable and appropriate at the same time, and of course glamorous! Thanks!

A When the invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. For a six o'clock wedding, wear a knee-length cocktail dress with beautiful shoes and carry a small clutch bag. For a ceremony in a chapel, you don't need to worry about having bare arms, so stay cool. Also, it is likely that in Florida the chapel and the ballroom will be air conditioned.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 6:00 PM: Georgia: Khaki Polin Suit
Q I am attending a 6:00 pm wedding in Athens, Ga, this weekend. Ceremony takes place in the UGA Chapel, and the Athens Country Club is hosting the reception (bar scene immediately after, according to their wedding weekend agenda timeline). Can I wear my khaki poplin suit for this event?? Or should my wardrobe colors be darker due to the time and place??

A You can get away with wearing a khaki poplin suit to a six o'clock wedding, if you're under twenty-five years of age because they'll figure you don't know any better. Otherwise, wear a dark navy blue or even gray suit, or a navy blue blazer with dress khaki pants. In my opinion, the all-khaki look is a bit too daytime for a six o'clock wedding unless, as I said, you can get away with not knowing any better.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 6:00 pm: January 2013: Black Leather Dress
Q My girlfriend's wedding is this Saturday at 6 pm. She's having it at a very cute coffee house after they close, and the attire is cocktail. I found a little black leather dress and would like to wear it but am not sure if it's appropriate. It's tight and short, but no cleavage, kind of like the kind you've seen Jennifer Aniston wear lately. Appropriate or not? If so, what kind of jacket? Thanks!

A I think the little black leather dress sounds fabulous. Wear it. Let it be your fashion statement so go neutral and easy on the accessories. With it you could wear a fitted stretchy black jacket in a wool blend. I also like a swing coat since the dress is fitted. A pale lavender mohair/blend style coat that is A line from under the the arms down is fun, youthful and festive for a wedding. I like the different textures of the pale mohair and the black leather -- sophisticated yet soft.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 6:00 pm: January: Shoes
Q For a 6:00 wedding in January in a Church, what shoes are appropriate? Open toe? Closed toe with sling backs?

A It depends pretty much on the climate and your comfort zone. If the wedding is in Florida - or in another warm place - open toe shouldn't be a problem. Sling backs are comfy anytime and for an evening wedding they're always chic.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 6:00 pm: Little Black Leather Dress
Q My girlfriend's wedding is this Saturday at 6 pm. She's having it at a very cute coffee house after they close, and the attire is cocktail. I found a little black leather dress and would like to wear it but am not sure if it's appropriate. It's tight and short, but no cleavage, kind of like the kind you've seen Jennifer Aniston wear lately. Appropriate or not? If so, what kind of jacket? Thanks!

A I think the little black leather dress sounds fabulous. Wear it. Let it be your fashion statement so go neutral and easy on the accessories. With it you could wear a fitted stretchy black jacket in a wool blend. I also like a swing coat since the dress is fitted. A pale lavender mohair/blend style coat that is A line from under the arms down is fun, youthful and festive for a wedding. I like the different textures of the pale mohair and the black leather -- sophisticated yet soft.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 6:00 pm: Michigan
Q Wedding, September 17, Southeast Michigan, 6 PM, reception to follow immediately...my question, can I wear a pink linen short sleeved dress, ankle-length or a black shift dress, knee-length, poly/cotton/spandex blend? Or could I wear pants and dress shirt that I would wear to work, adding heels and a black shimmery crocheted shawl, and evening jewelry? Help!!!
Side note: second wedding for both bride and groom, groom is my brother...

A Definitely wear the short black shift dress with nude colored patent leather heels and carry a small clutch. I'm not a huge fan of the shawl over the shoulders look because I think it makes most women look dowdy, no matter how shimmery it is. If you're looking for a bit of shimmer, wear good quality legwear a shade lighter than your skin tone with a bit of shimmer to it to dress up the solid black dress (see examples at Wolford.com).

As I don't know about the temperatures in SE Michigan in the evening in mid-September, and you feel you need a cover-up, wear a dressy cardigan sweater or a good quality jacket, both of which you can pair with your pants and dress shirt for another occasion. As your brother's sister, no matter what number marriage this is, you want to look dignified and elegant out of respect for the bride and groom, which is why I like a dress best.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 6:00 PM: Mother of Ring Bearer + Flower Girl
Q Hi Didi. My husband's niece is getting married at the end of September. The wedding invitation didn't say what kind of dress to wear. It will take place in a club in N.J. I am 36 years old, 5.2 height, around 117 is my weight. The ceremony will take place at 6 pm. My daughter will be the flower girl and my son will carry the rings. What should I wear? Thank you. I will appreciate it.

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses, or Cocktail Attire. From what you tell me, you're going to have two small children to chase after at the wedding, so I want you wear a cocktail dress that is both chic and comfortable and falls just above your knee, with beautiful shoes. That might mean breaking in your shoes a head of time, if you haven't already done so. Also, you might want to bring a babysitter to help you so that you can take the children back to the motel and leave them with the baby sitter while you and your husband have fun at the reception. I want you to have a good time at the wedding as well as looking lovely. It can be stressful being responsible for the ring bearer and the flower girl, so do try to have them organized for the rest of the evening ahead of time allowing you to dance with your own groom.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 6:00 PM: New Hampshire: Country Club: Fall
Q What do I wear to a 6:00 pm fall 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 The fall is rather chilly in New Hampshire, especially for an evening wedding so think about what you would wear to a wedding in Northern California. To illustrate dresses trending for someone your age, I use four websites: JMcLaughlin.com (preppy country club clothing), what2wear where.com (more fashionable country club styles), oliviapalermon.com (even more trendy), and renttherunway.com. 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' and you'll find the following dresses:

Clover Canyon: Lady Wilde Dress
Clover Canyon: George Bernard Shaw Sheath
Carmen Marc Valvo: Spin in Scuba Dres
Carmen Marc Valvo: Red Alert Dress

Also, if you are a friend of the bride, find out what the bridesmaids are wearing and wear a dress that is a different color, but close in style.

We like hearing from you and we're here to help. But I am an etiquette consultant and not a fashion stylist, so if you are looking for a stylist, go to what2wearwhere.com and Hilary Dick will be happy to help you. Please, send her our kind regards.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 6:00 pm: New York State: June: Outdoors
Q I am invited to an Upstate New York 6 pm outdoor wedding in June. I am dating the bride's brother. The bride's mother has informed me that it is not a formal affair, and the women in the family are not going to wear heels, as it is outdoor/grass. What should I wear? I am 37 years old, 5'5" tall 120 lbs and in good shape. The sisters of the bride are wearing red and most of the women are going to wear hats. Any ideas on what I should wear?

A Wear a pretty, well-made summer dress that can go from day to evening with beautiful flats or pumps. You wouldn't want to wear high heels anyway because the heels could spike into the grass and get stuck causing you to go forward without them. As I don't know your coloring, it is rather difficult to suggest a color, but you wouldn't wear red because you don't want to look like a wannabe member of the bridal party. Coral and turquoise are always great summer colors, if you like that look, and they work well with red. Yes, and do wear a lovely hat to shade your face from the sun during the outdoor wedding; you can always put it in the car when the sun goes down. Since it can be a mite chilly in June Upstate after dark, take a pashmina to wrap around your shoulders.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 6:00 PM: Philadelphia: September
Q I am an 80 yo 5'2",112 lb female attending a 6:00 p.m. sit down wedding reception in Philadelphia in September at World Life Cafe. Due to a foot problem I do not wear heels. I think I look ugly in non-floor-length skirts with flats. Can I wear something long? Thank you for any suggestions. .

A I think you would look more elegant in a knee-length dress or dressy skirt suit with soft ballerina slippers. I am not a fashion stylist. My area is etiquette and manners, but if I were you I would wear a 'special occasion jacket,' which you can find at maria-pucci.com, along with a skirt or slacks of whatever length you are most comfortable wearing and ballerina flats.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 6:00 PM: San Francisco
Q What is the proper attire for a 6:00 PM September wedding at the De Young Museum in San Francisco?

A Look for a dress code on the wedding invitation. When neither Black Tie nor Formal Attire are specified, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. In this case, for a six o'clock wedding that is not Black Tie, you would wear a great knee-length cocktail dress with beautiful shoes and carry a small clutch bag.

We like hearing from you, however, when you find out more about the wedding, we would be happy to help you further. In the meantime, take a look at the website what2wearwhere.com. Hilary Dick should be able to help you find just right the right dress to wear.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 6:00 PM: St. Louis Seminary
Q Wedding Attire. 6:00pm. June. Concordia Seminary, St Louis. Reception & Dinner to follow at downtown venue.

I questioned the bride about attire, since my daughter and I were last minute invitees, and did not receive a written invitation. She said it will be "too hot for formal" and "definitely more cocktail". But, I feel uncomfortable wearing what I consider a cocktail dress to a very traditional, conservative cathedral-like chapel at the Seminary that educates Lutheran pastors. They have very few weddings there. I have a dress that is dark blue, slightly shiny fabric. I wore it with silver shoes to a country club wedding and reception recently and fit in perfectly. Not so sure about this event. I read somewhere that the dress should be a dark color, but a "daytime" fabric. Help!

A Your navy blue dress sounds perfect, as long as it is short, falling above your knees if you are under fifty, otherwise just above your knees. Not to worry, a short cocktail dress is the dress code for the wedding. Most are these days.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 6:00 PM: Wearing a Hat
Q Is it proper etiquette to wear a hat to a wedding at 6pm.?

A It is totally appropriate to wear a dinner hat to a six o'clock wedding. A hat can be the perfect accessory when you choose well and it is elegant and dignified; you wouldn't want to ruin the line of a well-designed hat with too much decoration. The line of the hat and the fabric which it is made of are key to presenting your most flattering look. An evening dinner hat has a trim line and is made of felt or velvet, possibly with a small metal ornament; in summer a "little" black straw hat with a tightly rolled narrow brim is very Chanel. For an evening wedding you would want to have to keep the hat small and brimless because otherwise you will have to hold on to the brim of the hat every time you greet someone with a kiss. You might also want to look into wearing the trendy fascinator that was all the rage at at least two royal weddings this year.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 6:00: Tennessee
Q I am invited to a wedding on April 30, 2011 at Camp Marymount in its St. George's Chapel in Fairview, Tennessee at 6:00 p.m. This camp is where the bride attended summer camp when she was young. The invitation does not specify what type of attire but the invitation is on heavy, cream stock and includes RSVP information and is written in calligraphy. I am 73, slim and still fairly attractive and need to know what would be considered in good taste to wear.

A For a six o'clock formal wedding when the invitation does not specify black tie, it is assumed that the dress code is "Suits and Dresses."

That means you can wear a cocktail dress, a dress with a jacket, or a dinner suit (a skirt suit), that falls just below your knees. Wear beautiful, comfortable shoes and carry a small clutch bag. If you have pearls, weddings are the perfect place to wear them.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 6:30 Black Tie Optional
Q To a July black tie optional wedding, 6:30 p.m. in Houston, Texas, if my husband wears a tuxedo, can I wear a cocktail dress, i.e. plain black Suzy Chin dress, mid-calf length, V-neck in front and back, small-pleated skirt, dressed up with sparkly earrings and Weitzman black satin sandals?


A Absolutely, that entire outfit sounds rather chic, if not quite stunning.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 6:30 pm in Georgia in April
Q What do you wear to a wedding in April to an outside wedding at 6:30 p.m (in Georgia)?

A Of course what to wear would depend upon your gender, age and build and the level of formality of the wedding. Since I don't know those details, I'll have to guess here, so forgive me if I'm off base. Outdoor weddings are usually informal, but that doesn't mean jeans and flip-flops. It means that a woman would wear a knee-length, flirty but flattering cocktail dress with strappy sandals if she's under fifty, or a dressy skirt suit or sheath with matching jacket or shawl and sling back low heels if she is over fifty. She wouldn't wear a long dress unless she is going for the ethnic look of a long skirt with a pretty peasant blouse, interesting beads, and strappy sandals. Long dresses tend to look dowdy at receptions such as this, so don't wear one unless there is no alternative. Apparently the invitation didn't state black-tie, therefore a man would wear a navy or gray lightweight suit with a collared shirt, tie, and polished shoes. A navy blue blazer or other good jacket with light weight gray flannel slacks or dark khakis, would also be appropriate. Even though the wedding is not formal, you would wear your best informal dressy clothing and shoes and of course your best jewelry. Just a few pieces, but weddings are the perfect time to wear your pearls or cufflinks. Those small details and being well-groomed are important.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 6:30 PM Outside Wedding
Q What should a man wear to an outside wedding on the coast at 6:30 pm? Can a man wear a white suit? The reception is at a church after. What should a women wear.

A The only person wearing white at the wedding is the bride. Why not wear a navy blue blazer with cream colored pants? A woman would wear a sheath dress that falls just above or just below her knees, or it could be a short dress with a jacket or a simple, short cocktail dress.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 6:30 pm Rainy in October
Q I am going to a 6:30 wedding on October 23, 2009. I am a 66 year old female. The weather will be in the upper 60s with rain. What should I wear.

A Sorry for the delay, we had a temporary computer glitch here at the office.

If the wedding is indoors, the rain shouldn't be a problem, just take your umbrella and wear black patent leather shoes. Patent leather is virtually waterproof, while still keeping a very flexible texture, furthermore the glass-like finish catches light, which makes them perfect for more formal dancing.

Otherwise, take a discreet bag for your dancing shoes, and wear your best rain boots. You can change into your dress shoes in the lady's room or cloak room, and check the boots there. If there isn't a coat check, then hang the shoe bag with your boots in it under your raincoat on the hanger, should you fear leaving them on the cloak room floor.

Wear a dress with sleeves that falls just below the knees and your best raincoat. Since I haven't seen the invitation, it is hard to know how dressy that dress should be. Because it is a six thirty wedding, I am assuming that you would wear a very good quality cocktail dress accessorized by a couple of pieces of your best jewelry.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 6:30 PM Wedding
Q What do women, meaning the guests, wear to a 6:30 p. m. wedding to a church and to a reception at a country club in the Mid-Atlantic states in the summer?

A If the invitation doesn't state "Black tie," then a woman could wear a flirty cocktail dress, the de rigueur little black dress with pearls is always safe. For a summer wedding, she could also wear a pale, floral, chiffon, short dress or short, patterned wrap-dress, either with strappy sandals. An older woman would wear a dressy dinner skirt-suit, a dress with sleeves that falls just below the knees, or a short dress with a jacket; all with sling back, open-toed, low heels. Add a pretty evening bag to any of the above. Stay away from wearing a long dress because a long dress can look dowdy, if the dress code is not "Black tie." For a wedding, the quality of the fabric, design, and jewelry as well as the fit of the dress or suit is what you want to be thinking about.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 6:30 PM: August
Q Going to a wedding on August, formal attire at 6:30 pm. Can I wear a long dress (navy) with silver sandals? Thanks for your response. I am going to buy the shoes today if case you have another suggestion. Thanks again...

A Hope this gets to you in time. I'm not a big fan of long dresses because I feel they make most women look dowdy, so I would go with a short above the knee cocktail dress with nude patent leather heels, which are in trend right now. Just because the invitation states Formal Attire, it doesn't mean you have to wear a long dress. Not sure about the silver shoes in August, wait for the holidays to wear silver and blue. However, you could wear nude patent leather high heels with the long navy dress, because they will freshen up the look of the dress.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 6:30 pm: Chesapeake Bay in August
Q We are invited to a 6:30 PM wedding at the Chesapeake Bay Beach Club, August , 2010. Can I wear a below the knee back empire waist dress with a satin sash, empire line? The top of the dress is a faux lace overlay with a diving neckline with short capped sleeves. The top is off-white over the black and the design is tulips. I bought cut-out fabric sandals in black to wear.
I also have an ankle-length brown gauze dress, with a ruffle on the bottom. It has an elastic bust with two straps over the shoulders. I wear it with a brown short shrug. I have bronze and yellow accessories, earrings, necklace and bangle bracelets. I have a yellow, short- heeled sandal to wear with the dress.
Which dress would be more appropriate? I would wear pearl earrings and short pearl necklace with the black dress. HELP ME! I am 61 years old, but I keep my wardrobe young and fresh and updated appropriately. I am a size 14, short and I know what to cover up and what not to, at my age. HELP...........

A The black cocktail dress that falls just below your knees sounds perfect with the pearls. Since I am not a huge fan of long dresses because they tend to make most women look dowdy, I would forget the long brown dress with the shrug. Especially if you're short, go with the short dress.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 6:30 PM: Dressy Pants
Q I am a guest at a wedding 6:30 pm. Reception will follow at the same location. Cocktails and apps. What type of a dress should I wear? Would black dress pants and a dressy Blouse work?

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. Wear the dressy blouse with a black pencil skirt that falls to your knee, with beautiful shoes and carry a small clutch bag. A 6:30 pm wedding is fairly dressy, even if it isn't formal, so you would want to dress up as opposed to dressing down by wearing slacks.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 6:30 pm: October
Q What does a 60-year-old woman wear to a wedding scheduled for late October at 6:30 in the evening...weather permitting outside? I'm 5'7" and wear a size 14 and am very self-conscious about my tummy area. I'd prefer slacks as the weather is trending towards chilly. I can't seem to find any tops that don't bring focus to my tummy. They are either too tight, stretching across my tummy or make me look 9 months pregnant.

A Dearie, a size 14 isn't that bad. Have you not discovered Spanx? I wear a Spanx that start under my brassiere and end above my knee. Believe it or not it is extraordinarily comfortable. Over your Spanx, wear a dressy, knee-length skirt suit. Then wear legwear a shade lighter than your skin tone with beautiful shoes and carry a small clutch bag. Focus on dark solid colors and a V neck to elongate your figure.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 6:30: Georgia in July: Groom's Cousin
Q I am the cousin of the groom and have a lot of involvement in the wedding (dad is a groomsman and being direct family we will be involved in a great deal of pictures, etc.). The wedding is at 6:30 on July 1 in GA, at a church with the reception at a country club. The invitation doesn't state "black tie", etc., but I know my husband is to wear a suit and tie. I haven't decided what to put my 4 year old in OR what I should wear.

Can I wear a cocktail dress? If so, what would be a good color? I'm trying to stay away from black, if possible.

Need all the help I can get. Thank you so much!



A When the invitation doesn't specify Black Tie, then you can assume the dress code is Suits and Dresses. Yes a cocktail dress is perfect. Even if it is black. In my personal opinion, you would leave your four year old home with a sitter because it is too late in the day to take him/her out and it will ruin your evening if you have to leave the wedding to take him/her home. Have a grown-up night out. Kids that age at a wedding become overstimulated and sometimes out of control.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 6:30: Labor Day: Florida: Alpine Calf-Length
Q I am a 66-year-old matriarch great aunt who is attending her fashionable great niece's wedding this Labor Day Sunday 6:30 pm at the Seagate Beach Club, Delray Beach, FL. Her invitation states "Business Casual - no jeans or shorts please. Bring your flip flops, linen pants, Tommy Bahama shirts and those flowy dresses! This is a beach wedding without the stuffy black ties :)".
What do I wear???? I'm 5'7" 165 lbs, not fat and not slender. My upper arms have always been big but now sport angel wings. I live in the mountains of Colorado, so no humidity here but Florida in Sept with hot flashes and night sweats!!! I'm afraid I will be so overheated that the ocean may be just too close! Would a backless halter top, A-line calf-length, chocolate chiffon dress with same material shawl be too dressy or should I just wear a sheath (or sheet!)? Not much time to decide, huh?

A In my opinion, linen would be a cooler fabric than silk chiffon. I'm thinking a linen skirt or loose pants with a beautiful tunic or blouse that would cover your arms and, yet, would also be cooling. Then a simple pair of pretty but unadorned sandals and a small clutch bag would be lovely. All of these you could find use for again in Colorado.

Although, on second read the chocolate chiffon dress with same material shawl would be chic as well, however, the color chocolate might be a bit heavy for Florida Labor Day Weekend. Only wear the sheath if it is comfortable, and then what about the arms in a sheath? Would you use the shawl to cover them? I'm also not sure about backless and the problem with finding the right undergarment, but I must say it does sound cool.

By the way, I'm curious, what is Alpine calf length?


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 6:30: Texas Ranch
Q Dear Didi,
My husband and I have been invited to a 6:30 pm wedding at a ranch. It is an outdoor wedding and dinner reception outdoor under the starry skies. It is north of Dallas. I am 66 and have no clue. We were told we probably would not want to wear open-toed shoes or sandals because of sandspurs.

Thank you
Kathy

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, then you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. Your husband would wear a dark suit, collared shirt, tie, and dark shoes or boots. You could either wear a well-made dress of quality fabric that falls just below your knees, or a dressy skirt suit, both with beautiful flats and a small clutch.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 6:30pm: Botanical Garden NYC
Q I am attending a wedding and reception this Saturday August 6 at 6:30 pm at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. Would it be appropriate to wear a blue linen Armani pantsuit with white shell? Also, does the footing allow one to wear heels? The invitation does not specify a dress code.
Thank you

A When the invitation doesn't specify Black Tie, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. Since I've actually attended a fantastic wedding at the NY Botanical Gardens, I can assure you that you are in for a real treat. It is quite up-scale, up-market, not sure which term clicks with you. As much as I love anything Armani, a pantsuit isn't going to help you fit in. Believe me, there will be Armani, but they will be sleek summer dresses (and since it is August, some will be linen) with beautiful shoes. If you're in your early twenties or younger, you could probably get away with wearing a pantsuit, otherwise, dress up.

As for the shoes, you'll be ushered through glass conservatories with slate or stable/hard pathways, so there is not need to worry about high heels sinking into turf.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 6:50 PM: Georgia: Country Club
Q I am going to a 5:30 wedding in GA., in July. It is a church wedding with dinner and dancing immediately following at a country club. Are loose black pants and a beautiful black/lace shirt ok to wear? The shirt hits right above the knee and is very elegant. I usually wear pearls with this shirt and it really looks sharp. Thanks! Georgia Girl!

A To a wedding? I would say if you are under 21, you could get away with wearing a tunic-and-pants-style outfit, but if you're any older, you would want to fit in with the dress code. When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie, then you can assume the dress code is Suits and Dresses. Wear the long shirt and pants to the rehearsal dinner where tunics and pants fit in. Instead, wear a chic cocktail dress that falls just above your knees with beautiful shoes to the wedding and you'll feel more in step with the country club crowd. Over fifty, the dress would fall just below the knees. In my opinion, you want to look snappy rather than sharp for this wedding.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 60-Year-Old Woman: Black Tie: Ashville, NC: 6:00 PM
Q What is appropriate to wear to a black tie wedding 6pm for a single 60-year-old woman in Ashville NC?

A Wear a knee-length cocktail dress with beautiful shoes and carry as small clutch bag. Also, a knee-length dinner suit is appropriate. For women over fifty, I use a couple of websites to illustrate the types of styles that might appeal to them: mariacpucci.com for the special occasional jacket that you can pair with a skirt; halsbrook.com for the basic dress or jacket and skirt, and ninamclemore.com for dressy jackets and tops.

We like hearing from you, but when you give us more details about the wedding and style, it is easier to steer you in the right direction.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 7:00 PM Black-Tie Military Wedding
Q What does a female guest wear to a 7:00 p.m. Black-tie military wedding at a Temple? Husband will wear tuxedo.

A A dressy dinner suit with a pretty small hand clutch and dainty sling-back heels. The dressy dinner suit is made of high quality fabric and is often trimmed with a matching or contrasting color and interesting buttons. Because it is a military wedding, I would suggest dressing slightly tailored as opposed to wearing, say, a sweeping chiffon gown, and wear a very pretty dinner skirt suit with white kid gloves and good earrings.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 7:00 pm Wedding
Q My husband and I will be attending my cousin's wedding in South Carolina in July at 7:00 p.m. as well as the rehearsal party the evening before. The wedding is formal and the rehearsal party specified "cocktail attire".

Would it be appropriate for my husband to wear a dark blue pinstripe suit? If so, could he wear the same suit to both events but with a different shirt and tie?

I will be wearing a LBD to the rehersal and a plum tea-length chiffon overlay halter dress to the wedding.

Also what should teen (15 & 16) girls wear to such a wedding? And what about a 4-year-old girl? Would just a cream eyelet lace short dress be appropriate for the 4-year-old?




A If the wedding is a "black-tie," then your husband will have to wear a tuxedo to the seven o'clock wedding. If the wedding invitation does not state "Black-tie," then he could most certainly wear a dark blue pinstripe suit to both the rehearsal dinner and the wedding, with different shirts and ties. If he has a navy blue blazer he could wear that with cream colored pants to the rehearsal dinner, then his suit would be fresh for the wedding. I don't know about your husband, but if there is dancing at the rehearsal dinner, or if it is hot that night, he will probably need a fresh jacket for the wedding the next night. South Carolina in July will be hot, air conditioning or not.

A long black dress sounds a bit dressy for the rehearsal dinner, if the invitation states "cocktail attire." For "Cocktail Attire" you would want to wear a cocktail-length dress that falls at the knees, either just above or just below. The plum tea-length chiffon halter dress sounds fine for the wedding; however, I am not a huge fan of tea-length because that length tends to look dowdy. For dancing there is nothing more fun than a short chiffon dress that moves with the music.

The teenage girls would wear knee-length short dresses to the wedding. I've always found that teenage girls are very good at figuring out which dress makes them feel the most comfortable. Since their comfort is of importance here, I would just take them to a department store with a good selection of junior dresses and let them try on as many as they like until they find the right dress. For the four-year-old, you would want to stay away from white because the only person at the wedding wearing white is the bride. On the other hand if the dress has a wide ribbon of another color around the waist, it wouldn't look so all white.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 7:00 PM Wedding on the Beach
Q We are attending an outdoor 7:00 pm wedding in South Carolina on the beach. What is the appropriate attire for men?

A If the ceremony and the reception are both literally taking place on the beach, then you would wear Casual Attire as opposed to the more formal Cocktail Attire.

However, if just the ceremony is on the beach and the reception is in a tent with a dance floor and tables and chairs, you would wear a jacket and tie, both of which you can take off. Fold your tie and put it in your jacket pocket and place your jacket on the back of your chair.

More specifically, you would wear a light-weight blazer or jacket with dress khaki pants, a collared shirt, bright tie, best loafers, and no socks. The pants can be off-white or colored and the shirt can be short-sleeved, but should be collared and not buttoned-down (no button-down shirts after six pm).

When in doubt check with the bride or groom. If they say that the dress code is Hawaiian shirts, shorts and flip-flops, go for it.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 7:00 pm: Montana in August
Q Dear Didi, My husband and I are invited to a 7:00 pm August wedding in Montana...with a reception to follow. The recommended attire is "summer evening, outdoor chic".
We are in our mid-fifties. What are your recommendations? We are open to a western theme but do not want to look as if we are in a costume. Thank you, Kiki

A When the dress code isn't dress specific, then Suits and Dresses are the assumed dress code. If your husband has a summer suit, he could wear that and you could wear either a chic dress that falls just below your knees or a great tunic with silk pants and beautiful sandals. In using the dress code "Summer Evening, Outdoor Chic," the wedding couple is telling you not to wear Black Tie, and that they want you to feel comfortable and dress as you would when attending a summer dinner party or going to an up-scale restaurant. They don't want guests wearing denim, bluejeans, flip-flops, baseball caps, t-shirts with logos, cargo pants, ripped clothing, or bare midriffs.

If your husband doesn't have a summer suit, then have him wear a very good jacket, or blazer, with really good summer trousers and a collared shirt. Depending upon his style, he might feel more comfortable wearing a tie, which he can always take off.

In my opinion, it doesn't sound as if the wedding couple wants guests to wear Western attire or they would have stated that on the invitation. Since guests may be coming from different areas of the country, they wouldn't be expected to buy a Western outfits to wear to the wedding; this is not a costume party, it is a wedding, so dress as yourselves. However, if you have dress Western boots and you want to wear them, than do; if your husband has a Western hat, then he can wear that, too.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 7:00 pm: Texas: June
Q I am attending a 7 pm wedding in June in Dallas, Texas, at the University Park Methodist Church. I plan to wear a 3 piece suit. The suit is bone-colored with a little bit darker skirt, not real dark. Would leather bone-colored
heels be appropriate for a wedding at this time of day?


A I'm all for suiting up but a three piece suit for an evening wedding sounds a bit business-like. In my opinion, you might want to wear a dressier skirt suit. It is the three piece part that sounds a bit daytime because I'm imagining it looking too tailored, if the third piece is a vest.

When you say bone, how light is the bone? If the bone is off-white, you wouldn't wear any shade of white out of respect for the bride. You say the skirt is darker, which is fine, but how close to off-white is the bone? And overall, looking at you from a distance, what percentage of your outfit, including your shoes, is off-white? Perhaps wearing shoes the color of the darker skirt, or darker, would help you get away from too much bone.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 7:00 PM: Twenty-Four in New York City
Q Dear Didi, I am a 24-year-old size 4/6 going to a 7 pm wedding late September at a country club in New York. My boyfriend is in the wedding party...should I wear a long dressy gown or is a short cocktail dress more appropriate?!? Thanks!

A Find out what the wedding invitation says about dress code, usually in the lower right hand corner. If the dress codes Black Tie and Formal Attire aren't specified, then you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. Wear a short cocktail dress that falls just above your knees with beautiful shoes and a small clutch bag for your lipgloss.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 7:30 PM: October: Birmingham
Q I am planning my October 8th wedding in Birmingham, Alabama. The reception will be at the fellowship hall of the church. My goal is to make it as elegant and romantic as possible. I want to do all in candlelight and have a lighting specialist that I am working with. The florist and a decorator will be using cloth to decorate the reception hall. Is it appropriate to have the wedding at 7:30, with the main emphasis on a variety of desserts (including a wedding cake and candy bar for children) and a variety of coffees? There will be some light Hors d'oeuvres served including cheeses, crackers, and fruits. No alcohol will be served. There will be sparkling water and some punch. Black Tie is not expected so is there a need to make any statement on the invitation regarding attire? Thank you for your advice.

A Usually when you don't list "Black Tie," guests understand that the dress code is "Suits and Dresses." If the reception is not a seated dinner with dancing, then you can't expect people to get too dressed up. However, a 7:30 PM wedding is late for children, so you might not want to include young children who will be overstimulated and tired by seven and out of control and crying by eight--especially after eating all that sugar. If you expect a lot of children, I would serve tea sandwiches of chicken or egg salad. However, if you serve sandwiches to the kids, the grownups might want them, too. Have a "kids food" table with food that does not include sugary desserts and drinks. The wedding cake will be more than enough sugar before bedtime. You also have to remember that 4% of all children have known food allergies.

Please, be sure to check the fire code with the church before ordering all those candles because children wound up on sugar around tablecloths and candles could be a disaster waiting to happen. They do make battery operated candles that you could recycle, or give to the church, to use over again. Be sure to check the fire code for your fellowship hall before going forward with your decorating plan.

I am sure that your decorator and florist will be able to make the hall romantic and elegant with other forms of lighting and that you can work with the food staff to create a fun but healthy snack table for the children. I might add that for a 7:30 PM wedding even grownups might expect a more substantial grazing than cheese, crackers, and fruits. You might want to have a carved ham and turkey with interesting breads so that people can make sandwiches and have a bit of salad on the side. On your invitation, you might want to make it clear that the invitation is not for dinner by stating in the left hand bottom corner, Cake & Punch. That way your guests will know to have supper and feed their children a healthy meal before setting out for your lovely and fun wedding and that delicious wedding cake.

Alternatively, if you held the wedding at two, three or four in the afternoon, you wouldn't have to worry about feeding your guests dinner or candles and fire codes.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 8:00 PM November Reception
Q I am attending a wedding reception at 8:00 pm the first weekend of November. The bride and groom got married in an exotic location and are having a reception when they return. I am 25 and pear-shaped. I have always had a problem wearing short dresses because I look heavier in the hips and upper legs though I am not overweight. I am about 5' 8" and weigh 160. Are long dresses still appropriate? What about coverage on the top half for November? I have found a lot of sleeveless dresses. I have found a strapless/sleeveless dress with an empire waist that is long and black with silver beading under the bust. Would this be appropriate?

I have also selected a spaghetti strap dress with an empire waist that is a dark fuschia color and also has some beading under the bust. It is long as well with a chiffon/silk overlay on the skirt.

Kristen

A As you did not mention that the dress code is "Black tie," you might feel overdressed wearing an evening dress with silver beading. If it is a "Black tie" reception, the dress sounds fabulous; however, if it is not, you might want to wear a dressy knee-length skirt suit. As you say, it is difficult to find dressy dresses with sleeves, so for a pear-shaped figure, you might want to wear either a halter-style cocktail dress, or a dressy dinner suit because you can always take off the jacket for dancing. Alternatively, it might be more practical to wear a short dressy black dress with a pashmina or beaded sweater. If you really want to wear long sleeves, why not wear a flattering short black skirt with a long-sleeved lace blouse. In my opinion, long dresses can be dowdy and because you are twenty-five, short and snappy would be more fun. As nice as the empire waist dress sounds, it might look a bit too serious and you wouldn't want to appear overdressed. If you do go with the knee-length dress and you are self-conscious about your knees, then make sure that the skirt covers your knees. Another thing that you can do if you have that concern is to wear dressy stockings, either slightly shiny or fine, silky black. Experiment with the color so that a beige doesn't look too orange or tan; instead of covering up your legs, show them off.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: 8-Month Pregnant: 5:00 PM: Washington DC
Q Hello,

My father-in-law is getting married at the National Cathedral in Washington DC in late May at 5:00 pm, reception to follow at a private club. I will be 8 months pregnant, would it be inappropriate to wear a floor-length dress? All that I am finding in maternity wear that looks at all good is long!

Thanks

A You will look elegant and lovely in a longish dress and you can get away with wearing ballerina flats. The important thing is that you're comfortable. You can also buy a long skirt and wear it with a dressy top. We love the website rosiepope.com, you'll find dressy tops and a several long dresses. We just found a reduced long dress reduced to $84: Rosie Pope Maternity Catherine Dress. Also, even better: Rosie Pope Women's Angelina Dress, which is reduced to $111.20 and is just a bit longer than mid-calf.

We like hearing from you and if none of this works for you, get back to us and we'll keep looking.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Afternoon Wedding: Leather Pencil Skirt
Q Is it okay to wear a leather pencil skirt to a late afternoon wedding?

A If this is a winter wedding, a leather pencil skirt would be fine. Be sure to wear a satin or silk blouse to soften the look.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Age 17: Rhode Island: April: 2:00 PM
Q My daughter has been invited to her boyfriend's brother's wedding. I haven't seen the invitation and I can't seem to get an answer as to whether or not it is formal. The wedding is at 2 pm and the reception at 5 pm. It is April in Rhode Island.

My daughter is 17 and doesn't own any dresses. I want to get her a dress that can be used for other events over the course of the year. For example a graduation party, etc. Is it ok to go with a knee-length dress with some type of cardigan to keep her warm on the chilly spring nights?

A My experience with daughters is that they pick out what they want to wear. If her boyfriend is bringing her to his brother's wedding, she may be his plus one and won't be getting an invitation. Ask her if she knows any other woman her age going to the wedding, and have her call them. If that doesn't work, call your daughter's boyfriend's mother and ask her what the dress code is for the wedding. What does it say on the invitation? She must have seen the invitation.

Your idea of a knee-length dress with a pretty cardigan sweater sounds good. In April, depending on the weather, she will need a jacket or a raincoat.

We like hearing from you and if you learn more about the wedding, for instance location and dress code, do get back to us because we would like to help.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Age 23: Beware of Bright Colors
Q Hello,
I am a 23-year-old female going to a wedding this spring and want to know if the outfit I picked out is appropriate. My boyfriend is in the wedding, and the wedding is in Ohio. The wedding begins at 3:30 pm, and reception is at a hotel at 5pm. I bought a dress that I liked and was planning to wear a pair of wedges I've had for a year. Here is a link to the dress: http://www.express.com/mobile/clothing/chiffon+yoke+fit+and+flare+dress/pro/9347298/cat550001?swatch=94_934_7298_860
It's in the firecracker color but looks more coral in real life, and the one I got has small pleat designs all over the dress, almost like mini polka dots but just a pleat in the fabric. It's fancier than the one in the link but everything else is the same. The shoes I thought I could wear are some glossy nude strappy wedges. For jewelry I was planning on this bracelet: http://www.express.com/mobile/clothing/two+row+mesh+bangle+set/pro/0503012/cat780003?swatch=08_050_3012_413
And these earrings: http://www.express.com/mobile/clothing/lace+filigree+earrings/pro/0761347/cat570007?swatch=08_076_1347_415
I am kind of cautious when it comes to wedding attire so if you are able to give your feedback, it would be really helpful to me. Thank you.

A You don't want to be wearing a "fire cracker color." Out of respect for the bride on her wedding day, you wouldn't want to wear an attention-grabbing color. The color options for the dress seemed to be Bright Magenta, Firecracker and Aegean. Firecracker on my screen screamed "Look at me." The Magenta is not quite as bright. My favorite for a wedding is the Aegean.

Wedges can be difficult to dance in over a period of time. You might want to look at pumps.

I like the mesh bracelets, but they may look a bit heavy with a chiffon dress. Chiffon is a delicate luxury fabric, whereas mesh bracelets are a more tailored look.

The lace filigree earrings are more fitting with a chiffon dress.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Age 24: Morning Ceremony with Evening Dinner Dance Reception: Santa Monica, CA: October
Q Hi Didi!

I am a 24-year-old female attending a wedding in Santa Monica, CA this October. They're having the ceremony at a Catholic Church at 11 am, and the reception/dinner at a hotel at 6pm. The wedding invitation did not specify any sort of dress code.

I have two different cocktail dresses I could wear to the reception -- a purple one shoulder dress, and a black cocktail dress. A lot of people seem to suggest wearing something you can dress up for the evening reception, but I don't think any of my evening-appropriate options will work for the morning. What should I wear?

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. For the morning wedding, wear a day dress and a beautiful hat. For the dinner dance reception wear an above-the-knee fun, flirty, and feminine cocktail dress with beautiful shoes and carry a small clutch bag. Whichever dress - the purple or the black - describes the three Fs (flirty, fun, feminine) best.

The morning day dress can be what you would wear to a job interview. In other words, it would be knee-length and have some sort of sleeve.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Age 24: Southern CA: 3:00 pm
Q Hi Didi!
I am attending my boyfriend's brother's wedding on September 22, the first day of fall. The wedding ceremony is at 3 PM with the reception to follow. It will take place in Southern California at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in the terrace by the water.
My concern is dressing appropriate for both my age (I'm 24) and for the event itself, but the invite did not specify the dress code. Should I wear formal, semi-formal or cocktail attire? Are there certain colors, dress lengths, styles or accessories I should be avoiding? Please help!

A When the invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. The later in the day the wedding, the more formal the wedding, so a three o'clock wedding is not formal.

For a daytime wedding, it's not so much about the dressiness of the dress as it is about the quality of the outfit. You would wear a well-made, dress that falls above the knee. Alternatively, you can wear a flowy, fun maxi dress in an inexpensive fabric and belt it with a great belt, with strappy sandals. However, if you can afford it, a well-made cocktail or party dress that's fun, flirty, and feminine would be the most appropriate. Look for dresses by Nanette Lepore, Alice & Olivia, Marc by Marc Jacobs, Ray & Bone, Milly, Rebecca Taylor, Haute Hippie, Tory Burch, and Elie Tahari.

The length can be above the knee or maxi. Not strapless, one shoulder, or tea-length and no sequins or metalic. Avoid wearing a pashmina and the colors red or white. Only the bride wears white and red is too much of an attention grabbing color. Trendy colors for an afternoon wedding in the fall of 2012: Pink Flambe (a light fuchsia), Tangerine Tango, Aquamarine Green, Rhapsody (lilac), Rose Smoke (a soft grey-pink), teal, Olympian Blue (a French Blue), and Bright Chartreuse (yellow-green). When choosing color, match your eyes or wear a color that goes well with your hair color or skin tone.

Wear beautiful shoes and carry as small clutch bag or wear a small, soft, gently decorated bag worn dangling from your shoulder. Accessories depend on the dress and time of day, less is more. Dangle earrings are always fun.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Alabama In April: 6:00 PM
Q Wedding at 5:00pm April in Alabama.

Hi, I'm 5'7, a thicker women, and have no clue what to wear to an outdoor wedding that leads into a grand ballroom reception. Any tips on colors or style?

The invitation did NOT specify black tie.

A Because the invitation doesn't state Black Tie, which it wouldn't for a five o'clock wedding, you are off the hook about having to wear a long dress. The dress code is then Suits & Dresses. Dress as though you were going to a very up-scale cocktail party by wearing either a dress with three-quarter-length sleeves that falls just below your knees, or a dressy skirt-suit. The trick is to have a dress or suit of good quality tailored to your body to give your body more definition. It's all right to have curves, and the right tailor knows how to accentuate and flatter those curves. You want to look elegant and dignified so you wouldn't want sparkles or beading adorning your outfit.

Color is a matter of your coloring and your age, neither of which you've mentioned. Beige, ice blue, and navy blue are always safe colors.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Alabama: Sweet Apple Farm: 6:00 PM
Q Wedding Etiquette: Dress code: Young Adult Female: Summer 6:00 pm Wedding at Sweet Apple Farm: 860 Sweet Apple Rd, Pell City, AL 35128. Should I still wear a cocktail dress and wedges?

A For a six o'clock wedding, a cocktail dress with wedges sounds perfect. Carry a small clutch bag.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: April in Puerto Rico
Q I'm invited to a 5 PM April wedding in Puerto Rico, not formal. Is it proper to wear an oyster-colored dress or a black and white dress? What about the color of the shoes/sandals? Thank you!!

A Either the oyster or black & white dress would be fine. For the oyster-colored dress, you could wear either oyster or black shoes or sandals. For the black & white dress, black patent leather would be perfect. I'm a big fan of elegant black patent leather shoes or sandals for either dress, because they are slightly dressy, yet fun. A small patent leather clutch or handbag would be useful.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: April: 2:00 PM Ceremony + 6:30 Recepion
Q The wedding is April 2 in Brooklyn at 2:00 but the reception is in New Jersey at a catering hall and starts at 6:30. What would a woman in her sixties wear and should I wear something different from the church to the catering hall?

A You'll be wearing either a good quality dress or a skirted suit to the wedding ceremony, which certainly should carry you over to the reception. It's all about quality and how you feel in the outfit. A good one of either, well-made and tailored to fit your curves and height (which, by the way, should be slightly below your knees) would work for both occasions with the same beautiful but comfortable low- heeled shoes. If you love hats, a wedding ceremony is always a good excuse to wear a great hat and gloves. The only reason to change and dress it up a notch would be if the invitation to the reception stated Black Tie, otherwise the dress code is mostly likely Suits and Dresses.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: April: Outside
Q I am going to a 5:30 outside wedding in April. Can I wear a long dress?

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the code is Suits & Dresses, meaning knee-length cocktail dress. I would have to know the climate where the wedding is taking place, in order to give you my best advice. If the wedding is in a tropical or temped climate in the South and the invitation says Black Tie or Formal Attire, then you can certainly wear a long dress.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Arizona: Woman: Wearing White Ruffles
Q Hi Didi... I'm going to an outdoor 4:00 PM wedding in the middle of March in Glendale, Arizona. I bought a white and khaki dress that cuts above the knee, it's two-color with ruffles, white on top and khaki on bottom, but feel as though that might not be okay for this time of year, regardless of weather. Would a black above-the-knee-length dress be better?

Thanks so much.

A Go with the black above-the-knees dress. You wouldn't want to wear white ruffles to a wedding out of respect for the bride. After all it is the bride's special day and she doesn't want to look around and spot you in white ruffles. Yes, I know khaki and camel are popular right now, but black is always chic.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Arkansas: September: Suits and Dresses
Q I am the bride to be of a Sept evening wedding in Ar. I do not want men to have to rent tuxedos as guests but I want a formal almost black tie event. How would I word this for the guests? If they show up in casual wear, they will not be permitted. I know that sounds harsh but I have spent a lot on this occasion and refuse to have someone dressed casual in my photos. How do I word all of this with tact?

A Good for you. Bravo! The trend in weddings these days is the dress code Suits and Dresses. Your wedding is the perfect example of an in-trend wedding. The bridal party can still wear whatever, but quite frankly, as long as everyone is coordinated, and that's possible with a wedding Web site, you can get everyone on the same page about what to wear.

What you say doesn't sound harsh. Guests like instructions whether it is a quirky costume, or Jacket and Tie, or Suits and Dresses; they would rather know than agonize over what to wear. By having the dress code "Suits and Dresses" printed in the lower right hand side of your invitation, your guest will be grateful.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: At Home Wedding Ceremony
Q What do you suggest for a bride and groom to wear at their new in-home ceremony besides the traditional wedding and groom attire? This will be an informal wedding at their new home.

A Some of the chicest, nicest weddings are held in the privacy of one's home. As I don't know the age of the wedding couple or the time of year of the wedding, this answer as to what they should wear is quite general. The bride could wear a white or off-white knee-length cocktail dress or a dressy dinner suit. The groom could wear a dark suit with a white collared shirt, or a navy blue jacket with cream-colored pants, a striped tie and black shoes.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Atlanta: May
Q What should female and male guests wear to a formal traditional May wedding in Atlanta at a beautiful Methodist church with the reception to following at an upscale country club?

A Assuming that the dress code is not "Black Tie," because that would have been mentioned on the invitation, the dress code is "Suits and Dresses."

Depending on the time of year and the time of day, you would wear a beautiful dress, that falls just below your knees if you are of a certain age, or just above your age if you're younger. The kind of dress would depend upon the time of day. It goes without saying that you would wear a day dress during the day and a cocktail dress from early evening on. Alternatively, you could wear a sheath with a matching jacket or a dressy skirt suit. Beautiful shoes and clutch bag along with pearls are always perfect wedding attire, and for a daytime wedding you could even wear a beautiful hat that you can leave in the car when you go into the reception.

Once again, since I don't know the details, your husband would wear a gray suit during the day or in the warmer months and a darker suit at night or in winter with a white collared shirt and a handsome tie, along with black shoes, socks and belt.

As I said, this is a rather general answer as I don't know the details of the wedding or your ages, builds, or lifestyle.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Atlantic City: 5:00 PM
Q I am attending a 5:00 p.m. wedding in Atlantic City at an upscale hotel, which is black tie optional with cocktails following the wedding and the reception starting at 7:00 p.m. What is appropriate attire for the event and does it change if you are relatives (aunt and uncle)?

A The mother of the bride and the father of the bride set the dress codes for the senior members of the wedding couple's families. Ask the bride or the groom's parents what they are wearing and follow suit. When the invitation says "Black Tie Optional," it means a man would wear either a tuxedo or his best and darkest business suit and a woman would wear a lovely cocktail dress with great shoes and carry a small clutch bag.

We like hearing from you and we would be happy to help you further, but we would need to know more about your lifestyle, build and the venue of the wedding.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Attendants: Four Sisters of the Bride
Q I'm the sister of a 26-yr -old bride and I am attending her after 5 weddings in Biloxi, MS in August. The wedding is at an inside venue on the beach and not at a church; however, these are church going folks. Her colors are Fushia and Navy Blue. I am 39 years old 5'5" and a curvy size 14 with a tiny waistline and small bust. My sister did not specify a formal wedding; but, I am thinking an above the knee cocktail dress would be appropriate??? Any suggestions on the color. I have 3 other sisters that will all be in attendance for our baby sister's wedding...we were thinking black but not sure.

A I agree, I'm not sure about wearing black in August to a beach-style wedding. The attendants usually wear one of the wedding colors, so why not find a navy blue dress that accentuates your curves that you can wear again. Look for a blue crepe A-line dress or sheath.

To illustrate the kind of dress I'm recommending, I use the website renttherunway.com website. Where you can rent, buy or just get a sense of dresses available in stores. I did a quick check under dresses choosing the color blue and found:

ML Monique Lhuillier: We Belong Together Dress
Nanette Lepore: Navy Lace Crew Dress
Lilly Pulitzer: Navy Bernadette Wave Dress
Vera Wang: Bicolor Power Sheath
Lilly Pulitzer: Derby Girl Dress
Bluemarine: Lady Pep Dress
Carolina Herrera: Navy Metropolitan Club Dress
ML Monique LHuillier: Never Let You Go Sheath

If you find a dress at renttherunway.com, you can have your other three sisters check it out. You wouldn't necessarily have to wear the exact same dress, because we want all of you to wear the dress that flatters you best. Choose a length, such as knee-length, in one of the wedding colors (navy blue may be more practical for future use) and don't worry about matching the style.

For one-on-one advice, go to what2wearwhen.com, where Hilary Dick is willing and able to help you further.

We like hearing from you and we want each and everyone one of you to feel good in their dress for your baby sister's wedding.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Aunt + Uncle of the Bride: June: 4:00 PM: CT
Q We are attending our niece's June wedding in CT. The church ceremony is at 4 pm and the reception begins at 6:30pm at the Simsbury Inn. We are Canadian and aware from previous events that there is a difference between what is appropriate in our hometown and in CT for both men and women. Some of the differences are subtle and some are not. We wish to do things properly. The invitations are not out yet, we only have the save-the-date. Also, there is a small meet and greet the evening prior and a family-only brunch in the Sunday. Would a white linen suit, mauve shirt and tie be wedding appropriate for my husband?

A The only person wearing white at the wedding is the bride. Does your husband have a lightweight dark suit he could wear instead? Wait to decide until you receive the wedding invitation, because you'll find the dress code on the invitation. If the the wedding invitation says Black Tie, then your husband would wear a tuxedo. If there isn't a dress code, then you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. Meaning your husband would wear a dark suit or possibly a dark-navy blazer with off white trousers or light grey flannels, with a white collared shirt and handsome tie.

We like hearing from you, and we're happy to help further when you find out the dress code. In the meantime, as the aunt, you can certainly phone the mother of the bride to find out what she and her husband are wearing.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Aunt of the Bride
Q I am a 45-year-old female going to my niece's wedding in Savannah GA - Thanksgiving weekend - wedding starts at 2:30 p.m with reception following. What do I wear? I am a size 14/16 - and short.

A As the aunt of the bride, you want to look elegant and dignified in a lovely skirt suit that falls just below your knees with beautiful shoes. A wedding is a great opportunity for a marvelous hat, which will give you a bit more height. Carry a small clutch bag, and if the ceremony is in a church, wear thin leather gloves.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Aunt of the Bride: 4:00: Duck, NC:
Q Dress for a 4 pm wedding in a small country church but she will be very formal. Aunt of the bride.

A Look at the wedding invitation. When the dress code Black Tie or Formal Attire does not appear on the wedding invitation, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses, even though the bridal party may wear formal attire. In that case, you would wear a knee-length cocktail dress with beautiful shoes and carry a small clutch bag. The mother of the bride sets the dress code for 'the mothers,' so you may want to check with her as to what to wear.

We like hearing from you, but we give our best answer when we have more details.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Aunt of the Bride: Georgia: September
Q My niece is a public figure on a tv home shopping network and is well known, US wide. Her wedding is in north Georgia in late September, outside on the golf course. It will be a very big affair. I am 72 years old and cannot wear beautiful shoes anymore. What should I wear, length, color, etc.? I dress, I think, rather well for my age. Stylist but not childish. My hair is silver, but I do have dark low lights all over it. Unfortunately I will have to wear something that is not "Designer made", as most everyone else will have on, but I just need some pointers. I'm so glad I found your site, please help me.

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. The time of the wedding is important. The later in the day the ceremony the dressier the dress code. In general, for an early afternoon ceremony, you would wear your best daytime clothing. After 5:30 PM, it is cocktail attire. When you find out the dress code and time, I would be happy to help you further, but I would also need to know your build and height.

Nowadays there are so many beautiful flats, you should be able to find a pair that will give you support and be attractive as well. Look at websites such as Frenchsole.com, Tods.com, Belgian Shoes. Furthermore, on a golf course you wouldn't be expected to wear high heels. Luckily you have lots of time to work on your outfit, because there are so many options. You can even rent a well-made dress on line at renttherunway.com. Start by browsing such websites as Halsbrook.com, especially designed for women over forty the outfits along with the accessories is a good place to get ideas. Then you can go to gilt.com to find the dress, or similar one deeply discounted.

Another option is to purchase a special occasion jacket from maricpucci.com and pair it with a skirt in your closet; add a pair of beautiful flats and a small clutch bag and you'll look elegant and dignified.

We like hearing from you and we're happy to help further when you let us know more of the details.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Aunt of the Bride: Oregon Beach Ceremony:
Q Oldest aunt, she expects me to look jazzy. She is 26 I am 70. Oregon beach wedding. She is wearing a very traditional wedding dress, I am traditionally 70 shaped, sigh. What do I wear? I don't want either of us to be disappointed or embarrassed

A As I know little about you, bare with me as I make a rather general suggestion. Go to the Eileen Fisher website at eileenfisher.com and click on either 'Petite' or 'Plus.' Look at the 'Dresses and Skirts' and then look at 'Tops' to find a look that suits you. These are easy to wear, easy to pack, and easy on the eyes. A very chic and yet appropriate look for a beach wedding. Then look at comfortable ballerina flats at frenchsoles.com for a festive shoes and carry a small clutch bag.

We like hearing from you, but I'm not a stylist, I am an etiquette consultant.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Aunt of the Bride: Reader
Q I am 50 , 5'4" 190 lb. Very apple shaped. lol heavy on bottom NOT on top. lol My niece's wedding is in June. It is an outside event. I would call her style shabby chic. Her colors are navy and coral cream. She has asked me to read a poem for her during ceremony. Which I am Very honored to be asked to do. She means a great deal to me. However I DO NOT want to shame or embarrass her in any way with my attire. Can you Help me please with what to wear?

A Since you will be standing up behind the podium or reading from the pulpit, the top is the important element of clothing. I'm a big fan of the special occasion tailored silk jacket, which you could wear with a simple black or navy blue knee-length skirt. Since I don't know the formality or time of the ceremony, this is a rather general answer. Go to the Maria Pucci website (mariacpucci.com) and look at the shorter jackets especially the following jackets:

Charleston Jacket in Elegant Peach
Charleston Jacket in Pink Sea
Charleston Jacket in Elegant Teal

The reason I like these jackets is because they are elegant and dignified. They have style, and yet they have the shabby chic old-world look about them that says, I'm the favorite aunt. These jackets are made to order. You would go to the best tailor in your area, who would take the measurements you need to have the jacket made for you. Trust me, you will use this occasional jacket again and again. They are absolutely lovely and it will put you up there on that pulpit with style, elegance and dignity. You want to wear a curvy elegant jacket of good quality, whether you have one from Maria Pucci or from another brand.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Aunt/God Mother Usher
Q i am going to be a hostess/usher for my niece's wedding in January of 2010. I am 60 years of age but look 40. Wedding takes place in Minn. at a prominent hotel. She is also my goddaughter. What do you suggest I wear? Should I go for a feminine suit, maybe with a tuxedo look or a dress? Smaller wedding 125-175, her colors are sage green and eggplant. I respect your ideas and logic. This is her day and I want to be very careful as to what I choose. Thank you.

A Dressing savvy is all about the time of day that the ceremony and reception are taking place. Please get back to me with the time of the wedding and the venue, i.e., church ceremony, then dinner dance reception, as this is a rather general suggestion for a daytime wedding.

When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Formal Attire or Black Tie, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. If it is a daytime wedding in Minn. in January, I'm thinking a beautiful pebble tweed skirt suit with soft suede pumps would be lovely and dignified. Plus, as you'll be on your feet, you'll want to be wearing beautiful, comfortable shoes with and a small clutch bag to carry. As the church doors will be open while you're ushering, you'll be stylishly warm in a slimly tailored skirt suit and thin leather gloves.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Aunt: November: Maryland
Q My two nieces are having double ceremony weddings in November in Maryland. I am 70 years old, petite, still have hour glass figure and want to look dashing and sophisticated. Of course something with sleeves or 3/4 sleeve. I am feisty and limber but not toned. My skin tone is fair, hair blonde, eyes brown.
Thank you.

A The perfect outfit for you to wear to your nieces' wedding would be an elegant and dignified dressy knee-length skirt suit with beautiful shoes, and carry a small clutch bag. The key here is in a good fit because you want to have the skirt suit tailored to accentuate your figure. Since I don't know the time or venue of the wedding, this is a rather general answer. The later in the day the wedding, as you know, the dressier the outfit. When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses, which is why I suggest the knee-length dressy skirt suit. And of course I love 3/4 sleeves.

As to color, if you're buying something new, you'll most likely have to wear one of the tones trending fall and winter of 2012 in the stores. For a blond with brown eyes, I would recommend neutrals such as French Roast (a soft brown) or Titanium (a cool grey), if the location is a sophisticated city. Otherwise, an eggplant (deep purple), a deep teal (inky-teal), Venetian red (a deep rust-red, never a bright red to a wedding), a Tiffany-box blue called Cerulean, and a Primrose Yellow (mustard-y yellow), which may or may not go well with your blonde hair depending on the tone of your hair. As I said a mustard-y yellow, could possibly go very nicely with your hair color, but only you will know that when you try it on.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Backyard Chic
Q I'm in a bit of a quandary deciphering what "backyard chic" dress might be for a backyard wedding and reception in Cincinnati this upcoming Labor Day weekend, Saturday at 4pm. Ladies are discouraged from wearing heels, which makes sense, but as I have no sense of "chic", I'm at a bit of a loss. The invites are cutesy (lavender print) but on nice paper and the bride and groom are 30-ish. My husband and I are mid-30's, I'm short and he's tall, we're both average build. Please help.

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume that no matter how cutesy the invitation, Suits & Dresses are the dress code, and that you can take it down by degrees depending on the informality of the invitation.

The "Backyard" part means your husband can wear a jacket, khakis (chinos or white pants), a collared shirt, and loafers, but he doesn't have to wear a tie or socks. No socks is in trend as "Chic." "Chic" also means you can wear a great short dress that isn't glitzy, but is of good quality, with beautiful flats (the backyard part, again, no heels). To give yourself a bit more height, wear a lovely hat, that you can take off when the dancing begins.

Your hosts want you to be well-dressed in good quality and well-tailored casual clothing. They probably don't want guests showing up in cargo pants, shorts, t-shirts, ripped jeans, shorts, flip-flops, sneakers, or baseball caps for their chic backyard wedding.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Bahamas: 11:00 AM: May
Q I will attend a wedding in the Bahamas this month (May) that starts at 11:00. What should I wear?

A A morning wedding followed by brunch or lunch is not dressy. Wear a pretty sunny dress with a lovely hat and beautiful sandals.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Baltimore: 6:30 PM
Q I am guest at a 6:30 wedding in Baltimore, MD, in late March. My husband is the uncle of the groom but we are not in the wedding, only guests. Can I wear a tea length dress or should it be a long formal dress?

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. You would wear a cocktail dress that falls just below your knees with beautiful shoes and carry a small clutch bag.

Personally, I am not a fan of the tea-length because I feel it cuts a woman's calves in half making her look shorter that she actually is. So if the wedding invitations specifies Black Tie or Formal Attire, you would wear a long formal dress but not necessarily. You could wear a knee- length cocktail dress or a dressy skirt suit with legwear a shade lighter than your skin tone to dress us your leg. Dressy skirt suits (also called dinner suits) are especially appropriate for women family members of your generation at an evening wedding.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Banquet Room: Golf Course
Q Emergency!! I received a late invitation for a co-worker's daughter for her Friday 5:30 pm wedding. Usually the wedding invite gives the tone of the wedding right? Well the invitation is casual script, in beige red and navy. Very Tommy Hilfiger or American Eagle. Venue is banquet room at golf course. How do I dress, cocktail, or do I get to wear dressier jeans and high heels? Help!!

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, out of respect for the bride on her wedding day, you would use the dress code Suits & Dresses. That means Cocktail Attire, wear a cocktail dress with beautiful shoes and carry a small clutch bag.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Bare Arms
Q I am a slim (size 6 to 8) 62-year-old woman who will be attending my nephew's wedding at a very upscale hotel in Chicago in the evening. I am not from Chicago but am told by my sister all the women wear short black dresses lately. Can a woman of my age wear a strapless dress? My arms are not "chiseled", but they are o.k. The wedding is this summer.

Thank you.

A If you're not self-conscious about your arms, then wear your strapless black dress next summer. In the meantime, if you come across a sweet little silk fitted jacket or black silk cardigan, you might want to consider taking it along as the hotel will be air conditioned and you could find yourself hot in the church and cold at the reception.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Barefoot on the Beach: November
Q Attending beach wedding in Clearwater, Florida, in November 2011. What type of shoes do the wedding party and guests wear? Bride and groom and everyone will be walking in the sand.

A Having been married on he beach in Nantucket, I can tell you the shoe situation wasn't a big deal. Those wearing high heels will leave their heels on the boardwalk and go barefoot; those in flats will probably keep them on. If this isn't a private beach, guests would stick their shoes in a small tote and carry them to the ceremony site and back. You've got to admit that shoes neatly lined up on the boardwalk would make a great wedding photo for the album.

With the men, it isn't so much of a problem, especially for those not wearing socks. Men would probably wear loafers and leave them on the boardwalk, unless it is a public area when they would either wear them or carry them.

As I don't know the lay of the land, private vs. public land, or the formality and size of the wedding, this is a rather general answer. What I can say for sure is this: the wedding couple should stipulate on their wedding Web site that their will be a short walk on the sand to the ceremony site. One of my favorite dress codes is: No Socks.

Hint: If the wedding favor is a small tote with the date and initials, or first names, of the wedding couple on it, then guests can put their shoes in their tote and take the tote to the ceremony. At the location where the boardwalk ends, have a junior bridesmaid with a basket of the totes that guests can choose to take at that time or pick up on the way back. Or, you can always have someone standing guard over the shoes left at the boardwalk during the ceremony.

As for the bridal party, if the men wear loafers without socks and the women wear beautiful flats without legwear, there shouldn't be a problem with walking on the sand because everyone will be in the spirit of a beach wedding.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Bargain Shopping In NYC
Q Attending a wedding in Johannesburg in early November with my boyfriend. Want to look hip and hot, but respectful. The bride is kind of traditional but liberal -- I'm a mid-20s hipster in Cambridge, Mass., who is petite, curvy, and looking for a good style, as well as a few shops in NYC where I can find a dress -- maybe something retro? -- for a few hundred bucks. Thanks for any suggestions!

A Your best bet is to look in the yellow pages or go online for the addresses of thrift shops. The charity thrift shops on NYC's upper east side are amazing; you can get everything from a short cocktail dress to beautiful gently worn shoes and a small clutch bag, all reasonably priced, to wear to the wedding in Johannesburg.

There are also several consignment shops where the quality and condition might be slightly better because the styles tend to be more in-trend, but the prices will be a bit higher.

Lastly, for inexpensive new clothing and shoes try one of the Daffy's chain stores as they are known for their off-price, just off-season European clothing; there is one on 57th between Park and Lexington Avenues, one in midtown, and another in Chelsea. I assume you've shopped H&M, which is similar, but seems more organized. Also, lots of people swear by Carlisle at 423 West 55th Street at 9th Avenue. Then randomly there are sample sales at such places as the University Settlement House on the lower East side, 184 Edlridge Street, but you would need to find the date of the next sale online. New York Magazine is a good source for up-coming sample sales.

If you think of it, I would love to know how you made out and whether or not any of my suggestions were helpful. Thanks in advance.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Baseball Venue: Early Evening
Q After searching your website, I couldn't find a similar situation.

We are attending a wedding at a West Coast baseball stadium in an indoor private suite in the summer, early evening, with a game to follow. The groom indicated that attire is "casual but no shorts or jeans." The invitations are informal, in a cheery orange floral print, (not baseball themed) but do not give any hint of the expected attire. I am petite in my 50's and don't want to be too over or under dressed. What would be appropriate attire for this venue?

Thank you!

A Either a linen or silk (or a blend) tunic or short jacket with slacks and pretty sandals or wedgies. You want to look elegant, fresh and adventurist. Also, dressy enough to show respect to the bride on her wedding day. Just to get an idea of the kind of tunic and short jacket and overall look I'm talking about, go to the maria-pucci.com website. I want you to see the kind of dressy and yet casual outfit that is appropriate at a fun venue such as this wedding. Then visit stores in your community and look for a similar outfit. Carry a small faux bamboo clutch bag.

If you think silk and linen are too dressy, then look at the JMcLaughlin.com website for tunics in a slightly less dressy georgette fabric. If, on the other hand, a beautiful tunic with slacks isn't for you, go to RenttheRunway.com and click on 'Occasions' then 'Weddings' and finally 'Daytime Chic' to find dresses that are trending this summer for rent or sale, which you could probably also find in your nearest department store.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: BBQ Reception at 6:00 pm in Georgia in May
Q What is the proper attire for an evening outdoor wedding? The wedding is at 6 pm and they are serving bbq for reception. I am a middle-aged woman and large. This wedding is in Georgia in May.

A You would probably want to wear an outfit that consists of a loose fitting skirt or flowing pants with a matching flowing, light-weight jacket over a matching shell. Go on line to EileenFisher.com and look at the loose fitting styles, then go to a large department store and look for outfits that follow that style. Stick to one solid color in a soft muted shade such as a blue, grey, taupe, or beige; or a solid navy blue or black.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Beach Wedding: Aruba
Q Now we have the upcoming wedding which is on the Beach in Aruba....I am looking at wearing a long flowing gown very simple in a beautiful orange with a hand-painted gold hibiscus on the lower half of the dress. My daughter's
wedding colours are red and white...what do you think?

The Hotel is the Gran Occidental Aruba. It's an all inclusive hotel. The wedding is approx 4:30 pm in the afternoon. Very small group of 14 persons including the bride & groom. Family and very close friends. One of the attendees is a former friend that is now my ex-husband's girlfriend. Very uncomfortable with that whole situation.
Not sure why she needs to be there?

A Since I know nothing about the formality of the wedding, or the time of the wedding, or the location of the reception, it is difficult to advise. If they are being married on the beach, I can't see a middle-aged woman traipsing around in a long flowing gown with gold decorations. Is it a morning, afternoon, or evening wedding? With a brunch, luncheon, cocktail, or dinner dance reception?

I'm thinking more in terms of a simple knee-length linen dress with a lovely hat and beautiful sandals.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Beach Wedding: Oceanside, CA:
Q I have been invited to a wedding in Oceanside, California, on December 17th - on the beach! What do I wear? The invitation states "black and white attire". I was considering a knee-length black sweater dress, tights and ankle boots/wedge heel - as I am sure it will be cold - but not sure that would be appropriate for the "beach". I am 48 yrs old, 5'4" size 8. What do you suggest? Thank you.

A The ceremony may be on the beach, but the reception will most likely be in restaurant on the beach, so you probably wouldn't be outside the whole time. Especially if the ceremony is during the day, the temperature will probably be in the mid-to-low 60s.

Your idea of a sweater dress is perfect. You could wear higher boots (but not above the knee) and a well-tailored leather jacket if you're worried about being cold. My only concern is that your boots, whatever the height, be comfortable enough for dancing.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Beaver Creek. CO.: 6:30 PM: June
Q Wedding etiquette: 6:30 pm Saturday wedding in Beaver Creek, CO, end of June.

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie, you can assume the wedding dress code requires men to wear at the very least a tie and a jacket.

We like hearing from you, but we really need to know more about you and the wedding in order to give you an good answer.

Didi Lorillard
Newportmanners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Best Man's Wife
Q My husband is the best man for an outdoor wedding in late May. He's wearing grey; bridesmaids are wearing yellow. Is it okay for me to wear yellow, too?

A Since you know the bridesmaids are wearing yellow, it would be better if you didn't wear yellow, because you wouldn't want to be thought of as a wanna-be-bridesmaid. Just about any color goes well with gray and yellow, why not wear green, coral or blue? If I were you, I would stay away from yellow.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Best Man's Wife: May: Afternoon Wedding
Q I am attending a garden wedding for my father-in-law in May, 2011; what do I wear? My husband is the best man in the wedding so I will be alone until after the reception.

A As this is a garden wedding, I am assuming it is during the day or late in the day; therefore the dress code would be Suits and Dresses. As the best man's wife, you'll want to wear a beautiful dress with the hem falling just above your knees, if you're under fifty, or longer if older. It would not be an over-the-top dressy cocktail dress, but it could be a very well-made dress with either short sleeves and a nice decollete or a sheath. A strapless might be nice, too, but if you are north of the Mason-Dixon line you'll need a pashmina or a sheath with a matching jacket in May.

The great thing about daytime weddings is that you can wear a beautiful hat. When wearing a hat, let the hat be the focus and make the dress simple and well-tailored to accentuate your curves. If there is a dinner reception inside, you can always leave your hat in the car. Beautiful shoes are always a plus, but you'll want them to be broken in before you have to wear them for six hours straight, so wear them around the house before the wedding. You'll also want to wear legwear a shade lighter than your skin tone with a bit of shine to them to dress them up. A small clutch is always helpful for lipstick and car keys. Pearls are the perfect wedding jewelry, and not to worry if they're not real because good copies are everywhere.

Please don't fret that you'll be alone because the only people at a wedding that are alone are those that choose to be alone. You will be spotted as the groom's daughter-in-law and people will seek you out to introduce themselves, and in turn they will introduce you to those around them and you will introduce them to whomever you know. The secret about introducing yourself is telling the person your relationship to the wedding couple and the fact that you are married to the best man.

Since I don't know the details of the wedding or anything about you, this is a rather general answer to what I am sure to you is an important question.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Big Arms
Q I have been invited to a 4 pm wedding on Sept 10. The ceremony will take place at hotel called Hilton Garden Inn in Atlanta. I'm 23 yrs old and hate to show off my big arms. What do you suggest I wear?

A Look for a short wrap dress with long sleeves, or a short cocktail dress with short sleeves. You might even be able to find a strapless short dress with a bolero (small jacket).

Also, by accentuating your legs with shimmery legwear a shade lighter than your skin tone and nude colored high heels, you can elongate the look of your legs and thus give people another focal point. By calling attention to your legs, your arms will be less prominent.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Birmingham: 5:30 pm: July
Q I am attending a wedding at 5:30 in Birmingham Al.in Mid July. The invitation does not indicate whether it is formal, casual, etc. It does however state 5:30 in the afternoon...I am wondering if this is a hint since 5:30 would technically be the evening. I am 51 and am trying to determine what to wear..it is a church wedding with reception in the Botanical Gardens Cafe. I would appreciate any suggestions.

Thanks!

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. For a 5:30 pm wedding you would wear a knee-length cocktail dress with beautiful shoes and carry a small clutch bag. Alternatively, you could wear a dressy skirt suit or fitted dressy summer jacket or blouse with a knee-length pencil shaped skirt.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Birmingham: Tea-Length Dress
Q Hi I'm attending a March wedding at 3:00 in Birmingham Alabama. I'm 23, petite but busty. The invitation was very informal and the wedding's being held at the groom's parent's house. It says reception to follow but no location so I'm assuming it's at the same location. I was thinking about wearing a tea-length blue and black floral dress made of chiffon. It's slightly gathered below the empire waist giving it movement. The waist comes up to a halter top with long trailing ties that fall past where the open back closes at the empire waist; nude suede sandal wedges and very simple gold jewelry. I have a few other options but its been hard to find something that falls between the formality I'm comfortable with and the simplicity the invitation implies. Thank you so much for your time and consideration.

A You're not going to like my answer. I am not a fan of the tea length because it cuts a woman's calves in half making her look stunted. You say you're petite, if that's the case, you want to stay away from the tea-length and go with a dress that falls above your knees to elongate your look. A lovely hat will also help with making you look taller, along with your wedges. Do make sure you are comfortable dancing in wedges, because they are not the easiest shoes for dancing.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Black + White in April
Q Is a black and white outfit acceptable for an April afternoon wedding?

A Assuming you are a woman, a black and white outfit is terrific for an April afternoon wedding. Black and white are one of those chic, classic combinations that work well year-round in any climate. You might wear black shoes and tote a small black bag. I love white gloves at an afternoon wedding, so if you have them and it is a city wedding, you might wear them.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Black and White in Nashville: 5:00 pm
Q Wedding attire - guest - 5pm.

The wedding we will be attending is in May, in Nashville. Church wedding, followed by reception in a nearby country club. The invitation does not specify black tie. The wedding colours are black and white. Would it be appropriate for a mid-thirties female guest to wear a cream and black toile sleeveless dress that falls at the knee along with a black lightweight shawl, shoes and clutch? Is it appropriate for a male guest to wear black slacks and jacket with white shirt + tie?

Thank you.

A Traditionally, if you are not in the wedding party, you don't wear the wedding colors. Although, you can wear variations of the colors, for instance pink if one of the colors is coral, French blue with turquoise, moss green with kelly green. That said, in my opinion, the combination of black + white is very chic and wearing black and white is absolutely fine for both of you. Your outfit, in particular, is perfect.

In my opinion, it would be more appropriate for your male guest to wear a dark suit with a white shirt, silk tie, and black shoes, socks, and belts. "Country club attire" is not as edgy and sophisticated as "clubbing attire." You don't want him to look like a head waiter in a black suit. A "bankers" dark suit would be better. Alternatively, at a five o'clock wedding with a reception at a country club, he could wear a navy blue blazer with grey flannels, white collared shirt, and black shoes, socks and belt. If you don't want to rock the boat and your male guest already has a black jacket and black pants, then that's fine as long as he wears the white collared shirt and the silk tie.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Black Dress in Oklahoma
Q Hi Didi,
I'm going to be in the House Party at a friend's wedding in October in Oklahoma. The wedding is at 6:00 pm and will be held indoors. The only thing the bride said about the attire was that we needed to wear a little black dress and heels which wouldn't be a good idea because the reception is outside and there will be a lot of gravel (she'll be wearing Toms). Would it be inappropriate to wear a slightly above the knee one-shoulder dress? And what kind of shoes would be acceptable? I haven't been to many weddings and I don't really know what rules apply.

A The dress sounds perfect. As for the shoes, look for pretty black or nude colored flats.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Black Dress to a Spring Wedding
Q I am attending my friends wedding in Boston on May 12th. It is at 5:30 pm. Is it proper for me to wear a simple black dress?? My mother is telling me I shouldn't wear black to wedding. Is she right or just old fashioned? I don't want to insult my friend or feel out of place. Should I buy a new outfit that is spring colors??? Thank you for your help!!!

A For a May 12th, 5:30 PM wedding in Boston, you most certainly can wear a little black dress. Perhaps you might accessorize with dangly earrings or a string of pearls, a small pretty spring bag (turquoise paisley design on a black background) and black or turquoise open-toed sling back shoes. Nowadays, at the chicest city weddings, you might find most of the women dressed in little black dresses and pearls. If the wedding were in Dorset, Vermont, or Northeast Harbor, Maine, I would say black might seem a bit too dressy, but Boston is quite sophisticated. Perhaps, you might wear a spring-colored pashmina or decorative sweater which you can take off while you're eating and dancing that will give your dress more of a springtime look. I understand what your mother is saying and she is correct, but the style at the moment is just as you say, but do add a touch of springtime.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Black Dress to a Two O'Clock Wedding: Maine
Q I am attending a 2 pm wedding this month in Maine at a church followed by reception at a resort. Can I wear a black dress? Thank you

A Yes, you certainly can wear a short black dress to a two o'clock church wedding in Maine as long as it isn't a dressy cocktail dress and is void of sequins and beading. Strappy sandals and nude colored shoes would make the black less formal looking.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Black Dressy Dinner Suit to Wedding
Q Is it acceptable to wear a black crepe dressy suit to an evening wedding in Dallas, TX?

A It is acceptable to wear a black crepe dressy dinner suit to an evening wedding in Dallas, TX; however, be sure there are some feminine touches: evening bag, pretty shoes for dancing, decorative buttons on the jacket, and good jewelry.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Black Evening Shoes: summer Evening Wedding
Q Didi what is your idea of a beautiful pair of shoes for a black dress at a summer wedding.....

A If this is an evening wedding, or going into evening, wear beautiful sling-back black satin heels with a glamorous touch of bling centered at the center coming up from the index toe. Evening shoes work best when they are somewhat delicate. Of course the higher the heel the more flirtatious the overall look. If black satin seems too formal, then silver/grey satin or fine leather would be beautiful as well. For daytime, a nude colored patent leather is always chic--actually, night or day.

For a summer wedding, I can see turquoise heels with a similar colored small clutch as a stunning look for a wedding. I don't recommend strappy shoes that wrap around the ankle because I think they enlarge the overall look of the ankle making them look bigger than they actually are.

We like hearing from you, but I am not a fashion stylist. As an etiquette consultant, my area is manners and protocol. If you're looking for a stylist, go to the website what2wearwhere.com and ask Hilary Dick for her advice.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Black Lace Dress: Resort
Q I am going to a 5:30 p.m. wedding on the 24th. I planned to wear a long sleeved black lace dress. It is at a Resort and Spa...would this be appropriate? It is black lace with a pink underlay...

A Sounds rather pretty. I don't know the dress code, but it should fit in.

We like hearing from you, but we can help you best when we know more about the event and you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Black Lace Halter Dress in November in New York
Q I am going to a wedding In November in New York; can I wear a knee length black lace halter dress?

A It would depend upon the time of day of the wedding, the formality of the wedding, as well as the location. It is impossible to advise you on how to dress when I don't know the time of time or the location. Please return to my Web site NewportManners.com with this information and I will be happy give you a much better answer.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Black Legwear
Q I am invited to a black-tie invited wedding. It's at 3 in the afternoon with reception to follow. I' m wearing a black cocktail dress do I wear black sheer hose or nude color hose?

A A three o'clock wedding is not customarily formal black-tie. The later in the day the wedding, the dressier the wedding. Wear legwear the color of your skin tone and it will elongate the look of your legs. In other words, match the skin tone of your legs with the color of the leg- wear to accentuate the length of your legs. Sheer black legwear is heavy looking in the fall, even in cooler climates, and especially in the early afternoon. Unless you're matching your skin tone or covering up discoloring on your legs, don't wear black legwear until mid-November.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Black Legwear: Memorial Day
Q Dear Didi,
I have been invited to a wedding on Memorial Day Weekend. The wedding is at 3 pm, reception at 5:30 at a country club. I am over 50 years of age and do not have nice legs. I am wearing a black dress with shades of teal below the knee. Also black shoes—do I wear black stockings or nude stockings? Anonymous, Barrington

A Dear Anonymous,
As you know, a three o'clock wedding is not formal, so your dress wouldn't fall more than an inch or two below your knee. Black legwear would be too dark for Memorial Day weekend. You want to wear legwear a shade lighter than your skin tone that has a bit of shine to it. You don't want your legs to look heavier by wearing bronze toned matte legwear. Wedding legwear that is sheer and shimmery will dress them up. Don't worry about your legs. Really good quality legwear shapes the legs to look their best. Go online to the Wolford.com Web site for examples of how quality shapewear and legwear will truly flatter your legs.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Black Patent Leather Shoes
Q At a 6:00 wedding in June in the South, can I wear a knee-length black dress, black with black patent leather 2 to 3 inch heel to a wedding that has the reception after at a country club? The club reception and the dancing will go on for several hours indoors at the club.

A The dress sounds perfect for a 6:00 PM wedding. Black is the new chic for weddings these days. The only thing that I question---which you obviously do, too---is the black patent leather shoes. Black patent leather is a more tailored look more suitable for daytime and even cocktails, but you need to think of the comfort factor: dancing for several hours in patent leather. You might want to go for a softer shoe, even a strappy sandal, open-toed or sling back. Think about a soft, black suede, satin, or silk texture because that might be more flattering and dressier. If you have small feet, the patent leather should be fine, as long as you're comfortable.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Black Patent Leather: Santa Cruz, CA: 1:00 PM
Q I am attending a wedding at 1 PM on Nov. 2, 2013 in Santa Cruz, CA. The setting is an outdoor venue and involves a brief train ride from the ceremony to the reception area. Would a black mid-calf patent leather dress be either too casual or dressy in this case?

A You've come to the wrong place, because I don't like the mid-calf length unless the woman is tall. Your black patent leather sounds very chic, but too heavy for an early afternoon wedding. Save it for clubbing or an after six cocktail party. In a nutshell, it is not a matter of being too casual or dressy. In this case it is more about the time of day. Of course, I haven't seen the dress. It's probably fine, but I'm having trouble wrapping my head around such a heavy look for an early afternoon wedding. Don't get me wrong, I love patent leather in all colors. Think about a festive garden party or winery wedding. If you want to look ubra sophisticated, wear a chic fascinator or fabulous hat.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Black Shoes with Brown Dress
Q I am going to a wedding my dress has a lot of brown in it; can I wear black pumps?

A Yes, most definitely black pumps, especially if they are a bit dressy, would be fine with a dress that has a lot of brown in it. Beige might work well, too, if it is an afternoon wedding. Or even red, but since I don't know the other colors in the dress, this is a rather general answer.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Black Sleeveless Dress in Virginia at 4:00 p.m.
Q I am attending a wedding at 4:00 p.m. in St. Mary's Church, with reception to follow outside at a historic home in Colonial Beach, VA. I have found a dress that I like but it is sleeveless and black. My concern is that it will be hot outside and I want to be comfortable. Do you think this would be appropriate with a fancy sandal?

A The dress sounds fine, the only thing that I am not sure about is the date and having bare arms. Do you have buff arms? Will it be warm enough to have bare arms? Dressy sandals would be fine, as long as they are not too glitzy. Go for quality.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Black Tie
Q If black tie is on the wedding invitation, does that mean only a tux is acceptable? Or, is a dark suit appropriate? If men wear a tux, should the woman wear a full-length dress?

A Yes, it means only a tux is acceptable. No, a dark suit is not appropriate, if the wedding invitation states "Black Tie." The woman does not necessarily have to wear a full-length dress.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Black Tie
Q Hi I am invited to a wedding on a Friday at 6pm the dress code is Black Tie. I am a female. Please inform me on what I should wear.

A Happy to help but I first need to know the location, climate, and time of year of the wedding, as well as your build, style, and age. You are welcome to return to my website and ask the question again adding more information and details. Understand that I wouldn't recommend the same outfit to a nineteen-year-old as I would a ninety-year-old.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Black Tie Attire: On Sunday
Q Going to a Black Tie Wedding in January 2013 on a Sunday at 5:30 pm. What dress length is appropriate? Thank you.
Peg Matheny

A A Sunday wedding isn't traditionally very formal. For a 5:30 pm wedding you would wear a knee-length, dressy cocktail dress or a dressy skirt suit, with beautiful shoes and carry a small clutch bag.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Black Tie Optional: 3:30 pm Ceremony + 6:30pm Reception
Q Catholic wedding ceremony at 3:30 PM followed by 6:30 PM reception at extremely upscale Country Club. Engraved Invitation states Black Tie Optional. May I wear an evening gown or better off with cocktail-length dress?

A For a mid-afternoon wedding, you would definitely be more comfortable in a well-made, beautiful, knee-length cocktail dress, than traipsing around in an evening dress. You can certainly change for the reception into an evening gown and wear a skirt suit to the ceremony. You may see that others changed for dinner, so check to find out.

When Black Tie Optional is the dress code, you wouldn't wear a really dressy evening gown. It would be more about the quality of the dress than the dressiness of the outfit.

We like hearing from you.
Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Black Tie Optional: August: Maryland: 2:00 PM
Q Hi Didi,

I have a 2pm "Black Tie Optional" wedding to attend in August in Maryland. The wedding will be held at a Catholic church, followed by 4 pm cocktails and a 6 PM dinner and dancing at a country club. The invitation is written on beautiful paper in a traditional formal style but says nothing about dress code. "Black Tie Optional" is stated on the wedding website only.

Would a floor-length, knife pleated chiffon dress in light plum be too dressy? The style of the dress is not very formal but it does have some crystal detail at the neckline. I would call it "semi-formal" rather than a full on evening gown. The casual sillhouette could almost pass for a daytime maxi dress but the chiffon and crystal detail make it look more like evening wear.

It has spaghetti straps so I was planning to wear a dressy wrap in the church. Are spaghetti straps too revealing for dinner and dancing? I am 37 years old, 5'5" and slim with long limbs. People usually think I'm 25 or 30. My boyfriend is 46 and will be wearing a very nice black suit.

I'm guessing most guests will be in cocktail length dresses and I don't want to be the only one in a long dress. But I am afraid that if I wear a cocktail dress and everyone is in floor-length dresses I will feel even more out of place! My boyfriend's mother will be there and is close friends with the bride's family, so I don't want to make the wrong impression.

Thank you so much for your help!

A Making the wrong impression would be being over-dressed. It is an early afternoon wedding. The earlier in the day the wedding, the less formal the attire. Even though the bridal party will be in formal dress, most of the guests with be following the dress code of Cocktail Attire. That means if you want to fit in, you will wear a knee-length cocktail dress with beautiful shoes and carry a small clutch bag. It is more about the quality of the clothing than the dressiness of the outfit.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Black Tie Optional: Couple: 5:00 pm: Texas: March
Q What should my husband and I wear to a wedding in Texas in March? The invitation states black tie optional, the ceremony is at five followed by dinner and dancing.

A When an invitation to a five o'clock wedding states that formal attire is optional, the dress code would be 'Suits & Dresses.' In other words best cocktail attire. Best dark suits for the men with white collared shirts and handsome ties, plus black socks and leather shoes. If this is a formal seated dinner, you would be safer wearing evening clothes, such as a tuxedo for him and an evening dress or dressy dinner suit for you.

We like hearing from you but I would have to know more about you and the venue in order to give you more specific advice. A dinner with dancing in a city such as Dallas or Houston would be a dressier wedding than if it were being held in a small town.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Black Tie Optional: Couple: 5:30 PM Ceremony: Houston: July
Q We have been invited to a 5:30 pm wedding and reception at a very fancy inside venue in Houston, Texas, in July. The invitation states "Black Tie Optional". My husband and I are both in our early 40s. I'm 5'4" and average build. My feeling is that while it says "Black Tie Optional" most of the bride's side will be in tuxes. I would appreciate your suggestions for clothing for my husband and me ?

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire for everyone, then you can assume that the dress code is Suits & Dresses. Therefore your husband can wear his best dark business suit, a white collared shirt, tie, black shoes and socks. You can wear a beautiful knee-length cocktail dress with pretty shoes and carry a small clutch bag.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Black Tie Optional: New York City
Q We are attending a late September wedding in NYC, the ceremony is at 3, and the reception/dinner/dancing at 6. The invitation only states "black tie optional". What to wear for the ceremony and then for the reception? I am 45 yrs. old. Thank you!

A As I am not a fashion stylist, my area is etiquette and manners, I'm recommending that you go to the website what2wearwhere.com and Hilary Dick will help you figure out what to wear. Please, send her kind regards.

We like hearing from you, but we're not fashion experts.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Black Tie Versus Semi-Formal
Q What is the difference between semi-formal and black tie? Could a gentleman wear a light colored suit to semi-formal evening wedding in a hot climate?

A The difference between semi-formal and Black Tie is this: Semi-formal in most circles today means Cocktail Attire, for which a man would wear a business suit with a collared shirt and a tie of any color. Black Tie calls for the gentlemen guests to wear a tuxedo with a black tie.

Yes, a gentleman could wear a light colored suit to a semi-formal evening wedding in a hot climate. He could also wear a good blazer with pants. At both the gentleman would wear black shoes and a black belt.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Black Tie: 6:30 PM Ceremony: March: Atlanta: 2014
Q Hi. Please tell me what a 40-year-old lady should wear to a 6:30 church wedding/reception in March in Atlanta. The wedding invitation didn't specify dress but the reception invitation (at a country club) said black tie.
Thank you!

A Wear a great cocktail dress with beautiful shoes and carry a small clutch bag. For ideas on what to wear to a winter wedding go to the fashion website What2WearWhere to see a cobalt knee-length dress with accessories:
http://www.what2wearwhereindex.com/evening-weddings-festive--formal.html

Another good source is RenttheRunway.com where you can either rent or buy the dress or just look for ideas. For an evening country club wedding, click on Occasions, Wedding, Black tie and scroll down to: Carolina Herrera Navy Metropolitan Country Club Dress, which you can rent for $34.99. I also like the Viktor & Rolf You Are Invited Dress for a country club wedding, which is not a ballroom wedding.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com









Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Black Tie: 6:30 PM: New York City
Q I'm from Nevada-- we are invited to a "Black Tie" 6:30 pm Sunday wedding in New York City, at the Mandarin Oriental--
What are we supposed to wear? The invitation does not mention "reception following", so I'm assuming the ceremony and reception are all together at the same place, with no time in between for changing.
The reason I tell you "I'm from Nevada" is because we don't dress up here. Really.

A Men will be wearing tuxedos, but more and more, we're seeing a lot of men in dark suits at black-tie weddings. Women will be in dressy knee-length cocktail dresses or other festive dress such a festive blouse with a long or short skirt. A simple long dress or maxi dress would also fit in nicely.

The Mandarin Oriental is a cool hotel in which to hold a wedding, because it has a global ambience. Yes, the ceremony will be in one room of the hotel directly followed by the reception, which will include cocktails, and dinner and dancing in other rooms nearby. It is more than likely that you will be seated with people you know or who have a similar lifestyle, so you needn't be overly concerned about your wardrobe. Wear your best dressy outfit. It is more about the quality of the clothing than the dressiness of the outfit.

We are happy to help you further, but we would need to know more about you, your lifestyle, age, build, gender, and budget to be more specific.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Black Tie: Black Velvet Evening Dress
Q Is it fashionable to wear a black velvet halter fulllength dress to a black-tie wedding?

A Yes, but not in warm weather. Velvet is a luxury fabric worn in the cooler months.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Black Tie: Georgia: 6:00 PM: 2015
Q My husband and I are invited to a 6:00 pm wedding in GA spring 2015. The invitation specifies black tie. Really....do we have to wear a tux and long dress? Can't we just dress really nice?

A What I don't understand is how you know the dress code so far in advance. Wait unit you have the actual invitation in hand to look at the actual dress code. We would be more than happy to help you when you have received the the paper invitation.

We like hearing from you, but we need to know specifics.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Black Tie: Los Angeles
Q Oops, sent an email to you. I am a breast cancer survivor who does not wear low cut anything any longer; 57yo, 5'4'', 130lb., short brown hair. Invited to black-tie wedding in Los Angeles. MOB said all her friends are wearing gowns, men wearing tuxedos. Church wedding and reception in very nice, historic hotel. Can I wear a long navy lace gown if it has sequins? Can I carry a black cashmere shawl? Would glitter shoes be too showy? Planned on wearing 3/4 length sleeved, dark blue, purple, and black cocktail dress with black heels to rehearsal dinner which is informal.

A The later in the day the ceremony the dressier the outfit. The shoes may be a bit dressy for a wedding, so if you have simpler, less glitzy shoes, wear them. I'm not a huge fan of shawls because they tend to pull a woman down and make her look shorter than she is. They can look a bit old lady looking, but since I haven't seen the outfit, I can't really judge it. If you need the shawl for warmth, wear it. If not, ditch it. I'm sure you'll look lovely in your navy blue lace gown with sequins. Your outfit for the dress rehearsal sounds perfect as well. I love navy blue lace!


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Black Tights
Q My nephew is getting married in the Mid-West March 23rd at 3:00 and reception following. All is indoors at same location at a hotel. My question is can I wear my black dress with black tights? I wear size 10/12. Have thick legs, so I feel better in tights than sheer hose. But, I don't want to be a fashion don't either. Also what do I wear for shoes? Also the wedding is black/white vintage theme.

A Black tights during the daytime will make your legs look thicker. Look for sheer black legwear. To see what I mean go the Wolford Web site and you'll get a better picture. You want your legs to have shape, so you're looking for shape wear in a sheer black.

About the shoes, wear black heels and, with the sheer black leg wear/shape wear, you will elongate the look of your legs, thereby making them look less thick. Stay away from thick black tights, because it is not a flattering look for a wedding.




Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Black Velvet Dress In Early November
Q Hi Didi, I would like to know if it would be appropriate to wear a black velvet dress to an evening wedding in early November? It is definitely a more wintery look. Thanks for your advice.

A Velvet is a luxury fabric worn in cooler weather. Definitely wear your black velvet dress is early November, although you might want to lighten it up with pearls or a pop of color.

We like hearing from you.
Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Black Velvet: Northeast: March: 6:00 PM
Q Attending 6 pm wedding ceremony and reception in the Northeast at the end of March at a hotel. It is a large wedding and dressy affair. Please advise if it is appropriate for me to wear a simple long black skirt with a velvet top.

A It is still chilly enough in March here in New England to wear velvet, so by all means wear that luxurious velvet top to an evening wedding.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Black-Tie
Q We are attending a 'black-tie' evening wedding and reception. I assume my husband 'has' to wear a tuxedo. Is it appropriate for him to wear a black and silver sparkle tie and cummerbund?

Also, would I wear a dress pair of black slacks to the wedding or is a dress the only acceptable thing to wear?

Thank you.

A If the wedding is "Creative Black Tie," then you and your husband can wear whatever you would like: the black and silver sparkle tie and cummerbund and the black slacks. However, the wedding couple sets the dress code and if it is not creative black-tie, then it would be better not to call attention to your outfits. Therefore, your husband would wear either a black bow tie and cummerbund, or a bow tie and cummerbund that are not black, but without the sparkle. In my opinion, a lady would not wear slacks to a black-tie wedding.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Bling + Glitz
Q Is it improper for the grandmother of bride to wear a white blouse with rhinestone buttons to a 4:00 p.m. outdoor wedding?



A It would depend upon how many real jewels the grandmother plans on wearing with the white blouse that has rhinestone buttons. Mixing faux bling and real bling can be tricky. Before leaving the house, she should look in the mirror to see if she thinks she looks too glitzy. She can always take off some of the bling. I would also question whether she should be wearing white. The only woman in white at the wedding is the bride. Think about it. Sitting at the ceremony and seated at dinner will it appear that she is wearing white to her granddaughter's wedding?

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Block Island: 2:30: September
Q I am attending a wedding on Block Island, Rhode Island September 29th at 2:30 in the afternoon. Hopefully the weather will be perfect, because it is a lawn wedding and reception on the Island. I bought a sleeveless pointe red dress. Now I must buy the accessories. Do you think a solid black sweater or jacket would be okay, or do you think I should try one with a pattern? Should I wear sheer black tights with flat black shoes? I was going to add a nice black belt with silver buckle and a silver necklace and earrings. Do you have any suggestions?

A Traditionally, it isn't polite to wear a red dress to a wedding because red is the most attention grabbing color. As the saying goes, "All eyes on the bride". If tradition isn't your thing, then by all means solid black would be the best color for ballerina flats and a cardigan sweater or fitted jacket. Sheer black stocking for an early afternoon September wedding on Block Island may be too dressy. If your legs are not tan, then wear legwear a shade lighter than your skin tone with a bit of glimmer to them. The black belt with silver buckle, silver necklace and earrings sound fine, however, you need to remember that this is an island-beachy-lawn kind of wedding, so you may want to take it down a notch with the accessories, especially if you go with the red dress.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Blue Velvet or LBD?
Q I AM INVITED TO A WEDDING ON 12/30/2011 AT 5:30 P.M. IT WILL BE HELD IN A MANSION WHICH RENTS ROOMS FOR WEDDINGS. IT IS AN ELEGANT SIT DOWN DINNER OF EITHER FILET OR LOBSTER. THE BRIDE-TO-BE TOLD ME IT IS BLACK TIE....THE INVITATION DOES NOT SAY IT. HER BRIDESMAIDS ARE WEARING BLACK EVENING OR COCKTAIL DRESSES. THE BRIDE IS 50...THIS IS HER 2ND WEDDING. I HAVE A BEAUTIFUL LONG BLUE VELVET DRESS WHICH I WOULD REALLY LIKE TO WEAR...IT IS SLEEVELESS WITH A COWL NECK AND HAS A SLIT IN THE BACK. MY OTHER CHOICE IS A BLACK COCKTAIL DRESS WITH LONG SLEEVES, JUST BELOW MY KNEES. SINCE IT IS THE HOLIDAY SEASON...DO YOU THINK THE BLUE VELVET WOULD WORK ?? I ALSO WOULD APPRECIATE YOUR IDEAS ON SHOES FOR BLUE VELVET.....THANK YOU...

A When you type in all CAPS it feels as though you're screaming. Try not to use ALL CAPS when having a pleasant dialogue. Thank you.

Quality velvet is one of the great luxury fabrics, so if you decide on the blue velvet, take it easy with the accessories. Less is more. I'm a big fan of the LBD, but in this case you don't want to look like a wannabe bridesmaid, so go with the blue velvet. There are a lot of shades of blue, and since I don't know the color blue, stick with black shoes, or possibly dainty silver shoes.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Boots: Woman
Q I will be going to a 1 PM wedding this coming Saturday. I am a friend of the groom. I have recently been trying to get into the whole boots and leggings fashion. This being said, for a 1 PM wedding, would a nice dress and boots with leggings/tights be acceptable.

If you have any suggestions on a dress, that would be very helpful! Also, the boots I am describing would be black and more dressy.

*To be honest, they have thrown me for a loop in that I've never been to a 1PM wedding, and I was overdressed for the bridal shower, where many others, including the bride were in jeans and a nice shirt. I am worried of being too overdressed, but being under-dressed at a wedding is certainly not something I want to do either.

Thanks for your help!! :)

A Better to be slightly overdressed than underdressed. For an early afternoon wedding, it is more about the quality of the clothing than the dressiness of the outfit. When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. That said, you don't want to look like you just came from your yoga or spinning class wearing leggings, so wear the boots and skip the leggings. Wear a short skirt or short knit dress with the boots. Depending on the climate, add a pretty blouse, with a fitted jacket or coat, and take along good gloves and a small clutch bag.

As climate is a big factor in how you dress, as well as the venue for the reception, this is a rather general answer.

However, we like hearing from you.
Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Boston: Suits and Dresses: 6:00 PM
Q We are invited to a Saturday evening wedding in Boston, April 16th, at 6pm at the State Room. What is the proper dress to wear? It does not state black tie. Is a black dress appropriate? Full-length, above the knee or mid-calf? With hose or not? I am over 55 so I do not want to look like a 30-year-old, but I want to be stylish.

Thanks

A When the invitation doesn't state Black Tie, for a six o'clock wedding the dress code is Business Attire or Suits and Dresses. For a woman this means a knee-length cocktail dress with beautiful shoes and a small clutch bag. Black is always chic. There are also many dark colors popular this season such a a deep berry or burgundy, and of course gray and navy blue.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Boston: Men: Shoes: July or October
Q Hi Didi, love your blog...we all need so much help in this area.

We are going to a wedding in July and another in October - both will be very high-end events - at the Four Seasons and the Taj in Boston.

I plan to wear a beige dress/jacket Chanel-style (I'm 51 and an unhappy size 10 but still have great legs). What would you recommend for my husband? After spending many summers in Newport, I love the black Gucci loafer--not trying to hard look...what's your take on this?


A When the dress code is not stated on the invitation, then the dress code is Suits and Dresses. Black Gucci loafers is perfect for a wedding in Boston anytime. Your outfit sounds perfect, too.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Boston: October: Pants vs. Skirt
Q I am attending a wedding near Boston in mid-October at 4:30 pm. Ceremony is outside in a garden; reception follows indoors at the same location. Invitation is very informal and does not look like a wedding invitation at all. No type of attire is specified. I am over 60, size 12. I am considering wearing black pants, a long sleeve beaded top, satin high heels. I would consider a skirt but can't find one that isn't above the knee and I feel that isn't a good look on me at this age. Jewelry would be ring and earrings only.

Is it OK to wear pants with a dressy top, or do you have suggestions for a source of dresses appropriate to my situation?

Thanks

A You've come to the wrong place, I'm not a fan of woman wearing trousers at a wedding unless it is her political statement. You can find longer skirts, if you look at Web sites such as Talbots, Ann Taylor, Eileen Fisher, Armani, and even Pendleton online; you should be able to find a black skirt that works for you. Also, look for a maxi cocktail dress, which will be ankle-length, but not dressy.

Since I don't know your price range, I would suggest going to any decent department store and looking in the Mrs. department for a skirt that hits just below the knee. A t-length skirt will cut your calves in half and make you look shorter than you are. The maxi cocktail may be more flattering.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Botanical Gardens, NY: 6:00 PM
Q I am attending a wedding at The Botantical Gardens in Brooklyn NY Sep 21, 2014 6:00 pm. Is it okay to wear a navy blue knee-length dress? The ceremony is in the Garden and the reception is in the Atrium indoors. The wedding is my best friend's daughter.

A If the invitation specifies Black Tie or Formal Attire, you want to be sure your navy blue knee-length dress is dressy enough. If not you can always dress it up with beautiful shoes and carry a small clutch bag.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Boutonnieres + Guests
Q I am attending my godson's wedding. Although I'm not a member of the wedding party, is it bad form to wear a boutonniere (a different color than the wedding party)?

A No, it is not bad form to wear your own boutonniere in your left lapel to your godson's wedding. If there is one waiting for you at the church, you would be told in advance to arrive early to receive it. There are still gentlemen who wear boutonnieres, just the way there are men who sport a pocket hankie in their breast pocket.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Boy Toddler: 5:00 pm: Charlotte, NC
Q Is a light blue suit with white stripes appropriate for a 17 month old boy to wear to a 5:00 pm wedding in Charlotte, NC in November? It is a formal wedding with an Alabama football theme?

A Yes, light blue is the perfect color for a toddler at a wedding. Not to worry. You could add a crimson accent like a bow tie to fit in with the Alabama football theme, if he'll wear it.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Boys 5 + 7: 5:00 pm: Fort Lauderdale
Q We are going to a 5:00 pm (Jewish) wedding in Jan. in Ft. Lauderdale (it is not on the beach). Invite is black tie optional. What should my 5 and 7-yr-old boys wear? Suit or is a sweater vest with tie all right?

A Actually, they can wear khaki pants with collared white shirts and ties. No need for a jacket, just have them wear leather shoes, even slip-ons, but not sneakers. You wouldn't be expected to buy suits for the wedding. A sweater vest would be fine. If you decide on suits, you can rent suits for them on line. I can't promote a company, but with a bit of research, you can rent suits for your sons to wear to the wedding. Although, I wouldn't bother, if I were you.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Boys 9 to 14: Outdoors: LA, CA
Q Attending a 3:00 wedding in LA, CA in Nov. Wedding is outside. What is appropriate dress for boys ages 9 to 14 who are involved in "helping", but not part of the wedding party?

A Jackets, chinos or khakis, with a collared shirt, tie, and loafers. Your lads can always take off their ties and stuff them into their jacket pocket before they inevitably take off their jackets and hang them on the back of their chair.

When I say "jacket," I mean a light-weight navy blue blazer, or other such sports jacket appropriate for an afternoon, outdoor wedding.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Boys: Ages 9 + 10: Washington
Q Hello Didi,

Is it appropriate for 9 and 10-year-old brothers to wear stylish flat-front dress shorts with an untucked but tailored dress shirt and topsiders to the wedding of their first cousin? The wedding will be outside at 5 PM in July in Snohomish, WA, and the weather forecast is for unusually hot temperatures.

Thank you!
Noël

A Yes, that sounds age appropriate, but shouldn't they tuck in their tailored dress shirt?

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Boys: Flower Girl Escort
Q My 8 year old son is in an evening wedding in New Orleans in mid-May. He will be escorting a much younger flower girl down the aisle (to insure that she makes the walk). She will be wearing an off-white dress. The groomsmen are wearing white dinner jackets, black pants. Bridesmaids are wearing tea-length or knee-length dresses. The ceremony is outside with a reception following inside and outside. The bride has asked that I choose what my son will wear. I do not care for the little tux look but don't know exactly what he should wear. I was thinking of either a flax or white linen suit or tan and white seersucker suit with white shirt and a tie that coordinates with the color of the bridesmaids' dresses. I don't know if this is inappropriate for evening or still too early in the summer. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you !

A The least expensive course would be to rent a white dinner jacket for your son and buy him a pair of navy blue trousers that he could wear with brown loafers. I agree with you about small boys in tuxedos.

What I want to tell you is that if you don't want to buy your son a suit that he might not wear again, you could just get him a navy blue blazer and a pair of white or tan pants that he can wear with a tie in the wedding colors--or even better a bow tie.

If that sounds too informal, you could go in another direction and he could wear a colored jacket, say, light blue, with white trousers. Other than cost, the important thing is that your son is comfortable with what he is wearing because he is going to have to be in the outfit for at least six hours. Before you decide, you might want to find out what the ring bearers are wearing and coordinate your son's outfit with theirs.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Bridal Gown: Post Wedding Party
Q Dear Didi

My daughter is having a destination wedding and then a post wedding party one month later. Is it appropriate for her to wear her wedding gown to the post wedding party? S.G., Newton, MA


A Dear S.G.,

If the dress is ankle length or has a train, then your daughter might feel and look silly wearing her bridal gown again. Traditionally, a bride wears a wedding dress only once. On the other hand, if the dress is knee-length and looks like a cocktail dress, then it would fit in and be appropriate. Also, if your daughter is wearing a full bridal gown, her groom will have to wear his tuxedo and they might feel very overdressed at your post wedding party. However, your daughter could wear a little white cocktail dress and there could be a photograph of the bride and groom in their wedding attire on display at the party.

Personally, I think post wedding parties are great, but since they've been married a month, the newlyweds may feel getting dressed up for what might appear to be a rerun. Lastly, you wouldn't want to put undue pressure on your guests by making them feel they've been invited to the wedding rerun and have to buy a wedding present. For a post wedding party, guests shouldn't feel pressured to buy a wedding present, since they didn't witness the ceremony. A heartfelt thank-you note to the parents is all that's required for the post-wedding party. ~Didi


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Bridal Party: 5:00 Ceremony: North Carolina: November
Q I am a bride-to-be with the wedding date of November 3rd, in North Carolina. We are having the ceremony in a church and a cocktail hour followed by dinner/dancing reception at a reception venue. Originally it was going to be a 6 pm wedding, but we had to recently change the time to 5 pm. I am concerned about the bridal party dress. My mother, the mother of the bride, (age:70) wants to wear a long dress with a jacket. Is it appropriate for her and my bridesmaids to wear long dresses for a 5 pm ceremony? I understand the guests will be in cocktail attire.

A Five o'clock weddings are great because you can mix up the dress code by having the bridal party wearing more formal attire than the guests. The guests can wear Suits & Dresses, cocktail party attire. If your mother feels more comfortable wearing a long dress with a jacket, then she should do so, but make it clear to her women friends that knee-length dresses are the guest dress code, so that there is no confusion, by stating the guest codes as 'Suits & Dresses' on the invitation.

Yes, you will have a crossover between formal and cocktail attire, but people will understand that it is a late-afternoon-going-into-evening wedding. Be sure to question your bridesmaids by proposing the option of wearing a knee-length dress to allow them to get more wear over the next year out of a cocktail dress.

Back to your mother. You might take her to look at knee-length dressy dinner suits that she could get more wear out of going to other weddings and cocktail party style occasions. The dressy skirt suit is the perfect five o'clock mother of the bride outfit because it is both elegant and dignified. Think of it this way, she'll have to put on her long dress at around 3:30 pm, if the photos aren't being held before the ceremony (2:30 pm if you're doing photos first), so she'll be in it until perhaps eleven at night. Eight hours is a long time to be traipsing around in a long dress and heels. On the other hand, she might not mind. I'm just reminding you that she has a lovely option in wearing a knee-length dressy skirt suit.

As I think you know, when the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, guests will assume that the dress code is Suits & Dresses. By the way, a black-tie wedding can begin with a 5:00 pm ceremony when the reception is in a formal setting.

I know dress codes are a big decision when planning a late afternoon wedding, so you might want to ask your fiance what he thinks - would his friends mind wearing tuxedos? - and then your bridesmaids - what works best for them, short or long? Then take into account the formality of the reception venue - will it be a seated and plated dinner with place cards? Or a buffet with open seating? I just want to help you look at all your options here so that you're comfortable with your decision about dress codes. If you still have questions, please let me know.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Bridal Party: Hats: 3:00 Ceremony + Formal Reception: July 2014
Q Our daughter is getting married next July. There will be a 2:00 p.m. ceremony at our Catholic Church. The reception will begin at 5:30 or 6:00 at the Country Club. There will be approximately 300 guests, a sit down dinner and a live band for dancing. My question is this: Is it acceptable for the groom and his groomsmen to wear dark suits, white shirts and matching ties for ceremony and reception? I realize that an afternoon ceremony is not formal and I do not want them to look like waiters! However, our reception seems to meet the "criteria" for formal. The bride will wear a traditional dress and bridesmaids in short cocktail dresses. Also, can I wear a fabulous hat to the church and remove it for the reception while still wearing the same dress or should I change dresses??
Thanks for your reply

A You've got it perfectly. The men can wear dark business suits, which have become the new tuxedo, even though the bride is wearing a floor-length gown. You're correct about the knee-length cocktail dresses for the bridesmaids.

Absolutely, wear that fabulous hat to the ceremony and take it off for the reception. It can be difficult trying to receive and give kisses to favored guests white wearing a hat. By all means wear the hat to the ceremony.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Bridal Shower Luncheon: Hats
Q I am invited to a bridal shower luncheon In September hosted by the bride's mother and sisters. I have already taken care of the wedding gift. Am I expected to take a present to the luncheon? The invitation asks to wear Dress hats. I am not familiar with this custom, so need your advice.
Thank you.

A Usually the bridal shower has a theme such as linens, kitchen, bar, etc., which means you would look up the bridal registry and send a token gift from the registry. If, say, the theme is kitchen, you could send a whisk or pot holder from the list as a token of appreciation for having attended the shower. On the other hand, if you've already sent a substantial wedding gift that you feel covers the shower as well, don't bother with a gift, but do send a thank-you note. It is not so much about the actual gift as about showing appreciation for having been included.

As to the Dress hats. This time of year, you should be able to pick up a summer hat on sale to wear to the luncheon. If you're not a hat person, look for a decorative headband or fascinator to wear instead. It is more about the photos, and you don't want to be the only woman at the shower who isn't wearing a hat in the photos.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Bride
Q Who gives the something blue, something borrowed, something new, something used to whom for a wedding? Are these gifts for the bride?

A No, they are not necessarily gifts for the bride. For instance the something borrowed could be a string of pearls that the bride is borrowing from her mother, sister, or godmother. The something new could be a garter (usually sold in bridal boutiques); customarily the groom takes it off with his teeth. I have never heard of "something used." Borrowed yes, used no. But there is usually something the color blue. For instance the garter might have a blue ribbon or her panties might be pale blue. She could borrow sapphire earrings. So: the bride is not necessarily given these things, they are usually loaned to her by close women relatives, the maid of honor, matron of honor, or perhaps whoever is helping her get dressed. Think of these as talismen, such as a rabbits foot, that are considered trinkets for good luck.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Bride + Bridesmaids: Dress Length
Q Didi,

I REALLY need your help! I am the father of the bride and the whole length of the brides dress versus the bridesmaids' dresses is causing a HUGE fight.

My wife insists that it is wrong, tacky, improper, not right, etc., that the bride wears a full-length dress and the bridemaids are wearing knee-length dresses.

Wedding time is 5:30-6:00 pm at a nice church. Evening reception at a nice hall.

"Only" being a man I don't see that it matters. The bride likes what she has picked out, but my wife (mother of the bride) is seriously mad about it.

Please help me.

Warner Orr
602.206.1071

A First off, you need to make your whole family understand that your daughter's wedding is a happy occasion that shouldn't be tainted with bad memories.

Having a family crisis over dress length shouldn't be the main memory all of you take away from your daughter's wedding. And it will be a tainted memory, if this issue isn't resolved right away. Look at the big picture, it has a lot to do with control; as a mother of daughters myself, I know first-hand that mothers, on many levels, hate losing control of their children. We don't need to get into that, as I am sure you are cognizant of parent/child control issues, and I'm not a psychologist.

The bride is correct. It is her wedding and she understands the fashion of her generation. Especially in this time of economic uncertainty, bridesmaids cannot be expected to buy a long dress for your daughter's wedding. Bridesmaids incur lots of expenses from the many showers and presents they are expected to attend, and in some cases travel and accommodation expenses. It just doesn't make sense to make them buy a long dress for one wedding. By having the bridesmaids wear a short cocktail dress that they can wear for other occasions makes more sense, because it is more practical. When planning a wedding, a good hostess always thinks about financial details that can be a burden on the bridesmaids. Your daughter understands this issue and the fashionable dress code for her generation.

After all, it is your daughter's wedding. This is not a battle to be fought.

As an etiquette consultant, I understand your wife's position and that it is hard to give in when you've been so adamantly against an issue. Having watched the trend in short bridesmaids dresses evolve with the downturn and continued sketchiness of the economy, I understand that for many women our age, it is hard to acknowledge the changes in etiquette. This is the current wedding dress code:

When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, guests will assume that the dress code is Suits & Dresses, or Cocktail Attire. More often than not, at weddings these days, the bride is the only woman in a long dress, and that's marvelous because she is the star! It is her special day, why shouldn't she be the belle of the ball?

What your wife might be reminded of is that she has to let go and trust her daughter on the matters of style and fashion of her generation. What your daughter can do is to assure her mother that the dresses will all be identical, as will be the shoes and the color of the nail polish, if the shoes are open-toed or strappy sandals.

Your wife can also be reminded that during this economic downturn, there are many families who are more effected than others and, therefore, it is important, as the hostess, to curtail costs for the bridesmaids. (In my opinion, short dresses are much chicer than long on most women most of the time.)

As you said, the huge problem is that your wife has closed the door on the subject. Because it has become a matter of pride to her, it has become a matter of proper etiquette. Help her look at the big picture: it makes sense in terms of dollars cents for the bridesmaids to wear short dresses. For the following reason: 1.) short dresses are less of a financial burden on the bridesmaids because less fabric and workmanship are involved; 2.) a short bridesmaid dress is more practical because it is more apt to be worn again as a cocktail dress; 3.) the best hostess thinks about the financial pressure on all the members of the wedding party, but especially the bridesmaids.

I would be happy to talk to your wife over the phone. If you think she would talk to me, let me know a date, time and phone number, and I will call her to express my concern for her feelings.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Bride and Mother of the Bride: 2:00 PM: Chiffon and Crepe
Q Dear Didi,

My personal etiquette specialist (my Mom) has developed dementia and I need some guidance.
My daughter is getting married this summer and has decided on a floor-length chiffon dress, no train. Her bridesmaids are wearing cotton (matte) knee-length dresses. The wedding will be an early afternoon event at a local park with a dinner reception following (at same location).

I found some beautiful crepe-backed satin that I could use to make a color block knee-length dress, but am concerned that if I use the "satin' side on the bodice it might look too flashy. I found a Neue Mode pattern that I love and what I have seen retail is either black, grey, or would clash with the wedding colors.
Help!

A I agree, satin is too shiny for an early afternoon wedding; for a summer dress I like a pleated dress in a crepe in a pastel shade. Since I don't know the wedding colors, I can't help you with the color.

As for your daughter, chiffon of course is one of the loveliest and most feminine of all fabrics and as you know one of the hardest to work with, so you would want to make sure the dress is well made. In French, chiffon means "rag," which is why it is hard to use for a dress and we are more apt to see it used for a small accessory, such as a scarf or blouse. My point to you is to make sure the workmanship is good because you wouldn't want your daughter's wedding dress to look like a rag at the end of the evening.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Bride at 42
Q What does a first-time bride age 42 wear to her wedding?

A What is the style of your wedding? Is it formal, semi-formal, or informal? Once you've chosen a style, everything from the invitations to the wedding dress reflects that style. The style is defined by the time of day, the location, and the venue for the wedding. Does the ceremony take place in a church at six o'clock and is immediately followed by a seated candlelight dinner? Or is it a morning ceremony followed by a brunch? For the first you could wear a long white dress with a veil, for the second you would wear a very snappy white suit or dress with a matching jacket or coat that falls just above the knees.

Then there are all those options in between from a destination wedding in Mexico to a ceremony on top of a mountain in Sun Valley where the guests ski down for the reception in the lodge.

More than likely the style depends upon the budget. So I suggest that the first thing you do is talk to your groom about where you want to get married and how many people you want attending your wedding. Then talk to your parents to see how much they are willing to contribute. My last suggestion is to browse through the wedding magazines at a large book store to try to get the feel for the ambiance you are looking for and perhaps for the style of dress that you hope to wear. Another way to help decide upon a style is to go to one of the many bridal shows around the country; they feature fashion shows as well as samplings from the various florists, bakers and bands in your area that specialize in catering to weddings. It is a great way to help figure out what you want and what you definitely do not want.

Decide upon a style and stick to it. Then do return to my Website NewportManners.com once you've chosen a style and ask your question again telling me which style you've chosen with the time of day and the venue. The more information you give me about the wedding, the better I am able to answer your question. You are also welcome to browse through the wedding archives on my site for free information on weddings.

By the way, if the reference to your age means that you're concerned as to whether you can wear a long white dress or not, it is not a factor. If you were previously married and were in your fifties, I would suggest a knee-length, dressy, white dress. At forty-two you can wear whatever suits the style of the venue of the wedding.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Bride: April: 2:00 PM: Woman
Q Hi Didi,

My fiance and I are getting married at the courthouse in FL. We are having a reception in my family's backyard at 2pm in April, we rented a tent for the occasion. Even though I'm not getting my wedding dress, I would still like to look beautiful without going overboard. I would love to wear a coco and cream-colored long dress. Any suggestions??

A Just because you're not getting a wedding dress, that doesn't mean that you can't wear a beautiful white dress that falls just above your knees and a string of pearls. I say pearls, because they are such a wedding piece of jewelry. They don't have to be real, nobody knows the difference.

Coco and cream sounds fine, but why the long dress? Many brides are opting not to wear a long dress in favor of buying a pretty cocktail dress that they can wear again and again. If you do wear the coco and cream-colored long dress, you might feel a bit silly walking around downtown in a long dress at two in the afternoon. However, if you wear the long dress with a pair of strappy sandals and a pretty floppy hat with a crown of pretty artificial flowers and look real casual, you will look lovely.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Bride: Blue Dress + Ivory Shoes: November
Q My wedding dress is a fifties ball gown which I am making in light blue. It will be in late fall, and I want to know two things: First, is it proper to wear an ivory open-toe shoe that time of year, and second, do you think it would be a better color choice to go with silver. Thank you for helping.

A Silver or gold would be more seasonable than ivory from Thanksgiving on. However, if the ivory shoes are special and extremely comfortable, then wear the ivory. After all, 'winter white,' which is an ivory is quite chic.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Bride: Chinese Red Wedding Gown
Q My daughter will be getting married next summer. She would love to wear a red wedding gown. She lived in China last year and really likes their customs. Would it be okay for her to wear red to a church wedding in the US? If not, how could she incorporate red? Thank you.

A Wearing a red wedding gown is unique and cool; however, your daughter needs to look into the tradition, because my understanding is that the the bride changes to a white wedding gown at some point. To be authentic, your daughter will need two wedding dresses, one red and one white. Look into it before you proceed. Personally, I'm all for it.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Bride: Choosing a Theme
Q My wedding will be December 8, 2012, at 2:00 pm in Birmingham, AL. It will be a sort of vintage, shabby chic w/ a modern flare wedding. What should I advise guests to wear?? (I plan on including a little something on the invitation)

A Take some time to think about the theme of your wedding because if you get caught up in a particular theme now, so far out, you might find yourself stuck with it a year from now when you're more sophisticated and might not think the shabby chic theme so chic. It's good to bat around ideas, but you really don't want to be too cutesy. "Shabby chic w/a modern flare" is an oxymoron. Shabby means not new (old) and modern means very new.

That said, since you are having an early afternoon wedding your guests will be wanting to wear their best day time outfits. Which, depending on your lifestyle, is the dress code Suits & Dresses: men in business suits or blazers and women in chic short dresses, with beautiful shoes. An early afternoon wedding begs for a lovely hat, so you could encourage your guests to wear hats or fascinators.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Bride: Early Afternoon: Beach Ceremony
Q What type of wedding gown should a bride wear if the wedding in on the beach early afternoon and reception follows as an outside buffet (in a restaurant)? What should the length of the wedding gown be?

A Traditionally, the bride wears a long white, or off-white, dress no matter what the venue of the wedding. The style and length of the dress reflects the bride's taste and aesthetics, and therefore the formality of the wedding. Even if the bridesmaids are wearing short dresses and the groomsmen and groom are not wearing tuxedos, and that happens to be the trend these days, the brides are still wearing a whitish, long dress. However, for a second, third, or fourth marriage, the bride is more apt to wear a short white or off-white dress, dressy skirt suit, or sleeveless dress with a bolero top. Bridal departments and shops carry all lengths.

The wedding ceremony and reception locations don't necessarily determine length. On a personal note, I wore an off-white, actually champagne colored, ankle-length lace dress with a gently shaped straight skirt, not a bouffant skirt, for my wedding ceremony on a Nantucket beach followed by a reception on the lawn and a garden luncheon in a nearby French restaurant. My dress wasn't full-skirted, it wasn't a gown, but it was off-white and long. The soft, seashell patterned lace dress was the color of Nantucket sand, and edged with scalloping. Even though the dress looked simple from afar, up close the details were lovely and feminine.

My point is this, nowadays, there are fewer and fewer black-tie weddings, but brides are still wearing long white dress. Whether the bride wears a full-skirted gown or a short, pencil thin skirt, it is her choice. There are no rules carved in stone. Personally, I find it charming when the dress fits the bride's personal style and she doesn't look as though she's been dropped into a bouffant wedding gown. Should the bride not wish to wear a puffy long dress, she certainly doesn't have to. My wedding dress wasn't a wedding gown per se, but it was made of beautiful lace. I just happened upon it and knew it was the dress I wanted to be wearing at my wedding.

To make a long answer short, the length of the wedding gown is at the discretion of the bride.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Bride: Engagement Photos
Q I'm taking my engagement pictures this weekend in Pismo beach. I'm not sure what to wear for the pictures! Should I wear a dress and high heels or should I wear a nice dressy shirt with shorts and sandals?

A Wear what you would wear to church during the day or if you don't attend a house of worship, wear Business Attire, what you would wear to a business meeting. A dress with high heels is perfect. In my opinion, shorts and sandals are a bit too informal for a formal engagement picture. Save the shorts and sandals for the honeymoon photos.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Bride: Formal: Long Gloves: October
Q Hi Didi,

I am looking to pair formal gloves with my wedding gown. My wedding is an evening black-tie wedding in October.

The gown is very simple, sleeveless in double silk crepe. Are there rules about opera vs. elbow length and Sateen vs. Kid Leather?

A For a sleeveless dress, you would wear gloves that cover your elbows. Think about Audrey Hepburn in "Breakfast at Tiffanys." Soft Italian leather gloves are the more traditionally, but the sateen are a lot easer to get off and on and they look better in wedding photos because they form fit the arms. Leather gloves may show up creasing or bunching and if you have skinny upper arms, they could be loose at the top.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Bride: How to Get Her to Return Borrowed Pearls?
Q My mother loaned her pearls to my niece for her wedding. These pearls are bequeathed to me in my mother's will. How does my mother ask my niece for the return of the pearls now that the wedding is over? My fear is that if the pearls aren't returned while my mother is still alive, I will be put in the uncomfortable position of asking my niece and I would like to avoid this if possible.

A Your mother should phone the newly married niece to ask her how she is doing. Then after the small talk about the honeymoon, the wedding, and the new apartment, etc., she should say she would like to get her pearls back because she wants to wear them herself. If in fact, she isn't going anywhere soon, it doesn't matter. She doesn't have to lie, all she has to say is that she wants to wear them. Then your mother should make a plan to pick the pearls up or invite her for tea, coffee, lunch or dinner, at which time the niece would return the pearls. Give the busy new bride the benefit of the doubt. I don't know how long she has had the pearls, but if she doesn't cooperate with your mother, then you may have to arrange for pickup. If for any reason the pearls no longer fit your mother, you want them back to get them restrung. Good pearls should be restrung from time to time depending on how often they are worn.

We like hearing from you and should you find the time, we would be happy to learn that the pearls were returned.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Bride: Jewelry
Q Is it appropriate for a daughter to ask a father for expensive diamonds for her wedding day? This is not as a wedding gift but as a sentiment gift.
Curious but out of touch father of the bride

A Traditionally, the parents of the bride give her a piece of jewelry to wear on her wedding day, if they can afford it. Lately, the trend has been in dangly diamond earrings.

What you might do is take your daughter to your local jewelry store and let her pick out something to wear on her wedding day, then ask the jeweler if you could borrow the piece for the wedding. A good local jeweler will loan them out in the hope of promoting the piece of jewelry to the groom and the wedding guests. Because it will have a sentimental attachment, the jeweler might be game to loan. If the jeweler won't loan the diamonds, then offer to rent the piece for the day. Believe it or not, this is done more than you think.

That way you will please your daughter because you arranged for her to wear diamonds on her wedding day, but you are saying that she'll have to work for them if she wants to own them. You just might appease her by borrowing them for the wedding. At least she'll know that you're doing your best to make her happy.

It is appropriate for her to ask, if she thinks that there is a chance that you'll want to give her a sentiment gift.

By the way, traditionally, the groom's parents give the bride a piece of significant jewelry as a wedding present, if they can afford it.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Bride: Leather Jacket with Bridal Gown
Q I am a 24-year-old female and we are going to be having a Halloween wedding, with the ceremony outside at sunset. If I am wearing a strapless gown, is it appropriate for me to wear a fitted leather jacket with my wedding gown? Our ceremony will be fall/ vintage/rock n' roll inspired and the reception will be Halloween themed. Thanks so much!

A I love the look of the strapless gown with a fine leather jacket, but I want you to think about your shoes. On the Internet try to find an image of the wonderful contemporary portrait painter Alex Katz called "Wedding Portrait." The bride is wearing a long, column white gown with black shoes. It is stunning, so I want you to be thinking about about black satin shoes with a fine, thin leather jacket. Mixing textures in white and black is lovely and chic.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Bride: Morning Ceremony
Q Didi,
We are exchanging our vows in a morning ceremony. A friend said that I have to wear a short dress if the ceremony's before noon. What's the rule for dress length? Can I break it?
Thanks!

A You can wear anything you want to wear to your own wedding. Traditionally, the later in the day the wedding the more formal the attire. For a morning or early afternoon wedding, the bride usually wears a knee-length dress or skirt suit.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Bride: New Orleans: January
Q I already have my strapless wedding dress. Due to illness in the family, we have had to push back the wedding date. Is it appropriate to wear a strapless dress in January? I live in New Orleans, LA.

A Yes, of course, you can wear a strapless wedding dress in January. If you think you'll be chilly, then add a bolero jacket or a lace shawl that you can take off when the dancing begins.

Ask the manager of the shop where you bought your wedding dress to come up with a bolero jacket or something to drape over your shoulders until the reception. Once you start dancing, you'll be happy to be wearing the strapless dress.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Bride: Noon: New York City: Civil Ceremony With Restaurant Lunch Reception
Q Hi Didi.
Wedding Etiquette: Bride's dress Code: 12:00 am, in New York
On Dec. 3. Only civil Wedding ceremony in a nice Restaurant Reception in Manhattan. I am a 49-year-old woman but I look like 39, with a nice figure...I will like to know if I have to use short or long dress.
Thanks

A For a noon civil ceremony in New York City followed by a restaurant lunch reception, you will want to be wearing either a beautiful day dress that falls just above the knees, or a lovely, soft skirt suit with three-quarter- length sleeves and a low neckline. Either with beautiful shoes and a small clutch bag. You can also wear a small hat with a good line.

To quote Christian Dior, "Quality is essential to elegance." You want to look elegant, dignified, and lovely. Wear only the best quality whether it is the leather for gloves, shoes, and clutch, or the fabric of your dress or skirt-suit, which could be a silk or fine wool, but stay away from elaborate brocades because they are too dressy for early afternoon. In a city such as New York in winter, you cannot really be dressed without a hat, it is really the completion of your outfit and shows you have a sense of style. In winter, velvet and good quality felts are lovely and very versatile, fur is lovely too, and besides being warm, a little fur hat is very feminine. If you're going to carry a spray of flowers, don't wear too much jewelry or you'll look like a Christmas tree. One of my favorite colors for winter is Winter White, a warm creamy white with the slightest hint of very pale yellow.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Bride: Not Wearing White
Q Hi Didi,
I am an experienced Bridal Consultant/Wedding Planner.
My younger sister is getting married in the Spring of 2012.
She's not wearing white, nor anything close to it (don't want to expose her color choice). Here's the dilemma: she wants me to wear the exact same color she is wearing, (we are very close) but I know this isn't proper. I have told her so many times but she refuses to listen. She says this is her special day and she wants what she wants no matter what her 600+ guests think. She doesn't understand what this could do emotionally all day while her guests are making negative remarks, most of them know what I do for a living (wow doesn't she know better? And such remarks). Help me with this please.

A If this isn't your sister's first wedding, then she can wear whatever color she likes. The truth of the matter is this, there is no rule carved in stone that says all brides have to wear white. If white washes her out, or she doesn't think it flatters her, then she should wear a color that is flattering. As you know from being a wedding consultant, not all brides wear white, some wear red, others black. I understand your angst, but my best advice is that you go with it, play along with it, let her do what she wants to do.

If you don't, you might be sorry. You are obviously well aware of the importance of creating good memories and not bad of the wedding so you really want to be careful about not creating bad memories that will ultimately be all your fault.

At this point, her only bad memory is that you think she should wear white. If you make a bigger deal out of this then it is, you will not only be alienating your sister but creating a bad memory which is the last thing you want to do.

If anyone says anything to you, just laugh it off and say that your sister has a mind of her own and dances to her own tune. Support her, give her credit for being an original. Nobody is going to make a big deal out of this, and whoever does will have to live with that karma.

Be careful, she is your sister and you need to support her 100%. I'm not saying you have to be a hypocrite, I'm just saying let her be free to express herself on her special day. Spring 2012 is a long ways off, a lot could happen. She might even change her mind on her own, if she feels the door isn't closed on the topic. You don't want to back her into a corner leaving her no way out to change her mind. By not harping on it, that door might slowly open wide enough so that she feels her pride isn't hurt and she can change her mind with dignity and grace.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Bride: Nude Shoes: Knee-Length Dress:
Q I am getting married in June and am wearing a knee-length champagne colored sheath dress with some ivory/champagne/gold lace and beading on it. I will have bare legs.

My question is what shoes should I wear? Nude shoes would go best, but should they be kid leather/patent leather/satin/snakeskin? Should they be pumps or sandals? How high should the heel be?

I'm leaning toward patent leather nude pumps with 2-3 inch heels, but wonder if that's dressy enough.r question here...

A Personally, with a lovely dress like that I would wear nude colored kid leather heels with an open toe and a sling back. They would be both dressy and work better with bare legs. Lean toward the delicacy of the lace and beading. Introducing another texture such as in shiny patent leather heels would throw off the delicate balance because the patent will look too heavy. Although, I love patent leather it may come off as looking too tailored for such a feminine dress.

Alternatively, satin beige 2-3 inch heels would be lovely as well, although I do prefer soft Italian leather for support as well as comfort and durability. With that satin, be careful not to have embellishment. Bare legs are informal and your knee-length dress is dressy, so not too dressy with the shoes. As for snakeskin, with the beading and lace on the dress, the snakeskin would be too much going on.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Bride: Post Wedding Party:
Q My daughter is having a destination wedding and then a post wedding party one month later. Is it appropriate for her to wear her wedding gown to the post wedding party?

A I hope this makes sense to you, because if it doesn't, please let me know.

If the dress is ankle-length or has a train, then your daughter might feel she looks funny wearing her bridal dress again. Traditionally, a bride wears a wedding dress only once. On the other hand, if the dress is knee-length and looks like a cocktail dress, then it would fit in and be appropriate. Also, if your daughter is wearing a full bridal gown, her groom will have to wear his tuxedo and they might feel very overdressed at your post wedding party. However, your daughter could wear a little white cocktail dress and there could be a photograph of the bride and groom in their wedding attire on display at the party.

Personally, I think post wedding parties are great, but since there is no service or ceremony, the newlyweds may feel funny getting dressed up for what might appear to be a rerun. Lastly, you wouldn't want to put undue pressure on your guests by making them feel they've been invited to the wedding rerun and have to buy a wedding present. For a post wedding party, guests shouldn't feel pressured to buy a wedding present, since they didn't witness the ceremony.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Bride: Short Dress: What shoes?
Q Dear Didi,

I am getting married in June and am wearing a knee-length champagne colored sheath dress with some ivory/champagne/gold lace and beading on it. I will have bare legs. My question is what shoes should I wear? Nude shoes would go best, but should they be kid leather/patent leather/satin/snakeskin? Should they be pumps or sandals? How high should the heel be? I'm leaning toward patent leather nude pumps with 2-3 inch heels, but wonder if that's dressy enough? Jenny


A Dear Jenny,

With a lovely dress like that I would wear nude-colored kid leather high heels with an open toe and a sling back. They would be both dressy and work better with bare legs. Lean toward the delicacy of the lace and beading. Introducing another texture such as shiny patent leather heels would throw off the delicate balance because the patent will look too heavy. Although I love patent leather it may come off as looking too tailored for such a feminine and detailed dress.
Alternatively, satin beige 2-3 inch heels would be lovely as well. Whichever height is the most comfy because you'll be in them for six hours or so. That's why I prefer a soft Italian leather for support as well as comfort and durability. With satin, be careful not to have embellishment. Bare legs are informal and your knee-length dress is dressy, so not too dressy with the shoes. As for snakeskin, with the gold beading and lace detailing on the dress, the addition of snakeskin heels would be way too much going on in terms of textures, patterns, and colors. ~Didi


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Bride: Two Cousins Wear the Same Dress
Q Is it poor etiquette to buy and wear the same wedding dress that a cousin just recently bought and wore for her wedding?

Thank you in advance for a reply to this question.

Sincerely,
Brenda

A The problem with family is in the wedding photos. Do the the two brides want it on record that they wore the same wedding dress? I don't think so.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Bride: Wedding Dress Shopping Without Mother
Q My Mother passed away 2.5 years ago very unexpectantly. She was only 49. I am 21 and now engaged to be married. My mother has one sister, my aunt, who is 10 years older than my mother. My father put his trust in her to help him with the details of my mother's funeral. What would be the proper etiquette for me with my wedding and dress buying, concerning her? My aunt and my mother are a lot alike. Should she take the place of my mother concerning my wedding? Would it be wrong for me to allow aunts by marriage on my father's side to do things my mother would do over my mother's sister? Should my future mother-in-law help? Can they all go with me to help find a dress or should I just stick with my mother's sister? My future mother-in-law and my aunts on my father side have all offered to help since my mother is dead. Should they have offered knowing my mother has a sister that would do what my mother was suppose to do?---HELP!!! CONFUSED BRIDE-TO-BE!!!

A Nowadays, brides usually take their friends, their bridesmaids, wedding dress shopping with them. So not going wedding dress shopping with any of your aunts would be just fine. There are no rules carved in stone about who helps you with what, so why don't you figure out different jobs for the different women members of your family to be responsible for and that way nobody will feel left out? You might want to consider enlisting the help of a wedding coordinator because there are so many, many details involved with orchestrating a wedding.

First off, you might want to have a face-to-face conversation with your mother's sister over lunch or coffee to discuss your wedding plans and to ask for her advice. The wedding dress is the least of the decisions that you'll be making. At that time, you might suggest that one aunt be in charge of coordinating the wedding ceremony, which would include transportation to and from, the flowers for the church and wedding party, music, the program, reserving the ceremony space, and coordinating the procession and recession. Another aunt could be in charge of the invitations, which is a huge job because she would also have to keep track of the regrets and the acceptances, do the seating, and record the gifts. Another aunt could be in charge of the reception, which means working with the caterer, florist, decorator, and band and making sure anyone who needs to be tipped is remembered.

As you can see, there are many details to be tended to and if you don't have a wedding coordinator, you might want to divide the responsibilities between all the aunts. As I don't know your wedding plans, this is a very general answer, but out of courtesy to your mother's sister, why not start with talking to her? You might find out that she would be greatly relieved not to have to shoulder all the responsibilities herself. I look forward to hearing from you again.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Bride: Wedding Party: Northern CA: 3:00
Q My ceremony is out on the outdoor patio of our venue by a garden and trees. http://www.herecomestheguide.com/northern-california/wedding-venues/lake-temescal-beach-house/
It fits 80 people and is located right on a lake in a park. The wedding is in October in San Francisco (it will most likely be in the 70s or 80s, and we will start the ceremony in the afternoon 3ish, maybe 4.

My bridesmaids are wearing copper colored strapless gowns and I'm basically telling them to decide if they want to wear heels or flats under them. I'm not picky.

I'm trying to figure out two things. First, I'm deciding on gowns for myself (I tried on a few that I'm choosing between) and wondering if my gown dictates how formal my groom and his groomsmen need to be. (I am not sure tuxes or full suits will be fitting for the wedding). If I go with a strapless lace gown, can my fiance and his groomsmen wear vests, shirts and ties, no jacket like this--http://www.pinterest.com/explore/casual-groom-attire/

Second, dictating to anyone what to wear to an event is hard, and yet I'm already getting those questions. What is appropriate for this event? I'd rather not be super formal with my wedding considering the venue and my taste, but curious as to what your thoughts are.

Thanks so much for your help!

A The venue of your wedding is not formal. It is a simple, charming lakeside banquet hall in a lovely park setting. Make the dress code Suits & Dresses or Jacket & Tie. That doesn't mean the bridal party can't be in formal attire, but let your guests relax in this fun setting. That said, let your bridesmaids wear short dresses. Nobody wants to be traipsing around in a long dress for eight to ten hours starting at three o'clock in the afternoon, especially when the groomsmen aren't even wearing jackets.

The bride and groom decide on the formality of the wedding and that formality is consistent throughout the the wedding. From the formality of the wedding invitation to the final thank-you note, otherwise you end up with a mishmash of styles. It is a small venue. The guest list is relatively small. The setting is that of a picnic in a beautiful park on a beach.

Second, the bride and groom shouldn't be dictators. The groom should talk to his groomsmen about how they feel about having to dress up in monkey suits for an afternoon wedding. They might be happier in light weight suits with collared shirts and ties in the wedding colors.

We like hearing from you and hope that you'll get back to us with more questions about your lovely wedding. Remember, the later in the day, the dressier the wedding. Go with the informality of your park/beach setting on a relaxing fall afternoon.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Bride: White Wedding Dress or Gown
Q Dear Didi,

Does my daughter have to wear a white dress at her wedding next year? She wants to wear a long skirt and top that aren't white. L.B., Shelter Island, NY


A Dear L.B.

Bold brides are saying "I don't" to the traditional white wedding dress. Daring to wear irreverent colors such as gray, called "smoke," and shades of the palest pinks and lavender, as well as the boldest coral and purple, the flashiest of red and coolest of blues, and the ever so chic black. There is no rule carved in stone that says the bride's wedding dress has to be white.

Prior to Queen Victoria wearing a white wedding gown when she married Prince Albert in 1840, most wedding dresses had been blue. So began the trend in the 20th century with the exception of the 1920s and 30s, when shell pink and pale blue were in vogue. Traditionally, in the modern Western world, brides have chosen white for it's identification with purity. This is in keeping with the all-white dress worn for Christenings, communions, and debutante balls. If your daughter doesn't dance to that tune, let her wear whatever color she wishes to wear on her special day. ~Didi


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Bride's Aunt: April: 4:00 pm: Jersey Shore
Q My niece is getting married at the Jersey shore in April, the reception is at 6pm wedding on beach at 4pm in front of hotel, I am the 49 year old aunt, what should I wear I am a size 6 and am 5 ft 7 in tall.

A Wear a knee-length cocktail dress with beautiful shoes and carry a small clutch bag. In April, you may need a light-weight spring coat, if the ceremony is truly outside. Alternatively, you can wear a dressy knee-length skirt suit, often called a dinner suit, that way you wouldn't need a coat. Ask your niece's mother what she is wearing and dress accordingly. The mother of the bride sets the dress code for all the mothers, aunts, and other women guests of her generation. I take a traditional approach out of respect for the bride on her wedding day, but the MOB rules when it comes to what you should wear.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Bride's Brother's Girlfriend: Christmas Country Club Attire
Q Dear Didi,

My boyfriend's sister is getting married in early December (5:30 pm) at a country club-like location. I have never met her, but he tells me that she loves Christmas and has always wanted a holiday wedding. We found a beautiful, knee-length red cocktail dress (modest in cut also), but I worry that red is too "loud" a color when I am not actually in the wedding party.

Normally, I wear a lot of black, as I am a musician, but the dress fits perfectly and I really like it.

Would you advise that I wear something else? I plan to wear it with black tights/shoes and some kind of shrug/sweater, since I know it will be cold.

Also, does he need to wear a jacket? He tells me his family won't expect "too fancy". No black tie or formal attire was specified in the invitation.

Thank you very much,
Leah

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, then you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. That said, your boyfriend will have to wear a jacket, white collared shirt, tie, and dark pants or gray flannel pants, with dark shoes, socks and belt.

About your red dress. Traditionally, you wouldn't wear a red dress to a wedding because red is the most attention-grabbing color and one would never want to take attention away from the bride. However, because the bride loves Christmas and it is that time of the year, you can certainly wear red, although, you could also wear green or beloved black. If you wear red, please, don't wear black tights or any kind of shawl. Wear legwear a shade lighter than your skin tone with a bit of shimmer to it. Shawls are dreary. They tend to make any woman with good posture look stooped. I would rather have you wear a leather jacket that you can leave on the back of your chair or a nice cardigan sweater.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Bride's Daughter: South Carolina: 2:00 PM
Q Didi,
This is my daughter's second wedding, but the groom's first. It is going to be outside at 2 p.m. in late September. We live near Charleston, SC. We are somewhat unconventional. The wedding is on a Saturday and the "party/reception" will be on Sunday in our neighborhood's clubhouse. There will be no regular attendants. The bride's daughter (9) and I will stand up with my daughter.
What kind of dress should my daughter wear? The groom wants it to be more traditional. The bride wants chocolate brown and teal to be the colors for decorating at the "party/reception". Would it be appropriate for me to wear a sleeveless form fitting slightly above the knee dress to the wedding? I am 50 and in very good shape. I found a dress that fits me perfectly. Also, what would be appropriate to wear for my daughter and me at the "party/reception"?

A The granddaughter is easy, pick out two outfits and let her choose from one or the other. Let her wear what feels comfortable to her. Don't buy her a dress and expect her to wear it because she needs to feel that it is a special occasion for her, too. As the wedding isn't until September, why not wait until closer to the wedding to have her pick out her outfits because in the life of a nine-year-old five months is a long time and tastes can change. Steer her toward wearing a dress and flats. The color of the dress could be teal or a floral with teal in it. The flats should be comfortable, so to break them in, be sure to have her wear them ahead of time. Most likely your daughter can wear the same dress both days to the ceremony and the reception.

You seem to be pleased with your dress. You didn't mention if you are going to wear the same dress both days, so I am assuming you are. Same for your daughter.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Bride's Younger Brother
Q Dear Didi,

Our oldest daughter is getting married on a Friday evening in August. Our middle daughter is the maid-of-honor. Our youngest child, our 15-year-old son, is not in the wedding and does not care to have a part at all. The fathers are wearing tuxes as well as the groomsmen. The bridesmaids are all in peach knee-length dresses, each one wearing a slightly different style and different shade of peach. Kind of a rustic/country type look.

What should our son wear? He'd really like to wear cargo shorts with a nice shirt. He's an athlete and really does not enjoy dressing up. Any suggestions? P.H., Duxbury, MA


A Dear P.H.,

Traditionally, when a boy turns to the double digit age of ten, he wears trousers. At the very least your son should wear khaki chinos or off-white trousers to his sister's wedding, along with a blazer or light-weight jacket. By fifteen, he should be able to dress in trousers, a collared shirt, jacket, tie, and slip-on leather shoes --- out of respect for his sister on her wedding day.

Your son can wear cargo pants all the time every day, but for his sister's wedding he should dress like a fifte en-year-old, otherwise guests will think he is immature. Tell your son that many famous athletes wear tuxedos, trousers, blazers and ties when they attend grown-up parties. Remind him that this is not a children's party. A wedding is a seriously grown-up event and he should dress like a fifteen-year-old and not a nine-year-old. By the way, if the dress code for the men in the bridal party and the fathers is tuxedos, this is not a 'rustic/country' wedding.

Take this opportunity to teach your son about how a young man dresses for very special occasions, even if the groom or your husband has to take him shopping. ~Didi


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Bridesmaid Sister of the Bride: Pink vs. Black Shoes
Q I am a bridesmaid in my younger sister's wedding this coming October. It is an evening wedding, and I am in a black strapless satin dress with high-low hem. She has asked that, due to the other dresses' color being a rose pink, that I get my shoes dyed to match that pink as my dress is the only one that has my feet showing. Is this appropriate? Would it be rude to tell her no based on etiquette? I was under the impression that, even with a pink headpiece as a highlight, the shoes should still be black. Can you clarify for me please? Many thanks!

A Personally, I agree with you, pink shoes in October would be ghastly. Black satin heels would be much chicer. You can tell your sister the bride that, "In your opinion, pink shoes would be way too cute for October." You can tell her I told you to tell her that.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Bridesmaid: Her Husband and Sons
Q Hi! We're attending a wedding at 5:30 pm on April 19 outside Charleston at the Citadel Beach House. The wedding is on a grassy area on the beach and the reception is at the beach house. I'm a bridesmaid and will be wearing a long, blue maxi with silver flip flops. What should my husband and 2 young boys (8 & 11) wear? Thanks!

A Assuming the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, the dress code would be "Suits & Dresses." Your husband would were his best business suit and a white shirt and handsome tie, with dark leather shoes and belt. Your lads would wear long khaki trousers with a belt and white long-sleeved collared shirt with a tie or bow tie. Because the sun will be going down at that time, they'll probably need lightweight jackets for the outdoor ceremony on the grass. If they wear docksider's or any kind or a leather loafer, such as a boat shoe, that would be fine. Otherwise, let them wear the best shoes that are comfortable.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Bridesmaids' Shoes: August
Q My best friend is getting married in August and I am one of her bridesmaids. She asked that we get dresses in a specific purple and wear black shoes - as to length and style, she wanted us to pick. If I asked her, I'm sure she'd say flip-flops are fine. The wedding party is semi-formal. The event is casual (yes - attendees can wear jeans.) My dress is satin and I've found a pair of black heels that I adore but they are patent. Is this too much shine? Should I look for a matte leather shoe?

A Black patent leather is a great look. Perhaps you could get the other women to wear black patent as well.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Bridesmaids + MOB: Wearing Black
Q My daughter will be having a 1:00 afternoon wedding in a Catholic church in October. She wants her bridesmaids to wear their favorite short black dress. This means they will not all match. What are your thoughts about mix-matched bridesmaid dresses? The men will wear a tux. The reception will be at the Augusta Country Club in GA. at 3:00. Would it be appropriate for the MOB to wear a short black dress also? Do you have a better suggestion?





A Bravo to your daughter for being considerate of her bridesmaids in this downturn economy' she knows that some of them will undergo great expense to attend the various events around the wedding as well as having to purchase a shower and wedding present. What she could do is to choose a shoe from an online store, such a J.Crew, which would have a lot of sizes, and have all the bridesmaids wear that shoe in that height, so that all the shoes will be alike. The trend in shoes when wearing black is nude colored patent leather.

In my opinion, you wouldn't want to wear a short black dress because you don't want to look like a wannabe bridesmaid. How about wearing a black, or black and white, dressy skirt-suit that falls just below your knees with three-quarter length sleeves and a low neckline? Or even a sheath with a bolero jacket? It is all right to wear black, but probably not all black. Beige is a lovely compliment to black and quite appropriate for an afternoon wedding at a county club.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Bridesmaids and Guests: Little Rock: 2:00 PM:
Q I have a few questions for you:

One: As a Little Rock, Arkansas bride, would it be appropriate to state "Wedding Hats Welcome" on my wedding invitations? Or is there a more tactful way of putting it?

Two: My wedding is at 2pm on a Saturday. It will be indoors and is semi-formal. Also, do you think it proper for my bridesmaids to wear hats or fascinators in my wedding?

Three: Because it's a 2pm wedding, should the bridesmaids wear a long dress or a knee-length one?

Your help is very appreciated. Thank you!



A Please, do have your bridesmaids wear short dresses--above the knees. Short bridesmaids' dresses are totally in trend right now, and let's face it, your bridesmaids will get a lot more wear out of short dress than a long one. So be kind to your bridesmaids. And,let them wear hats. My only problem with hats is that hats with wide brims are harder to social kiss in, so if your friends are into social kissing, you might suggest that they wear fascinators, or hats without wide brims.

I just wrote an article on fascinators--and wearing hats--which I'll email you separately. Since you love hats, too, you might like my article.

About asking women guests to wear hats, it might be fun to have that request on the reply card. On your reply card you will have a reply date, after that phrase,"Kindly reply by July tenth" you can add: Ladies, please do wear your best hat.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Bridesmaids' Dresses
Q My wedding dress is navy blue and white. What color should my briedsmaids' dresses be?

A Your bridesmaids' dresses could be navy blue or green. Certain shades of yellow and pink go quite well with navy blue, so it would depend upon the season. For instance, navy blue or burgundy might be better in the fall and winter, whereas green, pink, or yellow would be best in the warmer months.

Think about the wedding photos and the seasonal flowers that you hope to use in your bridal bouquet and the bridesmaids' bouquets. That should help you decide.

Usually the bridesmaids' dresses are the color of one of the wedding colors. You told me that your bridal dress is navy blue and white, but I would need to know the two wedding colors in order to give you my best answer.

For instance, navy blue and yellow are good wedding colors for spring because there are so many different shades of yellow flowers in season that time of year. Since your dress has navy in it, using navy and yellow would be perfect. Then the bridesmaids could wear navy blue, short, strapless dresses and carry a bouquet with shades of white and yellow flowers.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Bridesmaids Wear Black
Q Is it proper etiquette for bridesmaids to wear black dresses for a 2 o'clock in the afternoon wedding? Should the dresses be tea length due to the time of the wedding? What would be proper wear for the groomsmen? What length is appropriate for mother of the groom for a 2 o'clock wedding? The wedding is to take place at the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist in Savannah, Georgia. We are also considering a 7:30 pm wedding.

A Whether you are considering an afternoon or evening wedding, black bridesmaids' dresses are considered the height of sophistication. Long dresses tend to be dowdy and dreary, especially in the afternoon, so have all the dresses fall just below the knees or mid-knee. Tea length can look drab. The bridesmaids dresses need to be all the same length, just as the silver shoes would be all the same height. The groomsmen could either wear navy blue blazers with cream colored pants in warm climate or gray flannel in the fall and winter, with white shirts and regimental striped ties and black shoes. The mother of the groom and the mother of the bride would both wear a dressy dinner suit or a sleeved dress that falls just below the knees. Traditionally, a 7:30 or eight o'clock wedding is referred to as a "candlelight wedding" and is often black-tie. A two o'clock wedding would not be black- tie.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Bridesmaids: Don't Wear White
Q Are short, above the knee WHITE dresses appropriate for bridesmaids' dresses in early Oct.? Wedding ceremony and reception are at a fancy country club early Oct, starting at 6:00 PM, black tie. Trying to advise the bride, as I think this look would be inappropriate. Thanks

A As you know, the only person wearing white at the wedding is the bride. Out of respect for the bride's special day, she is the only person wearing white. Traditionally, the wedding couple picks two wedding colors that are used, one or both, in the ushers' ties, the bridesmaids' dresses, and picked up in the bouquets and flowers at the ceremony. The reception would use those colors (or shades of those colors), as well in the tablecloths, flowers, wedding cake, etc.

As you know, the key to a chic wedding is consistency and continuity, which is why you stick to two colors and one style, which you say is formal. At an "informal" wedding, you could dress the bridesmaids in white and nobody would care because you're not following the "formal" style. However, since the style of this wedding is formal, it needs to be consistently formal. Lastly, from Labor Day on, they wouldn't be wearing white anyway, as October is a month early for "winter white."

As this is a formal wedding, you would be following the tradition of having the bride the only person wearing white. Just because the bridesmaids can't wear white, doesn't mean they can't wear short strapless bridesmaids dresses. Short bridesmaids' dresses are the trend right now, and so much more practical for the bridesmaids who can wear them again as a cocktail dress.

Also, you probably don't want to be referring to the country club as "fancy" because country is not fancy. "Conservative," "formal" or "upscale,""traditional," but not "fancy." A hotel ballroom in Miami might be called "fancy," but calling a country club "fancy" is an oxymoron. Thanks for your interesting question and I hope to hear from you again.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Bridesmaids: Hosiery, Pantyhose, Stockings
Q I am 35 years old and will be in the wedding party for my sister's upcoming wedding. She has let all of us bridesmaids choose our own knee-length black dress. We are all wearing black heels as well. I am not comfortable going bare legged so she said I could wear pantyhose. Would you recommend a sheer black or sheer color to match my light skin color? My shoes will be closed toe as I have large feet and a very long 2nd toe which looks scary in an open toe shoe. I believe I will be the only one in a pantyhose.

A Go to the Wolford website wolford.com and look for a shade of stockings lighter than your skin tone with a bit of shine. The same shine the other bridesmaids will have from slathering their legs with a shimmer body cream. Click on Legwear, then the color Memor and look at Satin Touch 20 and Neon 40. There is also Pure Energy 30 push-up that lifts and shapes the butt, which a lot of women love. The prices range between $35 and $45 but they last for years when treated gently.

There are less expensive brands such as Donna Karan that are excellent as well. Go to Donna Karan, click on Lifestyle, then Hosiery, and then Nudes, which cost $20. By looking at these examples at Wolford and Donna Karan, you'll get the picture. Your local department store should have either choices. Just be sure to look for sheer or shimmery, and find the lightest tone. You don't want your legs to look orange in the wedding photographs, which often happens when you go for a tanned look.

You wouldn't wear sheer black because the other bridesmaids will be barelegged and your black legs will stick out in the wedding photographs. Either all the bridesmaids wear sheer black or all the bridesmaids have a shimmery skin tone.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Bridesmaids: Matching Shoes
Q Wedding Etiquette, September Wedding, Bridesmaid, 6pm Wedding, Northeast

Hi Didi,

I'm a bridesmaid in an old friend's wedding this September. The dresses are short black satin. I'm in a dilemma over the shoes--bride hates sandals, peep toes, and bright colors. Can I wear black patent leather pumps, or will they look tacky with the satin? Bride encouraged it, but I'm still not sure. Thanks!


A Black patent leather shoes would be lovely with the shiny satin black dress; however, be sure they are delicate and lovely, and not clunky. Traditionally, the bride goes online and finds a shoe from a Web site such as J.Crew, which is able to accommodate all sizes, and the bridesmaids buy that shoe in their size. Or on their own they can find a shoe in exactly that style and height.

Anther suggestion would be to find a nude colored patent leather shoe online. A classic shoe that is very much in style right now for a reasonable price. Having a closed toed shoe in September is fine because it eliminates the need to have all the brides wearing the same color nail polish on their toes.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Bridesmaids: Shoes: Who Pays?
Q Does the bride have the right to decide what shoes her bridesmaids should buy???

A When the bride is asking the bridesmaids to wear a particular shoe, she gives up some of her rights to pick out the shoes if she doesn't buy the shoes for them. It is difficult to ask people to buy something, if you're not paying for it.

Customarily, the bride and/or the maid of honor will pick out a moderately priced shoe that she wants the bridesmaids to wear on a website such as J. Crew and email the image and description to all the bridesmaids. Then the bridesmaids either buy that shoe or one that fits that description. For instance, some of the bridesmaids might buy the shoe from J. Crew, another might buy a similar shoe from Manolo Blahnik, and another might buy a knock-off of that same style, color, and height shoe at a discount outlet. Therefore the bride should choose a shoe for the bridesmaids that is fairly traditional and can be found easily at different price levels. In doing this, the bride can be assured of getting the look she wants at the price the bridesmaids can afford.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Bridesmaids: Wearing Black: Midday: April:
Q My daughter is getting married in April 2011, mid-day wedding. Her wedding colors are black and white. Her younger sister is 11 years old and will serve as Jr. bridesmaid. Are there rules of etiquette for an 11-year-old wearing a black dress?

Thanks!

A Between now and April 2012, your daughter might change her wedding colors. Your then twelve-year-old will probably feel very gown-up in a black dress. As long as the bridesmaids dresses are short and snappy, it will be a very chic wedding. However, if their dresses are long and black, they could be a bit dreary unless it is candlelight at 8:00 PM, instead of noon. You still have time to discuss this.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Broken Toe Foot In Boot: Virginia Beach: October
Q Didi,

I'm going to a friend's daughter's wedding in early October in Virginia Beach. It's an outdoor affair at a well-known beautiful museum. My problem is that I broke my toe and am in a "boot". What can I wear that won't make me look totally ridiculous!!

A You can wear palazzo pants with a lovely jacket. If the palazzos are lined, the boot won't catch on the fabric as much. With the palazzo pants wear an elegant silk jacket such as the ones that are on view at Maria Pucci's Web site, mariapucci.com. For a six o'clock wedding, I especially like the 'Charleston Jacket' (I'm crazy about the Silk Taffeta Jade and the Elegant Brocade), the 'Georgio Jacket' in Silk Taffeta is divine, and the Newport Long Coat in Laurent Purple is stunning. The special occasion jacket is an investment but you'll find that you'll wear it a lot during the holidays as well. As I don't know your build: look at the shorter jacket, if you're 5'4" or shorter, the longer jackets if you're taller. They do custom sizing based on your measurements, if you don't have a good tailor. Add one beautiful ballerina flat, carry a small clutch bag and you'll look lovely and elegant. Best of all, nobody has to see the boot.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Brooklyn Botanical Garden: 7:00 PM
Q Dear Didi,
My husband and I are attending a wedding this Friday. The ceremony is held in Bklyn at a Catholic church at 5pm and reception follows at 7 pm at Brooklyn Botanical Garden. It is indoors enclosed with all glass. I heard there is a 40-50% chance shower. I am torn between wearing a skirty dark grey suit or my beautiful off-shoulder red dress, below the knee, with a shawl. My husband is wearing a dark suit. I told him that if I decide to wear the red dress, he is going to wear a red shirt with the suit. If I wear stockings what color? The invitation did not specify black tie,but I know it is formal attire because the bride is a doctor. I am in a state of "I don't know if this is okay".

A When the invitation doesn't stipulate that Black Tie is the dress code, then the dress code is Suits and Dresses. In my opinion, you would definitely wear that great red dress. I didn't get a sense of the gray skirt suit, but if it is dressy, and gorgeous, wear it. Believe me, Brooklyn Botanical Garden weddings are professionally prepared for all types of weather. I've attended a wedding there at this time of year and it is absolutely glorious. Take lots of photos while you're walking through the first glassed in garden and you'll have them forever. By the way, you will be able to check your umbrellas and raincoats, but keep your cellphone for photos!


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Brother of the Bride: 4:30 pm: Charleston, SC
Q Hi there,

As the brother of the bride, I'm trying to decide what to wear to a 4:30 pm beach wedding in Charleston, SC, the last weekend in November, with reception to follow in the hotel. The groomsmen are wearing black tuxes, the females are wearing pewter/charcoal dresses.

I had originally considered a tan suit and burgundy shoes, but now I'm thinking either charcoal (black shoes) or grey sharkskin (burgundy shoes/belt). Perhaps even charcoal pants and a cream/beige jacket.

Considering the darkness of the groomsmen and the reception afterwards, I'd straying from the tan suit to something darker (and feel I would stick out in tan what with the wedding party wardrobe), but I would still like to stand out as stylish yet not awkward;; hence the grey/burgundy.

What would your best suggestions be?

Thanks!
Drew



A I like the idea of the grey/burgundy. Stay away from tan that time of day for a wedding. A grey suit would be perfect. Off-white is off-season, so stick to the grey, which is very chic. I like the idea of a burgundy tie, but wear a white collared shirt that does not button down. Burgundy shoes are essentially in the brown category, which you would not wear to an evening wedding. Wear black (charcoal) shoes and socks with your grey flannels.

If you want to stand out just a bit, wear a white pocket handkerchief in your breast pocket. As the brother of the bride, you may be given a flower to wear as a boutonniere.

We like hearing from you

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Brother of the Bride: Charleston, SC
Q Hi there,

As the brother of the bride, I'm trying to decide what to wear to a 4:30 pm beach wedding in Charleston, SC, the last weekend in November, with reception to follow in a hotel. The groomsmen are wearing black tuxes, the females are wearing pewter/charcoal dresses.

I had originally considered a tan suit and burgundy shoes, but now I'm thinking either charcoal (black shoes) or grey sharkskin (burgundy shoes/belt). Perhaps even charcoal pants and a cream/beige jacket.

Considering the darkness of the groomsmen and the reception afterwards, I'm straying from the tan suit to something darker (and feel I would stick out in tan what with the wedding party wardrobe), but I would still like to stand out as stylish yet not awkward, hence the grey/burgundy.

What would your best suggestions be? Thanks! Drew, location withheld

A Dear Drew,

I like the idea of the grey/burgundy OK. For a wedding, stay away from tan that time of day. A grey suit would be perfect. Off-white is currently off-season, so stick to the grey, which is very chic. I like the idea of a reddish tie, with a white collared shirt that does not button down. Burgundy shoes are essentially in the brown category, which you would not wear to an evening wedding. Wear black (charcoal) shoes and socks with your grey flannels.

If, as you say, you want to look stylish, wear a white pocket handkerchief in your breast pocket. As the brother of the bride, you may be given a flower to wear as a boutonniere in your lapel, which would supersede the pocket hanky. Even chicer than a burgundy tie, go to the Web site for Turnbull & Asser, where you'll find smashing ties that stand out in a crowd. For you, I particularly like the woven-silk red tie with blue (almost grey) and navy (almost black) checks. Personally, I find a straight burgundy tie rather dull for your sister's wedding. ~Didi


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Brunch Reception: Sunday: 11:00 AM: Washington, DC
Q My husband and I are invited to an 11 am Sunday wedding with a sit-down brunch reception and then a swing band for afternoon dancing. The wedding is being held in a formal hall on the grounds of a monestary in downtown DC. We have no idea what to wear. My husband was going to wear a medium gray pin-stripped suit with a pink shirt and tie. I was going to wear a nice dress with pearls and heels.....is this okay? We have never be to 11 am weddings....

A Your choice of dress is perfect. At a morning wedding, it is more about the quality of the outfit than the dressiness. Which you obviously know. Think of it as a really royal brunch.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: CA: 5:00 PM: Couple: Outdoors
Q We are attending an outdoor spring wedding at 5 PM in Newport Beach. We would like to know what the appropriate attire would be for both me and my husband. For me, dresses, pants, suits, skirts? And what about colors? Is black okay? If it has some color attached to it?
Please help.

Thank you for any info you can give.

A The later in the day the wedding, the dressier the attire. When the invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. As California is a more relaxed part of the world, the man wouldn't need to wear a dark light-weight suit, but would wear a tie and jacket and the women would wear a knee- length cocktail dress, above the knee if you're under fifty.

Black is fine and very chic right now at a wedding. A pop of spring color is always an eye-catcher this time of year. Look for shoes, a clutch bag or necklace in a jewel color.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Calgary Canada Country Club: August: 3:00 PM
Q My niece's wedding is at 3:00 pm in August in a golf and country club in Calgary, Canada. The invitation states Black Tie. My husband has no problem because he is going to wear black tuxedo. I am the problem one. I am 70 years old, petite, 5 foot tall, weigh 123 lbs, but I look like late 50 as all my friends say. I like trendy clothes, and don't like the jacket and skirt attire because I can not dance in a skirt. Can I wear a black dress, knee-length, with flutter sleeves, black satin closed toes shoes with a few rhinestones? The dress is open neck, and it has a small rhinestone embellishment. I love to dance in knee- length dresses. Please advise. Thank you so much. Helen

A A mid-afternoon wedding is not dressy. Yes, of course you can wear a black knee-length dress. I'm not sure about rhinestones so early in the day, but since it is a black-tie wedding, people will be over-dressed for an afternoon wedding.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Calgary Canada Country Club: August: 3:00 PM
Q What type of necklace should I wear because the dress is open neck, about 5" below the hollow of the neck, but not showing any cleavage at all. The rhinestone brooch is at the center of the dress, about 1" wide, and 2" long sewn onto the dress. Thanks again

A A string of pearls in the afternoon always looks appropriate at an afternoon wedding.

We liked hearing from you again.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: California Chic Attire: Engagement Party: San Juan, Capistrano: May
Q 'California Chic Attire' 6:30 pm Engagement Dinner in San Juan Capistrano on 4/12/14. The avg age is 27. My husband and I avg 45 yrs old. What to wear for women and men? 1) Dress style.. Men, Women, 2) skirt & blouse style and, 3) colors..? 4) Shoe Style? 5) Hair Style? 6) Accents?

A Love the dress code, but can you clarify for us, please. Are you the bride-to-be or a guest? Let me know type of dinner (BBQ, cookout, cocktail buffet, seated dinner?), and about your builds and lifestyles. Assume for an engagement dinner where the dress code is not clarified (Business Attire, Cocktail Attire, Black Tie), that out of respect for the future bride the women guests would wear well-made cocktail dresses and the men would wear jackets & ties. That said, I doubt many men will wear a tie unless asked to do so, but by thinking Jackets & Ties, you eliminate people showing up in shorts, tank tops, baseballs cars and flip-flops.

We like hearing from you, but details are important.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: California Chic Attire: Engagement Party: San Juan, Capistrano: May
Q 'California Chic Attire' 6:30 pm Engagement Dinner (seated) in San Juan Capistrano on 4/12/14. The couple engaged are in their early 30's. The avg age of the guests is 35. What to Wear For women and men? 1) Dress style.. Men, Women, 2) skirt & blouse style and, 3) colors..? 4) Shoe Style? 5) Hair Style?

My husband mirrors Kevin Costner.. hair, skin tone, height, weight, prob age. He's a suited up guy by day and a Jimmy Buffett guy by night. Me, I'm 40 and have a straight figure (hardly any curves), beachy dirty brown frizzy/curly 3" longer than shoulder length hair. I have green eyes and olive skin. 5'7", 135 lbs.

A For you, go to website halsbrook.com and click on 'dresses' and look for:

'Piazza Sempione Floral Stretch Cotton Poplin Shift Dress,' then scroll down to see the accessories: the Gerard Yosca Sapphire Drop Earrings, the Kayu Jen Grey Straw Clutch with Turquoise, and the Gerard Yosca Foggy Quartz Bracelet.

For a maxi, go to what2wearwhere.com and click on to see
'Milly Charlevoid Maxi Dress' with Ashley Pitman Heleni Earrings, Mercer Watersnake Frame Clutch, Jimmy Choo Vamp Crisscross Platform Sandal or Jimmy Choo Perfume Chrisscross Patent Wedge Sandals.

If neither of those work for you, try Olivia Palermo.com:

Click on Metallic Touch where there are three casual chic party outfits.

For your Kevin Costner, a great pair of khaki trousers and a good long-sleeved fitted shirt, if he doesn't wear a jacket at night. Go to the Belstaff.com website and click on Shirts:

The Grid shirt

Then trousers:

Pagham Trouser

Then shoes:

Brantham Boot in Heritage Suede

We use these sites to show trending styles so that when you shop in stores near you, you can look for these styles and try them on to see what works for you.

As to hair style, it is best to look through fashion magazines and tear out pages with hairstyles you like to take to your hair dresser. I know you wanted a skirt and blouse, but for a party, you might want to look for a dress that accentuates any curves that you do have.

We like hearing from you and we hope we've given you some fun ideas that are 'California Chic Attire.' We would be curious to learn what you liked. If we're completely off-base we'll be happy to send you in a more casual direction.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: California Formal
Q Dear Didi,
We have been invited to an evening wedding in California and the invitation states "California Formal." I would think a coat and tie for men would be appropriate for this, am I correct? This would not be Black Tie or it would just say so, right?
Thanks you for the advice,
Kate

A You are totally correct. When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie, you can assume that the dress code is Suits & Dresses.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: California: 2:00 PM
Q I'm attending a wedding in Santa Barbara, Ca. 10/05/12. I'm 60 yrs old and would like your thoughts on what one should wear. Time of wedding may be around 2ish or so but I'm not quite sure. I wear a lot of black attire so I don't stand out. I like to be comfortable and not quite a hippie. I would say in-between conservative and hippie. Any suggestions?

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, which it wouldn't for a wedding at two o'clock in the afternoon, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. You have eight months to find an outfit, so look at the designs of designers such as Eileen Fisher, but don't hold yourself to just black. The dark berry colors can be lovely in autumn for an early afternoon wedding.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: California: 4:00 PM: July
Q I am a 63-year-old woman who, along with her husband, has been invited to a Black-Tie 4:00 wedding, reception to follow immediately on an estate in Rancho Santa Fe California July 12. May I wear a 3/4 quarter-length black dress? Or full- length dress in lighter color?

A A four o'clock wedding isn't very formal. Wear a knee-length dress cocktail dress with beautiful shoes and carry a small clutch bag. Tea-length dresses are dowdy because they cut a woman's legs off and make her look shorter than she is. It just isn't a good look for women over thirty years of age. Wear a knee-length dress or a maxi, but nothing in between.

We like hearing from you, even when we know you're not going to like our answer. We're here to give our honest opinion.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: California: 40 Year Old: November: 2:00PM
Q What would you wear to a California November vineyard wedding at 2pm? I'm in my 40s and want something fun, not too trendy. Much of what's out there is skimpy and for very young women. Any ideas?

A What I like to do is Google Fall Fashion Colors 2011 to see what's trending that works for me. For instance, for an early afternoon wedding, you might see a blue-ribbon-blue satin fashion blouse (that fastens in the back) paired with a knee-length black pencil skirt. You have the skirt and the luxurious satin blouse will also be useful for the coming holidays to wear with slacks or a different skirt. Another look I like this season is wearing a jersey dress (think Diane von Furstenberg) with a lovely soft leather or suede jacket. Pairing different materials is always interesting (plus, you feel good when you see something that you can pair with something you've been longing to wear). You'll be inside/outside in November at the vineyard wedding so you want to be thinking long sleeves, which is why I suggested either a long sleeved satin blouse or a soft leather jacket. Neither outfit is too trendy, but they're both sophisticated and fun for a country wedding. As you no doubt know, a knee-length dress with a leather jacket is very Parisian.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: California: 6:30 PM:
Q Hi,

The wedding details are California wedding and reception with 6:30 PM church service in July. My husband is a groomsman and he will be wearing a tux. Would it be OK if I wore an all black dress? I may or may not end up in some of the wedding pictures.


A By all means, wear a great short black dress with beautiful shoes.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: California: Central Coast: 4:00 PM
Q I am wondering what to wear to a 4:00 pm at a winery on central coastal California in late April. There is an adult reception following. It does not specify dress code in the invitation. This is a cousin's wedding. I am 53, size 6. I am wondering if a black cocktail dress with a wrap would be appropriate or if a short or long floral dress with jacket would be better.

A In my opinion, the short black cocktail dress would be very chic. Perhaps nude or red shoes, not black. When you are not asked to wear black tie, the dress code is usually Suits and Dresses. The short floral sounds fine, too, but I wouldn't wear a long floral, as you might feel silly traipsing around in a long dress at four in the afternoon. Personally, I think that long is a bit dreary, even dowdy, for most women, especially during the day.

About the wrap, definitely pack one, but you might not need to wear it.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: California: Fun, Fairly Formal
Q I was invited to a wedding in California and saw this on their website and I wasn't to sure what to wear. Please help!

The following was what I read:

"We are planning a no hassle, fun party for our closest friends and family. Attire should reflect the atmosphere of the day. Not super formal ... think California Summer cocktail party! "

Thank you for your help.

A The wedding couple want guests to be festively dressed, but they don't want them to rent tuxedos or wear updated prom dresses. On the other hand, this is a wedding so a man would wear a collared shirt, trousers, tie, jacket and leather shoes, but not necessarily socks. A woman would wear a fun cocktail dress with beautiful shoes. If it is a daytime wedding, how about a fabulous hat or fascinator.

It goes without saying that you wouldn't wear the following to a wedding, no matter how fun it will be: flip-flops, baseball cap, cargo pants, shorts, bare midriff, t-shirts with slogans, sneakers.

Even though they say the wedding is not 'super formal', it is still fairly festive, because they don't use the word 'casual.' Think more about the quality, comfort and choice of clothing than the dressiness of the outfit.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: California: October
Q I am going to wedding in California in October. It begins at 5:30; can I wear black chiffon pants and a white silk shirt, is that too dressy or not enough; it is a sit-down dinner reception in La Jolla California?

A Personally, I am not a huge fan of women wearing pants to a wedding, so I am not the person to ask.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Campground: Canada: September Morning
Q My brother is getting married in early September 2012. The wedding is in a small village church just outside Toronto, Canada. The reception is at the campground where my brother proposed to my future sister-in-law. The ceremony will be late morning, and we are able to change for the reception in the evening (the time between the ceremony and the reception is spent doing campground activities).
I'm about 5'5 and I have blonde hair, blue eyes.
I read I should wear blue to match my eyes, but I want to know if September is too late to wear a bright floral print or not.

A No, September is not too late for a bright floral print, just be sure to wear dark shoes and a cardigan sweater or jacket.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Can Mother of the Groom Wear Black
Q Is it ok for the mother of the groom to wear a black dress to a very small, immediate-family only wedding?

A Queen Victoria in 1840 set the dress code for weddings by wearing a white wedding dress and dictating that black was not to be worn by women at a wedding; however, times have changed and since there is no rule other than Queen Victoria's, you might wear what you wish. However, you might want to run the idea of your wearing a black dress pass the bride and her mother. If it is a city wedding, black is fine; however, wearing black at a country wedding in a rural area might make you feel overdressed.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Can the Mother of the Bride Wear a Pantsuit
Q Is it appropriate for the mother of the bride to wear a pantsuit instead of a dress????

A Personally, I do not feel it is appropriate for the mother of the bride to wear a pantsuit to her daughter's wedding. The dress code for the wedding is set by the bride and groom, so it is really the bride's call to tell the mother of the bride what she should or should not wear.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Can the Mother of the Bride Wear Black
Q Can the mother of the bride wear black to the wedding?

A If it is an evening wedding, yes, by all means the mother of the bride can wear black. However, if it is an afternoon wedding, she might not wear a black suit or dress because she would not want to look as if she is going to a funeral. An alternative to black for a morning or afternoon wedding might be navy blue or beige.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Cancun: Country Club: LBD
Q Can a black dress (short) be worn by a guest to a country club wedding in cancun?

A It would depend on the fabric. A short, black dress in a light weight fabric such as a cotton/blend, chiffon, silk/blend, or linen would be climate appropriate. Just don't wear black leg wear. Wear leg wear closer to your skin tone or a shade lighter.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Cape Cod Elegant: Memorial Day Weekend
Q Hello. My husband and I have been invited to a Saturday night Cape Cod wedding over Memorial Day weekend. The invitation states "dress - Cape Cod elegant". I'm not sure what that means; can you help? Thank you!

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume 'Cape Cod Elegant' means the dress code is Suits & Dresses. Meaning you would wear a knee-length cocktail dress with beautiful shoes and carry a small clutch bag and your husband would wear his best suit.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Cape Cod in October
Q Can you suggest what to wear to an October wedding in Cape Cod? The 4:00 ceremony is on the beach, with the reception following at the yacht club. The bride and groom recommend "dressy casual" or something you would wear to a country club or yacht club for dinner. I am 60. Thank you!

A Not sure if you are asking about a couple or a single man or woman. A man would wear his best lightweight jacket with a collared shirt and leather shoes. Also for Dressy Casual, a woman your age would wear a very good quality dress with three-quarter-length sleeves, that falls just below your knees, with beautiful shoes and carry a small clutch bag.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Cape Town, South Africa: Vineyard: 3:00 pm
Q My sister and I are attending a wedding at a vineyard in Cape Town and I have no idea what to wear. It is during their summer and the ceremony starts at 3 pm with a dinner after in the wine cellar/restaurant. I have a v-neck jersey midnight blue j.crew dress with a tiered ruffle bottom that hits above the knee. Was thinking this with a bib-style statement necklace and clutch in bright colors to add a pop! Is this ok or is it too casual?

A Your outfit sounds perfect. Look for the dress code on the invitation. If the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses, which means for a three o'clock wedding, your outfit is perfect. Just to be sure, check to see what time the "dinner" reception begins, because if the start time is after seven o'clock, guests may be dressing more formally for a formal dinner. However, winery receptions are usually cocktail attire, meaning Suits & Dresses.

We like hearing from you.
Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Capris: 10:00 AM
Q Must one wear a dress to a 10:00 AM church wedding or would linen capri pants with silk blouse and sandals be appropriate? Also, should one wear a hat at this hour?

A You're not going to like my answer. I'm not going to give you permission to dress badly. I don't think you should wear capri pants anywhere, except to a backyard cookout in your own backyard. This is a church wedding. Out of respect for the bride on her wedding day, wear a knee-length dress or a linen skirt with your silk blouse, beautiful shoes --- but only if they are pretty strappy sandals or wedges. A morning wedding screams for the topping of a lovely hat; however, not if you wear the hat with the capris.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Casual Attire
Q I'm going to an afternoon-evening wedding in June and the invitation indicated "casual attire". How casual does that mean? I was thinking of wearing a cotton sundress or even a cotton knit dress...would a knit be too casual? Also, would black be appropriate in this case? Thank you so much.

A When unsure about what to wear for an occasion when the invitation sounds vague, talk to close friend of the bride, if not the bride herself, and ask advice. Unless you are a large size person and need black to make you look slimmer, save black for night. Traditionally one is not supposed to wear black to a wedding, especially in warm whether. It is more appropriate to wear a cheerful color or print. The cotton sundress sounds fine especially if you accessorize with a pretty hat, strappy sandals, and one good piece of jewelry. "Casual attire" means the wedding will be relaxed and fun.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Casual Attire, No Tee Shirts
Q Is it proper etiquette for the wedding couple to put a dress code on their website for their wedding? This couple put under dress code casual attire, no tee shirts.

A Yes, it is totally proper for a wedding couple to put a dress code on their wedding Web site. It is their wedding. This wedding is all about them. They want their family and friends to understand the informality of their dress code as seriously as another wedding couple might insist on all the men wearing tuxedos.

By stating "no tee shirts" they are defining the dress code to mean: nice casual clothing but no tee shirts. Notice that they used the word "attire" as opposed to "clothing." That is your clue that quality is more important than being hipster/biker/cute/grunge/goth/retro.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Casual Dress
Q What do would I wear to a 3:00 pm wedding with casual dress on the invitation? I am 52 year old female and have lost 95 lbs. help

A As I don't know the climate or location of the wedding, this is a very general answer. You would dress more warmly for a wedding in Burlington, Vermont, than in Taos, New Mexico.

If you live in the North, you could wear a well-tailored warm suit or a long-sleeved dress, that falls just below your knees, with a coat and sensible yet pretty pumps for dancing. In the South, you would wear a short sleeved dress that falls just below your knees and a pretty hat. The nice thing about an informal three o'clock wedding is that you can wear a nice hat.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Casual Dress: Boots With a Dress
Q Going to a wedding at 4:30 Casual dress, can you wear classy boots with a dress?

A Whether you're wearing a skirt or dress, for those under-35s, knee-high boots are the equivalent of ballet flats. Please do wear your "classy" boots with a dress, if you're comfortable dancing in them.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Casual Waterfront Restaurant: 6:00 PM
Q I'm attending an outdoor wedding at 6:00 in November in Florida. The reception will be at a casual waterfront restaurant. I'd like to wear my matte black sequin pencil skirt but am struggling for the appropriate top, shoes and accessories. I'm middle-aged, 5'5" and size 4. Can you help?

A The trending look right now with a black pencil skirt is to pair it with a solid jewel-colored satin fashion blouse; the kind that doesn't have the buttons down the front but has a rounded collarless neckline. The jewel colors this season are fabulous and it's the sort of outfit that would be perfect for a casual waterfront restaurant as well as for a holiday party. The jewel colors are stunning, but since I don't know you're coloring, why don't you Google the Fall Fashion colors 2011 to get some ideas? Don't forget to wear beautiful black patent leather shoes and to carry a small clutch bag.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Central America: Formal: 6:00PM
Q Hi Didi,

I am attending a 6 PM wedding in Central America next weekend, where women don't typically show their legs. As we are among the half of the guests not from Central America (it's not a destination wedding), they made sure to tell us that women wear long gowns. My date helped me buy a long teal satin gown that I love while we were looking last weekend, but I am concerned about being overdressed/too flashy at someone else's wedding. The invitation states the event is formal, and I have a long gray jersey gown I could wear (and have pashmina's for both dresses to cover my shoulders in the catholic church) but don't want to hurt my date's feelings after he helped with the purchase of the teal gown. Is a long satin gown too formal for a 6PM formal wedding? I have only ever seen bridesmaids and mothers of the brides/groom wear long satin gowns before. I know the bridesmaids are wearing purple.

Thanks!

A In my opinion, your new long satin teal dress sounds perfect for a formal six o'clock wedding in Central America. As I'm not a fan of the shawl look, I would slip out the pashmina for a very good cardigan sweater, especially if you're in fear of looking overdressed. Shawls of any weight tend to make even a woman with good posture look stooped. Also, go easy with other accessories, such as jewelry. Wear a great pair of hierloom-style earrings and a cocktail ring and perhaps a bracelet that's delicate not chunky. Carry a small clutch bag.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Central Florida: March 6:00 pm
Q My husband (40) and I (33) have been invited to a commitment ceremony for two of my male friends at a church with reception immediately following. March 5th at 6 pm in central Fl. My husband and I have both lost a significant amount of weight recently but would still be considered overweight. Also, any ideas for a gift? Thanks so much! Michelle

A What you wear would depend upon the dress code. As it is a six o'clock ceremony at a church, you would most probably wear a very good quality day dress, or understated cocktail dress. Your husband would wear a light-weight dark suit, white shirt, good tie, and black shoes, socks and belt.

Find out where the couple is registered. Most couples register at a department store in the hope that their guests will send them a gift that they've chosen from their registry.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Charleston, SC: 5:30 PM
Q I am going to a South Carolina, Charleston wedding this coming Sunday. The ceremony starts at 5:30 and the reception is following. And the weather has dropped rather quickly and I was wondering if i black one-shoulder cocktail dress with black tights and black high heel booties, paired with a cream shawl, and a dark red snake skin clutch would be appropriate? Please let me know at your earliest convenience!

A Please, don't wear black tights with an elegant cocktail dress. They're just the wrong texture, too thick and dense. Wear legwear a shade lighter than your skin tone with a bit of shimmer to it for a more glam look. Please, don't wear a shawl, a black cashmere sweater would be far chicer for the ceremony. A shawl tends to make even women with great posture look stooped. If the clutch is small, that's fine. As for the booties, I'm just not too into them myself, why not go with a more classic black pump because you've got two huge fashion statements going on already with the red snake clutch and the one shoulder, and that's plenty.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Charleston, SC: 6:00 PM
Q 6 o'clock wedding in Charleston, SC location Lowndes Grove Plantation. It does not state black tie on the invitation ...hearing from several that it is. In this case, my hubby is wearing a tux, is cocktail attire (dress) ok for me? I live in Palm Beach ... attire here and in SC differs slightly!!

thanks,

kitty silverstein

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume that the dress code is Suits & Dresses. That means your husband would wear his best dark light-weight suit, a beautiful shirt and tie, black shoes, socks and belt. You would wear a lovely well-made cocktail dress that falls just above your knee (or just below your knee if you are over sixty). Worn with beautiful shoes and an elegant pretty clutch, you'll fit in just fine.

Yes, it is a six o'clock wedding, but if a formal dress code is not printed on the invitation, then men will be wearing their best business dark suits, either navy blue, black, or gray. What you may have heard is that the groomsmen/ushers are wearing tuxedos, which doesn't mean it is the dress code for the guests; after all the bride will be in a long dress, but the women guests will be wearing chic short cocktail dresses. The chicest weddings these days aren't necessarily black-tie, it is all about the quality of the Suits & Dresses. The Suits & Dresses wedding dress code is also on trend in Europe, CA, NYC, Houston and Boston.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Charleston: 5:00 PM: One-Shoulder Black Dress
Q I am attending a 5 pm wedding in Charleston, SC, in the middle of May. The wedding and reception are at a historical building near the water. There will be food stations with few seating options. Would a one-shoulder black cocktail dress be appropriate and what accessories? Venue has both indoor and outdoor options.

A It sounds a though the venue for the wedding reception is a Cocktail Buffet. Wear a cocktail dress with bright colored shoes -- either yellow or black -- to brighten up the look. Personally, I'm not a fan of the one shoulder look unless the woman is quite tall. It is a big look and it takes a big girl to wear it with style.

As to other accessories, besides the colored shoes, wear dangly earrings. You wouldn't wear a necklace with a one-shoulder dress because it would take away from the fashion statement of the one-shoulder. A small clutch is best, since you would not want an evening bag hanging down from the shoulder.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Charleston: 65 Years Old
Q Thank you! The venue for the reception is the restored Thomas Bennett House in Charleston, SC (former Governor's home). I am a 65-year-old woman. Thanks for your help.

Judy Fitch

April 8, 2013


A The dress code Suits & Dresses is perfect for this. I love the fitted knee-length skirt suit in a heavy silk with beautiful shoes for you. Wear leg wear a shade lighter than your skin tone.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Charleston: April: 6:30 PM Family
Q My nephew is being married in Charleston, SC in mid-June of this year. The wedding is being held at a country club venue, and I would like to know what is appropriate for a man to wear at a 6:30 wedding. It can be rather warm here in June. Is a linen suit all right, or a dark suit better? Please Help and thanks.
Ron

A For your nephew's 6:30 PM wedding, you should probably wear a dark suit, unless you are younger than he is. It wouldn't be wrong to wear a light-colored linen suit, but because you are related to the wedding couple, you might want to dress up a notch.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Charleston: Covering Bare Chest + Arms
Q I am attending a wedding in April in Charleston, SC and am unsure if my selected attire is appropriate. I am planning to wear a royal blue one shoulder cocktail-type dress that is knee-length. The wedding is in a church with a reception elsewhere. Is it appropriate to wear this one shoulder dress and do I need to have some sort of cover-up for it in the church? I am 22. What kind of cover-up can I wear besides a pashmina?

A Out of respect, you probably should cover the tops of your arms with either a nice, pretty cardigan sweater or a thin bolero jacket. Often brides wear a lace bolero jacket over their strapless wedding gown for the church ceremony. Right now in the stores, you can find bolero-style, elbow sleeve, dressy cardigan sweaters where you can see the waist that would be perfect.

Depending on how high the church, you might not need to wear anything to cover up. If it is a very formal wedding, cover up, if not, your bare arms won't be a big deal. However, if the wedding is in a Catholic church, you will want to cover up.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Chevy Chase MD Country Club: 5:00 PM Black-Tie
Q We are going to a 5 p.m. wedding at Chevy Chase Country Club in Maryland, in mid-September. The invitation says "Black Tie" and the mother of the bride is very traditional. I will were a tux. My wife wonders what length her dress should be?

A A five o'clock wedding is not the most formal, so your wife would wear a dressy knee-length skirt suit, often called a dinner suit, or a well-made, knee-length cocktail dress with beautiful shoes and she would carry her lipstick in a small clutch bag.

We like hearing from you and would like to help further, but I would need more information about your wife in order to be more specific.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Chic In Louisiana
Q OK, in general I am pretty good at this sort of thing, just not now. I live in a big city (Dallas) where black is acceptable just about everywhere no matter the season or time. However, I have to attend an August wedding with my husband who is an usher, and at the request of the bride, is to wear a tuxedo. The invite does not state a dress code. It is to be held at 2 PM in a Baptist church in Louisiana! Think, "as Southern as they come" for me and understand my in-laws will be present (they were raised by wolves and are judgmental). I am a Christian Louboutin fan if that helps with my tastes. PLEASE help me with this!

A OK, when the wedding invitation doesn't state Black Tie, then you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. So wear a great dressy dinner suit or dress, nipped in the waist, with three-quarter-length sleeves, that falls just above your knees, with, of course, a nude colored pair of Louboutins. The outfit will take you through the wedding ceremony and into to the reception with style.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Chicaago: Trump Tower: 5:00 PM: July
Q What to where to a wedding reception, Trump Tower Chicago 5:00 in July. I'm 60. And a size 6 or 8.

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. To illustrate the looks I like for women over forty, I use the website halsbrook.com, where you'll find dresses as well as skirts and jackets for special occasions such as a wedding reception. If you have a good skirt, look for a special occasion jacket at mariapucci.com to pair with your skirt. Add beautiful shoes and a small clutch bag.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Chicago Country Club 6:00 PM
Q I'll be attending an evening reception (6:00 p.m.) in November. The location is at a country club in Chicago. The couple will be married a month earlier on an island. What's the best attire for a 30 year woman?

A Wear a flirty cocktail dress that falls just above your knees and high heels. The dress can be draped, wrapped, or tailored, but if there is dancing at the reception, you would want the dress to have a skirt with a enough fabric so that you can dance comfortably. Make sure the dress fits your body to a T. If it doesn't, take it to a good dressmaker, or tailor, and have it altered to fit you as if it was made just for you.

To accessorize, carry a small clutch bag and wear a great pair of earrings. Take a warm coat and gloves because Chicago can be cold in November.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Children: Florida in July
Q We are attending a wedding at 6pm July 16th. Yes, this Saturday. My children are invited. What should they wear? It is in Florida on a plantation. It will be very hot. Church wedding then reception under a big tent. My question is specifically for my 10-year-old daughter who is way more sporty than girly. Thank you!!!

A First off, unless this is a family wedding, I'm not a huge fan of having children her age at a wedding. If it is a close family wedding, hire a college student to take care of your kids, and let them all go to the wedding ceremony to experience the ritual, but when it comes to the reception have grown-up time and leave them with the sitter in the motel. Have the children supervised in the motel by the babysitter.

Trying to get a tomboy, as they use to be called, into a dress is a dead end. If this is a family wedding, and she has to be in attendance, then let her pick her outfit. Believe me, many families are accepting the fact there is more than one lifestyle. Allowing her to be whomever she wishes to be will be huge for you in communicating with her. Let her work it out. Making her conform will only create distance between you. The last thing you want is to have an occasion such as this to cause distance. Ten is such a great age! Take her to your local store where kids her age get their clothes and let her choose what she wants to wear to the wedding. By letting her do this, you are acknowledging that she has an authentic self and, therefore, she will be more apt to keep connected to you if you recognize and appreciate her need for authenticity.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Choosing a Dress Code: Mid-August
Q My wedding is set for 08/18/2012 in a church with the reception at a high school gym. My fiance is wearing a tuxedo with tails. Is this considered a black tie affair and should it be held at 5 p.m. or later? My colors are black, white, and turquoise.

A Just because your fiance chooses to wear black-tie and tails, does NOT mean that the dress code has to be Black Tie or Formal Attire. If you don't specify a dress code on the invitation, it will be assumed that the dress code is Suits & Dresses. Of course, you can include the dress code Suits & Dresses on the invitation. A Black Tie or Formal Attire wedding usually starts after six o'clock.

Whether you decide on a Black Tie or Formal Attire dress code for your wedding is up to the two of you. Think about your guest list and what would be the most convenient attire for them? Do most of the men own tuxedos? Will those who don't be willing to rent one for the evening? Do most of the men have dark suits already that they can wear? Or perhaps tan or khaki suits? An alternative could be navy blue blazers with cream-colored or khaki pants. Then I want you to think about the climate where you are getting married in mid-August, does it ever get unseasonably hot? Is the high school gym air conditioned in mid-August? I ask about weather temperature because your male guests would be very uncomfortable wearing tuxedos in August if the high school gym isn't air conditioned. Think of all the above factors and I'm pretty sure you and your fiance will come to an agreement about the dress code for your wedding. A good host and hostess thinks about the comfort and convenience of their guests.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Cleveland: 6:00: Lilly Pultizer Dress
Q I am singing "Ave Maria" at a garden wedding at 4:30 p.m. The wedding will be in August at a historical estate. The reception is at 6:00 p.m. at a hotel ballroom. Would a "Lilly Pulitzer" floral dress be appropriate for the wedding and reception? It is a more sophisticated print in jade green with white flowers. The dress has straps. I am a size 4 and I am 59 years young. I am a friend of the family. The wedding is near Cleveland.

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. For a six o'clock wedding that means a cocktail dress. If your Lilly Pulitzer dress is a knee-length cocktail dress, then by all means wear it. As the ceremony isn't in a church, a sleeveless dress is not a concern in August - especially. Wear beautiful shoes and carry a small clutch bag.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Coastal Cocktail Attire: Maine: Labor Day
Q My daughter is going to a wedding in Maine on Labor Day weekend. One of the party invitations says "Coastal Cocktail" attire. I know what that means in the South (Lilly Pulitzer, e.g.), but I'm not so sure what that might suggest for Maine.

A Blue stripes are costal, or any color stripe for that matter. Lilly Pulitzer is not RI,MA,NH,ME coastal. We prefer JMcLaughlin. Go to jmclaughlin.com and look at their summer sale. Labor Day weekend, however, can be cold, so she'll need a pair of pants and a cotton sweater. For the wedding I like the following dresses on Sale on the website: Emma Cap Sleeve Dress in Stay Sail, Sage Sleeveless Dress in Marble, Sage Dress in Deco Knot, Edie Dress in Mod Garden, and Nicola Dress in Black Portsmouth Stripe, Nicola Dress in Blue Riviera, Nicola Dress in Coral Mixed Media Stripe, and Maria Halter Dress in Jazz. Not on sale, I like Sage Dress In French Lace, which is lovely.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Coastal Town 6:30 PM Ceremony in October
Q What should women and young daughters wear to a 6:30 wedding in a coastal town on October 2nd. The invitation did not specify dress. It is in an historic church site, with courtyard cocktails while the sanctuary is being set for dinner.

A As the invitation did not specify Black Tie and the ceremony is at 6:30, you will want to wear a dress with short sleeves that falls just below your knees with a jacket, shawl, or nice cardigan sweater. A dressy light-weight skirt suit would be nice, too. Wear beautiful shoes and carry a small clutch for your keys and lipgloss.

As I don't know the ages of your daughters, my best advice is to let your daughters wear dresses they feel comfortable in, but that are also festive. For instances, a dress they would wear to a holiday party.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Cocktail & Boots: Dallas: 6:00
Q Going to a 6:00 pm wedding in Dallas, TX. Attire states on the invitation "Cocktail & Boots". I'm not sure what to wear.

A I understand. That would stump me, too. I would start with thinking about my boots. Quite frankly, I don't find boots feminine. I'm OK with my Todd boots in winter in NYC and Newport when it's snowing, but I never think of them as a fashion statement, so perhaps I'm not the right person to ask.

You need to be yourself. Look at the dress code, which you've done, and then adapt to who you are. Since I know nothing about who you are (gender, age, lifestyle) this is really a stretch. When the invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, then you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. So if you are a man, you would wear your best dark suit, with a collared shirt, great tie, and on your feet whatever you wear for dancing, since wedding receptions are largely about the dancing. As long as the soles of your shoes are leather, you'll be fine on the dance floor.

I've been to really elegant upscale weddings in Houston, and boots weren't the fashion statement. For a 6:00 wedding, a woman wouldn't be expected to wear boots with her very dressy cocktail dress.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Cocktail Attire + Dressy Casual: Asheville, NC: November 2014
Q What to wear to a 5:00 pm wedding on November 1 in Asheville,North Carolina...reception to follow....the invitation says Coctail Attire. I am 62 years old....but not your average 62...much younger looking per everyone. Height 5 ft..5 inc...weight 128..

I am also invited to the rehersal dinner at 7:00 pm...it says "dressy casual:....thank you indavance

A Cocktail Attire is Suits & Dresses, meaning a knee-length cocktail dress with beautiful shoes and a small clutch bag. For the rehearsal dinner wear the same, but take it down a notch in terms of dressiness and jewelry.

Think more about the quality of the clothing than the dressiness of the outfits. For women over forty, I use the Halsbrook website halsbrook.com to illustrate dresses, just click on 'Dresses.' The other look I like for women your age is the occasional jacket, which you can find at Maria Pucci's website maria-pucci.com. Add a pair of slacks with one of her beautiful jackets and you have 'Dressy Casual.'

We like hearing from you, but I am an etiquette consultant, not a stylist. For personalized styling, go to the website what2wearwhere.com and give our kind regards to Hilary Dick.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Color Clothing Not to Wear
Q What colors of clothing should the guests not wear to a wedding?

A Guests should not wear white to a wedding. The only woman wearing white at a wedding is the bride.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Color for Mother of the Groom
Q What color dress does the mother of the groom wear?

A The mother of the bride wears navy blue or beige.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Colorado: Fall 2013: Outdoors
Q So my boyfriend's brother is getting married in late September (more like the end of September). It will take place in Colorado up in the mountains at 4:00, outside at a cabin. The reception is to follow at the golf course.

I am torn on what to wear, I know it won't be super dressy, but what is a good middle line between dressy and casual? They are a young couple, lots of family will be there, and everyone is super chill.

I am 5"6 roughly 130 pounds, female, wanting something nice and elegant without is being too dressy. Recently I have been thinking of a solid color dress with booties? Too much?

A It doesn't sound too much, sounds good. It is a wedding after all. Remember it will be chilly, so take along a fitted soft leather jacket or sweater coat in a different color and you'll be color-blocking while keeping warm. A jersey cocktail maxi dress would work as well. For the sweater, look for a coatigan, shrug coat, or cocoon cardigan. My favorite can be found on the Web site pureUK.com to see examples as to what I'm talking about.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com



Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Colorado: October: Early Evening: Spaghetti Straps
Q Hey Didi, My name is Sally. I'm 22 and going to a wedding in Colorado with my boyfriend. The wedding is October 19th and it's an early evening wedding at a hotel. The couple getting married are friends of my boyfriend's parents, they are around 26 years old. I am not sure how formal the affair will be. I have a raspberry colored maxi dress that is a nice material, but has spaghetti straps. I am wondering if this will be appropriate or not? I am 5 foot 9 and also plan on wearing black flats that have gold studs on them. Thanks for the help!

A I think your cocktail maxi dress sounds perfect with the dressy ballerina flats. Have a great time at the wedding. The spaghetti straps are fine. You may need a soft leather jacket or wrap sweater, as the ceremony may be outside, with the reception inside afterward.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Colorado: Outdoors: June: 1:00 PM
Q What do friends of the wedding couple wear to an outdoor Friday June 1 pm wedding in Colorado?

A An early afternoon wedding is not dressy. The later in the day the dressier the wedding. Wear your best church clothes and you'll be fine.

We like hearing from you but it is hard to help when we know little about the wedding and nothing about you. The more information your give us, the more specific your answer.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Colors for Summer Cocktail Dress
Q Hello Didi,

A friend and I will be attending an indoor wedding in Beaver Creek , CO on August 1st (2014), and the wedding is set for 4:30 pm. We were told that we need to wear cocktail dresses. I've always heard that red, black, and white (or shades close to white) are inappropriate colors to wear to any wedding. What would be appropriate?

A Traditionally, you wouldn't wear a red dress because red is the most attention-grabbing color. After all, all eyes should be on the bride, not on the woman in the red dress. Black is perfectly acceptable. In fact the little black dress goes just about anywhere from five o'clock on and you can call 4:30pm a five o'clock wedding. So wear your LBD with confidence. As to white, the only woman at a wedding wearing white is the bride. Out of respect for the bride on her wedding day, you wouldn't wear white.

As to what to wear besides a black dress, any knee-length or above cocktail dress in a summer color, such as any shade of blue, pink, green, yellow, grey. Take a look at fashions trending at renttherunway.com where you'll find dresses to rent, sale or just to get an idea of what is available in stores and online.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Connecticut: September: Clambake Rehearsal Dinner
Q My best friend is attending a wedding in Conn. during Sept. The rehearsal dinner is a clambake on the beach. Any suggestions on the ensemble? She looks like a teenager, but she is 50. She loves vintage clothes.

A Are you asking about what your friend should wear to the wedding and to the rehearsal the night before? I would need to know whatever she knows about the dress code for both events and her build.

This is a very general answer: For the clambake, she could wear well-cut pants and a tunic. For the wedding, if the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie, the dress code would be Suits & Dresses. I would be happy to give you a more personal answer, if you return to my Web site and ask the question again with more details.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Country Club Reception: 6:30 PM
Q Slim 57 woman, can I wear a fancy black sheath, that goes to my knee, with cute sandals to a 6:30 pm wedding at a country club?

A Your fancy black sheath sounds fun, whether it's too fun and fussy for a country club reception is what I wonder about? Wear it but go easy on the accessories. That said, if you're not too tall, wear a sandal with a bit of a heel - don't wear flat sandals. Back to the dress, the word that threw me was 'fancy'- as in fancy dress ball gown. If the dress is fancy but also chic, by all means wear it.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Country Club: May: 4:00
Q Hi,

I am attending an early May wedding at four o'clock at a country club with the reception onsite immediately following. My husband is wearing a navy suit and I would really love to wear a long light purple dress. The dress is sleeveless and has some sequins on the neckline. It also has foil dots along it.

I love this dress, but is it appropriate for a wedding at this time? I have no idea if they are getting married indoors or outdoors.

I am short and brown-skinned and curvy. Can you please tell me, is it okay to wear a long dress to a 4 pm wedding?

A Yes, you can wear a long dress to a four o'clock wedding as long as it doesn't look like an evening dress. When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses, meaning a knee-length cocktail dress.

Your dress sounds lovely and you can certain wear it, but take it down with the accessories. Less is more. As you know, a four o'clock wedding isn't very formal. But, on the other hand, long cocktail dresses are quite fashionable just now, so if it is not too dressy, definitely wear it.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Couple + 17-year-old Daughter: Philadelphia: 3:00 PM: March
Q I am attending my niece's wedding in Philadelphia on March 22. I am 57 years old. What should I wear, how about my husband and 17-year-old daughter?

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. For your husband that means his best and darkest business suit with a white shirt and handsome tie. You would wear a knee-length dress with beautiful shoes and carry a small clutch bag. For women over forty, I recommend the website Halsbrook.com for ideas on what to wear and how to accessorize. Click on dresses and find a dress that suits your build and budget, then checkout a department store in your area for something similar.

Your daughter could do the same, by going to RenttheRunway.com, where the dresses can be rented, bought, or she can find ideas for dresses that she could find locally.

We like hearing from you and we would be interested to learn if these recommendations were helpful. If not, give us additional information and we'll try to help further. Another site you both might like to view is netaporter.com.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Couple In Their 30s With Baby: 4:30 pm: Hawaii
Q What to wear to a 4:30 pm outdoor October wedding in Hawaii when dress code is summer formal attire? My husband and I are mid 30's. And have an 8-month-old attending also. Thanks

A Your husband can wear a white dinner jacket with black trouser and shoes, and a white shirt, but he wouldn't necessarily have to wear a tie or socks. He could get away with a colored bow tie.

You would wear a short, snappy cocktail dress that falls just above your knee with beautiful shoes and carry a small clutch. My best advice about the eight-month-old is either to take a babysitter with you to the wedding, or ahead of time, hire someone through a local nursing service to take care of your baby as eight-month-olds aren't much fun at a wedding. Once they can dance, they're fun, but at eight months they are squirmy and can't be put down just anywhere. If you don't want to leave the baby in the hotel with a sitter, then take the babysitter with you to the wedding so that she can spell you while you dance with your husband. Eight-months-olds are great, but not so much fun at a wedding. I know, I have one! If it is a family wedding, then have the baby at the ceremony, but take the baby to the hotel room and go back to the reception. I've been to weddings with babies, and it isn't always easy, especially, if they are off their schedule. I want you to have fun!

This is a rather general answer because I don't know anything about the wedding couple, or the lifestyle. For instance if this is a native Hawaiian wedding, you will need to find out a more specific dress code from your hosts. If this is a destination wedding, then what I've told you is fine.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Couple With Baby: 2:00 PM: CA
Q I will be going to a 2.00 pm wedding at a church in Santa Ynez, CA, and then the reception will follow at a winery in the same place. The bride told me to wear a 'nice sundress' for the event and for my husband it will be a shirt and slacks. I am confused as to the length of the dress, its color and fabric. Should I wear a tea-length or a knee-length dress? I prefer light colors (other than white) and also what should be my footwear? Also, my 8 month old baby girl needs to dress up too. Can I take her to the church ceremony or should I stay back and attend the reception only?

Thanks


A A two o'clock early afternoon wedding is not dressy. A simple knee-length cotton dress is perfect. Your baby daughter can wear a little dress, too. Depending on her nap time, take her to the church if you think she'll sleep in her stroller. Babies like church music, so it could be a soothing experience for you both.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Couple with Five-Year-Old: 4:00 PM: June
Q How should I dress my 5-year-old boy for a wedding? Myself and my husband also. I'm 42 tall and slender, hubby is 45 tall and slender.

There is no dress code on the invitation. The invitation is on heavy card stock (black and gold), engraving and calligraphy on the envelope. The ceremony is at 4:00 pm in Ohio at the end of June. The invitation states the ceremony is at the groom's family residence with the reception to follow outside in the back yard of the property. "A tent with tables and chairs will be setup to hold the reception. The only flooring under the tent is the dance floor. The tables and chairs will be setup directly on the grass. Please keep this in mind when making your shoe selection for the day". Thank you for you help!

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. A four o'clock wedding isn't really formal, the later in the day the wedding the dressier the wedding. You would wear a pretty knee-length cocktail dress with beautiful ballerina flats or wedgie shoes and carry a small bag. Your husband would wear his best light-weight business suit, a white collared shirt, a handsome tie and dark leather shoes. Your son could wear khakis with a collared white shirt, with or without a tie.

Be sure children your sons's age are being invited to the reception, because parties that large can be over-stimulating and thus overwhelming for small children.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Couple: 1:00 PM: Fromal: Let Boyfriend Pick His Own Tie
Q I have been invited to a 1:00 wedding April 13th in Clearwater Florida. The invitation said to the guest that it is a formal wedding. I am 5'3" and 110 lbs. medium blonde hair and hazel eyes. I am not sure if I should wear a black dress that has spaghetti straps knee-length in front and longer in back or a cream-colored with pale green flowers short in front and longer in back. They both have small sparkles on them. Also I don't know what color shoes to wear if I wear the cream one. OR if either is appropriate. Also my boyfriend is wearing a light brown suit and brown shoes and not sure what color tie for him or shirt. Please help.

A First off, a one o'clock wedding isn't formal. Small sparkles are too dressy for an early afternoon wedding. Think about a nice linen dress with beautiful shoes and a lovely hat. The cream-colored dress may look too bride-ish, if the green flowers are too pale.

Your boyfriend can wear a striped shirt and a solid tie or a solid shirt and a striped tie. It is best to let a man pick his own tie.

Even though the wedding party will be dressed formally, at an early afternoon wedding you don't want to be walking around in a cocktail dress or people will think you hadn't been home the night before.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Couple: 11:30 am Ceremony at an Art Center: Massachusetts: October
Q My husband and I have been invited to an outdoor wedding at an art center in October in Massachusetts. The wedding begins at 11:30 am followed by an indoor reception at the same location. The invitation did not provide a dress code; however it did mention that the reception included a BBQ and dancing. I have been told it is casual; however, I want to be appropriately dressed. I would appreciate your guidance!

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie, or Formal Attire, you can assume that the dress code is Suits & Dresses. Your husband, along with the other men, will put their ties in their jacket pocket and take off their jackets for the dancing. He can be assured that a good sports jacket and dress khakis, or gray flannels, can be worn with a collared shirt and tie as an alternative. By the way, for a late morning wedding, you might want to wear a beautiful hat.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Couple: 2:00 PM: Maryland: July
Q My wife and I are invited to my old college teammate's wedding in July. It is in Maryland and starts at 2 pm. My wife has been concerned about how flashy a dress she needs to wear. I was looking for some insight on what people in that area of the country wear to a wedding at that time of day. Thank you.

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can safely assume that the dress code is Suits & Dresses. A two o'clock wedding is not formal, nor is it particularly dressy. Afternoon weddings are more about the quality of the clothing than the dressiness. The later in the day the wedding, the more formal the attire. You and your wife would fit in beautifully if you wore a lightweight dark suit with a white collared shirt and handsome tie and she wore a well-made knee-length dress with beautiful shoes. Two o'clock weddings are the perfect occasion to wear a lovely hat and she would carry a small clutch bag for her lipstick.

The exception for this would be if there was an eight o'clock seated dinner, which is sometimes the case for a two o'clock wedding. Then your wife would have the option of changing for dinner into a dressy cocktail dress or a dressy skirt suit, sometimes called a dinner suit. If the evening seated dinner is black-tie then that would have been made clear to you on the invitation.

For a summer afternoon wedding in Maryland, your suit could be either a dark gray or dark blue. Alternatively, if you're under thirty, you could wear a navy blue blazer with off-white trousers, with a white shirt and handsome tie.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Couple: 3:00 PM Ceremony + 6:15 PM Reception: Philadelphia: May
Q HI Didi,

My husband's co-worker invited us to his wedding. The ceremony is at 3 pm at Church and the Reception starts at 6:15 with dancing and dinner to follow. Invitation reads black tie welcome. Both families are Asian I know from history that they are usually on the more formal side. It's in Philly in May. Any suggestions on how to dress?

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. You have several options here. To the ceremony you can wear business attire. Your husband can wear his best business suit and you would wear a skirt suit or knee-length dress. Then go back to the hotel and change for the reception and dinner. You can both change, you into a knee-length cocktail dress and he into a tuxedo, or he could wear his best business suit. It is the quality of the clothing more than the dressiness of the outfits that is important here.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Couple: 30-Years-Old: Lake Boat Ceremony: Reception Glacier National Park Historic
Q I am invited to a late August wedding in Glacier National Park in Montana. The wedding will be at 4:00 aboard a large boat followed by an evening reception (dinner, cocktails, and dancing) at a lakeside historic hotel. The invitation is quite casual. I am 30, size 00P (100 lbs, 5'4), with an hourglass shape. I typically wear sheath dresses, but am considering a champagne cotton strapless dress with blue filigree embroidery (from J Crew) that has a high waist with pleating and a more flowy skirt (cute rather than elegant which is more my norm). During the wedding, I was planning on wearing a nice cardigan. Does this sound appropriate, and what type of shoes and accessories do you suggest (I was thinking about chandelier earrings since they set off my long neck)? My husband was planning on wearing khakis and a white button-up shirt with brown dress shoes (he asked the groom about attire and was instructed "not to wear jeans", but I don't know the bride's expectations).

A Your outfit sounds perfect. As to the shoes. Since it's a big boat, you don't need to worry about not being able to wear heels and having to wear rubber soled shoes. You can wear patent leather heels in either your skin tone to accentuate your height, or in a fun color.

Out of respect for the bride, your husband would wear a tie and jacket, which he can always take off when the dancing begins. When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Jackets, which means a jacket and tie for your husband.

I looked at wedding photos at the historic hotel on the Internet and the bride was wearing a long white wedding gown and the groom is in a tuxedo. I would rather see your husband wear a tie and jacket than have him be the only thirty-year-old man not wearing a tie and jacket. As I said, he can always fold his tie and place it in his jacket pocket before hanging his jacket on the back of his chair.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Couple: 4:00: Pacific Palisades, CA
Q We are going to a 5pm wedding in the Pacific Palisades, CA. It is being held at the bride's mothers house. The invitation specifies "cocktail attire". Is it appropriate for me to wear short black and my husband to wear stone= colored brooks bros suit?

A Yes, that sounds excellent. When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. Cocktail Attire dress code means suits and dresses and your LBD and your husband's stone-colored BB suit would be perfect.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Couple: 4:30 pm: Alabama
Q My husband and I are guests for a December 8th semi-formal wedding at 4:30 pm in Alabama. The wedding, cocktail hour, and reception is all at the same venue. It is inside. I have no clue what is appropriate for either of us to wear. I asked about the colors for the wedding as to not clash and was told it would be decorated for Christmas. Please let me know your suggestions.

Thanks,
Kimberly

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. Your husband would were his best business suits with black leather shoes and black socks, a collared shirt and handsome tie.

You would wear a well-made, knee-length cocktail dress with beautiful shoes and carry a small clutch bag. Alternatively, if you're 45 or above, you could wear an elegant, knee-length, dressy skirt suit. Alabama can be very dressy, but traditionally a 4:30 pm ceremony is not formal, which means dressy cocktail attire would be perfect. You probably wouldn't want to wear red and green, since those are the wedding party colors, but there are other holiday colors, such as cobalt blue, silver, gold, burgundy, fuchsia, and black, that would fit in nicely with the wedding scheme. Have fun!


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Couple: 4:30 PM: Jacksonville, FL: March
Q We are attending March 15 church wedding (4:30PM) in Jacksonville FL. The reception will be at a local country club. We are guests of the groom's family. What is acceptable dress for me and my husband?

Thank you for your response.

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. You would wear a knee-length cocktail dress or a curvy silk skirt suit, with beautiful shoes and carry a small clutch bag. Your husband would wear a dark suit or a navy blue blazer with grey flannels.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Couple: 4:30: Duck, NC: October
Q We are going to a 4:30 pm wedding in Duck, NC on October 3, 2014. I'm going through hot flashes but I'm 60 and don't wear sleeveless dresses. Any suggestions? And what about my husband, what should he wear?

Thanks

A Look at the wedding invitation for a dress code. When no dress code is mentioned you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. Your husband would wear his best business suit and you would wear a knee-length cocktail dress, or a dressy skirt suit (often called a dinner suit) with beautiful shoes and carry a small clutch bag.

For women over forty, we recommend the website halsbrook.com. Click on dresses and look for one that has sleeves. Alternatively a skirt with a really nice jacket would be appropriate. Look at these:

Look under Dresses for:
Holland Crepe Shift Dress
Mila Tweed and Crape Dress

If that's not your style, go to maria-pucci.com and look at the special occasion jackets that you can wear with a skirt in your wardrobe:

Charleston Jacket Elegant Brocade
Newport Long Coat

I use these websites to illustrate certain looks that would be appropriate for you to wear to a late afternoon wedding.

We like hearing from you, and we're happy to help further but we need more details about your style in order to assist you further.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com





Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Couple: 5:00 PM: Myrtle Beach, SC: Outdoors
Q Hi! We are attending my husband's cousin's wedding in mid-October in Myrtle Beach, SC. It's outdoors on a pier, weather permitting, and is at 5 pm. What would suggest we wear? I told the hubby that a sport coat and slacks may be his best option. But I didn't know what is appropriate. Cocktail dress for me?

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. Your husband would wear his best dark business suit with a collared shirt and tie, dark belt, socks and shoes. Yes, you would wear a knee-length cocktail dress with beautiful shoes and carry a small clutch bag. Alternatively, if you're of a certain age, you could wear a dressy knee-length skirt suit that is nicely tailored to flatter your figure.

Should your husband not have a business suit, then his sports coat with grey flannel trousers, a collared shirt and handsome tie would of course be fine. I suggested the suit because most southern weddings, even when the ceremony is on a pier, can be fairly dressy. Although, often it is not so much about the dressiness of the outfit, but the quality.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Couple: 50 Something: Marco Island, FL: 4:00
Q My husband and I are attending a 4 o'clock wedding on Marco Island this November. We are "well kept" and in our mid- 50's. What is proper wedding guest attire at this time of the year in Florida at this posh resort?
Thank you

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Formal Attire or Black Tie, then you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. Therefore, your husband would wear a a lightweight dark suit, collared shirt, handsome tie, and black shoes, socks and belt. You would wear a well-made cocktail dress with beautiful shoes and carry a small clutch bag. Weddings at that hour are not as much about the dressiness of the outfits as the quality of the clothing. Alternatively, you could wear an elegant knee-length, dressy skirt suit, which is age appropriate, as well as appropriate for that time of day in November.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Couple: 6:00 PM: June: North Carolina
Q I'm going to a wedding on June 2nd, my husband is wearing a black suit,I am planning on wearing a purple chiffon below= knee-length dress with jacket. Will this be appropriate for a 6:00 wedding at a country club with a sit down dinner to follow? I live in eastern North Carolina.

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. That means your husband's suit if fine and your dress is perfect. Carry a small clutch bag for your lipgloss and wear beautiful shoes. I adore a chiffon dress at a wedding because they're fun for dancing.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Couple: 6:00 PM: Mobile, Alabama
Q I'm 53; my Godson is getting married in Mobile Alabama - a church wedding with a large reception at a civic center at 6 p.m. on May 10. What should I wear? My husband has a dark blue suit - what shirt color/tie should he wear? The invitations do not specify.

A When the invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. Your husband's dark blue suit sounds perfect with a white shirt and his best tie. You would wear a knee-length cocktail dress or dinner suit (silk skirt suit) with beautiful shoes and carry a small clutch bag.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Couple: 6:30 PM: Summer: Columbia, SC
Q Hi Didi: I am attending a 6:30 summer wedding in Columbia, SC. What is the appropriate attire for women and men. My date wants to wear a tuxedo. I was thinking of wearing an after 5 short dress. I was also thinking that a suit or coat and tie would be more appropriate for my date. Any suggestions? Thanks

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume that the dress code is Suits & Dresses. Therefore your date would feel over dressed wearing a tuxedo and should either wear a lightweight, dark summer suit or a navy blue blazer with either dress khakis or off-white colored trousers. Whether the invitation states a formal attire or not, you can certainly wear a knee-length cocktail dress with beautiful shoes and carry a small clutch bag.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Couple: Adult Dress Code: Californie: June: 10-5 PM
Q What does "Adult Dress Code" mean? The wedding is the second week of June in CA outdoors at a nature park from 10am-5pm. What is considered appropriate dress for a 60-yr.-old couple?

A "Adult Dress Code" reminds me of the nudist colonies of the eighties and nineties. What you wear is more about the quality of your clothing than the dressiness, as you've already assumed. In the month of June in California, shorts and a good quality sports shirt and sturdy shoes, because it looks as though you're going hiking to a lookout point to partake in the ceremony.

See if you can find out the venue, bathing suits, hiking shoes? When you do, please, get back to me and I'll work further with you. I'm thinking a flowing skirt and a lovely peasant blouse. Outdoors, you'll both need a hat and sunscreen.

We like hearing from you and feel the Adult part means no high heels.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com



Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Couple: Age 22: December: 3:00 pm
Q Hi Didi,

I'm a 20-year-old, female college student who will be coming home to see one of my best friends from high school get married. The bride & the groom are both still in school so I assume their budget is limited & won't be too formal. The wedding is at her childhood church at 3 pm in December. Would a cocktail dress be preferred or should I wear something even more simple? Also, if her colors are navy & white, what colors should I avoid wearing?

Also, I will be bringing a date & I don't know what to tell him to wear either. Your help is much appreciated!!

Best,
Rachel Nelson

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. Wear a simple cocktail dress with beautiful shoes and carry as small clutch bag. Your date should wear a white collared shirt with a jacket and tie and nice trousers with leather shoes. Usually the bridesmaids wear the wedding colors, so you wouldn't wear navy blue, but you could wear another shade of blue. The bride is the only one at her wedding in a white dress. Go to the website RenttheRunWay.com to see what fashions are in trend. Click on Wedding Boutique and you'll see the colors and styles of dresses being worn to wedding just now, which you can either rent or buy online, or find in a department store near you.

We like hearing from you.
Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Couple: Battery Park, Newport, RI: Broadway Restaurant
Q Small wedding in Battery Park, Newport RI. Reception at a local restaurant up on Broadway. Your thoughts on attire for a man and a woman?

A How you dress depends upon the time of day of the wedding. For daytime you would wear your business attire, for cocktail hour you would a Tie + Jacket or a simple cocktail dress. This is more abut the quality of the clothing than the dressiness of the clothing.

We like hearing from you. Have a great time.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Couple: Black Tie Optional: Vineyard, N. California: 5:00 pm
Q My husband and I are invited to a "black tie optional" wedding at 5:00 p.m., with the reception immediately following. Both the ceremony and reception are indoors at a winery in the Livermore valley wine area in Northern California at the end of March. I am 50 years old, but can pass for 40. I am 5'5" and 134 pounds and in very good shape, since I work out often. I have green eyes and "caramel" hair color, with fair skin tone. I was thinking a black cocktail dress, but wondering if an A-line style is too young. Any suggestions would be appreciated. Also, should my husband wear a tuxedo in this case? He is 52, with gray hair. Thank you!

A When the wedding invitation says 'Black Tie Optional', it is another way of saying that you have the option of wearing less formal attire - 'Suits & Dresses,' meaning your husband can wear his best business suit and you can wear a knee-length cocktail dress to a five o'clock wedding. A LBD is always chic from five o'clock on.

What I do with clients is view the website of the wedding venue and click on to see wedding photos of guests to get a sense of what wedding guests wear in that area of the country. A LBD may seem a bit city-ish. You may want to wear something more spring-like by the end of March. I encourage clients to search 'Spring Fashion 2013' to see trending fashions and colors to find other options. Also, in terms of Spring trending colors for 2013, Google those, too, and you'll see that the hot, sexy colors this spring and summer are Monaco Blue, Emerald, Grayed Jade, Linen, African Violet, Lemon Zest and Nectarine - all of which would look lovely with your caramel hair color, fair skin tone and green eyes.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Couple: Boston: June: 5:30 PM
Q I'm attending a wedding in Boston in mid-June. Catholic Mass at 5:30. What length dress, color and how dressy should it be? I'm 50 years old but still enjoy dressing on the younger side. What color suit should my husband wear?

Thank you!

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie, then you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses, or Cocktail Attire. Meaning your husband would wear his best lightweight dark business suit and you would wear a knee- length cocktail dress with beautiful shoes and carry a small clutch bag.

To illustrate trending styles for women over forty, I recommend the website Halsbrook.com. Click on 'dresses' to find a style that suits you.

We like hearing from you. When you know the dress code, we would be happy to help you further.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Couple: CA: 4:30 PM
Q 4:30 pm reception, Pasadena, CA., April 2012, for a man and woman?

A If this is a wedding reception, and the invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. The man would wear his best, dark, lightweight, business suit. The woman would wear a chic, but not glitzy, cocktail dress, with beautiful shoes, carry a small clutch bag, and she could wear a lovely hat. Nothing is more appropriate for a wedding than a lovely hat.

A late afternoon is more about quality and chic, than glitter. I know California is more relaxed, so you can always leave the hat and tie in the car for the reception. For a wedding, it is always more respectful to dress up and have the option of taking off the tie and jacket once the dancing gets going.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Couple: California: December 3:00 PM
Q My niece is getting married on Saturday, December 21, 2013, in Hemet, California. The wedding will be held at 3:00 pm. It will be an outdoor wedding and reception. My niece said she wanted people to be comfortable as the temperatures seem to get pretty cold. What should a woman or man wear?

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. The ceremony may be outside, but the reception will no doubt be under a tent or inside someplace close by. Wear a dress with sleeves or a skirt and sweater with a fitted suede jacket or sweater coat that you can take off once inside, with beautiful shoes or fitted boots. Carry a small clutch bag. A man would wear good trousers, leather shoes, a collared shirt and a good jacket, with the option of wearing a tie. Out of respect for the bride on her wedding day, he would wear a jacket and tie, which he can always take off and fold into his pocket.

These are rather general suggestions because I would have to know more about your lifestyle, the venue for the wedding, and your ages and builds to be more specific, but you get the picture. At a wedding such as this, it is more about the quality of the clothing than the dressiness of the outfits.

We like hearing from you.
Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Couple: California: February
Q Hello there, I know its short notice but my stepbrother is getting married today in Napa Valley California. It's February and it's pouring down rain, storming. My stepmom is wearing Navy blue. Please help, don't know what to wear or my husband.

A Wear a knee-length dress. Have your husband wear a suit with an open collar shirt or a jacket with a tie. Sorry, I just saw your question. Take an umbrella, if you have one.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Couple: Charleston, SC: 5:00 PM
Q What is appropriate attire for male and female guests in their sixties at a 5:00 pm wedding in Charleston, SC? Wedding to be held in a church.

A When the wedding invitation does not specify Black Tie or Formal attire, you can assume the dress code is "Suits & Dresses'. The man would wear a business suit and the woman would wear a knee-length cocktail dress or dressy skirt suit with beautiful shoes and carry a small clutch bag. Even though the wedding party may be dressed in formal attire, it doesn't necessarily mean the guests would wear anything but cocktail attire, "Suits & Dresses," for a five o'clock church wedding.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Couple: Charleston, SC: 6:30
Q My husband and I are attending an outdoor wedding in Charleston, SC, at 6:30 pm this weekend. What would be appropriate attire for both of us? Late twenties. Would it be appropriate for my husband to wear his tux?

A Look at the wedding invitation. If it doesn't specifically say Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. Nowadays, when the groomsmen are wearing tuxedos, it doesn't necessarily mean the dress code is Black Tie.

As I said, when there is no dress code, your husband would wear a dark lightweight suit with a white collared shirt, handsome tie, and black shoes and socks; alternatively, a navy blue blazer with off-white trousers. You would wear a knee-length cocktail dress with beautiful shoes and carry a small evening bag.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Couple: Chicago: 1:30 PM Ceremony + 5:30 PM Reception
Q 1:30 church wedding in Chicago over Memorial Day Weekend. Black-tie optional reception at The Drake at 5:30. Thinking a dressy suit for wedding, dancing to dressy cocktail attire for reception. For husband, dark suit for wedding, changing to tux for reception. Your thoughts?

A Go by what the invitation says. If the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, your husband wouldn't need to wear a tuxedo. A 5:30 pm wedding goes either way, so follow the dress code on the invitation. If the dress code is Black Tie, then you would change for the reception, dinner and dancing.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Couple: Children: 2:00pm: CT
Q 2pm wedding in ct reception at a small hotel lounge like area... Second marriage... Groom and grooms men wearing suits and the bride wearing a gown... Kids are invited... What to wear... Husband kids and me?

A When the wedding invitation doesn't say Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. A two o'clock wedding is not dressy, so the clothing is more about the quality than the dressiness of the outfits. Your husband would wear a business suit. You would wear a dress or a curvy knee-length skirt suit with nice shoes and use a small hand bag. Your children would dress in their best clothing; girls in dresses, boys in jackets and ties, if they have them.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Couple: Clambake Wedding
Q Hello, we are going to an outside wedding (under tent) in mid-September. Wedding will be there also. The invitation was beautifully done. It's a clambake wedding. What do you think the attire for both of us (husband and wife) should be? It says nothing on the invitation.


A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, which it wouldn't for a clambake, then you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. Depending upon his age, your husband would wear a light-weight gray or navy blue suit with collared shirt, tie, black shoes, socks and belt. If he is under fifty, he can wear a navy blue blazer with dress khakis, a collared shirt, tie and loafers.

Depending upon her age, she would wear a well-made dress of good quality fabric and design, that falls just above her knees (or just below the knee, if older) with beautiful shoes and a small clutch bag. Although she might want to wear flats as the clambake is outdoors and spike heels can get stuck in soft turf.

As I don't know the time of day, or your ages, this is a rather general answer. Also, a clambake wedding at a private club would be dressier than a clambake at a public clambake facility. I've suggested the more up-scale dress code because out of respect for the bride, it is better to dress up than dress down.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Couple: Cumberland Island: March 2014
Q My husband and I are attending a wedding on Cumberland Island mid-March. It starts at 6 pm and we have been informed it is cocktail attire. Please advise of the appropriate "cocktail attire"...many, many thanks!

A When the wedding doesn't specify "Black Tie" or "Formal Attire," you can assume the dress code is "Suits & Dresses." In other words, "Cocktail Attire." Your husband would wear a business suit and you would wear a knee-length cocktail dress. This is a very popular dress code right now for weddings, where the quality of the clothing is more important than the dressiness of the outfit.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Couple: Day Wedding: Black Fitted Dress: Suit
Q I'm going to a day wedding; is a fitted black dress with a gold belt enough? and also is a suit too dressy for a man for a day wedding?

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
Newportmanners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Couple: Denver: 6:30 pm: November
Q Hello Didi,

Thank you so much for all of the wonderful information on your site! I hope this gets to you in time, but my husband and I are headed to a wedding in Denver next Saturday (Nov 30) and after reading everything I can find, I am still a bit confused about what to wear. I grew up in the South with very definite rules about the time of day, location, etc., dictating wedding guest attire, but I know times have changed a bit.

The wedding ceremony is at 6:30 in a very old and ornate church downtown. The reception is dinner and dancing in the ballroom of one of the most elegant hotels in Denver. Past knowledge (and my mother) indicate that this would be a formal event, and that generally the men would be in a tuxedo or at least a dark suit with a french shirt. Women would be in long dresses, or at least a dressy cocktail dress (I have always been taught long for after 6, but I know times have changed.) The invitation does not give much help as it is not the traditional formal (ecru or white, black script), but it is very elegant and a touch ornate (scrolls, tissue, etc). Black tie is not indicated on the invitation.

We had originally planned for my husband to wear his tuxedo, though with the regular tie/vest option, not the bow tie/ cummerbund combo and I have a long evening dress (however, it is very simple with little embellishment). After reading far too much, I have seen all sorts of things that indicate if they did not say black tie, our choices would be out of place. I certainly want to honor the bride and groom by dressing appropriately. Should we nix the tuxedo in favor of a dark suit? Should I nix the long gown for a cocktail dress (though the thought makes me cringe a bit)?

The other wrinkle is that the bride actually asked my opinion on dress when other people asked her. I told her that where I come from what I described above is appropriate (also told her our planned attire) and I think she is hoping people dress up a bit. But again there was no indication on the invitation. Also, I am reading in the wedding, if that makes any difference.

Thank you SO much for any assistance you can offer! I am usually pretty comfortable with these decisions, but find myself at a loss. Happy Thanksgiving!!

Jennifer

A The wedding invitation is the key here to unlocking your mystery. When the wedding invitation doesn't specify 'Black Tie' or 'Formal Attire,' you can assume the dress code is 'Suits & Dresses.' Meaning best cocktail attire. Men will be wearing their best dark business suits; women will be wearing knee-length cocktail dresses or dressy skirt-suits, or cocktail-maxis, which are ankle length, but less formal than an evening gown; all with beautiful shoes and carrying a small clutch bag.

I would be happy to illustrate the kinds of dresses that would be appropriate for your age, if I knew more about you, by directing you to certain websites that illustrate fashion in terms of over forty or under forty, but you can start with one of these.

RenttheRunway.com: Shows the styles of dresses that are trending right now and when you click on 'wedding boutique,' you will see what the under forty are wearing, which you can either find in a store near with a Google search, or buy or rent online.

Halsbrook.com is a great site for women over forty, again you can click on a specific occasion or location.

MariaPucci.com is fabulous for older women because she designs beautiful special occasional jackets and dress coats that can be worn with either slacks or a skirt.

The wedding party may well be in formal attire with bridesmaids in long dresses and groomsmen in tuxedo, but the dress code for guests is 'Suits & Dresses." The venue may be in a formal ballroom, but Denver is less dressy than the South, although in this instance it is more about the quality of the clothing than the dressiness of the outfit.

We like hearing from you.
Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Couple: Dressy Casual: Orlando, FL: November: 4:30pm
Q My husband and I are going to a wedding on Nov. 7, 2013 in Orlando, FL at 4:30 pm. Wedding ceremony & reception is going to be at a lake and attire is "dressy casual". Can you suggest what to wear for both my husband and I? We're flying down from Pittsburgh, PA and weather is much different here. Any advice is appreciated. Thanks.

A Check the weather a couple of days out as you start to put aside clothing to pack, by typing in 'weather forecast orlando fl,' you'll have a good idea of temperature differences between PA and FL. Dressy casual means they want you to wear clothing of good quality that is not too dressy. Slightly fun and festive, but no flip-flops, bare midriffs, jeans, baseball caps, cargo pants, hoodies or t-shirts.

For good ideas as to what to wear, go to the Web site for JMcLaughlin.com and you'll find resort clothing for men and women. As I know nothing about your budget, builds, or ages, it is difficult to tell you what to wear. Look at the knee-length cocktail dresses and the maxi cocktail dresses. Your husband should wear a jacket and tie out of respect for the bride on her wedding day, but he wouldn't have to wear his best business suit.

You can also return to NewportManners.com and do a search for "wedding dress code Florida 4:30," wear you will find age and build appropriate ideas to meet the dress code.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Couple: Hollywood, CA
Q What to wear to a wedding in Hollywood, California for a woman. What to wear to night before wedding for a man and for a woman.

A Happy to help, but you'll have to clue me in as to what the invitations or wedding Web site says about dress codes for these two events on the wedding itinerary.

Also, time and venue for the wedding.

As to who we're dressing, we would need to know age, build, and lifestyle in order to know where to start.

Generally speaking, when the invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. That said for the rehearsal dinner, the woman can wear a fabulous tunic, blouse, or fitted silk jacket with silk or linen slacks and beautiful sandals.

To the wedding, at the very least, the woman would wear a fabulous knee-length cocktail dress, again with beautiful shoes and carry a small clutch bag. The man would wear his best dark suit for an evening wedding, his best light colored suit for an early afternoon wedding.

If I'm way off base, let me know more and I'll pin it down for you.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Couple: Island Informal:
Q The invitation reads "Island Formal" for a 4 pm church wedding in the Caribbean with cocktails, dinner & dancing at a very exclusive private club. What's the appropriate attire for ladies & gentlemen?


A For a four o'clock wedding when the dress code is 'Island Formal,' a gentleman can wear a white dinner jacket with lightweight black trousers and a black bow tie. A woman would wear either a knee-length cocktail dress or a maxi cocktail dress with beautiful shoes and carry a small clutch bag.

You may want to check to see if people are changing for an eight o'clock dinner. If they are, the women would wear a dressier evening dress and the men would wear black tuxedo trousers. When the wedding is in the British tradition, the guests change for dinner and dancing. Otherwise, if the reception dinner dance is immediately following the ceremony, they would not be expected to change for dinner. In other words, a four o'clock wedding is early for Formal Attire, so you should check with the bride or groom, if the dinner time is not listed on the invitation.


We like hearing from you.
Didi Lorillard
NewportMannres.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Couple: Key West: August
Q I have a wedding in Key West on August 7 pm taking place in a park. What can I use? and my husband? Tks

A It will be ultra hot in Key West in August, so dress for comfort. Wear a sundress or other knee-length dress with pretty sandals. Your husband can wear a nice shirt, trousers, and, if he has a summer jacket and tie, he can wear them for the ceremony.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Couple: Lake George: 3:30 Ceremony: 5:30 Dinner Reception
Q We were invited to a wedding in Bolton Landing, NY. The invitations are very formal, the venue is on Lake George at the Erlowest - the wedding is at 3:30 and the reception begins at 5:30. The MOG told me I should wear a long gown and my husband a tux! A Tux at a 3:30 wedding doesn't seem appropriate. Could he wear a dark suit, nice white shirt with French cuffs and a bow tie? I have both a plum gown and a black gown - both long, but wouldn't a cocktail dress be appropriate? I have one with a black sweetheart neckline and sleeves to the elbow - black on top and gathered at waist with a full, white skirt with black embroidered flowers. Is that inappropriate because of the white skirt? Clutch purse, strapped sandals? Also staying for the following morning brunch for guests. What should I wear? A flowery sundress? And what is appropriate for my husband?

A When the invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, then the dress code is Suits & Dresses. As you say, a 3:30 wedding traditionally is not formal, but often the wedding party will wear long dresses and tuxedos, but that doesn't mean guests have to do so. They can wear dark suits and knee-length cocktail dresses. You want to be comfortable so traipsing around in formal attire on a hot summer day doesn't sound like much fun. Since you'll be staying at a hotel, you could easily wear informal clothing to the ceremony and then if the invitation states Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can change for dinner. My point is this, what does the invitation specify as the dress code?

For the post-wedding brunch your sundress sounds perfect. Your husband could wear a navy blue blazer or other summer blazer with dress khakis and an open collared shirt. Usually post-wedding brunch guests wear their travel clothes to the brunch after they've checked out of their room, as checkout time is usually around eleven.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Couple: Matching Outfits: Houston: 7:00 PM
Q Attending a 7 pm wedding in downtown Houston, TX, on Sat Oct 1, 2011 - Have Mr. wearing a black suit, I have 2 choices - a black/cream Prada cocktail dress that hits just above the knees or a purple drape cocktail dress that hits just below the knee, black pumps w black clutch, pearl necklace & earrings - if I wear the purple, is it appropriate to put him in a black shirt w purple tie? If I wear the cream/black, can I put him in a cream shirt with a black tie or a color tie?

A In my opinion, you wouldn't want to be too matchy-matchy, it's just not chic. Try to avoid cliches. Also, never wear a necklace and earrings at the same time, because it's too much.

Please, let him pick out his outfit. If you don't like one of the details, then suggest that he, say, wears a different tie. Wearing a black tie with a white shirt and black suit, he might be mistaken as the headwaiter, whereas a striped tie or jewel-colored tie would look more festive and weddingish. If he wears a black shirt and black suit with a purple tie, he'll look as though he's trying too hard. The black suit, black shirt look is best with a black tie or no tie, but that look is over. However, I love the look of your black/cream Prada dress.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Couple: Napa Valley Country Club 5:00 PM
Q Hi Didi. I'll be attending a 5:00 p.m. wedding at the Napa Valley Country Club in late June. I am a young 67-year-old woman who is particular about appropriate fashion for the occasion. I also love bling! Please advise as to dress styles, fabrics, either knee, tea or full lengths for a size 12-14. Also would it be appropriate for my husband to wear a nice suit, or does he have to go the tux route?? Cordially, Connie

A Look at the invitation for the dress code. If there isn't one, then hubby doesn't have to wear a tuxedo. When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses.

I am an etiquette consultant. I am not a sylist and I don't like bling, so I'm afraid I'm not going to be able to help you. I'm also not a fan of the tea length because it cuts a women legs in half making her look shorter than she is. A style website I recommend for women your age is Halsbrook.com. Click on Shop by Occasion, Occasion, and then Wedding Guest. You'll find dresses paired with accessories, some of which is bling jewelry.

We like hearing from you, even when we don't have the same tastes.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Couple: Newport, R.I.: Rehearsal Dinner Clambake: 4:00 pm Ceremony
Q My wife and I are attending a wedding in Newport at a private inn in late August. The rehearsal dinner is the evening prior and is a 'Clam Bake'. What would be proper dress for men? My first thought was very casual (khakis, even dressy shorts, and a sport shirt), but I now think a sport coat and open collar shirt is correct. Likely, I misunderstood, thinking this will be outdoors, but now understand it will be a sit down dinner, indoors. Feel free to include suggestions for women also.

The wedding is at 4:00 in the afternoon and outdoors. The invitation states 'black tie optional'. Again, what would be appropriate dress for men? Here, I'm guessing a sports coat with dress pants would be too casual and a suit is required (I often wear a bow tie with a suit to similar events, is this acceptable?). While wearing my tux is an option, I may just wear a navy suit, given it's outdoors. Or, is a tux a better choice? If it matters, my wife is a bridesmaid.

A For the rehearsal dinner, you would wear a collared shirt, navy blue blazer or light weight jacket, with really nice light weight trousers, preferably off-white or dress khaki. Your wife would wear a beautiful silk tunic or jacket with silk slacks (if you're older) or a knee-length cocktail dress. Even a cocktail maxi dress would be lovely, depending on your age. The cocktail maxi is very popular this summer. Sorry, but so much is about age and we want you to get it right. By the way the unveiling of the clambake is outdoors but then the dinner is seated indoors. Think cocktail attire, no flip-flops, etc., but no necktie.

When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, such a this one, then you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. A four o'clock wedding may be formal attire for the bridal party, but is not required for the guests.

Your husband would wear either what he wore to the rehearsal dinner but with a fresh shirt and handsome tie, or his best dark light-weight suit with a collared shirt, necktie, black leather shoes, belt, and socks. Depending on your age, you would wear either a dressy knee-legnth silk dinner suit or a cocktail dress with beautiful shoes and carry a small clutch bag.

We like hearing from you. Please, let us know if you need to know more.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Couple: North Carolina: October: 4:00 PM
Q My husband and I are invited to his nephew's wedding. It will be in North Carolina October 4th at 4 PM and is scheduled for outside.

I was wondering what we should wear. The invitation does not say.

My husband is 65 years of age, 5ft 9 365 lbs.
I am 54 years of age, 5ft 9 289 lbs.

Please, any advise would be much appreciated.

Lynn

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. Your husband would wear his best business suit with a white collared shirt, handsome shoes, and black shoes and socks. You would wear a knee-length dress with with beautiful shoes and carry a small clutch bag.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Couple: One O'clock: Outdoors: San Francisco
Q Hello!

I'm going to a 1:00 outdoor wedding in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco in early September. I'm not a fan of dresses and I always tend to be chilly. One of the grooms said to dress like "you are going to a garden party" but I will need to wear sensible shoes because we'll be walking in grass. I'm a size 4 (normal proportions) and do not like floral print, either. Help me! Can I wear a white pant suit after Labor Day?
Also, what would be appropriate attire for my husband?

A You could certainly wear flowing silk pants but you would stay away from the color white as much as possible because, traditionally, the bride is the only woman wearing white and you don't want to look like a wannabe bride. By the way, a one o'clock outdoor wedding with a garden party theme screams for a beautiful hat or fascinator.

Your husband can wear a lightweight jacket with a collared button down shirt and leather shoes without socks. He should probably take a tie, or wear one as he can always put it in pocket. Garden Party has a certain formal ring to it where you think of ladies in beautiful hats and men in jackets and ties. Out of respect for the wedding couple you want to dress up a notch in celebration of their special day.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Couple: Rhode Island Vineyard: 4:00PM
Q Dear Didi,
An invitation we received for a May wedding at 4:00 on a Saturday at Greenvale Vineyard doesn't have a dress code. What do my boyfriend and I wear? To be safe, does he rent a tuxedo and I wear a long dress? Please, let me know? Christie, Middletown

A Dear Christie,
When the invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can safely assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. Therefore, you would wear a really nice knee- length dress with beautiful ballerina flats, because at a vineyard wedding you don't want those four inch stilettos piercing the turf and causing you to loose your balance before the champagne's poured. Carry a small pretty clutch for your lipgloss. A vineyard wedding is the perfect occasion to wear a lovely hat, which you can always take off when the dancing begins. Your boyfriend shouldn't wear a tux, but he will need to wear a jacket with a collared long sleeved shirt and a handsome tie and dress khaki pants. The jacket can be a good sports jacket or a navy blue blazer, although if he has a lightweight dark suit, he can wear that instead. Tell him dark loafer-style shoes with matching socks are fine. Rubber-soled boat shoes can be difficult to dance in because they don't slide.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Couple: Same Sex Wedding Reception: 6:30 PM
Q My husband and I are invited to a same sex marriage reception (not the wedding) in the D.C. area; the event begins at 6:30 p.m. in a wealthy area. The invitation states sports coats required. How should my husband and I dress? Does this mean suit and tie? Sports coat and khakis? And what for me? I bought a sleeveless above-the-knee dress with jewels around the neckline. Please help. Shopping tonight for him 9/23/11. Please respond quickly. Thank you.

A Since I have 76 friends coming for cocktails tomorrow, I've been a bit busy and apologize for answering so late in the day.

Your husband can wear his best sports jacket. They are either showing off their British sports jackets or Scottish Harris tweeds. Since I don't know how hot it is in DC (we've got dog days of August here in RI.), dress khakis would be fine, but lightweight gray flannels would also be good, along with an interesting tie. Your dress sounds perfect; with beautiful shoes and a small clutch bag, you'll fit in perfectly.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Couple: September: 5:00 PM: Virginia
Q Hello Didi, my husband and I are attending a 5:00 PM September 28 wedding near Charlottesville, VA. It is an outdoor ceremony, held at an estate, and a cocktail hour to follow, then indoor dining and dancing. We are both mid- 50's. I was thinking cocktail dress for me and a gray suit for him.

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is suits and dresses. You would wear a well made knee-length cocktail dress with beautiful shoes and carry a small clutch bag. To be more specific, I would have to know more about you. Your husband can most definitely wear his best business suit with a white shirt, beautiful tie, black socks and shoes.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Couple: September: 5:30 pm: Outdoors: Black Tie Optional
Q Attending a black tie optional wedding in September outdoors at 5:30 pm with reception to follow in ballroom. Not sure how dressy my dress should be and really do not want to go long...husband will be wearing a dark suit.

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume that the dress code is Suits & Dresses. Meaning your husband can wear is best dark suit and you can wear a knee-length cocktail dress with beautiful shoes and carry a small clutch bag. Alternatively, a dressy knee-length skirt suit, often called a dinner suit, is perfect for a 5:30pm wedding outdoors in September.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Couple: South Carolina: April: 5:30 PM
Q My husband and I will be guests at an outside wedding in mid-April in SC near the beach. The wedding is at 5:30 with a reception to follow. We're in our late 50s and could use some advice as to the appropriate attire to wear. I'm 5'7" and wear a size 8.

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can be assured the dress code is Suits & Dresses. My best advice is that while you're packing for the weekend, you check out South Carolina weather on Google for the projective temperature and possibility of rain. Even if the couple is married on the beach, the reception will be enclosed, so what you wear should be based more on the reception than the beach ceremony. You can always take off your shoes for twenty minutes for the ceremony.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Couple: Vancouver BC: 3:00-7:00 pm
Q Hello Didi,

I just stumbled across your website and have found it a great help. I am thinking about sending your Dos and Don'ts lists to my boyfriend who is constantly struggling with etiquette as he has come from a very different background from me and we have quickly become quite successful business owners. That's another story.

Recently, we received an invitation to a wedding reception (only a couple of family members are attending the ceremony), I might add that it was an "evite". The wedding is in February and is "standup cocktails" 3-7 PM on a Sunday, at an Art Gallery. What do I wear? There is no mention of attire on the invitation. Is it polite to ask the bride what is expected?

Sincerely,

Michelle, Vancouver BC

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. A Sunday afternoon wedding reception is not formal so your husband would wear a good jacket but not necessarily a tie. The art gallery look, depending on where you live, is usually black. So he could go tweedy and you could wear a knee-length black dress or a black pencil shaped skirt with a jewel colored blouse and a thin black leather jacket with your best boots or heels. By the way, if the bride knows you well enough to invite you to her wedding reception, then you can certainly ask her what to wear. But the above suggestions should help you fit in.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Couple: Washington, DC: November: 6:00 pm
Q Hi, my husband and I are attending a friend's wedding in November in Washington DC. The wedding begins at 6:00 pm, with a sit-down dinner reception to follow. Both the ceremony and the reception are at The Fairmont Hotel. The invitation doesn't specify Black Tie, so I'm assuming that I should wear a cocktail dress, maybe in a jewel tone for fall? I am 38 years old, 5'2" and about 130 lbs. I also have short red hair, which does affect the colors I like to wear (I generally prefer emerald or deep blue over black or red).

I'm going to be shopping for a dress, and I was wondering if there's anything I should steer clear of? I also will need some kind of wrap or jacket, at least to and from the car, and maybe for the reception as well (the hotel website makes it look like they have lots of outdoor spaces).

And what should my husband wear? He is 42.

Thank you!
Gwen

A In November, the wedding won't be using the outdoor spaces as it will be too chilly. If you are staying at the Fairmont Hotel, you won't need a coat. Even staying elsewhere, you can valet park at the entrance to the hotel and not worry about coats.

When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. Therefore, at a six o'clock wedding, your husband would wear his best dark suit with a collared shirt and black leather shoes and belt. He can wear his favorite tie.

You would wear either a well-made cocktail dress or a dressy skirt suit. For this wedding it is not so much about the dressiness but the quality of the dress. Usually I suggest clients Google websites such as'pantone fashion color fall 2012 to see what suits them. In your case, for fashion and colors with that time of year, a quick look showed the colors trending perfect for a redhead are: ultramarine green and rose smoke (beige/grey-pale pink that I just love). When in doubt, including a basic black cocktail dress in your wardrobe is practical. You will also see fashions and because I don't know your style, you'll have to take a look for yourself. Wear beautiful shoes and carry a small clutch bag. Please, do get back to me with more questions about what you're both wearing to the wedding.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Couples in Their 20s: 7:00 PM: Atlanta: Suits + Dresses
Q My husband and I are both in our late twenties. We are attending a June wedding in Atlanta, GA. It's a 7 pm church ceremony and the reception is at a country club. The invitation does not specify black tie. What is the appropriate attire for both of us?

A When the invitation doesn't specify Black Tie, then the dress code is Suits and Dresses. The trend in weddings right now is dark suits and short dresses with beautiful shoes. Wear what you would wear to a very upscale restaurant or fancy cocktail party. Or better yet, think of a wedding where everyone's wearing either a beautiful short dress or a handsome suit with a collared shirt, beautiful tie, and dark shoes, socks and belt. Except the bride who might be the only one in a long dress.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Couples: 2:00 PM Ceremony + 5:00 PM Reception: Hamptons
Q We are attending a wedding in the Hamptons. Church service is at 2 pm, reception at 5 pm. The invitation specifies black tie. My husband will wear a tux and I have a floor-length formal dress for the reception, but I was wondering if it's appropriate for him to wear a shirt, tie, and dress slacks and for me to wear a shorter day dress for the church ceremony? Thank you!

A Yes, you'll have time to dress for dinner. However, if the wedding invitation specifies Black Tie for the early afternoon ceremony, other guests will be in evening dress at the church. But you do have the option to change, because an early afternoon wedding is not traditionally formal. Black Tie is six o'clock and on. The earlier in the day the ceremony, the less formal the attire.

If I were you, I would ask about to find out if people are changing for dinner. The way to solve the problem would be to wear a dressy knee-length dress or silk skirt suit to both and have your husband wear his tuxedo to the church. Then you wouldn't need to change, because you would be appropriately dressed for both events.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Couples: Brunch: Upscale Restaurant: November
Q My fiancee and I are having a pre-wedding Brunch as opposed to a reception and are hosting this brunch at an upscale restaurant. We would like to communicate the equivalent of khakis and sundresses but this brunch is in November...Is there an easy way to communicate that? I think that "Dressy casual" might give the wrong impression...

A As cute as "Dressy Casual" sounds it is a contradiction of terms. Out of respect for the bride on her wedding day, you want the men to be wearing a tie and jacket. Or at the very least have "Jackets Required." In an upscale restaurant jackets may very well be required. Another way to go would be to use "Jackets + Ties" or just "Jackets." When you set the dress code for the men, the woman follow suit.

Basically, you don't want guests showing up at the upscale restaurant on your wedding day in cargo pants, shorts, tattered jeans, flip-flops, baseballs caps, hoodies and looking as though they just rolled out of bed. You want the men to wear collared shirts, leather shoes, trousers, and a jacket. The next step up would be the dress code, "Suits & Dresses," which is really cocktail attire, slightly too dressy for a wedding brunch. I would go with the dress code "Jackets." That way a blazer, sports jacket, or even a leather jacket would work.

We like hearing from you. If you're still in flux about this, please, let me know and give me more information about the restaurant, your ages, and lifestyle.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Cover-Up for Evening Dress
Q I'm going to a December wedding to be held at 7:30 pm as a guest and the invitation says that formal attire is requested. I have a great, dark grey floor-length satin-like dress with an empire waist and spaghetti straps but I need something to keep me a little warmer in case the place is drafty. I've found a number of ivory lace boleros that I really love, both capped sleeves and long sleeves (the latter being my preference) but I'm wondering if it's too bridal. I don't like the colored laces, though, and a plain-colored satin jacket or something seems too boring. I'm 5'6", 128 lbs, very slender on top, and pretty small in the chest (A or AA), so many jacket shapes just don't work for me, and a sweater seems too casual. I can't think of a good solution besides the lace bolero.

A Two ideas. Think about wearing a fichu. It's a triangle, or square piece of material folded into a triangle, and is quite elegant and gentle with an evening dress. And far less cumbersome than trying to manage a stole. In my opinion, boleros aren't chic right now, and you certainly wouldn't want to wear ivory lace when you're not the bride. But you knew that. A fichu can be embroidered and/or have a fringe, and would be in a luxurious fabric such as satin, silk or organdy for evening. With your gray dress a scarlet, fuchsia, emerald green, or blue-ribbon-blue would be stunning. If you're young, a lovely pastel.

Personally, I am a big fan of the glamorous look of long gloves. And I mean long, that go over your elbow a couple of inches a quarter of the way up your upper arm. Long white gloves are smashing with an evening dress. Because they are kidskin (or they can be nylon) and long, they actually help keep you warm. Long gloves also make arms and hands look ever so elegant, slim and long. It is far chicer to have the Italian nylon long gloves than cheesy long leather gloves.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: CT: August
Q Hi Didi,

I'm attending my nieces wedding in CT this August. It begins at 3pm. I wanted to know the correct etiquette in terms of my apparel. I'm a 57-year- old woman...youthful in my appearance, although classic at the same time. I was thinking of wearing white tailored slacks with a black and white top...pretty and classic design... and black open-toed high heels. All black and white. What do you think? It's a big traditional wedding...except, it's 2 women! Both families are traditional CT. I'm from LA.
I also hate wearing dresses! Am I too formal because it's daytime? My outfit is not casual, but not glitzy!






















A As much as we love black and white, trousers are not great looking at a wedding. Even white ones. Out of respect for the bride on her wedding day, wear a pencil shaped or A-line skirt with your black and white blouse instead of trousers.

Or how about this. Find out if both of the brides are wearing dresses. If one is wearing trousers, then you can wear your trousers in style. Personally, trousers will be too hot to wear on an August afternoon in CT.

We like hearing from you even when we know that you're not going to like our answer.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: D.C.: 4:00 pm: Small Childrenh
Q My Dad is getting married May 21st at 4:00pm in the D.C. metro area. It is supposedly a small ceremony at a Country club with dinner and dancing to follow. He gave me the impression that it was a semi-casual affair being that it is a second marriage for both but I'm afraid that his definition of casual may differ from mine. I can't imagine a country club being casual and I don't want to be over or under dressed. I am 27 with a slim & somewhat curvy build. Would a black strapless, knee-length chiffon dress with pearl earrings and necklace, and black heels be too dressy? My husband planned on wearing a black suit with a white shirt- Is a tie necessary? Our daughters' dresses are white with a colorful floral print- is white and pastels acceptable for a 4 pm wedding? Do the same dress rules apply to children (ages 6&3)? I think my Dad is a bit clueless when it comes to dress codes.
Thank You!

A When the wedding invitations doesn't specify Black Tie, the dress code is Suits and Dresses. What you and your family are wearing to your father's wedding sounds perfect. There is nothing that I would change; however, your husband should wear a tie. When the wedding dress code is Suits and Dresses, a suit means a collared shirt and a tie as well. Your husband can always take off his tie, but since most country club's require gentleman to wear a tie and jacket after six o'clock, your husband should wear a tie.

The only other thing I might recommend is to take a babysitter with you. Have her in the background to help you should one of your children become overstimulated. It might seem extravagant, but it would be less stressful for you and your husband if you had a backup person who could take the child into a quiet room, if need be. I'm sure you're children are perfect little ladies, but this will be a very long day for them, especially the dinner and dancing. I don't want you to have to leave the party early because your children are winding down.

A lot of people will have a baby sitter in the hotel, so that they can take the children back to the hotel between the ceremony and the dinner. That way you and your husband can have fun at the dinner and kick up your heels dancing.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: D.C.: 5:30 PM
Q What do I wear to a 5:30 wedding in DC? The ceremony and reception is being held at the Meridian House? I am in my 30's. Thank you!

A This is a general answer as I don't know the formality of the wedding---if it's Black Tie, for instance. Nor do I know your gender, build, or coloring.

Assuming from your email address that you are a woman, you would wear what you would wear to a very up-scale restaurant or a dressy cocktail party. Wear a flirty cocktail dress with great shoes and a small clutch bag.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Dallas Garden: 7:00 pm: June
Q What do you wear to a June, 7:00 PM garden wedding that says Jackets Optional- Dallas. Man and woman

A What fun, an evening garden wedding! When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie, the dress code is Suits and Dresses. Quite frankly, Jackets Optional to many means that jackets are preferred, but don't go out and buy one just for the wedding. Plus, it is outside in the heat. The great thing about jackets and ties is that you can take them both off. The woman in this duo should wear a dress, beautiful shoes and a pretty, small clutch for lipstick.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Dallas in May: 6:00 PM
Q I am the mother of the bride. The wedding is in late May at a historic mansion in a park in Dallas, TX. The wedding will take place on the front porch of the mansion with cocktails and the reception taking place in the ballroom. The wedding is at 6:00 pm. I am 51, and I don't know what I should wear.

A As I don't know your lifestyle, build or coloring, this is a rather general answer. I would be happy to work with you further, if you ask the question again with more detail. For instance, I would need to know the wedding style, is it formal Black Tie?

In my opinion, you would wear a beautiful ice blue dress ensemble with a matching, flowing coat or fitted jacket, perhaps in a chiffon or heavy silk. My favorite designer for the mother of the bride, and for the bride and bridesmaids as well, is Carolina Herrera, so if you know her style, you know the look I'm talking about. I am a big fan of the MOB wearing a thick silk, snug fitting dressy skirt suit with three-quarter-length sleeves and a decollete, in other words a scooped neckline. The hem would fall just above your knees and the jacket would be nipped in at the waist. The key to this look is all in the tailoring, so you will need to schedule the final fitting closer to the end of May.

There are certainly many other styles, but I personally feel that a woman our age looks really chic and snappy in an above the knee dressy skirt-suit that is well-fitted to accentuate our curves. Two or three strands of pearls with a low cut dressy suit is always a beautiful MOB look. Beautiful shoes are essential, but they must be comfortable so the sooner you start breaking them in, the happier your feet will feel because you will be on your feet pretty much for at least six hours. Whether the shoes are a soft leather or a satin dyed to match your outfit, it doesn't matter as long as they have a low, slim heel, and even a sling-back, if that's more comfortable for you. Wear legwear slightly lighter than your skin tone with a bit of shimmer to them and you'll be an elegant and beautiful mother of the bride.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Dallas in October
Q I am planning on attending a 7:00 pm wedding in October, Dallas Tx. I am a senior citizen....how formal do I need to dress?
Thanks.

A That depends upon the invitation. If this is not a black-tie wedding--that fact will be duly noted on the invitation--you can assume that for a seven o'clock wedding the dress code will be "Suits and Dresses."

Why don't you get back to me when you've received the invitation, or when you learn whether or not the wedding is black-tie, because there are a lot of options for you and we can work it out. I will need to know your gender and build as well as a bit about the venue of the wedding, in other words, is it a BBQ or is the reception in a hotel ballroom?


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Dallas, TX: 4:00 PM
Q What do I wear to a 4 pm wedding in Dallas, Texas?

A Look on the invitation for a dress code. If the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. Meaning best business suits for men and knee-length cocktail dresses for women. The later in the day the wedding, the dressier the wedding. A four o'clock wedding isn't usually formal, even when the bridal party wear formal attire.

We like hearing from you but the more information you give us about yourself and the event, the more specific our answer.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Dallas: 7:00 pm: Ceremony Cover-Ups
Q My boyfriend and I are attending a Saturday wedding at 7pm in an Episcopal church in Dallas, TX. It is immediately followed by a black-tie reception in a private member-only golf club. My boyfriend is renting a tuxedo and I am planning on wearing a full-length gown. I had planned on wearing a cover-up over my shoulders for the ceremony. Would this be appropriate?

Thanks

A Yes, a cover-up would be appropriate; however, I think you'll find that there will be quite a few bare shoulders.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Dallas: Church Ceremony: May
Q What clothes should I be shopping for when the wedding is in May in a Catholic church in Houston, Texas?

A Assuming the dress code "Black Tie" didn't appear on the invitation, the dress code would be "Suits and Dresses." A man would wear a gray or a dark blue suit with a white collared shirt, black shoes, socks and belt. A woman would wear a short sleeveless dress with a jacket, a short dress with sleeves, or a three-quarter sleeve silk skirted suit, with beautiful shoes and a small pretty clutch. If this is a day wedding, she could wear a beautiful hat or fascinator which is easier to pack and can be found as a headband or hard clip. Both are decorative hair ornaments and are a lovely look for a May wedding anywhere.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Dallas: June: 4:00 PM
Q Dear Didi,
I'm a 68-year-old woman (light brown hair w/ little gray), gray-green eyes, size 14P, 5'4") having trouble finding something nice to wear to a June wedding at 4pm in Dallas. Invitation says semi-formal. I don't want to wear something sleeveless; elbow sleeves would be ideal but I can't find anything. I have a full hourglass figure so usually look for fit and flare dresses. vI like this one in dark red, jade or eggplant
http://www.uwdress.com/p/simple-sleeveless-zipper-taffeta-tea-length-little-black-dresses-20022/coral.html?gclid=CN6NqvTFj74CFTMA7AodCFwAxg
Do you think it would work with a black crocheted short sleeve bolero and a pretty creamy white fabric rose or should I take a totally different approach?v I can't wear heels anymore--arthritis!--so putting together a whole outfit that works has been challenging.v What would you suggest?

A Sorry, I tried for about five long minutes to bring up the link, but it doesn't work. Those long links can be frustrating. I think you've come to the wrong website anyway. I don't like the look of the tea-length dresses because I think they are dowdy. Unless you're seventeen and going to a tea dance they look out of place. The length is ghastly. It cuts off the calves in half making the woman look shorter than she is.

For women over forty, I recommend the website halsbrook.com. Look under 'Dresses' to see fashions trending and their accessories. Alternatively, go to a Neiman Marcus type department store and find the Women's Petite department, where you should be able to find a nice knee length cocktail dress or dressy knee-length skirt suit (dinner suit), they usually come in silk with pretty buttons. Have the dress or skirt suit shortened to cover your knees and have it fitted to your body to accentuate your curves.

Also, the idea of a black crocheted short sleeve bolero does not appeal to me and I don't understand what the 'pretty cream white fabric rose' fits in. The whole outfit sounds way to complicated. Get yourself a simple knee- length cocktail dress to wear with beautiful ballerina flats and carry a small clutch bag. Look for brands such as St. John that are sophisticated, dignified, and elegant.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Date of Groomsman: Kentucky in August
Q I am going to a wedding August 20th. I am 21 years old and my boyfriend is in the wedding party, and I will be sitting at the main table with the wedding party. I need to know what kind of dress to wear. The guys in the wedding party will be wearing tan suits and the colors for the wedding are blue and yellow. I am a petite built. The wedding is in Kentucky.

A Wear a beautiful summer cocktail dress that falls just above your knees. This time of year I love a lovely light-colored chiffon short dress with a gentle floral print. You don't want to wear bright colors or patterns because you want to fit in a lovely, elegant fashion. Wear nude-colored patent leather heels because they'll elongate your legs. Take along a small pretty clutch for your lipgloss.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Daughter + Mother: Florida: 3:30 pm
Q Hi Didi, I'm a 5'1'', 140 lb, with pale skin, brown and blonde ombre haired, and green-eyed 17 year old female. I'm also large-breasted, which makes dressing appropriately a bit hard. I'm going to be attending a wedding in Orlando, Florida, on November 11th of this year. It's a Sunday. The wedding is to take place at 3:30 pm, and is outdoors in the courtyard of a lake house. The reception is immediately to follow. The invitation doesn't say dress code, but I know enough to assume that means suits and dresses.

I have a strapless salmon colored dress with white, grey, and deep purple animal print on it in a water-colored style. It's very well made, pretty dress, but I'm concerned that it's not formal enough considering it is made almost entirely of polyester. I have two other options: a slim fitting, vaguely bandage-style zebra print dress with ruffles on every strip of fabric. It comes to just above my knee. It was a great first date dress but I'm not sure it's right for a wedding. The other dress I have was from my sweet sixteen. I know it's formal enough and comes to the right length but I'm much paler now than I was a year ago and I'm concerned it's going to wash me out, considering it's a very light tan with silver lace overlayed over the skirt.

My next order of business would be shoes. All my heels are black. I have a pair of black patent leather stilettos that have a two inch platform and a seven inch heel. The other pair I have are strappy booties made of faux leather but they are studded on the sides. Neither of these will be 'just right' with any of my dresses.

The big issue here is that I only have enough money to buy either one dress or a pair of shoes, because my mother needs to buy a new outfit for the wedding as well. We're strapped for cash at the moment and I wanted to know what you would recommend based on my current selection for a wedding at this time of day. I also wanted to know what sort of accessories, makeup, and hairstyle you would recommend for the occasion.

My other problem is that my mother is hopeless when it comes to fancy occasions of any sort. She showed up to my sweet sixteen in khaki shorts and a white polo looking like an elementary school boy. She's not feminine and refuses to wear a dress, and is 5'1'', apple-shaped, broad shouldered, and top heavy. She's 45 years old. She has dark brown hair, blue eyes, and lightly tanned skin. She prefers to wear blues of the royal blue and sapphire blue variety, or blacks. What would you recommend for someone of her age and height with her tastes? Is there any way to compromise with her that will keep her comfortable but still appropriately dressed?

A Wow! A lot of interesting questions. Wear the salmon print dress with the black patent leather shoes, although, the zebra print dress sounds fun, flirty, and feminine. It's hard to decide for you as I don't know you or the dresses, but either would work well. You don't want to buy a dress or pair of shoes for one occasion. As for accessories. During the day don't wear heavy makeup, unless you're in the wedding party photos. For instance, wear a light foundation, pink blush, brown eyeliner, brown mascara, a pink salmon lipgloss, but no colored eyeshadow during the day. With either dress, wear either dangling earrings or a necklace, but not both. Carry a small clutch bag.

See if you can get your mother to wear a fitted, knee-length skirt suit, which would accentuate her curves, with pretty pumps or ballerina flats. Out of respect for the bride on her wedding day, your mother would wear either a knee-length tailored dress or a well-fitted skirt suit in either a navy blue or a cobalt blue. Convince her that she needs a go-to skirt suit to wear when she has to go to a wedding, funeral, job interview and your graduation. The key is to have the skirt suit fitted to flatter her curves and be knee-length. She should probably have her hair trimmed and colored, if she has any grey. More importantly, she should be well-groomed. You could make up up her eyes and apply a bit of foundation, blush and lipgloss. If she has one good piece of jewelry, encourage her to wear it. She can also carry a small clutch bag.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Daughter of Groom: 5:30 PM: North Carolina
Q My dad is getting married, this is his 3rd marriage, he is getting married at 5:30 pm in the middle of July, in North Carolina. Could you please help me in finding what would be appropriate to wear, reception is to follow...thanks

A Look for the dress code on the wedding invitation. If the dress code is not Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. That means you would wear a knee-length cocktail dress with beautiful shoes and carry a small clutch bag.

It be more specific, I would have to know more about the venue of the wedding and you. The more details we have, the more we can help.

We like hearing from you and you're welcome to get back to us with more details.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Daughter of the Groom: Wearing White
Q I am attending my boyfriend's father's second wedding on November 11th, at 11 am. Although it is also the bride's second wedding, she will be wearing a white floor-length gown. I am under 20, slender, and of modest height, and have found an ivory cocktail dress with a lace bodice that feels appropriate for the occasion (her bridesmaids will be wearing black). Is an ivory slightly above the knee cocktail dress inappropriate for this occasion?

A In my opinion, out of respect for the bride you would not wear a white or off-white dress. You don't want to look like a wannabe bride.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: December: 4 PM
Q Dress for wedding at 4 pm 12/28.

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. A four o'clock wedding means you would wear cocktail attire, such as a lovely, knee-length dress with beautiful shoes and carry a small clutch bag.

We like hearing from you but we would need to know more about the venue and you in order to give you a more specific answer.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: December: Savannah: 5:00 PM
Q What would be appropriate to wear to a 5:00 pm wedding in Savannah,Ga in December? It is at The Mackey House.

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. A five o'clock wedding is cocktail attire. A woman would wear a lovely knee-length cocktail dress or dressy skirt suit, often called a dinner suit, and a man would wear his best dark business suit with a white collared shirt, handsome tie, and black leather shoes.

We like hearing from you; however, I would have to know more about you in order to give you a more detailed answered.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Deciding on Dress Code: Suits & Dresses
Q I am having a wedding November 11th of 2011, at 1 pm in a small chapel garden in Palm Springs, Ca. with a reception there as well. There will be about 25-35 guests and also about 10 small children. It will also be a family reunion of sorts as people will by flying in to join us. I am having trouble deciding how formal the occasion should be and what to specify on the invitations for attire.
I have a white lace strapless gown that is close fitting with a short train and a fingertip veil with a black satin ribbon that trails down the back. My colors are lilac and black with magenta accents in the bouquet. I only have a maid of honor who will be wearing a knee-length white halter dress with black flowers and carrying a small lavender spray roses bouquet. The buttonholes will be a lilac spray rose. I want my fiance to wear a nice black suit with either a lilac shirt and white tie (my fave look but may not be appropriate?) or a black suit, black shirt and lilac tie or a black suit lilac shirt and black tie and his best man to wear a black suit, white shirt and a lilac tie. Is my MOH dress appropriate or should she wear lilac? Her bouquet might blend in though. Also should I and my MOH (my twin sis) wear matching lace boleros, hers black and mine white?? How should my guests dress?
Thank you for your advice, I am so confused and running out of time and $$!!

A Please, don't panic because you've got plenty of time. First off, the trend in dress codes for the kind of wedding you've described is: Suits and Dresses. When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie, it is assumed that the dress code is: Suits and Dresses. That said, that is the dress code most wedding couples are using these days.

Your dress sounds lovely and the MOH's dress sounds pretty; the two of you will be absolutely beautiful. However, personally, I'm not a big fan of men in lavender. It just isn't flattering to most male skin tones. In my opinion, the groom would wear a black suit with a white collared shirt and a magenta tie. If I left anything out, you're welcome to ask the question again, but I think I covered your issues. I don't want you to be confused because this is supposed to be fun, so go with the flow and simplify, simplify.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Denmark: September
Q Hi,

I have to attend an early September (September 3, 2012) wedding in Odense, Denmark. It is being held at a 300 year old church at 3 pm with dinner at 5pm. There's an uncertainty of the appropriate dress for a woman because the traditions are different.

I'm 49 and most likely the only American at the party.

Any advise is welcomed.

A Apparently, Odense, Denmark, is a very sophisticated city, which means an elegant skirt suit would be appropriate, with beautiful shoes and a small clutch bag. The Danes are quite cosmopolitan, so if the invitation does specify Black Tie, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. Should a dressy skirt suit not suit your style, wear a well-tailored knee-length cocktail dress that doesn't have sequins and isn't shiny.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Desert: June
Q My grandson is getting married on the 25th of June, the location is in the desert. Would a light-weight 3-piece suit be appropriate ? I'm pretty sure this is an early evening wedding. Thank You

A A suit is always perfect attire for a wedding.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Destination Wedding: Dominican Republic: November: 3:00 PM
Q I am attending a destination wedding in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic, this November. This wedding is a beach theme which takes places at 3:00 PM. I plan on wearing a deep coral dress that is one-shouldered, has ruffles, and is knee-length. It is a very feminine dress. My question is what type of shoes should I wear as I have ankle and feet problems and want to wear some type of footwear that would be comfortable. Also need advice on color of a wrap, and a small clutch. Could I wear gold with this color dress?

A Wear a pair of beautiful gold, coral, or turquoise ballerina flats or dressy sandals. You won't need a wrap at three o'clock in the afternoon, so don't worry about that. A small clutch bag the color of the flats/sandals would be perfect


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Destination Wedding: Lake Como, Italy: Rehearsal Dinner + Wedding
Q I'm a 58-year-old, tall, trim, size 10 woman attending a late June evening wedding in Italy (Lake Como) with rehearsal dinner in Bellagio. Ceremony and reception same venue (no church involved). Invitations haven't been sent out but mother of the groom told me that it is probably not say Black Tie. She's wearing a floor-length dress but doesn't expect other women will. I have a beautiful deep blue silk skirt suit, at the knee, three-quarter length sleeve that was custom made so fits me perfectly (if I lose 5 pounds?). Does that sound suitable for the wedding, or if not, the rehearsal dinner? I originally wore it to my son's October bar mitzvah so had black patent sling back closed toe Manolo's with simple black clutch. Thoughts?

A We love the knee-length silk skirt suit for a wedding. Especially with a three-quarter length sleeve and made to accentuate your curves. Nothing is more elegant or beautiful for we women wedding guests above the age of being able to wear a short chiffon dress to a wedding.

For the rehearsal dinner, dress less formally and with more fun. Wear either a beautiful tunic with a short well-constructed skirt with medium high strappy sandals, a lighter more flowy long skirt or dress, or a well constructed cocktail dress.

Accessories from bag to shoes are - almost - everything. Make the bag small and the shoes as high as you can handle. Unless you're in fear of towering, then beautiful ballerina flats and flat sandals are absolutely gorgeous right now.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Destination Wedding: Resort Attire
Q My daughter is planning a destination wedding. She wants a somewhat casual affair. The wedding planner has suggested going with resort casual on the invitations. We are having a hard time figuring out just what that means.
1. What is resort cocktail for men and women?
2. Where does this level of dress fit on the scale of casual to formal?
Thanks.

A The dress code Resort Casual means flip-flops, tee-shirts, cut-off jeans and cargo pants, and baseball caps are fine. Take it up a notch for a wedding. Use 'Festive Attire' for the wedding ceremony and reception. On the wedding couple's wedding website you can list different dress codes for different events, if you feel you have to tell your guests exactly what to wear. I don't think you have to do so. Destination weddings are expensive for the guests. Think of the wedding photos. Do you really want guests dressed in baseball caps, flip-flops and wife beater tank tops at your daughter's wedding? Of course not.

The dress code Resort Casual would be what people would wear to a Club Med buffet breakfast. It would be assumed that the dress code for a resort would be 'Resort Attire.'

1. For the men: short sleeved shirts with dress khakis, white or colored trousers and slip-on shoes, such as Gucci style loafers, docksiders and Vans.
For the women: short or maxi summer cocktail dresses with pretty sandals and beads.

2. The dress code Resort Casual would be based on climate and time of day of the specific event. You want the guests to dress for dinner and the ceremony out of respect for the bride on her wedding day. Formal would be off-white dinner jackets or navy blue summer blazers for the men with off-white pants and dark loafers, socks not necessary. Possibly ties and jackets. I would have to know more about the wedding couple and the resort to be more specific, but ties and jackets for a wedding ceremony seem respectful. For instance a resort in Cancun would have a more relaxed dress code than a destination wedding in Newport, Rhode Island or Palm Beach.

Personally, I would just list the dress code for the wedding ceremony and reception as: 'Festive Attire.'

'Festive Attire' is the chic dress code right now.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Destination Wedding: Resort Attire: Part 2
Q The wedding is a destination wedding in Lake Tahoe, in mid- August. The church ceremony will be at 4 pm, followed by a reception on the lake (indoors) at a somewhat casual venue. The bride would like the dress to be less formal, i.e. no suits. The groom will be in dress slacks, vest and tie.

How is this conveyed to the guests?

The wedding planner says that we should go with "Resort Cocktail Attire" on the invitations.


A Then go with what your wedding planner says. Personally, I think "Resort Cocktail Attire" sounds rather dreary for suh a festive occasion. It sound like the dress code for a business convention.

I still say that 'Festive Attire' is fun and informative for a wedding. People will dress for the wedding, but they know they don't have to rent a tuxedo or wear a suit. I know Lake Tahoe because I've spent a lot of time there and festive dress would be the perfect dress code for such a happy occasion. You're not selling airplane parts to convention goers, your daughter is getting married!

The venue you've chosen for the wedding is creative and fun and the dress code should reflect that spirit.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Determining Dress Code
Q Wedding will be outside, inside reception but in the country. 6:30 pm in June. Should bridesmaids wear long or short and should mothers wear same length as bridesmaids?

A Determine the formality of the wedding and the dress code falls into place. Just because the bride wears a floor length dress doesn't mean the wedding party or the the guests have to wear formal attire. A lot of wedding couples are opting for a well-dressed but not formal wedding, which means the dress code is Suits & Dresses.

The Suits & Dresses dress code means semi-formal or cocktail party length attire. The bridesmaids would wear knee-length or just above the knee cocktail dresses. The mothers would wear cocktail-length (knee-length) dresses and or dressy skirt suits. The men would wear their best dark business suit.

In June, the men can wear navy blue blazers with dress khaki trousers or white trousers, white collared shirts and ties in the wedding colors.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Dinner Attire
Q I was invited to a Saturday evening wedding, followed by a reception (may be a sit down dinner)- the invitation says "dinner attire". What does that mean?

A "Dinner attire" means that you will be seated at a table with a tablecloth and waiters will serve you so you would wear a well-cut business suit. As I don't know your gender, you would have to go back to my Web site and ask the question again if I guessed wrong and tell me your age and whether you are large or small; I will answer your question in a timely fashion. Also, you can click on Frequently Asked Questions on my Web site and scroll down and you will find Dinner Attire appropriate for men and women.

www.newportmanners.com

Thank you, didi


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Doesn't Do Dresses: Ohio: 1:00 PM
Q I'm attending a 1 pm wedding this Saturday Oct 8, 2011. I'm a 40 yr young female and I don't do dresses. I do have a nice pair of white dress pants but still have to shop for a shirt. I'm not sure if this is acceptable or what. The wedding is in Illinois. Any ideas I.e colors?

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, then you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. If you don't do dresses, then wear a dark colored, well-made pantsuit with beautiful black flats and carry a small clutch bag.

If the nice pair of white dress pants are important for you to wear, then wear them with a beautiful black jacket that has a nipped-in waist. Instead of a shirt, think about wearing a shell or good quality T-shirt under the jacket in a jewel color; either a sapphire, fuchsia, or bottle green to give you a bit of pop.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Don't Call Them Hose
Q Dear Didi,
My daughter is attending a wedding February 23rd, at 4:00 in Spokane. She plans to wear a navy blue silk dupioni strapless dress ...I bought nude patent leather shoes and she doesn't plan on wearing hose ...she's 17. Will this work? N.D., Spokane, WA


A Dear N.D.,
Well, if you call them 'hose,' of course she won't wear them. In her mind only old ladies wear 'hose.' Call them tights, call them legwear, but don't call them 'hose.'

Spokane is cold in February. It will be approximately 28 degrees at four o'clock. Your daughter will need attractive legwear to keep warm. Find legwear a shade lighter than her skin tone that has a bit of shimmer and shine to dress up her legs. She'll feel more glamorous if she's wearing dressy legwear. Look in a department store, as opposed to a drugstore, for 'evening legwear.' ~Didi


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Don't Wear Red
Q Is it permissible to wear a plain ruby red chiffon mid-calf cocktail dress with matching jacket to a 6 pm church wedding? I am very slender. I do have an ankle-length beige lace dress with beaded jacket, if ruby red is not acceptable. My daughter is one of the bridesmaids. Thank you.

A Yikes, if there is one color, other than white, you don't want to be wearing it's red. Weddings are all about, "All eyes on the bride." Red is the most attention-grabbing color; you wouldn't want to call attention to yourself and away from the lovely bride on her special day.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Dress Length
Q I am attending a 5:30 wedding in Mississippi. The month is November. My question concerns the length of the dress. The dress is a brown silk with a bolero jacket. What is the correct length? At present the length is about half way between my knees and my ankles. Do I need to hem the dress or leave it where it is?

A Not knowing your age or build, this is a rather general answer. If you are over fifty, then the hem of your dress would fall just below your knees. Otherwise, the hem would fall just above your knees. The problem with a tea-length dress is that if you don't have the right build for the dress, the dress wears you. Shorter is snappier. Tea- length tends to make most women look dowdy. Pin the hem of the dress up and look in a full-length mirror to decide which length suits your age, height, and style.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Dress to Impress: 3:30 PM
Q My other question is, what in the heck should I wear if the invitation states, "dress to impress" for a wedding at 3:30 pm in November (it'll be warm in California that time of the year) I am a size 6, 5'7" 130lbs. Is a formal, form-fitting long gown too formal or should I buy something with peacock feathers sewn all over?? haha

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress codes is Suits & Dresses. As this is a mid-afternoon wedding you would wear a very good well-made day dress that falls just above your knee with beautiful shoes. Dress to impress doesn't mean formal, it means dress in clothing of quality design and fabric that is chic and tasteful. It doesn't mean a long form-fitting dress with peacock feathers. If you wish to wear a glorious hat with peacock feathers, go for it with a beautiful skirt suit or day dress.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Dressing During Chemotherapy
Q I am invited to a 6 pm Black tie event at the St. Regis for a 6 PM Wedding. I need to find just the right dress and style. I am in the middle of chemo treatment and have a port under my skin that bulges right below my collar bone. I haven't "dress shopped" in 8 years since I had kids. So I want to dress super nice and not pick out something outdated....Oh and I live in MN right now so I am a little behind on West Coast Style. Please help! Thanks

A In my opinion, you would wear a dressy skirt suit, sometimes called a dinner suit, that falls just below your knees. Alternatively, you could look for a cocktail dress with a bolero top, or a cocktail dress with a high neckline; pay attention to the shape and the fit of the collar as an ill-fitting collar can throw the whole look of the dress out of balance.

My best advice would be for you to go on the Internet to major stores in MN and browse "dresses" or "cocktail dresses" on line. Order a few outfits in your size and try them on in the privacy of your home where you could have a friend, or a daughter, come for coffee and vet the outfits with you. You are more likely to get an honest opinion from a daughter or friend, as salespeople are sometimes more apt to push merchandise for other reasons.

Most large stores will pay the return postage, so try out quite a few outfits. Don't worry about being under-dressed; the important thing is to find a dress that you feel comfortable in and therefore confident wearing. You can always add dressy accessories to dress up a dress or skirt suit. Once you find the dress, look for a beautiful pair of shoes and a small, pretty clutch.

As to color, look for neutral colors, because you will get more wear out of the dress if it is a gray, beige, black, navy; but the color will depend upon the color of your hair, skin and eyes. For instance, some beiges are hard to wear if you have gray hair. And not more than two colors. Two colors in one outfit are quite enough and two touches of any one color are enough. The second color for shoes, brooch, belt, or clutch, would draw the viewers eye to, for instance, a pretty turquoise clutch.

The reason that I suggest a dinner suit is because they usually have padded shoulders which will pull up the fabric, and therefore eyes, away from the area that makes you feel self-conscious. Once you find an elegant dress or skirt suit, have it tailored to flatter your curves and shortened to fall just above your knees if you are under fifty, just below otherwise. Since I don't know your age, build or lifestyle, I don't think I can recommend particular designers for you, which is why you should spend some time looking at "better dresses" and dresses for evening online. If you are petite, don't waste time and click on petites, if you are the opposite, click on misses.

Lastly, MN must have small boutiques with evening clothes where you can go and get assistant on deciding on what looks best on you and the shop will have their own tailor to alter the outfit to your figure. However, I want you to be aware of the fact that on the West Coast, they dress slightly less formally than they do elsewhere. The emphasis should be on quality of design and workmanship, as opposed to sequins and bright colors.

To get a sense of what other women will be wearing, I usually research the the venue or hotel where the reception is taking place and click on weddings, where you can see the style of the location, but not always.



Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Dressy Casual
Q As the parents of the groom, my husband and I are hosting the rehearsal dinner. We are sending out invitations (in large part to get guests' entree choices) and want to indicate expected attire. Is the term "dressy casual" appropriate?

A The term "dressy casual" is an oxymoron. Dressy is dressy and casual is casual, they are opposites. You might find it would be less confusing to use the word "Informal" in the lower left-hand corner of the invitation across from your RSVP. "Informal" will tell your guests that the dress code for the dinner is not Black Tie, but it is dressy. Nowadays "casual" means jeans and "dressy casual" might be interpreted as designer tee-shirts, jeans and cowboy boots.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Dressy Casual
Q I am 39 and a curvy hourglass shape. My BF's bestfriend is getting married Oct 7, Ft Worth, TX. My BF is in the wedding and is wearing a Tux. I have never met the bride nor groom but was told it's an outdoor wedding and its dressy casual. I know Formal, semi-formal, business casual and casual....what's dressy casual HELP

A Dressy Casual means you would wear a really good quality well-made short dress. Just because the dress code isn't formal or semi-formal, it doesn't mean you wouldn't wear a well-made outfit of good quality fabrics. Think about the dress code Business Casual, and go up a notch to Cocktail Attire, which is all about quality of fabric, design, and sophistication and not about flounce (semi-formal). Look for a beautiful solid jewel colored dress and have it altered to accentuate your curves and hemmed to fall just above your knees. Since I don't know the time of day of the wedding, this is a general answer, but when you wear a quality dress, everyone knows. It's not about glitz or glitter, but style.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Dubai in November
Q 7:00 p.m. wedding reception in Dubai at the One and Only Royal Mirage in November

A Although the city of Dubai can be very, very hot, in November expect temperatures between 68 and 77 degrees; however the nights tend to be quite cold. Assuming that this is a Black-Tie wedding reception, you will want to wear either a tuxedo or a very dressy dinner suit (skirt suit) or long dress with a bolero or cashmere wrap. The wedding couple and their bridal party may very well wear two outfits, changing after the ceremony into even more festive attire, but you don't have to do so. Expect to have a very long night with entertainment and dancing well into the wee hours of the morning.

As you no doubt know, the One & Only Royal Mirage is one of the most luxurious hotels in the world, so don't spare the jewels; you can check them in the hotel safe. The shopping malls are amazing, which means if you have forgotten to pack anything, you'll find more than what you need from the latest cosmetics to the snappiest Jimmy Choos. Do check out the hotel and the city of Dubai on Wikitravel because you won't want to miss any of the many points of interest.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Early Afternoon Wedding
Q I was invited to a 2 pm wedding on September 23 in Toronto. Elegant wear is suggested on the invitation. I am 40, 5'6, 135 lb and found a really pretty periwinkle chiffon cocktail dress. It has spaghetti straps and I would wear a shawl over my shoulders, the same colour as the dress with silver shoes and clutch. Is the colour too light for a late September wedding?
Thanks,
M

A Chiffon is my favorite fabric for a woman wedding guest's dress, but later in the day. Chiffon is elegant and I understand why you think it is perfect, but I think you want to be thinking about a very good day dress, either sleeveless, or with short sleeves, that falls just above your knees with beautiful shoes. Think of Jackie Kennedy's style and type of elegance, and you'll get the picture.

As I said, the chiffon dress sound absolutely lovely, but you need to go with a more tailored elegant look for an early afternoon wedding.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Early Evening: Baseball Venue
Q Are black dressy pants and black sequined top appropriate for a 5:30 wedding in a hotel in San Francisco? I am 77 and I am a great aunt of the groom. (I do look younger, I think!) The wedding will be low keyed, the pair are making the wedding, the invitation came from them.

A You're not going to like my answer because I'm not a fan of women wearing trousers to a wedding. Although, in your case, it sounds as though your outfit is a dressy, elegant evening outfit and not the kind of pantsuit that is generally worn during the day.

What I question is the fact that you say it is a low-keyed wedding, to which one wouldn't wear sequins. Sequins are dressy looking and not what I would call low-keyed. However, as the great aunt of the groom, you are allowed to strut your sequins.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Early Spring: 5:30 PM
Q What should I wear to a 5:30 p.m. early spring wedding? I am a 61-year-old female aunt of the bride.

A As I don't know the dress code or anything about you but your age and time of the wedding, I'll have to guess that the dress code is "Suits & Dresses." A dress that falls just below your knees is always dignified and elegant. Three-quarter-length sleeves or short sleeves are always a good idea, if your upper arms aren't buff. Alternatively, a dressy skirt suit or sheath dress with matching jacket is always appropriate. Beige or navy blue are safe colors, as I don't know your coloring or build. Beautiful comfortable shoes that you have worn in sufficiently are best for a long evening.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Elegant Casual
Q This is the info I have: Oct 18, 4:30 Asheville, North Carolina, The Country Club of Asheville. Wedding invitation basic. Bridesmaid said their dresses are "elegant casual"(didn't specify length). MOB is wearing a dress like you would wear on Sunday morning to church (tea- length). My question: would a pantsuit be appropriate if I wear the right accessories? Houndstooth (long..like a dress jacket) jacket with dressy black pants? and a blouse in a fall color or is that too casual?

A In my opinion you would not wear a pantsuit to a wedding. The dress code states "elegant casual," which is why you feel that you can wear a "casual" pantsuit; however, "elegant" is not a houndstooth jacket with pants.

Picture young women dancing in short, strapless, chiffon dresses and you'll see what I mean. It sounds as if you are keen on the jacket, so why not wear a short, dressy, black skirt instead of the pants?

I'm not sure about a fall color for the blouse, a pretty white one might be more elegant. As for accessories, a good pair of gold earrings and an interesting brooch or necklace would go well, depending upon the neckline of the blouse. Again, think of pretty pumps for the dancing and carrying a small clutch bag in a fall color.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Engagement Party Attire
Q What is the proper attire for an engagement party? It is being held in a restaraunt.

A The invitation will give you the clue you need to know how to dress. Check out the restaurant, either online or in person; if the restaurant is high-end and the waiters are wearing white jackets, the tables are covered with table cloths and there are fresh floral arrangements, you would dress appropriately. If you are a man, you would wear a lightweight summer suit, or a blazer and gray flannel pants, a long sleeved shirt with an attached collar and a tie, your shoes would be dark and your dark socks would cover the flesh of your leg when seated. If you are a woman, you would dress the way you would dress to go to a cocktail party, by wearing a dress. Depending upon the time of day of the party as well as the climate at that time of year, along with the style of the restaurant determines, you should be able to determine what to wear. If the restaurant is a fine old Irish pub with waiters in khaki pants and open blue collar shirts and there are peanut shells on the floor, you would dress down. To dress down, you would not wear a tie and you probably would take off your jacket at some point. A woman would be comfortable in a pair of well-cut slacks and a pretty blouse or thin sweater.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Engagement Party: Attire Smart Casual
Q What to wear for engagement party: Attire smart casual. Start at 7:00 pm

A When the invitation states Smart Casual, you would wear your best business clothes in a casual fashion. What the host is really trying to state is No jeans and No T-shirts, but because you never want to put a negative vibe on an invitation, you tell guests, in this case, to dress smartly casual.

Don't mistake Smart Casual as Casual Friday, because this is an engagement party and therefore men will be coming from work in suits, ties and polished leather shoes, so you wouldn't want to look unemployed, underemployed, or unemployable. A woman would wear either a well-made skirt suit or cocktail dress with beautiful shoes and she would carry a small clutch bag. Smart means well-made and Casual means fun. For anything to do with a wedding, out of respect for the bride, you would dress up a notch in terms of quality, and quality doesn't necessarily mean dressy.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Engagement Party: BBQ Guest: White Pants: October
Q I am attending an afternoon bbq engagement party on Oct 1, in still warm California. Is it wrong to wear lined white lined slacks?

A If it is a hot day, then it's fine to wear the white slacks. If it's chilly out, you probably will want to wear something warmer. I love linen, it is such a great luxury fabric, I just wouldn't wear all white because it might look as though you hadn't gotten your act together for cooler weather.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Engagement Party: Blue Jeans + Bow Ties
Q What does the attire Blue jeans and bow ties mean? This is an engagement party.

A When the invitation to an engagement party states the dress code as Blue Jeans and Ties, it means you can wear blue jeans with a tie and jacket. It is dressing down a notch from cocktail attire, meaning blue jeans are O.K. as long as they are NOT torn, tattered, or bleached. A woman would wear a knee-length cocktail dress or a beautiful blouse or tunic with a skirt or slacks.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Engagement Party: Casual Chic: Hosts MOB and FOB
Q I am the mother of the bride-to-be and my ex-husband and I are hosting an Engagement Party entitled "Casual Chic".
I am 54, 5'4. Not sure what to wear...the party includes appetizers w/punch, followed by a sit-down dinner, music by a DJ and dancing until the wee hours.
Much thanks in advance!!!

A Your daughter's engagement party sounds like a lot of fun. Wear either a great casual dress that isn't a dressy cocktail dress, or a flattering pair of pants with a beautiful blouse or tunic. An outfit from Tory Burch comes to mind; you might want to go to her website where you'll see lots of "Casual Chic" outfits. Comfortable, beautiful shoes for the dancing are a must because you'll, no doubt, be on your feet most of the night.

If your build is slight or average, go in for one of the bright colors that are chic this season; on the not so slight side, wear black or a dark solid color such a deep berry or burgundy.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Engagement Party: New Year's Eve: Jewels and Jackets
Q Going to a New Year's Eve Engagement Party in Florida. The attire is Jewels and Jackets. How formal does this sound to you for both men and women?

A This is not a black-tie party, it is crisp jackets and ties for the men and chic short dresses for the women. Your hosts are having fun with the dress code by suggesting guests wear jackets and jewels because they don't want guests showing up in collarless shirts (t-shirts), cargo pants, and sneakers. Chances are, if you're wearing your best jewels, you won't be wearing sneakers or showing off a bare midriff.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Engagement Party: Private Women's Club: Feburary
Q We are invited to an engagement cocktail party at the Colony Club in NYC in February. Should my husband wear jacket and tie, or a dark suit with tie? Also would a black silk cocktail dress be appropriate for myself? Thank you

A My daughter's engagement party was at the Colony Club. The men wore their best dark business suits with a handsome tie. After six o'clock your husband would not wear a shirt with a button-down collar. Your black cocktail dress will be perfect and don't forget gloves, because it is so cold everybody wears them.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: England: 3:00 PM: July
Q Please help me know what to wear to my nephew's wedding in England in July. It is at 3:00 pm. I am 49 years old. The dress code states: "Morning suits or lounge suits for gentlemen. Glam! for ladies." Also, the invitation says: "Carriages 12 0'clock"...what does that mean? Thank you!

A British weddings are far more interesting than ours. The only drawback is that they require two outfits. The men all wear grey suits with tails and the women wear pretty day dresses to the afternoon ceremony. But then there is usually at fancy dress dinner in the evening. So don't expect to have one outfit that day. You'll need a simple dress for the ceremony and then a cocktail dress for the evening reception. Since I don't know the venue here, this is a rather general answer. I would be happy to work with you further, when I have more info.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: England: July: 2:00 PM Ceremony: Garden Cocktail Reception
Q We are attending a church wedding at 2pm in England in July, formal. The ceremony will be followed by a garden cocktail reception and then the wedding breakfast. What would be the appropriate thing to wear? Im 41 and size 10. My husband is wearing a blue suit.

A I'm a bit confused. You say the ceremony is formal, do you mean black-tie formal, or do you mean more formal than "Business Attire" or "Suits and Dresses?" Any unusual dress code would be explained in any extra information that comes with the wedding invitation.

Traditionally, dress code for an afternoon British wedding for a male guest would be "morning dress," which is "Business Attire," a suit with a shirt and tie.

A woman guest would wear an elegant and dignified suit or dress and you have the option of wearing a beautiful hat. As traveling with a great hat can be awkward, you can pack a decorative head band with, say, feathers or a simple "little" silk hat with a good line. Short gloves are not necessary in summer.

When you say the wedding breakfast, I'm assuming it is the following morning, which would entail a second daytime outfit? Usually, there is a dinner at eight o'clock the night of the two o'clock ceremony, which would require more formal attire; for instance your husband would need a tuxedo and you an evening dress or dressy cocktail dress. The breakfast would follow the next day at which your husband could wear the same suit but, of course, a different shirt and tie, and you could wear either a really good suit or tailored dress with or without another hat.

To get back to the outfit for the 2:00 PM church ceremony followed by a garden cocktail reception: the hemline of your dress or suit could fall just above your knees and your legwear should be of a slightly lighter shade than your skin tone to dress up your legs with a bit of shine. At a garden reception, you might find yourself on a lawn with your spike heels sinking into the turf, so you might want to wear beautiful shoes that don't have a high heel. Beautiful pumps with a medium short heel might be safer. A small clutch bag would be perfect. I suspect you'll be traveling with a few pieces of your best jewelry that you'll want to wear the whole time.

My question is about the evening of the wedding. If you are sure that the reception is just cocktails, you'll be fine in what you both wear to the church; however, if the reception is followed by a formal dinner, you will need to change into evening clothes for dinner.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: English Country Wedding: 3:00 pm
Q I am invited to a 3 PM English country wedding at the end of November. I am 41 and female. What should I wear?

A English country houses tend to be a mite drafty the end of November. Wear a beautiful skirt suit or a very well-made day dress with sleeves and a matching coat, with beautiful shoes and a small clutch bag. Hats are of course THE accessory for an English wedding, however hard to pack, but you could wear a fascinator, which is often far easier to slide between tissue paper into your suitcase. Find out if you need a cocktail dress or evening gown for dinner, because at many such weddings there is a champagne and cake reception after the ceremony followed by a seated dinner and dancing at eight o'clock.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Escorts and Divorcing Couples
Q Wedding etiquette: I am a bridesmaid and I was in the process of getting a divorce more than a year and a half ago. My dear friend addressed the invite to myself and my gentleman friend. We were honored to accept and RSVPd 9 months ago. Unfortunately, my legal spouse has delayed the divorce proceedings and as a colleague of the groom (who is also my dear friend and gave him a job because of me) was invited to the wedding at the last minute two weeks ago as the groom felt awkward when he quite bluntly assumed he was invited in front of other colleagues. The groom even pointed out that I was a member of the wedding party and my legal spouse blithely said he didn't mind, thus they felt forced to invite him, which is of course their prerogative.

My gentleman friend is travelling from Europe to attend this wedding and the holidays at my home and we had already purchased the tickets when my friends let me know of this situation. He has never met my ex and is appalled at the idea of having to, especially in such a situation and would like to regretfully decline to attend. What is the correct thing to do as I must attend and it seems impolite for my friend to withdraw at this late date?

A In my opinion, there is nothing wrong with your gentleman friend escorting you to the wedding. Would he rather have you invite another escort, or take you himself? You have done nothing wrong here in assuming that you and your gentleman friend should attend. Tell him that you and your ex-husband are civilized, intelligent people who both accept the fact that the marriage is over and that you are both free to move forward. Who knows, the ex-husband might even bring a date, then you would be sorry that you hadn't encouraged the gentleman friend to escort you. If you are legally separated, there is no reason whatsoever why he cannot escort you to the wedding. You are correct, it is impolite of your friend to withdraw at this late date because it means that you do not have an escort, and it is probably too late to ask one of your guy friends. Why not telephone your gentleman and, in your most wispy voice, tell him that you were very much looking forward to having him do the honors and that you would rather have him escort you than any other man. That way you're not threatening him, but you are being honest by saying that he is number one and you don't want to invite number two. Be slightly mysterious about the fact that you would have to have an escort because there will be dancing. If you can get him to put himself in your shoes, he might fear that he has competition; he might start worrying that you'll find someone else. Tell him that it is perfectly acceptable for a legally separated person to take a date to a wedding. If he out and out refuses to escort you, he might be using this as a way of ducking out of visiting you for the holidays. Could it be that he doesn't think that he has the proper attire for the occasion? You might run the dress codes for the wedding past him so that he knows exactly what is expected of him because many European weddings require men to wear cutaways, which are expensive to purchase and difficult to rent. My guess is that there is something else going on here, which is why he is reluctant to go to the wedding. It might not even have anything to do with you, it might be as simple as not knowing what to wear. Believe it or not, men can get just as intimidated by dress codes as women. Find out exactly what the other male guests are wearing and casually drop that information into the conversation. If he would also be escorting you to the rehearsal dinner, or, say, the post-wedding brunch, give him that dress code information, as well. Even if you think that he is savvy about what to wear, the dress code drill might not have been made crystal-clear to him and he needs to know exactly what is expected of him in terms of his attire for the wedding weekend. Don't assume that he knows what to wear. On the other hand, early on at the start of divorce proceedings, customarily lawyers advise their clients not to flaunt a new relationship too soon for fear of losing a bargaining edge. As you have been separated for some time now, your lawyer would probably say that it would be fine for you to have him escort you. If you think that might be what your gentleman friend is thinking, than ask your lawyer and assure your friend that your lawyer says that enough time has passed that his presence as your escort wouldn't be an issue. If he still is reluctant, tell him quite gently, that it is not a big deal and drop the subject.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Evening Bag at 6:00 pm
Q Is it proper to carry an evening clutch bag to a formal wedding held at 6 pm?

A Yes, you can carry an evening clutch to a formal six o'clock wedding. Formal dressing starts at six o'clock, so an evening clutch would be most appropriate.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Evening Wedding
Q I am a 50-year-old size 8 woman invited to an evening wedding. I have selected a light grey chiffon halter top dress with a coordinating wrap. It has full frontal coverage and is knee-length Would this be appropriate for me to wear? The wedding is at a formal venue.

Thank you

A The light gray chiffon halter top short dress sounds perfect. My only concern is that you wouldn't want the light gray to be mistaken for an off-white, because out of respect for the bride, the only woman wearing white or off-white is the bride. I'm wondering about the shoes; hope they're either black or silver, or possibly dyed to match the dress.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Evening: 25 Years Old
Q Hello. I need help! My sister in-law is getting married in May. Everyone asks if I've got a dress, but I think it is too soon, since I think they'll be more styles for Spring. I also wonder if I should wear a gown or a cocktail dress. I'm 25, I don't want to look older, the wedding will be in the evening and reception at a banquet hall.

Thank you!


A You're smart to wait because you don't want to be wearing last season's dress. When the invitation arrives, look for the dress code. If the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits and Dresses and wear a knee-length cocktail dress that falls no shorter than two inches above the knee, with beautiful shoes and a small clutch bag. The later in the day the wedding, the dressier the dress code, but that doesn't necessarily mean floor length. Wear what length makes you feel good.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Family of the Bride's Boss: 3:00 PM: Maine
Q We are attending a wedding tomorrow here in Maine (November) at 3pm - ceremony outdoors, reception following inside at Pineland Farms - children are invited as well. What to wear and what is protocol for a gift? Cash or present? Bride is friend of our family, and is currently an employee at my husband's place of business (he is technically her boss now!) Have only attended wedding in/around NYC so my perception may be skewed?? Thanks!

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. A wedding at three o'clock in the afternoon is fairly informal, but your husband, the bride's boss, would wear a dark suit or whatever his equivalent. You would wear a jersey or knit day dress dress with a leather jacket or coat, or a pebbled tweed skirt suit, that falls to your knee with classic pumps.

At the wedding tomorrow, ask the bride, or her mother, where the wedding couple are registered. Then when you get home send a wedding present from the newlyweds online bridal registry, as the registry will have their home address. That way you will be sending your husband's employee something practical that they need and will be sure to use. If they've registered for dinner plates or wine glasses and you see only half the set are "complete," help fill it out by sending them two of their dinner plate or six wine glasses. By sending them a wedding gift from their registry, you know you are sending them a gift that will be well received. In my opinion, your husband wouldn't want to set a precedent of giving cash gifts to his employees, a present from a bridal or baby registry is more than sufficient.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Family Wedding: Tennessee: October: 4:00 pm
Q My nephew is getting married outside in October in Kingston, TN, at 4 pm. The guests will be taken down to the gazebo and pond (the wedding site) by wagon. I'm 5'4 weigh 140 lbs with a toned body (wear size 6) and have olive coloring with dark brown hair and green eyes. What should I wear to the wedding? The reception will be under tents at the pond right after the wedding. Also, what do my husband and kids wear (girl age 15 and 13 and son age 10). By the way, the bridesmaids are wearing burnt orange chaffon strapless dresses with cowboy boots.

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. You would wear a knee-length cocktail dress. Not too glittery or dressy. With beautiful shoes and carry a small clutch bag. The dress should reflect the color of your green eyes. Colors trending this fall that would be lovely with green eyes are Ultramarine Green (blue-green), Bright Chartreuse (yellow-green), Pink Flambe (light fuchsia), Olympian Blue (French blue) and Rhapsody (lavender). The only thing I want to warn you about is high heels, because if the tents don't have wooden floors, your heels could easily spike into the turf and cause you to lose your balance, which we don't want to happen. So if you wear high heels, be sure the heel is thick or they're wedgies.

Your husband would wear a dark business suit with a white shirt and a handsome tie, black shoes, socks and belt. He can wear cowboys boots if he likes.

Your daughters would wear a dress of their choice. At 15 and 13, girls they have their own sense of style. Your son can wear khaki pants, a white collared shirt and a jacket, but not necessarily a tie. Let him wear what he wants on his feet, although leather slip-ons would be preferable, either loafers or cowboy boots.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Family Weddings: Three Within Six Months: 19-Year-Old
Q Dear Didi,
There are three weddings coming up in my family, two in May and one in November. What can I wear to these? I am 19 with an athletic body and about 5'4. Would it be a faux pas to reuse a dress or shoes for the weddings? All three weddings are to be outdoors and in California, though one is decidedly casual (May, daytime), another is traditional and in the evening (Nov, evening), and the other is semi- formal without a decided time as of yet. What is appropriate for each?
Thank you so much for your help.

A No, it would not be a faux pas to wear the same dress twice or same shoes twice, especially since two of the weddings are over six months apart. For the outdoor, daytime casual wedding in May, wear a well-tailored shirt dress or a wrap dress that falls no shorter than two inches above your knees, with beautiful flats or pumps. For the November evening wedding, wear a knee-length cocktail dress with heels. When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. The later in the day, the dressier the dress.

It sounds as though you can wear the same cocktail dress and heels to both semi-formal weddings, the wedding in May and the one in November. That means you only need two outfits, one day dress with flats and one cocktail dress with heels. You can probably find a small clutch bag for your lipgloss to carry to all three weddings.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Family: Indian Wedding: 2:00pm Ceremony: 7:00 PM Cocktails + Dinner
Q What do you make of a "Black Tie" wedding at a Beach Resort in casual Southern California at 2 pm on a July afternoon? I thought long would look ridiculous, so I'm wearing a bright colored designer cocktail dress with a fun ring and bracelet and beautiful gold satin sandals. My husband thinks a tux would be ridiculous at 2 pm and refuses to wear one. He wrote to his friend the bride and she said dark suits were ok. My 17-year-old son is also invited and will be wearing a black suit and black shoes with a white shirt and dark tie. Ugh. I just keep picturing us walking in and my husband is the only one not in a tux. Should I push for it? It's an Indian wedding, so the family will be wearing formal Indian attire. We are not part of the family.

This is the most confusing wedding invite ever! Oh, drinks and dancing after the wedding start at 7.

A Not much. The earlier in the afternoon the wedding, the less formal the dress code. Your outfit sounds perfect. Tell your husband he can wear a white, off-white or cream colored dinner jacket instead of a black tuxedo jacket. Otherwise, men will wear dark lightwieght suits.

As you can see this is really a two outfit wedding. Wear your best business clothes for the ceremony and dress for dinner. At Indian weddings often the bride and her mother change three times. Think more about dressing festively than formally and you should have fun.

We like hearing from you

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Family: 5:00 PM: Cocktail Attire
Q I'm attending a 5 pm, September family wedding in Milwaukee; the invitation stated Cocktail attire. We won't have time to change as there will be family photos w/the couple before the ceremony and after but before the cocktail and dinner hour. I understand the mothers of the bride and groom be will be wearing knee-length dresses. Would wearing a floor-length fitted black dress be acceptable/appropriate on this occasion? The dress is elegant (satin bodice, the rest is matte); a long slit and four horizontal 1/2" strips of material on the upper back give it a subtle sexy appeal. I am a young 60, 5', 110 lbs.

A 'The mothers' set the dress code of the women guests. When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses, meaning Cocktail Attire. You would wear a well-made knee-length cocktail dress with beautiful shoes and carry a small clutch bag. Think about the family photographs, do you really want to be the only adult woman in an evening gown? We want you to be yourself, but it is up to you whether or not you want to respect the dress code and fit in, or stand out. Out of respect for the bride, you probably don't want to steal the show on her wedding day.

We like hearing from you, even when we know you won't be pleased with our answer.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Farm Cocktail: Virginia in September
Q I will be attending a wedding on a farm in Virginia in late September. The ceremony will be held at 5 pm with outdoor reception following. Dress is "farm cocktail". This is a second wedding for the bride and the groom. When I asked the bride what is farm cocktail, she said something similar to what you would wear to a steeple chase. ????? Please help.

A A steeplechase is an annual horse race with obstacles, such as jumps, sponsored by the business community to benefit a local charity (for instance, the hospital) and attended by families, many of whom pay a higher admission to hold their own tailgating party. Think of the traditions associated with the Kentucky Derby (which doesn't benefit a charity) of seeing all those ladies in a great hat and beautiful dresses and men in light suits, blazers and sport jackets with ties drinking mint juleps; that's the look of the wedding guest dress code "farm cocktail"


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Fascinator
Q Hello, I'm attending a black-tie optional wedding in August with the ceremony beginning at 4 PM and the reception following at 5 PM. Would a fascinator be appropriate for the church ceremony at 4 PM? Also, would it be appropriate to wear the fascinator during the enter reception?

A Yes, yes, yes! We love fascinators! You needn't take it off. Perhaps when the dancing begins, but not necessarily. It depends on the fascinator. Would love to see a photo of your fascinator if you ever have one to send.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Fascinator: Afternoon
Q Is a black fascinator appropriate for an afternoon wedding if the dress has lots of color?

Here is the dress:

http://www.jcpenney.com/month-long-values/worthington-sleeveless-split-neck-print-dress-/prod.jump?ppId=pp5003860411&catId=cat100210008&deptId=dept20000013&topDim=Color&topDimvalue=orange&dimCombo=Color|&dimComboVal=orange|tDim=ColortDimVal=orange&colorizedImg=DP0403201418094084C.tif&urlState=/women/shop-clothing/dresses/orange/_/N-1nnujcZ134/cat.jump

Fascinator looks something like this: http://www.elavonza.com/shop/media/catalog/product/cache/1/image/9df78eab33525d08d6e5fb8d27136e95/h/e/helena_black_feathers_veil_fascinator.jpg

A The links didn't work for me. Generally, if there is any black in the rest of your outfit (in the print, your small clutch, or your shoes are black), then a black fascinator would be lovely. I'm a huge fan of the fascinator.

However, if there is a second or third color in the fascinator, the fascinator may be too busy with the print dress.

We like hearing from you, but links can be iffy. The jpg has to be sent as an attachment in order to upload it.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Fashion Colors for 2011
Q I had bought a beautiful hot pink cocktail dress for a wedding in mid-October. This is an indoor wedding. Is this color appropriate for a fall wedding?

A The best wedding guests don't wear attention grabbing colors or prints. All eyes on the bride, because it is her special day and you don't want to take the spotlight away from her. Personally, I love hot pink and a hot pink cocktail dress would have snapped amongst other pop colors last spring and this past summer.

Colors this fall are still spirited but a bit more sensitive: warm golden yellows with red undertones (Burnt Sienna and Marigold), Lemon Yellow, Fire Engine Red, deep teal (Peacock), rich burgundies, Felt Gray (heather-gray), fuchsia, champagne, Bottle Green (a military green), rich purple (plum, eggplant and grape), Yves Klein Blue (super-saturated blue). If you're looking for a pink, the pink for fall 2011 is fuchsia. As you can imagine, fall colors are warmer and earthier than the pop colors of last spring.

The short answer, sadly, is that hot pink is not in trend this fall.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Father + Stepmother of the Bride: 6:00 PM: Texas
Q My stepdaughter is getting married Aug 30 at 6:00 in the evening in Central Texas. She is wearing her mother's white wedding dress. The groom is wearing a tan vest, no jacket and either navy or brown pants. The wedding is outside and the reception is in a hall on the premises. I am 46 years old, tall and thin. My husband is 55. He would like to wear a tuxedo, but I am not sure if he should given what the groom is wearing. I do not know what the MOB will be wearing and unfortunately will not be finding out. My questions are what should my husband, the FOB, wear and what should I wear? The MOG will not be attending and the FOG is deceased. And my stepdaughter has not picked any colors. Her sister is the only bridesmaid. Thank you in advance.

A Have your husband wear a lightweight summer suit with a collared shirt and his favorite tie. If the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, then you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses, or Cocktail Attire. So your husband would wear a suit and you would wear a knee-length cocktail dress with beautiful shoes and carry a small clutch bag.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Father + Stepmother of the Groom: April: 3:30 PM: Plantation
Q Didi, thank you for answering my question yesterday about what dress to wear to my stepson's 3:30 pm wedding in Miss. at a plantation, outside, you said red (I like that)! Well, my husband wants to know if I could wear a knee-length, black velvet, see-through across the shoulders, dress (he likes it). Would that be ok? Thanks. Cj Your web site is great, thanks so much.

A Please, tell you husband that a black velvet dress is not really appropriate for an afternoon wedding.

For an evening wedding it would be fine, but you would wear a daytime dress to a daytime wedding. Of course, you can do exactly what you want and nobody will tell you to your face that it is not appropriate, but they might snicker behind your back.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Father and Stepmother of the Groom: April: 3:30 PM: Plantation
Q My stepson is getting married April 30, 3 afternoon, outside, at a plantation in Miss. He has 2 sisters and his mom, (we are all close) and they are all trying to get dresses that sort of match the wedding color which is lavender. I don't want to be a spectacle but I do want to make a statement. 1)I have a red or gold knee-length dress, would one of these work? 2)He requested his dad wear his suit, it's a 10-year-old double breasted suit that he has worn twice, should he get another? Thanks! Cj

A Go with the red knee-length dress. Gold is too dressy for a 3:30 PM wedding. Your husband can wear his suit, but perhaps he should take it to a good tailor to make sure that it flatters his shape and he doesn't look lumpy. If it is a good quality suit and isn't frayed looking or shiny, it should be good for the wedding. He can wear a white collared shirt and a red tie.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Father of the Bride: June: Outdoors: White Dinner Jacket
Q My daughter is getting married next June, outdoors on our lawn. It will be more of a lawn party- no tuxes for the groom and groomsmen. I am thinking to wear a white dinner jacket and thinking black slacks. I don't want to wear a white shirt and bow tie- too formal, but want your thoughts on how to "casualize" a white dinner jacket?
Thanks

A I am a huge fan of the white dinner jacket. By all means wear your white dinner jacket, if the wedding is during the late afternoon-going-into-evening, or later. If it is a morning or early afternoon wedding, you wouldn't want to be mistaken for a waiter. Alternatively, wear a navy blue suit or navy blue blazer with cream colored pants, and black leather shoes, belt and socks. A white or light blue collared shirt with a handsome tie in one of the wedding colors would be quite fitting, too.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Father of the Bride: Laid Back Non-traditional Wedding
Q Hello,
We are getting married in September and we decided to have a fairly basic wedding. We are renting a tent and having a buffet style dinner outside behind my fiance's uncle's house. We are having one of her cousins marry us since we didn't just want to go have a judge to it. My fiance is wearing a wedding dress but it's not white, which is fine. As you can see this will be a fairly laid back non-traditional wedding.

I decided not to wear a tux but just wear a suit and same applies to my groomsmen. My fiance says that her dad wants to wear a tuxedo. I feel like he should not out dress me and just put on a suit like every one else. Is it too much of me to ask? Please help.

A No, it is not too much to ask. Gently say to him, "Sam, this is not a formal wedding. Just wear a jacket and tie, because nobody else will be wearing a tuxedo."

Is it possible that he doesn't have a suit that fits, but he does have a tuxedo that fits or he knows where to rent one? There may be more going on here. If he doesn't have a suit, he can wear a blazer or a nice jacket with a white collared shirt, a tie in one of the wedding colors, and trousers of his choice. If he's still not convinced, because he's seen too many versions of "Father of the Bride," say, "Nowadays, even when the bride wears a long wedding dress, it doesn't mean that everyone else dresses formally. After all, she is the bride and she should wear any dress she chooses.

Be honest with him and simply state the facts. At the end of the day, since, as you say, it is a nontraditional wedding, you'll see people wearing whatever they want. If he wants to wear a tuxedo, it should not be a problem.

We like hearing from you. I'm sympathetic about your not wanting to wear a tuxedo and you shouldn't have to, but when you set a laid back non-traditional dress code, you have to be able to be flexible about what people wear, even with the Father of the Bride.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Father of the Bride: White Dinner Jacket
Q Dear Didi,

For Father's Day, we want to buy dad a white dinner jacket. We have an evening family wedding in August and we want him looking sharp, yet summery. What should we look for in terms of style and should the jacket be white or off-white? One button or two? What does he wear besides the jacket? K.R., Newport


A Dear K.R.,

For standard formal wear in summer, the proper dinner jacket is ivory. A pure white jacket is worn mostly by waiters. The off-white, ivory dinner jacket would have a shawl lapel (a lapel in the same fabric as the jacket) and not a silk-faced lapel. On a shawl-lapelled jacket there should be two buttons. Single-breasted white dinner jackets are more common. Double breasted are considered equally appropriate and have three buttons. The ventless style is the most formal.

Whether the dinner jacket has one button or two depends largely on the girth of the man. A two-button jacket restricts movement, so if your father would be more comfortable in a one-button jacket, that's your answer. But of course the bottom button of the two-button jacket is not buttoned.

With an ivory or cream-colored dinner jacket, your father can wear standard tuxedo trousers, a white dress shirt with French cuffs and silver cufflinks after six o'clock (gold cufflinks and watches aren't worn at night) and a black silk bow tie. Black silk socks up to the knee and black patent leather shoes. He'll want to have a white pocket square handkerchief in his breast pocket, if it doesn't interfere with a boutonniere. ~Didi


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Father of the Groom + Stepmother: October: 4:00pm: Hamptons
Q Dear Didi,
What do my husband and I wear to a formal wedding in the Hamptons at 4 PM in October? I am the stepmother of the groom. While a formal wedding, there is no "wedding party" per se, so what does my husband wear? The bride comes from money and the wedding is at her mother's home. We are of modest income. Please advise. I am very concerned that we adhere to what is appropriate. We have never met her family. I am 4'11" and curvy, though not overweight. Thank you so much! Geri

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. A four o'clock wedding is not necessarily black-tie. Assuming it is not a black-tie wedding, your husband would wear a dark business suit with a white shirt and silk tie; black leather shoes and belt and dark socks.

You could wear a dressy, well-made, knee-length skirt suit with beautiful shoes and carry a small clutch bag. Alternatively, a beautiful dress. At a wedding such as this, it is more about the quality of the clothing than the dressiness of the outfit. You want to look elegant and dignified in a skirt suit or dress that is tailored to flatter your shape.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Father of the Groom: Tuxedo
Q Didi-
If the father of the groom is not in the wedding party, should he wear a tuxedo? Is it acceptable for him to wear a nice suit even though the mothers of the bride and groom are wearing long, formal dresses?
Thank you.

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume that the dress code is Suits & Dresses. Even when the bridal party are dressed formally, it doesn't mean the rest of the guests follow suit. The later in the day the wedding the more formal the attire. If the dress code is not Black Tie, then he can certainly wear a nice suit, even though the bride and groom are dressed formally.

We like hearing from you.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Father of the Groom: White Dinner Jacket
Q Is it appropriate for the father of the groom to wear a white dinner jacket at his son's beach wedding in NC at the end of September?

A As the father of the groom, you would wear pretty much what your son, the groom, is wearing. You would also check in with the father of the bride to find out what he is wearing, because he sets the dress code of the fathers.

We like hearing from you.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Fireside Cozy CT Wedding
Q Dear Didi,

I will be attending a wedding in CT the end of March at 3:00 PM at an inn. The invitation says to dress casual for a fireside feast which ends around 7:00 PM. I am in my late 20's and a friend of the bride and groom. What is the appropriate dress for this type of wedding? Allison, Pomfret, CT

Dear Allison,

Ideally, you want to be wearing a really comfy tea length dress with beautiful shoes and carry a small clutch bag. A lovely blouse or sweater with a knee-length skirt would be cozy at well. Lengthwise, just above the knee means: in bare feet stand with your hands dropped to the sides of your thighs and estimate where the longest fingers touch; that's the shortest you want your skirt to go. Since this wedding it is not formal, it is all about making everyone feel relaxed and happy. The quality of the clothing is the focus, as opposed to the dressiness of the outfit. ~Didi


A Dear Allison,

Ideally, you want to be wearing a really comfy tea-length dress with beautiful shoes and carry a small clutch bag. A lovely blouse or sweater with a knee-length skirt would be cozy at well. Lengthwise, just above the knee means: in bare feet stand with your hands dropped to the sides of your thighs and estimate where the longest fingers touch; that's the shortest you want your skirt to go. Since this wedding it is not formal, it is all about making everyone feel relaxed and happy. The quality of the clothing is the focus, as opposed to the dressiness of the outfit. ~Didi


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Five O'Clock Wedding: Women
Q What is proper attire for a 57-year-old aunt of the bride to wear to her niece's wedding at 5:00 p.m. July 10th at Padua Hills Theatre in Claremont, Ca.? Where is the best place to shop for this type of dress for Size 16? Thank you!

A It all depends upon whether or not this is a black-tie wedding. Let's assume that five o'clock is a bit early for a black-tie wedding and that the wedding is what is called "cocktail attire." Meaning that you would wear either a dressy skirt-suit or a cocktail dress. As the mother-of-the bride sets the dress code for her gender and generation, ask her to e-mail you a photo of her outfit. If she doesn't have one, then ask her to explain it or ask to see it. Even if you just find out where she bought it, you can go on-line and look for it yourself, if you have a good description and the name of the designer. If you just have the name of the designer, you can go directly to the designer's Web site to find the outfit that fits the description of your niece's mother's outfit. Then look on that Web site to see where there is a store near you.

In general, a size 16 woman would wear a well-tailored dress with three-quarter length sleeves, a skirted dressy suit, or a dress with a matching jacket. Since I don't know your coloring, I would say to stick to beige, or darker shades of blue, green or burgundy. If you know that it is a dressy wedding, then shades of taupe or silver can be most flattering.

Women our size need to look for good quality in the fabric and design, as well as the experience of a good tailor to give us a bit of a nip to our non-existing waistline.

Not knowing the dress code for your niece's wedding, this is a rather general answer. Try going on-line to some of the major designers and stores for examples of the above suggestions and perhaps an outfit will catch your eye. Designers that I personally like for our size are: Carolina Herrera, Anne Klein, Dana Buchman, Max Mara, Donna Karan, A-K-R-I-S, Armani, and Eileen Fisher, to name just a few.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Five Thirty Wedding: Men
Q My daughter is having a wedding on October 4th at 5:30 pm in a small church in a small town. The groom is wearing a coat and tie. She wants the groomsmen to wear matching pants and white shirts with matching ties. Should they be wearing suits in a church at that time of year and time of day?

A No, the groom and groomsmen do not necessarily have to wear suits. They can wear navy blue blazers with gray flannel pants, dark belts, and dark socks with black Gucci-style loafers, along with collared white shirts and striped ties in the colors of the wedding colors. However, I would suggest that the fathers wear dark suits with solid colored ties in the wedding colors. As you no doubt know, the wedding couple usually chooses two colors, which become the color theme of the wedding; those two colors are played out in the bridesmaids' dresses, flowers, decor, and in the ties of the men in the bridal party. If it was a more formal wedding, starting after six o'clock, then all the men--in the bridal party as well as the guests--would wear dark suits or tuxedos. The dress code follows the formality of the wedding and visa versa.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Flat Shoes for Sister-In-Law's Wedding
Q I am honored to have been asked to be in my sister-in-law's wedding, and I love her very much... but, we are wearing long gowns. I am short, everyone else is tall. The bride wants us all to wear silver flats, I have always been a heel girl. It's a ceremony on grass and the walk is on cobblestones and not very far!! I have bought the heel guards for the heels. The bride still demands flat sandals. The reception is on normal flooring. Without heels I feel Very self conscious, I am a very fashion forward person, but I am having a really hard time with this. Am I being unreasonable? Thank you for your help in this. p.s. she says our sandals don't have to match, just be silver, I don't see the big deal. I know it's her day, I have been in a lot of weddings, and I am a young 52. LOL Is it wrong for me to be so agitated about this? Thank you for your advice. :)

A As you say, it is her day and you love her, so you're going to have to go with the flow. However, why not take along your high heels and change into them for reception.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Florida and White Shoes in March
Q I will be attending a wedding in Tampa, FL, on March 4th. What is appropriate dress? I am from MI and don't wear white shoes or handbag until after Memorial Day. Is it okay in FL since it will be about 80 degrees to wear summer dresses and white shoes or sandals?

A Yes, the wearing of white is determined by the climate because white is easier to wear in the heat than darker colors.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Florida at Five O'Clock
Q What do you wear to a 5:00 pm wedding in Florida? It is at the beginning of May and the service will be held in a chapel with the reception to follow at an activity center. I am 27 years old and roughly 5 feet tall so I am unsure if I need to wear a long or short dress? I am afraid of being too dressed up or not dressed up enough. My husband is part of the wedding party and will be in a tuxedo so his attire does not help me at all.

A Wear a pretty dress with a flirty skirt that falls just above your knees and great high heels. Take along a colorful scarf to cover your arms if the chapel or activity center is air- conditioned. Add a small clutch hand bag for your lip gloss and you're good to go.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Florida: 2:00 PM Ceremony + 5:00pm Reception
Q I am traveling from the UK to attend my friend's wedding in Florida this coming January. The ceremony is being held in a Catholic church at 2 pm, followed by a 3:30 pm cocktail hour with dinner and reception from 5 pm. I know the bridal party and mothers will be wearing floor-length gowns. To me the weather will feel positively balmy but I don't want to look out of place with other guests dressed more for winter! I am a size 12-14, 28-year-old female. Many thanks in advance.

A Wear your very best knee-length dress with a fabulous hat or fascinator, and that will get you through the day and evening (minus the hat). If the dinner and reception were starting later (in the evening), I would say you would be expected to change into an evening dress for dinner.

In this country, when the wedding invitation doesn't specify "Black Tie" or "Formal Attire," you can assume that the dress code is "Suits & Dresses." I understand that you don't want to be traipsing around Florida in a long dress starting at one o'clock in the afternoon (when you'll have to start getting dressed) until midnight. Which is why you will want to be wearing an absolutely splendid well-tailored, knee-length dress, if the dress code doesn't specify "Black Tie," because most of the women guests will be in short, dressy dresses, wearing beautiful shoes and carrying small clutch bags.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Florida: 3:30 PM Garden Wedding: Suits and Dresses
Q I am organizing my wedding for October 15th, 2011, in Singer Island, FL at 3:30 pm in a garden. The ceremony would be right before 4 pm followed by an outdoor cocktail (by Yacht docks) and then early indoor dinner served by 5:30. The bridesmaids chose long dresses and I am not sure if this is appropriate. Also, I am not sure what to write on the invitations. Would "Black tie" be appropriate? If not, what should I say? What about "Cocktail dress" at the bottom of the invitation? What my mother should wear? Thank you very much in advance for your advice, Victoria

A Convince your bridesmaids that short is the way to go. For a 3:30 PM garden wedding, followed by cocktails and dinner, they should wear cocktail dresses.

Tell your bridesmaids that it is your call and if they're buying a dress for your wedding, you want them to be able to wear that dress as a cocktail dress after the wedding.

On the invitation list the dress code as:

Suits and Dresses

It's too early for a black tie wedding. You can have the groomsmen wear tuxedos, but don't make the guests wear long dresses and tuxedos to a garden wedding.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Florida: April: 2:00 pm:
Q What to wear to a wedding in Miami FL on late April, at 2pm ceremony following reception?..should I wear a long or short dress?....what colors should I be looking for?...help!

A A two o'clock wedding isn't formal, so you would wear a lightweight, well-tailored linen blend skirt suit or a lovely, day dress; both with beautiful shoes and knee-length and carry a small clutch bag. For a daytime wedding, it is more about the quality of the clothing and accessories than the dressiness of the outfit. Nothing is more appropriate for a summer wedding than a lovely hat or fascinator.

As to colors, if your eyes are green or blue, make them pop by wearing tones in that color. Colors trending this spring include Tangerine Tango, Cabaret (a light raspberry), Solar Power, Margarita (soft green), Driftwood (cappuccino), Sweet Lilac, Bellflower (a pretty, slightly darker lilac), Starfish (latte), Cockatoo (a fresh, spring blue/green), and Sodalite Blue (a darker blue good for a heavier set woman and a good pairing Cabaret).

The fun thing about these soft pastels is that you can add a pop of color with a small clutch bag or shoes in a hot neon. Mixing pastels with neon is very in this Spring. Floral dress are big this Spring in combinations of strong yellow and lilac, or pale lilac and pale green. For a younger woman, tangerine is the huge hit this spring, just as latte is with someone older.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Florida: April: Halter Black Dress
Q Is it ok to wear a black dress (halter style) to a late afternoon wedding in April in south Florida?

A As long as it is knee-length or shorter. I gather you're asking if it is OK to wear black to a wedding? Wearing a LBD to a wedding is quite fashionable, so you'll be right in style.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Florida: November
Q Hi Didi!
Just found your website from here in Germany. Am invited to a wedding in Clearwater, FL, in early November and as I'm traveling lightly, want to make sure I have the right attire for the wedding. The luau and brunch call for Florida Casual and the reception Florida Semi-formal. Any tips for me? I'm a size 6, 42 years old. Thanks in advance!

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, then you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. Since I don't know the time of day of the wedding, this is a rather general answer, but if you wear a well-made day dress of good quality that falls just above your knee, with beautiful shoes and a small clutch bag, you should be perfectly dressed for the wedding.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Florida: October: 1:30 PM +5:00 PM
Q What to wear to a 1:30 wedding in Florida for an October wedding? The invitation says formal reception at 5:00.

A Look at the invitation for a dress code. Formal can mean "Suits & Dresses." Very formal and pretty formal means "Black Tie," when men would wear tuxedos and women beautiful dresses. For a 1:30 PM wedding you would wear your best daytime outfit. For the 5:00 PM reception a man could wear either a tuxedo or a white dinner jacket with black tuxedo pants. The dressiness of the wedding is also determined by the location of the reception. When the reception is in a ballroom, then evening gowns and tuxedos are worn. In a restaurant, private house, or club, the ambiance may not be as formal. A five o'clock wedding reception is cocktail attire, which means "Suits & Dresses."

We like hearing from you and when you know more about the wedding, we would be happy to hear from you again in the hope of giving you a more precise answer.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Florida: October: 3:00 PM
Q I am getting married in a small church in Florida in October at 3:00 P.M., and then the reception will immediately follow at a family member's outdoor pavillion where the food will be barbecue. What should I wear in the ceremony that will be appropriate for the reception?

A For an afternoon wedding and reception, unless otherwise stated, the dress code would be Suits and Dresses. Wear a pretty dress, beautiful shoes and a lovely hat. You can always take off the hat when the sun goes down.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Florida: October: Beach: 5:30 PM
Q I am attending a friend's wedding in October. She is getting married in Florida on the beach. I am so lost as to what type of dress to wear and what color scheme to go with. The wedding is at 5:30 pm with a reception to follow. I am unsure where the reception is at but it will be a fun time with lots of dancing. I am 31 years old, I want to look appropriate but fun and flirty. Any help will be appreciated!

A My favorite flirty, feminine dress for an early evening wedding is an off-white above-the-knee chiffon with a floral print. The dress is fitted at the top with straps and slim bodice, but the skirt has a lovely skirt for dancing. Along with beautiful shoes in one of the floral colors and carrying a small clutch bag, you'll look absolutely lovely.

Alternately, a knee-length, satin, fitted, structured dress in a neutral color, such as a misty rose (pink-grey) that has small off the shoulder sleeves and is low cut. This is a rather general answer because I don't know your style, body type, or tastes, but it's a start.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Flowing Dress: 1:00 PM: Catholic Wedding
Q Is it appropriate to wear a knee-length kinda flowing dress with jacket? Soft pink with silver jewelry.
Catholic wedding. 1 pm. My niece. I am 62.

A Yes, totally appropriate. Sounds lovely.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Formal Attire
Q The wedding invite says "Formal Attire requested", does that mean a Tux? The wedding is at 6:00 pm on a Saturday.

A Formal attire means that a male guest has the option of wearing a tuxedo or a dark suit, with a white collared shirt, silk tie, black shoes, belt and tie. In other words, if you don't own a tuxedo or if you would rather not wear a tuxedo, then a male guest can wear a dark business suit.

Formal attire for a woman means that she does not have to wear a long dress; depending upon her age, she can wear a knee-length dressy skirt-suit (sometimes called a dinner suit) or a cocktail dress.

When in doubt, ask someone in the bridal party or a member of the family. However, even if the bridesmaids are wearing long dresses and the groomsmen are wearing tuxedos, your hosts are not requiring guests to wear tuxedos and women to wear evening dresses. If your hosts were requiring male guests to wear tuxedos, the dress code Black Tie would be printed on the invitation.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Formal Attire: 5:00 PM: Summer
Q Summer wedding invitation states dress is formal attire. Reception starts at 5pm. Is a long dress mandatory or can I wear a short sparkly dress?

A To a five o'clock wedding you can definitely wear a beautiful cocktail dress with great shoes and carry a small clutch bag.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Formal Attire: Couple
Q Hello Didi,

6:oo p.m. outdoor wedding - invitation says formal attire. Wedding is at a horse farm. What is proper?

A Formal attire means the men would wear tuxedos and the women would wear beautiful knee-length cocktail dresses, dressy skirt suits, or long dresses, with beautiful shoes and carry a small clutch bag.

We like hearing from you

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Formal Attire: Five O'clock Wedding
Q l have a 5:00 wedding to go to in February, formal wear is requested. What kind of clothing would that be?

A When the invitation to a five o'clock wedding specifies Black Tie or Formal Attire, a man would wear a tuxedo or a very dark suit and a woman would wear a knee-length cocktail dress. A five o'clock wedding is too early to be super formal, which is why a woman guest would wear a knee-length dressy skirt suit or cocktail dress, although she could wear a long dress that wasn't too formal.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Formal: 7:00: In the South
Q For church weddings in the South, I have not seen an invitation that specified a dress code. So traditionally, is a 7:00 wedding black-tie?

A Traditionally, when the invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. You are correct in thinking an evening wedding would be formal, but these days not necessarily. Nowadays, a great well-tailored suit can be a lot chicer and better looking than a tuxedo, and a knee-length, well-made cocktail dress can be more beautiful than a floor-length gown. It is all in the quality of the clothing and accessories.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Formality: 10:00 AM Ceremony Followed by Reception
Q Is it proper etiquette to have a black tie wedding when the ceremony is 10:00 am and the reception is immediately following?

A Ouch! The later in the day the dressier the wedding. A morning wedding is not a formal dress occasion. Guests would wear their best daytime outfits. A chic wedding is not necessarily about the formality of the dress code, but instead it is all about the quality of the outfits. Nothing beats a really well-made suit, collared shirt, tie, dress, shoes, or handbag, as opposed to a rented tuxedo or dated prom dress.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Friday Night
Q What do you wear to a Friday night wedding?

A Hey, what you wear depends on so many things, such as your gender, the venue (is the reception at a BBQ or a hotel ballroom?), and the invitation. A good invitation clues guests into what to wear. If the invitation is engraved on very, very heavy paper, then you know to wear your very, very best outfit. If the invitation looks like a flyer made up at a copy store, dress dressy casual: in other words, you're not going to wear flip-flops, cargo pants, bare mid-drift, wife-beater undershirt, jeans, or shorts.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Gandmother of the Bride: 6:30 PM: Louisiana
Q I am the Grandmother of the Bride. The June wedding is in South Louisiana, a 6:30 evening church wedding. What would be appropriate, color etc.?

A The mother of the bride sets the dress code. Find out what your daughter is wearing and take it down a notch. Traditionally, "the mothers" wear blue or beige. What you wear depends largely on the formality of the wedding. What is the dress code on the invitation? Since I don't know about your lifestyle, coloring, build or the formality of the wedding, it is difficult to give you my best advice. A black-tie wedding is different from a pig roast in terms of dress code.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Garden Ceremony: 5:00 PM
Q Didi,
I will be attending a wedding on May 28th at 5:00 pm. The invitation says it is a garden ceremony. I am a 57-year-old female, size 12. I bought a pretty sleeveless floral dress just below the knee and it is form fitting. Could I wear it to the wedding? Should I wear a shawl with it? If so, what kind of shoes should I wear? Thank you for your advice.

A Your new pretty sleeveless dress sounds festive for a garden wedding. A shawl would be fine, but a thinner pashmina would be even better. You can buy them on line in a myriad of colors; I'm sure you can find one to accent one of the colors in your dress. A pair of beautiful beige or nude-colored flats would be best in a garden setting because heels might sink into the moist spring ground.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Garrison, NY: November : 4:00 pm
Q I am attending an early November wedding in Garrison , NY.
The ceremony and party will be at the same catering house.
The venue is from 4 to 8. I was thinking of wearing a navy blue long sleeve lace sweetheart dress, knee-length, with gunmetal dressy sandals, with matching bag... Would that be appropriate to wear? I am 55 yrs old.

A Dressy sandals may be too dressy for a four o'clock wedding. Sandals in Garrison, NY in November aren't a good idea. A sweetheart dress my be to prom-like for a four o'clock wedding, especially if you're 55 years old.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Georgia: 7:00 pm: Outdoor + Indoor
Q The wedding invitation is for a 7:00 pm outdoor wedding, Sept. in Georgia, the reception will be indoors with dinner and dancing. I'm a 65-yr.-old woman , 5' tall and in decent shape. I don't wear dresses anymore because of my spider vein legs. What should I wear?

A Go to the mariapucci.com Web site and you'll see evening attire that might suit you. They are dressy silk jackets paired with silk or linen slacks. For a September evening wedding I like the Giorgio Jacket in Linen Fuchsia or Silk Taffeta Pink. I also like the Fortuno Jacket in Caravaggio because it is shorter and has 3/4 length sleeves. For more prints look at Maria Pucci's Charleston jacket, especially the Lilly Aquamarine for a wedding. Pair any of these jackets with your best slacks, beautiful shoes and a small clutch bag and you'll feel stunning.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Georgia: Early Spring: 3:00 PM
Q I am invited to a 3:00 in afternoon church wedding in April in Georgia. The invitation doesn't say what kind of dress. I am 31 years, 5'3 tall and 120 pounds. I have no clue what to wear and also don't know what colors to wear. Please help!

A When the invitation doesn't state "Black Tie," then the dress code is "Suits and Dresses," unless otherwise stated. An afternoon church wedding is the perfect time to wear a pretty dress with a great hat that you can always leave in the car when you go into the reception. If a beautiful dress that falls just above your knees doesn't appeal to you, then a really nicely tailored light-weight suit or a sheath with a matching jacket would work as well.

As to color, color is such a personal thing. Black is very chic for weddings right now, and then you'll have a brand new "little black dress" to wear again and again. You wouldn't wear white because the bride is the only person wearing white, but you could wear a lovely ice blue or one of the paler taupes that are so popular now. Bright colors seem to be all the rage for spring this year, so don't shy away from stepping out in style. You wouldn't want to wear a really flirty cocktail dress that early in the day, as you've no doubt figured out, but you can wear a great dress that you will be able to wear again and again with beautiful shoes and a soft, pretty clutch for your lipstick.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Georgia: March: 5:00 PM: Expecting a Baby
Q Hi Didi! I am attending a late March wedding in White Plains, Georgia, at 5:00pm. The wedding will be held at Shoulderbone Plantation with a reception to follow. I have no clue what to wear, the wedding party is wearing tuxes and baby blue cocktail dresses. I am about 5'2 and slender, and am 22 years old. I also am 4 months pregnant, so I have a small baby bump. Any advice would be very appreciated.

Thank you,
Sally

A Congratulations on having a baby. How exciting! I usually recommend to guests that they checkout the website of the wedding place; I see that Shoulderbone Plantation has a nice website. The weddings photographed looked fairly informal, with the bride being the only person in a long dress, for which I'm all in favor.

Only you can decide what you would be most comfortable wearing. You might be able to wear a regular cocktail dress that is either a sheath with a pashmina or large scarf to throw over your shoulders, or a dress that is tiered. The tiers would gently disguise the baby.

Alternatively, there are lots of maternity shops online and off that specialize in dresses that grow with the size of the baby and your breasts. They often drape crossing over your breasts and look like a wrap dress, but are made of an expandable material; which means you'll be able to wear it for months and after the baby is born, as well. Whatever you find, it should be short and fall just above your knees; wear beautiful flats that you can also continue to wear even after your baby is born. Groom your legs to shine so you won't have to wear legware and you'll be more comfortable.

It is best not to buy an outfit for one event, so look for something that is comfortable and expandable. Alternatively, get yourself one of those great short maternity skirts with the "soft" waist and belly and a beautiful print blouse to wear untucked. You'll get a lot of wear out of both.

Accessories will make you feel more glamorous; find a pretty clutch for your lipgloss, a long strand of beads, and you'll be all dressed up.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Georgia: October
Q I'm 58 and going to a wedding in GA in October. I'm always hot and I understand the temp there will range around 70 degrees. What would be appropriate for me to wear?

A Look at the wedding invitation for the dress code. When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. Wear a knee-length dress with beautiful shoes and carry a small clutch bag. The later in the day the wedding, the dressier the dress.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Germany: April: 4:00 pm
Q Hello,
I'm going to a wedding in Germany in April. I'm the girlfriend of the groom's brother and am 19 years old. I wear pretty, classy dresses on a daily basis so I don't want them to think that I haven't made an effort. On the other hand I don't want anyone to think that I am trying to be the center of attention and take the attention of the bride. The wedding is in a church at 4 and there is a dinner and party in about 2 hours later. Can I change dresses? Should I wear a long or short dress? Is it ok for me to wear a hat even if I wear a long dress? How short could my dress be if I wear a short dress because dresses longer than about 2 inches above my knee make my legs look funny? What colours, etc., do you suggest? I thought baby pink but I already wore a baby pink dress to a ball in February in the same circle. Is it ok if there are flowers on my dress, if my ball gown had flowers on it? What do you suggest?

A Please, don't wear a hat with an evening gown unless it is a turban with a huge gem pinned to it. What does the wedding invitation say about dress code? You can assume three things. That if formal attire isn't indicated, cocktail attire is fine for the reception. However, when there is a two hour gap between the ceremony and the reception, guests return to where they are staying and dress for dinner. Dressing for dinner usually mean an evening dress, although not a ball gown unless indicated. An evening gown is better for a dinner dance because the puffy skirt of a ball gown can be difficult when seated at a table, plus they are impossible to pack well even if you have it shipped over ahead of time.

To determine the shortest length for a cocktail dress, you would stand in bare feet with your arms down resting along the sides of your legs to find where the tip of the middle finger (the longest finger) touches your leg. That's the shortest you can wear. Since I don't know your coloring or build, I don't know what colors work best for you. I do know that the hot color this year is emerald green. To look at current trending fashion, Google 'spring fashion colors 2013' and you will see the styles and colors that are chic right now. If you don't want to be the center of attention, as you say, don't wear a red dress because it is an attention-grabbing color. Floral dresses are very popular this season, although, again, they can be attention-grabbing if the pattern is too big and too bold.

If you decide to dress for dinner and not wear a cocktail dress to the ceremony, you can wear a hat and a well-fitted short skirt suit to the ceremony. It may still be chilly, so you may have to take a coat -- that's why I suggested a skirt suit because then you wouldn't need a coat. You might want to Google the weather forecast in the German city while you're packing to figure out if you need to bring a coat, raincoat, or umbrella. If you're worried about your hair, when you book your hotel reservation ask the concierge to make you a hairdresser appointment near the hotel. Hotels used to have hair salons, but not so much anymore. When you know more, I would be happy to help further.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Germany: Two Dress Codes, Day + Evening
Q I am accompanying my aunt-by-marriage to her great-niece's wedding in Germany in May. The 3 pm ceremony and formal dinner/dance are being held in an historic castle near vineyards. The invitation states black tie, then goes on specifically to request "tuxedo for men, long dress for women".

I purchased a floor-length royal blue jersey dress (plain with one small beaded embellishment, slit above left knee) and strappy sandals.

I am now second guessing my choice, especially because of its vibrant color. I am the guest of a guest and do not know the family. On the flip side, they show a relaxed attitude and good sense of humour on the wedding website: "Someone is bound to show up in a suit, so don’t be embarrassed if you do also. We have no idea if there will be mosquitoes. If so, a long dress is better than a short one. In a worst case scenario, Uggs will be permitted with long dresses and tuxedos."

Should I find a less showy long dress, wear a cocktail dress in the afternoon then change, find a cape to subdue the gown at the ceremony, or smile and carry on?

Thanks in advance. Love your site!

A It would be best to check with someone inside the wedding on this, or I can ask a friend in Germany for her advice. Otherwise, this is my opinion.

Most weddings in Europe with an afternoon ceremony and an evening dinner dance, have two dress codes. A very well-made tailored dress or suit, often with a hat, for the daytime ceremony and a chic short cocktail dress or evening dress for the evening. If you're worried about being bitten, pack a small stick of Off and apply before leaving the hotel. Of course, you can wear a long dress in the evening; however, you really don't want to be traipsing around in a long dress at three o'clock in the afternoon.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Girlfriend of the Bride's Father
Q I am attending my boyfriend's daughter's wedding in September. It is an evening wedding approximately 6pm. My boyfriend will be wearing a tuxedo being the father of the bride. My question is, is it inappropriate for me to wear a long dress? I have a black dress that is stylish, yet not flashy; however I do not want to insult anyone as I am not the bride's mother. Should I be wearing a short dress?

A You don't want to appear more glamorous than the bride. Presumably, you've already impressed the boyfriend, the bride's father, so take it down a couple of notches and think about fitting in. Weddings are all about fitting in and not so much about outshining the bride.

Instead, wear a really well-made dressy silk skirt suit with beautiful shoes. On the arm of the bride's father, you want to look elegant and dignified. A beautiful cocktail dress, with a bit of sleeve, that falls just below your knees would be appropriate as well.

Stylish is fine, but at a six o'clock wedding a beautiful cocktail dress or dressy skirt suit is the dress code. You can accessorize with a small, precious clutch bag. The quality and elegance of your outfit, including your shoes and bag, will be more important than showing "style."


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Girlfriend of the Father of the Bride: October: San Francicso: Metropolitan Club
Q What do I wear. Wedding is Oct 5. Location is the Metropolitan Club in San Francisco,CA. Reception reads: Immediately following the ceremony, please join us for cocktail hour and a formal reception. The location is the same as the wedding. I am 48 and petite. Please advise on length, sleeve vs sleeveless, neckline and color. I am the new girlfriend of the groom's father and meeting this side of the family for the first time. I do not want to make any mistakes.

A Find out what the dress code on the wedding invitation says. When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. That means you would wear a knee-length cocktail dress or a dressy skirt suit. Try to find a 3/4 length sleeve jacket with a fitted knee-length sheath.

To get an idea of the elegant and dignified look I think you should be going for, go to the Web site halsbrook.com and look for the following dresses for you. As I don't know your coloring, and I'm trying to keep away from red and all black, this is the best I can do with what I know. Click on dresses:

Blaise Kavanagh coral sheath dress
Sachin + Babi burgundy sleeveless pencil dress
Eli Tahari Gretchen fluid crepe dress
Sachin + Babi bronze sequin embellished amara
Sachin + Babi black sequin embellished Mara
Issa sleeveless stretch crepe dress
Sachin + Babi Lolita floral dress

We like hearing from you and when you find out the dress code, I would be happy to help you further.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Girlfriend of the Father of the Groom: June
Q I am invited to a June 25th wedding. My boyfriend is the father of the groom. He is wearing a tux. What would be the appropriate color, style, long or short, fancy or jus t ordinary, etc.? Do I need to be dressed up as well? I am also short so I know that long dresses do Not look good on me. I am also leary about dresses, but I am told that I will be in the picture so I would like to wear something very nice. Please help!

A I think that you should wear a dressy skirt suit, a dress with a soft jacket, or a dress with some sort of sleeve. As I don't know the time of the wedding I can't tell you much more. If there is a daytime ceremony, you could certainly wear a beautiful hat and shoes with a bit of a heel. If the reception is later in the day, you can always leave the hat in your car or the cloak room.

"The mothers," as you are all called because you fit into the category of that generation no matter your age, should look dignified and elegant, which I'm sure won't be hard for you. You want to look lovely and gentle to fit into the wedding and the photos.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Glitter at a 2;00 Wedding
Q Hi Didi,
I'm attending a church wedding next weekend in Toms River, NJ. The ceremony is at 2 and the reception beginning at 6 at the Lakewood Country Club. I bought a black lace dress with some sequins throughout: http://www.dillards.com/product/Marina-Beaded-Lace-Dress_301_-1_301_502683325 I honestly have not felt this hot in a dress in a very long time! I'm 5'6", 190lbs, with an hourglass figure.

I'm wondering if it's too much for the wedding and if I should wear something else and just change for the reception. I do have a convenient place to do so as my date lives nearby. Also any fashion tips on shoes and jewelry? I'm a "young" 34 y/o and pearls are not my thing, I'm very trendy with jewelry. Want to look sexy, but sophisticated and not trampy by overdoing it on accessories. Would nude shoes be ok, or should I stick with black? Closed toe or sandals?

Thank you so much!

A A two o'clock church wedding is not dressy. I would take it down a couple of notches in terms of the glitter on the dress, UGH, and the jewelry or you will look "trampy," as you say. Wear a well-made tailor day dress that falls just above your knees with short sleeves and beautiful shoes. Less jewelry is more, so either the earrings or the necklace, not both. Wear either black or navy to look slimmer. My site doesn't link to other sites to protect it from spam, so I was unable to view your dress, but it sounds as though you should go with a tailored more church/country club look than you're going for, in my opinion.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Golf Course: 2:00 PM: 70 degrees
Q 49-year-old female attending a 2:00 PM church wedding and reception to follow at golf course club house what to wear?
Spring 70 degrees


A Ideally, you would wear a summer dress with a small sleeve and the hem would fall just above your knee if you feel good about your legs; otherwise just below your knee. When the invitation does not state the dress code as"Black Tie," then you can assume that the dress code is "Suits and Dresses."


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Good Practical Pregnant Look
Q HI Didi,
My name is Dania on Saturday I will be attending my husband's cousin's wedding. This is her second marriage; it will be a small ceremony about 50 guests, it will be held at a nice house she rented in Miami. My question is I am 37 yrs old and pregnant (22wks), the invitation said Formal Wear. I have a beautiful loose fitted silk matted dark purple dress that sits right above the knee that I was planning on wearing but I have doubts about if its correct to wear a semi-cocktail dress to a formal wedding. Please help - I have 4 days to decide.

A The formality of the wedding depends (amongst other things) on the time of day of the wedding. When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. A knee-length silk cocktail dress sounds perfect for a wedding from four o'clock on. Earlier, you might want to go with more of a daytime dress.

My favorite Web site for maternity clothing is RosiePope.com. Think about a knee-length black skirt with a jewel-colored fashion blouse. The combo could take you through a lot of dressy times during your pregnancy. Wear pretty ballerina flats and carry a small clutch bag.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Grand March After: 5:00 pm
Q I am going to a 5 pm wedding and my husband and I are asked to lead the grand march at a dance after the wedding. Would pleated black party pants with a frilly white lace blouse be okay? Thank you. I plan on wearing a set of cultured pearls that my husband gave me---necklace, earrings, bracelet.
it is okay? The pearl beads are small.

A Yes, by all means, wear the outfit. It sounds lovely pearls and all.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Grandfather of the Groom: UK:
Q Dear Didi...I'm 70 years old...my Granddaughter lives in Cheltenham, England, and is getting married in a Church in Gloucester, with a reception near by in one of those magnificent rent-an-estate mansions like Downton Abbey...I live in West Palm Beach and hated formal and semi-formal events my entire life...fortunately, I was an advertising agency owner and creative director and that was in the days when a person like me was, well, expected to be seen in creative attire (not like Don Draper) rather like Levi Jeans, in-your-face t-shirt and always with contacts to insure the client that his or her needs would be met...the attire on the invitation reads.....'semi-formal with morning dress optional'...I have left, after leaving New York, a 20 -year-old blue blazer, white slacks, a few nice flashy ties, and a pair of cordovan shoes...I will make an exception for my Granddaughter even though my wonderful wife of 21 years is no longer here to enforce it...what can I do to make all very proud to have me there from a dress code point of view???? Eric Boswell

A What time is the wedding? Is the ceremony in the early afternoon with the reception in the evening? The fathers of the wedding couple usually agree on a dress code, so you would find out what they are wearing or ask the bride's mother.

The short answer is that this dress code "semi-formal with morning dress optional' is the equivalent of "Black Tie Optional." Meaning if you don't have formal attire, don't rent, wear your best business suit. Mourning suits are generally worn during the day, tuxedos at night. You wouldn't wear a tuxedo during the day in the UK. Since you don't have a mourning coat, you would wear a light-weight grey or navy blue suit.

My guess is that a blazer and white trousers would be just slightly too informal for a Downton Abbey-style wedding. On the other hand, if the church ceremony is in the early to mid-afternoon and the seated dinner reception is at night, then wear the blazer to the church and rent a tuxedo for the dinner.

Since I'm an etiquette consultant and not a stylist, you really should ask what the other men in the bridal party are wearing. Think of the wedding photos. Do you care about being the only man in a blue blazer? If you don't, then fine. If you are more concerned about fitting in, wear a dark business suit with a white collared shirt and handsome tie.

If you think you should dress more formally, it is possible to rent formal attire for the day. i would also imagine that there are some great thrift shops in the Palm Beach area where you could find all sorts of styles and sizes of men's formal attire, which you could probably sell back after the wedding.

We like hearing from you and we would be interested to learn what you decide to wear, if you have the time to let me know.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Grandfather: Florida: Mountain Outdoors: 11:00 AM
Q What to wear? Grandfather and aunt of bride need to dress for 11:00 am wedding, outdoor-riverside ceremony in the mountains, outdoor catered barbecue reception near the same site. I think I can do a nice summer dress, but not sure how to help the grandfather dress. Please help!

A Does grandfather have a collared shirt and a blazer or jacket of any kind? That with a pair of dress khaki pants or gray flannels would do just fine. Have him shine up a pair of his best leather shoe and he'll be comfortable.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Grandmother
Q What does a 74 year old grandmother wear to her granddaughter's wedding?

A Look at the invitation. When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is cocktail attire.

Traditionally, the mother of the bride sets the dress code for "the mothers." Call you daughter and ask her what she is wearing. Then wear an outfit of similar length, style and color, but not as formal.

We like hearing from you and when you find out the dress code of the wedding, I would be happy to help you further, but I'll need to know the following: dress code, what the mothers are wearing, your build and lifestyle as well as the time of day the climate, and the location. For instance, six o'clock in August at a banquet hall
in Florida.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Grandmother and Grandfather of the Bride
Q I am 75 yrs. old and the grandmother of the bride. The wedding is on the deck of an event center, in Louisville, Ky. at 3:30 P.M. in late Oct. The bride is wearing a formal gown, without a train, and the guys are wearing a tux. I am short and a little stocky, size 10 or 12. What should I wear? My husband will be wearing a navy suit. What color shirt should he wear and what would be proper attire for me?

A Wear a very good skirt suit with three-quarter-length sleeves, that falls just below your knees, with beautiful shoes. An afternoon wedding is the perfect occasion to wear a lovely hat.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Grandmother of the Bride
Q What is appropriate for the grandmother of the bride to wear to an afternoon wedding?

A Whatever you do don't wear a long dress. Why not wear a lovely dressy silk suit with pretty buttons that falls just below the knees, matching shoes and bag, a beautiful hat and off-white kid gloves? Alternatively, you could wear a silk sheath with a matching jacket or coat, or a dress with long sleeves. Check with the bride about the wedding colors, because you wouldn't want to wear the same color dress as the bridesmaids. As I don't know your build or coloring or the style of the wedding, this is a very general answer. If you have a lovely brooch or pearl necklace, wear it.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Grandmother of the Bride
Q Is it appropriate for a woman over 75 to wear a strapless formfitting formal dress to her granddaughter's wedding? (mermaid style)

A Women over a certain age tend to look dowdy in long dresses and unless her arms and abs are buff, she certainly wouldn't show bare arms and wear a skin tight dress. A dressy dinner suit that falls just below the knees is far more attractive, dignified, and elegant for the grandmother of the bride than the aging mermaid look. Alternatively, a dress with sleeves or a sheath with a jacket would be appropriate.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Grandmother of the Bride
Q I am the grandmother of the bride who is having an outdoor wedding at 6 p.m. in July. She has not requested any particular style of dress. She said we can wear anything that will look good in the pictures and that is cool and comfortable. The reception is going to be a sit down affair inside. I don't do well for a long period of time in air conditioning, so I was thinking about something that has some type of sleeve in it. I recently lost 40lbs so my under arms are somewhat flabby. Her mother is wearing a long light blue dress. Her colors are dark blue and a brick or burnt orange so she said no red. Should I wear a long or short dress/suit? I have found several long dresses that have various types of jackets at Dillard's which I like. They are dressy but not formal wear and something I could wear again.

A I am not a huge fan of women over a certain age wearing long dresses because I feel that they make most of us look dowdy. I like the idea of a short dress with sleeves or a jacket, or a dressy skirt suit that falls just below the knees. Any shade of beige or taupe is always flattering for the mother or grandmother of the bride or groom. Sleeves are a blessing at most any age.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Grandmother of the Bride
Q I am 60 years old and my granddaughter is having a church wedding at 3:00 on August. 1st. Is it appropriate for me to wear lavender, light weight, long sleeve, below the knee ensemble?? Also can you recommend shoe style??...Thank you.

A That sounds like the perfect ensemble for the grandmother of the bride. I would recommend good quality, beige, soft leather pumps with a slight heel. Sling-backs might be the most comfortable because you can adjust them as you see fit before the wedding. Alternatively, you can have a pair of satin sling- backs dyed to match the color of your outfit.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Grandmother of the Bride
Q Could I as a 60-year-old grandmother wear black to granddaughters' wedding in august....3:00 p.m. church wedding??

A You could wear black to your granddaughter's church wedding in August, especially if the ceremony is taking place in a large city. Black can be hot in August and not all churches are air-conditioned, so you might want to opt for a dignified beige. Since I don't know your coloring or build, this is a rather general answer. Most big city churches are air-conditioned these days, so you might be absolutely fine in black, just be sure to wear beautifully soft black shoes with your black outfit.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Grandmother of the Bride
Q My stepson is getting married at a posh Mexican resort in February. The wedding is being held in a chapel at 5:00 pm. Bride is wearing a beautiful white gown. Bridesmaids are wearing long dresses. MOB is wearing a long dress so as not to call attention to herself in photos. What do I wear?

A Personally, I think long dresses make most women look dowdy. The MOB sets the dress code, so find out exactly what she is wearing and follow suit.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Grandmother of the Bride: 3:00 pm Service
Q My granddaughter is getting married at 3 in the afternoon. Her mother will be wearing a long dress and of course the bridesmaids. The other grandmothers are wearing pant suits or something with pants - is that appropriate? I really hate to invest in a dress because I never wear them. Her colors are champagne and brown. I currently have a brown suit I am thinking of wearing - it has both pants and a skirt with it. The jacket is called a cardigan cut - it looks fairly dressy.

A Do wear the brown suit with the skirt. I'm not a huge fan of women over a certain age wearing pants or long dresses. As the grandmother of the bride, you want to look dignified.

It would be nice if you could soften up the brown suit with a lovely beige hat. Hats are great for three o'clock weddings. A pretty hat would give your brown suit a fresh look.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Grandmother of the Bride: 5:30 PM
Q I am 75 year old grandmother of the bride for a 5:30 PM wedding. What should I wear?

A Wear a silk (or blend of silk) skirt suit and have it fitted properly to accentuate your curves and give you a bit of lift in the shoulder and make sure the hemline falls just below your knees. When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. You would wear either a well-made dress or skirt suit. As I don't know anything about the wedding, or the climate where the wedding is taking place, or anything about you, this is a rather general answer. Beautiful shoes are always a must, as is a small clutch bag. Nothing begs for a hat more than a lovely wedding, so if you have one, by all means wear it to the ceremony.

We live hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Grandmother of the Bride: English Morning Wedding
Q English Morning Wedding attire for grandmother of the bride in July?

A Think about how lovely Camilla and the Queen looked at the last Royal wedding in their pastel matching but different colored outfits with coordinating hats. Choose a summer color that suits your coloring, such as an ice blue, gentle pink or soft yellow or green, if you don't want to wear beige.

Since I don't know your budget, style, or build, this is a rather general answer. To get ideas, try going to the Neiman Marcus website and type in 'Weddings' and then 'Mothers' where you'll fine an Albert Nipon Long-Sleeve Bead-Neck Skirt Suit in a lovely Light Sky Blue, see the link below and follow it:

http://images.neimanmarcus.com/ca/1/product_assets/T/7/D/G/1/NMT7DG1_mx.jpg

This suit with a lovely hat and short white gloves would be perfect for a morning summer wedding even in Great Britain.

Alternatively, go to the website of Maria Pucci and look at her special occasion jackets and long coats. Paired with a simple comfortable knee-length skirt, these jackets are elegant, dignified, and lovely for a summer wedding when fitted just right. Take a look at:

'Mother of the Bride Jackets' where I especially like the 'Charleston Jacket Brocade Jacket' in a lovely peach and the 'Giorgio Jacket' in a Silk Taffeta Pink.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com






Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Grandmother of the Bride: July 2014: Garden Wedding: California
Q California early September 5:00 Pm Garden Wedding, with wedding party in Tuxedos and long gowns, mother of bride wearing short dress.
Question: Size-challenged Grandmother wearing below-the-knee, navy blue cocktail dress with white, beaded (navy blue) bolero-type jacket, and short sleeves. I would like to wear gloves with this, as I will be greeting about 200 guests in the receiving line. Is this appropriate and if so, what length, please?

A My only question is you is this. Traditionally, in a receiving line either all the women wear long gloves or none of the women wear them. Try to encourage the other grandmother or to wear long gloves, too, then it will seem like a grandmother dress code.

It's a silly rule, which you don't have to follow if you can't get others to join you. I understand the whole glove thing and think you should wear them because you are the grande dame of the wedding. In a formal dress code a short sleeved jacket would require 3/4 length gloves which rise above the elbow. However, since the mother of the bride is wearing a short dress,


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Grandmother of the Bride: July 2014: Rustic Wedding
Q My granddaughter is getting married in July 2014. She is having a rustic wedding Xmas in July. I do not wear dresses and cannot wear heels. I'm 5ft 1 1/2 ft wght 150; I like to wear pants and mostly jersey or blouse and cannot stand a lot of heat. What should I wear? The wedding is gonna be like cranberry wine and gold. Is beige ok? Help me please.

A It is a long ways off and you have time to plan. Since you would rather wear pants, why not pair them with a dressy jacket. For examples of the kinds of jackets I'm talking about go to the Web sites for Maria Pucci, mariapucci.com, and Nina McLemore, ninamclemore.com, where when you click on Evening you'll see beautiful silk jackets. This is the look that would be appropriate for your granddaughter's rustic wedding that is dressy enough to shout wedding, but with your slacks, relaxed enough to fit in comfortably. No doubt apartment stores in your area could have similar special occasion jackets, but I like to use these two sites to illustrate the elegant and dignified, yet sort of casual look, that I know you can pull off. With beautiful ballerina flats and a small clutch, you will be the grande dame of the wedding. Rustic or not.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Grandmother of the Bride: October: 6:00 PM
Q I am 66 yrs old - 5' 115 pounds. Granddaughter is getting married mid Oct. - 6:00 pm in a church. Reception afterwards in a different location - food and dancing. She is wearing white - bridesmaids wearing pale pink. What should I wear? Thank you in advance for your answer. Wedding is in the south - Little Rock, Ar

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. Meaning a knee-length cocktail dress or dressy skirt suit with beautiful shoes and a small clutch bag. Quite frankly, I would need more information about the dress code of the wedding and you to be able to tell you any more specifically what to wear. You are welcome to return with that information to NewportManners.com and we can detail it out.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Grandmother of the Bride: September: Texas
Q Is it ok to wear an aqua suit and blk patent shoes to my granddaughter's wedding Sept. 20th? Wedding in Texas where Sept. is hot.

A Actually, that sounds quite perfect. Can you match the small clutch bag to the aqua or the black? Then you'll be all set.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Grandmother of the Bride: Virginia: August: 2:00 PM
Q My granddaughter is getting married in the Pagoda here in Norfolk, VA, on a Saturday afternoon - at 2 - in late August. I am 75. What is proper for me to wear? The bride wears a lacy and frilly cream, the groom and grooms- men wear khakis. I look good in black. I have a nice just barely below the knee little black dress. Is that too much for Saturday afternoon and August? I love to wear hats. Yes? Cream? White? Little? Big? Shoes and bag in cream? White? Thank you for helping!

A There is nothing I love more than wearing a chic little black dress; however, black might seem a bit severe at an August afternoon wedding, but I do understand the comfort of wearing black. With the black dress, you might want to go with beige accessories only because the contrast of the black and white can be a bit loud, beige being softer than white and black because a neutral color goes with everything. Nude or beige shoes with a beige hat would be dignified and elegant: sophisticated but gentler. You could even wear beige pumps with a black toe or a beige hat with a black ribbon. But actually I think the simplicity of beautiful beige pumps and a lovely beige hat would be more elegant.

Since you love to wear hats, you probably know what looks best with your shape head and face. I will warn you, however, about not wearing a hat with a wide brim because it is awkward trying to kiss granny on the cheek when you have to duck under the brim of her hat, but I'm sure you know that already.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Grandmother of the Bride: Wearing Pants Outfit
Q I am a 50-year-old grandmother of the bride. I don't wear dresses because I have terrible varicose veins. Is it ok to wear a pants outfit?
Wedding is end of September

A I'm not a fan of women wearing pant outfits to a wedding, especially their granddaughter's. As the grandmother of the bride, you want to look elegant and dignified. Depending upon the time of time, wear a long skirt with a beautiful blouse for an evening wedding, or a day dress or skirt suit with three-quarter-length sleeves for a daytime wedding.

There are amazing products these days to cover varicose veins, that and the combination of good quality legwear and you shouldn't have to feel self-conscious about your legs.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Grandmother of the Groom
Q My grandson is getting married August 23rd. The attendants are wearing royal blue and silver. I would like to know if it would be ok if I could wear a navy blue long dress. The dress is sleeveless but has a jacket. My concern is if navy blue would be too dark for an August wedding. Mother of the bride and groom are wearing silver. I most likely will accent it with pearl jewelry and light shoes. Please reply ASAP. Thank you

A It would be fine to wear a sleeveless long navy dress with a matching jacket. Don't be concerned about navy blue being too dark for an August wedding. Navy blue is a very chic summer color. The white of the pearls will summer-it-up. What I am not happy about are the light shoes. It would be far better to wear navy blue shoes, or even black. Never wear light colored shoes with a dark dress, unless they are a metallic silver or gold.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Grandmother of the Groom
Q Grandmother of the Groom: Attire Etiquette.

I just bought my dress for my son's wedding which is in October. My mother saw my dress and went out and bought a dress that was the same color. Should I take my dress back and get a different color or insist that my mother get a different dress. Does it matter that the mother and grandmother of the groom have the same color?

Need answer as soon as possible, going shopping tomorrow.

Help Help Help

A Your mother is trying to fit in by following your lead. They say copying is the highest form of flattery so be pleased with your mother's good taste. If you are in love the dress, then have a conversation with your mother and tell her that you would rather that she didn't wear exactly the same color dress, so would she please find another color or a different shade of the same color. You could suggest that, as the grandmother of the groom, she should wear either beige or ice blue because they are the preferred colors.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Grandmother of the Groom Floor-Length Dress
Q The mother of the bride is wearing a floor-length dress. Does etiquette require that the grandmother of the groom also wear a floor-length dress?

A No, floor-length dresses, except at, say, an eight o'clock evening candlelight wedding, tend to make older women look dowdy and frumpy. A silk dinner suit that falls just below the knees is much more elegant and dignified.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Grandmother of the Groom:
Q I am the grandmother of the groom. The wedding party colors are black,white and red. Would it be appropriate for me to where black pants with a white and black top?.

A In my opinion, you wouldn't want to wear pants. As the grandmother of the groom, you want to take it up a notch and wear either a dress with a sleeve that falls just below your knee, or a skirt suit. A sleeveless dress with a jacket would be appropriate as well.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Grandmother of the Groom: 3:00 PM: June
Q My grandson is getting married in June at 3 pm. I already have bought my dress which is long with a long sleeve jacket. I just found out that the mother of the groom is wearing a short dress. I just don't want to be out of place. I don't know what the other grandmothers are wearing. What should I do??
I need some HELP !!
Thank You !!

A Take the long dress to a good tailor and have it shortened to just below your knee. While you're there have them fit the dress and jacket to you nicely so that it looks well fitted.

We like hearing from you, but you would be hot and uncomfortable in a long dress with a long sleeved jacket in mid-afternoon during the summer.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Grandmother of the Groom: 6:00 PM in Texas
Q Hello,
I am a 71-year-old grandmother. My grandson is getting married at 6:00 p.m. in Fort Worth, TX.
The bride's colors are deep purple and red.

I understand it is an informal wedding.

Please help me. Is there a color more appropriate for the grandmother of the groom? I have had no luck looking at dresses/suits knee-length. I do not want to look young, but I do not want to look like an old lady either. Something simple and elegant I would love. Where might I find something like this?

A Your question about where you would find something is daunting because I live on an island in Rhode Island with no dressy shops. Fort Worth is a sophisticated city; there must be a dress shop for such occasions. When the dress code isn't formal, then you can assume the dress code is Suits and Dresses. Look for a simple dress and beautiful but comfortable shoes. As I don't know your build or lifestyle, it is difficult for me to tell you what to wear because I don't know you. However, I do know that there must be a shop to accommodate you. As the grandmother of the groom, you want to look elegant and dignified, the length you should wear would be just below the knee, the ideal sleeve length would be three-quarter length, and the color should be ice blue or beige, unless you are overweight, then wear navy blue.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Grandmother of the Groom: Black and White
Q My Grandson is being married Dec. 17 in Ohio. It will be a black and white wedding and my daughter is wearing a long gown. What is appropriate for me to wear?

A Look at the invitation, if Black Tie or Formal Attire isn't specified then you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses or Cocktail Attire.

Wear a dressy dinner suit that falls just below your knees with beautiful shoes and use a small clutch bag for your lipstick and keys. For more ideas, you are welcome to return to my Web site archives and do a search for the dress code by using the appropriate key words.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Grandmother of the Groom: Legwear
Q Thank you for answering my question.

Do I wear nylons to my grandson's wedding?
Dress is 1 inch below my knees.
Wedding May 17, 2014

A If your legs are buff and shiny, you can probably get away with going without legwear. Alternatively, wear legwear a shade lighter than your skin tone with a bit of shine to them to dress them up.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Grandmother of the Groom: Please, Don't Wear Pants
Q I am grandmother of the groom. Bridesmaids are wearing dresses with black/champagne. I had selected a pant suit with black pants and top is black/white/and taupe. I am elderly and might need to wear flat shoes due to feet and knee problems. Will pants be appropriate and black? Evening wedding.

A My answer is no, you wouldn't wear pants to an evening wedding. Evening weddings are customarily a dressier affair than afternoon weddings. I'm fine with you wearing a beautiful pair of flats or pumps, but you will need to wear either a dressy skirt suit that falls just below your knees, a dress with a matching jacket or a dress with three-quarter length sleeves. I'm all for you wearing either black or beige.

As the grandmother of the groom you want to look dignified and elegant at your grandson's wedding.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Grandmother Wants to Wear Pantsuit
Q The bride is getting married in November in a small evening non-church wedding. The bride's mother is battling with the bride's grandmother (who is 85 years old) over the grandmother's insistence on wearing a pants suit -- not a dress -- to the ceremony. The grandmother hasn't worn a dress in 30 years and does not wish to start now (and there are mobility issues for her that preclude being able to put on pantyhose). The bride's mother is insisting that Grandma wear a dress and heels in the wedding party's colors (the color choice is also an issue for the grandmother). How would you rule on this?



A Since this does not appear to be a particularly formal wedding, the grandmother doesn't have to conform strictly to formal attire. Perhaps instead of a tailored pantsuit, the grandmother can compromise by wearing a lovely soft flowing skirtpant (wide legged soft pants), or a long skirt, topped off by a beautiful blouse or tunic. It is important for the grandmother to be comfortable and mobile because it will be a long night for her. It is also possible to find soft decorated flat shoes made of a dressy fabric, an equally dressy clutch, and a soft shawl to wear as accessories. Because the grandmother would be compromising by wearing something closer to a long skirt or pantaloon than a trouser, the mother might compromise by letting her wear a color of her choice. The grandmother does not necessarily have to wear the wedding colors. She can wear a color, or colors, within the palette of the wedding colors. For instance, if the wedding colors are blue and yellow, the grandmother could wear a moss green. Have the grandmother and the mother make a deal in which they both make compromises. You might also remind them that the wedding is not about either of them; that the wedding is all about the daughter and her groom, both of whom will pick up on the unpleasantness of this situation if it isn't resolved amicably and quickly. Good etiquette is all about compromise, compassion and consideration, so make it work. As you know, the mother and grandmother are role models for the daughter; how they handle the situation will teach the daughter the importance of compromise - a lesson that she will surely need to know going into marriage.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Grandmother: 5:00 pm in Texas
Q I will be attending my grandson's wedding at 5:00 in the afternoon in October in Texas. It is a church wedding with reception at a large banquet hall. I am 74 years old. Would a black & white suit be appropriate and what length should it be? Also, I have black patent & suede pumps and a black clutch. Do I need to wear light black pantyhose?
Please advise.
Thank you so much.

A A dressy skirt suit is the perfect outfit for a five o'clock wedding. Black and white, of course, is a very chic combination; however, I am wondering about the wedding photos. If the men are wearing black jackets with white shirts, you might want to consider a softer color. Traditionally, the mothers and grandmothers wear beige and shades of blue, green, and coral, depending upon the time of day, in order to fade in.

If the suit is a bold print, I would definitely say no, but if this is a black suit with, say, white trim or a white shell underneath, that would be fine with either of the black shoes, preferably the most comfortable of the two--especially if there will be dancing. The clutch is the perfect handbag for your lipstick and keys.

What I'm also not sure about is the color of the legwear. This is a dressy occasion, so you want to wear legwear that is a shade lighter than the color of your legs. If they are of good quality and have a bit of shine to them, they should cover any flaws. I caution about the choice of light black legwear, which might look a bit funereal; again, it would depend of course on the quality of the legwear. I understand that you don't want the photos to show you with orange legs, or some unnatural tan, which is why it is best for dressy events to wear a slightly lighter shade than your natural skin tone.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Grandmother: 5:00 pm in Texas
Q What do I wear to a October 10th outdoor wedding at 4:00 p.m. in Texas? Reception to follow. The bride is wearing a chiffon-style eggplant color dress and the bridesmaid is wearing an above the knee dress, not sure about the color. The groom and groomsmen are wearing tux-style shirts with jeans and cowboy boots. Help please. I need to shop for a dress asap.

A So much depends upon your age, build, and style. You could wear a little black dress, or any color cocktail party dress, that falls just above your knees. If you go to my archives and look under Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: then Four, Five, and Six o'clock weddings, you should be able to find an answer that fits your age and build type. If not, ask me the question again and add the details.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com
http.//newportmanners.blogspot.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Grandmother: 6:00 PM
Q Going to my grandson's wedding at 6 pm Sept 3. I have a tea- length lace mauve dress. Do you think this is o.k.?

A Sorry, I'm just not a fan of tea-length. Love lace, but in all honesty, I think women of a certain age look dowdy in the tea-length. As the grandmother of the groom, you want to look elegant and dignified in a well-made dressy skirt suit or dress with 3/4 length sleeves that falls just below your knees, with beautiful shoes and a small pretty clutch.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Grandmothers
Q My stepgranddaughter is planning a formal wedding. She wants the 3 grandmothers all to wear silver chiffon in different styles or lengths but same shade and material. I've never heard of this and dread the thought. We will look like the Andrew's sisters. Please advise against it
Wedding party is wearing black, bride mom, blue, groom mom pewter. Granny's silver. Ulgh!!

A I'm with you. Traditionally, the colors for the grandmothers, as you no doubt know, are beige, ice blue, and depending upon the season shades of berry, blue, coral, and green. As for the chiffon, customarily the grandmothers wear dressy skirt suits in a silk or brocade. The bride cannot dictate what the grandmothers wear, so wear an elegant, dignified dress with sleeves and a hem that falls just below the knees. Add pretty shoes that you will be comfortable dancing in and carry a small clutch bag for your lipstick.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Grandmothers of Bride and Groom
Q My granddaughter is having a six o`clock wedding. Should
I wear A long dress or can I wear one that falls below the
knee or if her other grandmother wears a long dress, should
I wear a long dress also?


e...

A I'm with you, I think women of a certain age look ever so much more elegant in a dress that falls just below the knees. Just be careful not to wear nude pantyhose or stockings because they tend to look less elegant. In photographs nude or tan colors often show up too orange looking. You want a dressy stocking or pantyhose that is a slightly lighter color than your legs--they'll look dressier.

In my opinion, long dresses tend to make older women look dowdy. I always feel chicer when I'm wearing a really good silk suit that's tailored to fit me--so that I'm wearing it and it's not wearing me, if you know what I mean. A sheath dress with a matching coat would also be appropriate. The grandmothers of the bride and groom should look elegant and dignified. Not frumpy and dowdy. If you get the opportunity, as soon as possible let the other grandmother know what you're planning on wearing. Say, "I'm wearing a beige silk suit that falls just below my knees." Then it is up to her as to what she wears. Customarily the grandmother of the bride chooses the style for the grandmothers and lets the groom's grandmother know immediately. However, all you can do is to make a suggestion by relating what you you have decided.

If the groom's grandmother tells you that she is wearing a long dress, it doesn't mean that you have to wear a long dress, too. And you don't have to be dressed alike, although it would look better in the wedding photos and going down the aisle if you both were wearing knee-length dresses. Who knows, she might be relieved that she doesn't have to wear a long dress.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Green Dress
Q Thank you. It's emerald green? So neutral is good? Shoes and small clutch bag??

Janet Burnett
3/20/2013

A Follow up to my first answer:

To: Burnett, Janet
Subject: What color shoes for a green dress - late afternoon wedding - 3/23/13-dress is just below the knees with short sleeve.

Nude or skin colored shoes for an afternoon wedding. I like black too, but going into spring black shoes may seem harsh against the green. Look at the color green with both nude and black of anything and see what looks more late afternoon-ish. Then you want to think about your small clutch bag. Green can be a very forgiving easy almost neurtal color to wear. Green is the big color in 2013, so don't get me wrong, I love it, but the shade of green depends upon the color of the accessories. Generally go with the more neutral, unless the green is neutral, then go with black.

Nude or skin colored shoes for an afternoon wedding. I like black too, but going into spring black shoes may seem harsh against the green. Look at the color green with both nude and black of anything and see what looks more late afternoon-ish. Then you want to thick about your small clutch bag. Green can be a very forgiving easy almost neurtal color to wear. Green is the big color in 2013, so don't get me wrong, I love it, but the shade of green depends upon the color of the accessories. Generally go with the more neutral, unless the green is neutral, then go with black.

If you are in your twenties then matchy-matchy is cool. If you're older, not so cool. Therefore, it would be better to go with either a green that doesn't match or another jewel tone since emerald is a jewel tone. Ruby would be too Christmas-like, but amber, sapphire, and aquamarine would look lovely. Of course, in March black works conservatively for both the shoes and the clutch. Nude color would also be very chic. Not a beige, more of a gray for shoes and clutch.




Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Green: March 17th
Q I am invited to a 12:00 noon wedding at a venue, second marriage for each, on March 17th, in Georgia. Guests have been asked to wear something green. I have a very pretty A line 3/4 length sleeve black dress that falls right above the knee, polyester material. Would that be appropriate with maybe a green scarf? Is it too early for a spring print dress? I am 56 years old. Thanks!

A A green scarf would be lovely. You can also carry a green clutch bag. Nothing is more appropriate for an early afternoon wedding than a marvelous hat adorned with either a green ribbon band around the crown or a laurel wreath of laurel leaves (or do I dare say shamrocks). A green cardigan sweater would work, as would a green pashmina. Lastly, a brilliant beaded necklace with many strands of a lovely green bead would be my favorite.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Greeters: Cocktail Suit
Q My husband and I have been asked to serve as greeters at the country club reception for a 6 p.m. church wedding in South Carolina on November 19. Should I wear a brown sequined cocktail suit or a LBD or buy something new? I'm 58. Also, do I have to wear heels?

A I love the idea of the brown sequined cocktail suit. They are great for the role of a greeter and wonderful to wear to a wedding. No, you do not have to wear heels, there are so many options for beautiful flats that I'm sure you'll find a pair that will look beautiful with your cocktail suit. Just be sure your sheerest legwear is a shade lighter than your skin tone and has a bit of shine to dress up your legs.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Groom + Groomsmen
Q Is it okay for the groom and groomsmen to wear beige to a morning wedding in a church in August or is the black tux more appropriate?

A In my opinion, beige suits would not be appropriate because there are so many different shades of beige. Think ahead to the wedding photos where the various different shades of beige will be evident and you might then wish that you had gone with a dark color. Why not have all the men wear navy blue blazers with cream colored pants, white collared shirts with a striped tie in the wedding colors? The older men, say, the fathers of the wedding couple, could then have the option of wearing a navy blue light-weight suit with white or blue collared shirts and solid ties in one of the wedding colors. With this slightly more casaual look you would want to designate the shoes so that all the men wear, say, black Gucci-style loafers or a less casual brown loafer. The color of the belt would, of course, match the color of the shoes. The groom's present to his groomsmen could then be the wedding tie, belt, or shoes of the dress code.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Groom + Groomsmen: Braces + Suspenders
Q At my daughter's outdoor wedding, she has a very formal wedding dress. The groom and his groomsmen do not want to wear tuxedos. They will be wearing black pants, colored shirts to match the dresses and a painted tie (done by the groom). I have suggested that wearing silk suspenders would look nice. Would that be appropriate, are suspenders in sytle? Thanks

A What? No jackets? The groom and groomsmen do not have to wear tuxedos, but unless this is a Texas hoedown, the men should wear jackets. The key to a chic wedding is choosing a style and sticking to it. If the bride is wearing a very formal wedding dress and the men are not wearing tuxedos, then I suggest that the men wear either navy blue blazers with cream colored pants and a tie with the wedding colors, or navy blue or black suits with colored shirts and the painted ties. If the men are wearing jackets, then by all means, it would be appropriate for them to wear suspenders. The only hitch, not to pun, is that some men are not comfortable wearing suspenders. Another thing is that not all pants have the waistband to accommodate suspenders, so you would have to be sure that all the men order the same trousers. At a very formal wedding, either all the men in the bridal party would wear suspenders or, alternatively, belts the same color as their shoes. Perhaps the best man should take a poll of the groomsmen to find out how many are in favor of suspenders (or braces, as they are also called) and how many are not. If only the groom wants to wear braces, he can wear braces and the groomsmen can all wear belts the color of their shoes, which presumably would be black and worn with black socks. Remember that the painted ties would perhaps be best matched with a solid color suspender.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Groom + Groomsmen: Tuxedo
Q What do the groom and his groomsmen wear to a 5:30 Black-Tie wedding in New York City?
Thank you,
ESG

A When the wedding invitation specifies 'Black Tie' or 'Formal Attire,' you can assume you're renting a tuxedo and evening-up.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Groom and Groomsmen
Q We are planning our daughter's wedding. I need help choosing what the groom and groomsmen will wear. The wedding will be June 26th in North Carolina outside on the lawn of a family estate. The bride will come out of open french doors, cross the terrace and out onto the lawn to be wed. The invitation is simple, traditional, engraved with a side fold. The wedding will be at 6:00. (I will write another question about that in a moment.) The reception will be indoors at a club. The bride will wear a strapless a-line gown of lace with a veil that reaches just to the end of the train which is short - perhaps 18 inches or so.
What should the groom and groomsmen wear as far as formalwear? A tux (with cummerbund or vest?), a white tie? White jacket? Are tails worn anymore? Even though the wedding is outdoors, I expect the male guests will wear suits because of the time and invitation. Do you think that is right?
Thank you for your help.

A The plans for your daughter's wedding sound splendid, and I would be happy to be a sounding board for you and your daughter over the course of the next nine months. It is my understanding that the plan is as follows: the ceremony will be held outdoors at the family's estate immediately followed by a reception inside a private club towards the end of June in North Carolina.

As this is not a seven o'clock Black-Tie wedding, there is no need to put a dress code on the invitation. Therefore, you can expect that gentlemen guests will wear dark business suits or dark jackets and slacks.

What the groom wears should be left up to him. The groom, his father, brother(s,) and best man decide between them what their dress code will be. Dark suits would be fine. Also, a lot of men are deciding on navy blue blazers with cream colored trousers, a white shirt and a striped tie in the wedding colors (which the groom would supply).

Alternatively, the men in the wedding party could wear white jackets with tuxedo pants and a black bow tie. Whichever, the men would wear black leather shoes (possibly Gucci-style loafers) with black garter length socks and black leather belt. The fathers of the bride and groom would definitely wear very good dark suits.

If you moved the wedding to seven o'clock, then you could have the groomsmen wear tails but then the invitation would state "Black Tie". Six o'clock is too late for morning clothes, which in this country are occasionally worn to morning and afternoon weddings, but if the reception is a seated dinner, the men would change into black tie for the reception, which makes it complicated for out-of-towners. It is just one too many costumes for them to have to worry about.

It has been my observation that the least amount of items the groomsmen have to worry about the better. It is one thing to forget to bring one's cuff links, but another to forget one's studs. The chicest weddings these days are not black-tie weddings, so, please, do not feel that the groomsmen's dress code has to be formal, because it does not. Most men in that age group have good blue blazers, whereas they might not have a good tuxedo and, if they do, there are so many variations on style of tuxedos that you would want them all to be the same style. A groomsman should not be expected to buy a tuxedo for this one occasion, as splendid as it may be.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Groom: 4:00 PM: May: Vermont: Outdoors
Q Hello, Didi. I am 43. On May 28, I will marry my high school sweetheart at a small outdoor 4 pm ceremony at her uncle's house in southern Vermont (followed by a reception at my parents' house nearby). I know she is looking at several simple, white wedding dresses. What about me? I had thought of (a) navy or dark gray suit, (b) a light-colored suit, or (c) a simple navy blazer with gray trousers. What do you think is best? And if I chose (c), could I get away with colored (brick red or perhaps green) trousers? Thanks!

A You are at that dress code age divide between wearing a dignified, handsome dark suit or a blazer with with gray flannels or colored slacks. Also, a four o'clock wedding is less formal than an early evening wedding. Then there is the light-colored suit, which might be a bit summery for the groom to wear at his end of May Vermont wedding.

Perhaps, you should coordinate with your fiancee. Ask her if her dress is short or long. If it is long, then a dark suit would be more appropriate for someone your age. The dark gray suit would be quite distinguished for a four o'clock wedding, very British. On the other hand, if she is wearing a short white cocktail dress or dressy white skirt suit, the navy blue blazer with the gray flannels would be fine as well. I would hold off on the colored trousers until June as groom wedding attire.

In making your decision, you want to think about the wedding photos. Imagine your fiancee in her dress with you beside her and what image you want to portray. Chances are time will be more on your side the more dignified and respectful you are attired. Sure, it would be more fun to wear bright colored pants, but if your fiancee is traditionally dressed, then you will want to compliment her by dressing in sync.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Groom: Alternative to Tuxedo: 3:00 pm
Q Daughter's 3 pm ceremony in Catholic Church. Reception at 7pm Country Club.
What is groom to wear to church (if tux inappropriate for afternoon)
Should he wear dark suit to church and change into tux? Wedding NOT black tie, so should he wear a tux at all?

A The groom should wear his best business suit. When the dress code is not Black Tie, then assume that the dress code is Suits & Dresses, which means knee-length cocktail dresses for the women. He wouldn't need to change into a tuxedo for the reception. If he doesn't have a good business suit, it would be a good staple for his wardrobe, even if he just used it for job interviews, funerals and friends' weddings.

Instead of a tuxedo, a lot of grooms are wearing black suits with a white shirt and black straight tie, with black shoes and socks. As I don't know where the wedding is located, climate, or the lifestyle of the wedding couple, this is a rather general answer. For instance, in warmer weather, he could wear a very good khaki suit or a navy blue blazer with either cream colored trousers or grey flannels. With those he would also wear a white shirt, but a straight tie in the color of on of the wedding colors.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Groom: Before Six O'Clock
Q If your wedding ceremony is before six pm, what type of dress is appropriate for the groom?

Morning Suit
Tuxedo
White Tuxedo
Coat and Tie


A The later in the day the more formal the wedding. A morning suit is always appropriate, despite the word morning, but a tuxedo, white dinner jacket, and white tie, are more appropriate for a wedding that starts at six o'clock. The earliest would be five o'clock, but that's pushing it. Coat and Tie is always the best dress code for a wedding. The question is how dressy the coat and tie?


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Groom: Formal: Palermo, Italy
Q 7:00 PM wedding in Palermo, Italy.

What does the groom wear to an all out wedding in Palermo at 7:00 PM with a formal dinner/reception immediately after? We have been told (by the mother of the groom) that grooms do not wear black tie. And the mother of the bride and guests? We have also been told that you do not wear a long dress to a church, although the brides family would like to make this a formal wedding.
Thank you.

A The groom would wear a morning suit with a wedding waist coat (an elegant vest) and a cravat (worn with a loser knot because it is wider than a tie) or a tie. Formal Attire, especially in Europe, does not necessarily mean long dresses and tuxedos. The men guests would wear lounge suits and the women guests would wear beautiful cocktail dresses that fall to the knee with elegant shoes and carry a small clutch bag. The men would wear dress black shoes and socks.

As I don't know where the groom is located, I would suggest that he go online to look at renting a morning suit, waist coast and cravat before buying one. It is possible to rent the entire outfit. There are many sites in the US and UK that have formal attire for hire which you can find by Googling, for instance, Moss Hire and then clicking on formal weddings. Once he sees the options, he can rent his wedding attire online, or perhaps he'll decide to spring for his own.

Alternative to the morning suit, he might want to check to find out if a white dinner jacket would be appropriate. Both are customary for formal weddings, so ask the bride and she'll tell you which she prefers.



Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Groom: Savannah: 3:30 PM
Q My fiance and I are getting married in April (3:30 wedding) at our Catholic church in Savannah. He is dead set against wearing a black tuxedo; would a tan or khaki suit be too informal?

A The trend in weddings is off the tuxedo. Especially for an afternoon wedding. A khaki tan cotton linen suit is very in trend for grooms and their men. A navy blue suit would work as well. I'm actually a huge fan of a navy blue blazer with khaki dress pants and black Gucci-style loafers.

If he goes with the khaki suit, he would wear a white shirt and a striped tie in the wedding colors. Very in trend. Your fiance knows what he's doing.

Then your bridesmaids would wear chic little short dresses in one of the wedding colors.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Groom: Seersucker Suit
Q My son will be getting married April 24, 2009, it will be an outdoor wedding, bridesmaids will wear tea-length, but the bride will be in a long gown, he wants to wear a seersucker suit, is this proper, or would a tux be more appropriate?


A If it is not a black-tie wedding and the ceremony is performed in the afternoon in a warm climate, then your son can wear a seersucker suit with white bucks, gray socks, a white shirt and a solid color tie. The wedding couple usually choose one or two colors as the wedding colors; his tie would be one or two of those colors.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Groom: Tuxedos, Suits or Blazers: 3:00 pm
Q Dear Didi,

Our son is getting married next year on April 29th in the Myrtle Beach area. It is going to be at 3:00 and a garden wedding. I had suggested the men wear a navy blazer and khaki slacks or a light color suit. The bride has suggested tuxedos. Bride's gown is long and formal, but Moms will be wearing short dresses/suits, dressy.
Any preference from you or is one more proper than the other?
Many thanks for your input!

A I'm with you, tuxedos are too formal for a three o'clock wedding. The bride can wear her wedding gown, but that doesn't mean the men in the wedding party have to wear tuxedos. The trend, as you suggest, is in tan or khaki suits or navy blue blazers for an afternoon wedding. To be blunt, tuxedos are not chic daytime wedding attire right now. The men hate renting them and during this downturn in the economy they would rather wear something they already have, or if they have to buy, they want to purchase a staple for their wardrobe. Grooms tell me tuxedos aren't preppy for an afternoon wedding. In my opinion, this should be the groom's decision. He and his groomsmen should wear what reflects their lifestyle at this point in time.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Groom's Father's Attire
Q I am father of the groom and not in the wedding party, per se. Must I wear a tux or can I wear a nice suit? My son is no help.

A If the father of the bride is wearing a tuxedo, he is your reference for dress code. You might feel more comfortable if you dressed up, rather than feeling awkward underdressed. Get the name of the tuxedo shop where your son is renting his tuxedo and go in and ask because the men usually use the same place for their tuxedos so that they all match. A good rental shop will have the wedding registered and be able to tell you what the men will be wearing. Also, the time of day of the wedding tells you whether or not you should wear a tuxedo because evening weddings can well be black tie, meaning tuxedos. If you still don't have a clue, pick up the telephone and call the bride's mother.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Groom's Grandmother: 1:00 PM
Q I am the grandmother of the young man that is getting married.
1:00pm church
5:00pm reception
6:00pm dinner
Dance to follow
Is it ok to wear a deep royal dressy dress 1 inch below my knee?



A Your dress sounds perfect. Wear beautiful shoes and carry a small clutch bag and you'll look great.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Groom's Grandmother: Yacht: Black
Q What do you suggest I wear to a June 2012 wedding on a yacht in So. California? I'm the groom's grandmother, size 4, and a youthful 75. The time of day hasn't been set, but I suspect ceremony and reception will take place in late afternoon and evening. Would black be appropriate for afternoon?

A I'm not a fan of your wearing black for an afternoon wedding on a yacht. Don't get me wrong, I practically don't wear anything but black, I just think the time and place here is wrong for wearing black. Think about navy blue. Such a great color and so flattering. Navy blue really is the afternoon black, plus, you can still wear beautiful black shoes and carry a small black clutch, because you wouldn't want to be too matchy-matchy in all navy.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Groom's Mom Wants to Wear Pants to Wedding
Q Would it be proper for the mother of the groom to wear a dressy pant outfit to the wedding?

A No, a dressy pant outfit to your son's wedding would not be appropriate unless you are a cross-dresser and don't care that people know.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Groom's Parents
Q My son is marrying in August and I have not yet met the bride's parents. Would a phone call for the purpose of introducing us to each other be in good taste? The wedding is out of state and we {my husband & I} will arrive the day of the rehearsal. Thank you for your attention to this matter, Marda Bell

A Traditionally, the groom's family calls the bride's family as soon as they hear the good news. I would say that you need to pick up the phone immediately and make arrangements to meet for lunch and talk. Since I don't know if there is any great distance between you, it might be impossible, but get together and confer about plans. Also, "the mothers," as well as "the fathers," need to be conferring about dress code, what you're going to wear. As the mother of the bride sets the dress code, one of the first things you will want to find out is what she's wearing. When you find that out, please, get back to me with your details, as well as many details about the wedding as you can discover, and we'll work that out.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Groomsmen
Q Hello Didi,
I am getting married in August in the Santa Cruz mountains at an outdoor venue in the redwoods at 3:00 pm in the afternoon. The reception will go on into the night. My formal dress has a train and now we are wondering what to put the men's side in. We want the groom to stand out from the groomsmen. Is it acceptable for the groom to wear a tux and the groomsmen to wear cutaway coats? I believe that cutaway coats are for daytime weddings (I was told that if the wedding goes past 6 o'clock it can be considered evening, is that true?!). Or can the groom wear tails and the groomsmen wear regular tuxedos? Any advice would be great. Thank you Didi!

A The morning coat (or cutaway), either gray or black, can be worn with a contrasting light grey or colorful waistcoat (vest) or matching black waistcoat, and is usually worn with striped trousers, though they can be checked, or matching, with a white dress shirt and tie or cravat. The morning coat can be worn for an afternoon wedding going into the evening, as the groomsmen wouldn't be expected to wear two different outfits in one day; unless the dress code was Suits & Dresses for the ceremony and Black Tie or Formal Attire for the evening dinner and dancing reception with it's own starting time at seven or eight o'clock.

The tuxedo is a shorter jacket and therefore a different style (shape and look) from the morning coat with it's tails. You would want the groom and groomsmen in the wedding party to be unified in their style. Either all in tuxedos or all in morning coats, not the groom in one style and groomsmen in another. Although you can distinguish the groom from the groomsmen by the groom wearing a different color tie or/and vest. What you could do is to have all the groomsmen in black suits with long black ties and either a white or black collared shirt with the groom in a tuxedo. That way all the men in the wedding party would be in the same shape and color, but the groom would be wearing the more formal tuxedo, but the shape and color of the jackets and would be the same.

The key to a wedding is simplifying (or paring down) the style; have it either all formal, semi-formal, or informal. When you start mixing and matching styles it gets sloppy. If you're seriously thinking of going British, go to the Moss Hire website and click on "Wedding Suit Hire: Morning Suits", to see all the options available. There are other sites, however, information-wise it seems the easiest to understand.

I might add that since the wedding starts in the mid-afternoon in August, you might want to have all the men in the wedding party wearing white dinner jackets. It's a great August wedding look for the groom as well as the groomsmen. Morning coats and tuxedos would be hot and stuffy in the mountains on a hot August afternoon, whereas white dinner jackets will look crisp and fresh going into evening and throughout the night.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Groomsmen: Florida: November: 4:30 pm
Q Florida Wedding - First Week of November: 4:30 PM

Hi there! I am getting married in early November in Florida on a green lawn that overlooks the ocean. I am wondering if it would be too "summery" for the groomsmen to wear khaki suits, not linen--just khaki! Please help I am stumped! Thank you!

A Absolutely not, dress khaki is perfect for a Florida afternoon wedding in November. The groom just needs to make it clear to his groomsmen that he's talking dress khaki and not chinos, which, more often than not, tend to look unpressed.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Groomsmen: Role
Q Dear Didi,

I received a wedding invitation from the bride and I know the groom. I may in fact be a groomsman awaiting instructions on dress, whether it's a dark colored suit, stylish, yet conservative or a tux rental. I'll know soon. But as far as being an invited guest, what's the best approach to dress for an evening wedding held at private club? Any key highlights or suggestions are welcomed. The wedding takes place at six thirty on February 22 in Greater Cincinnati. Please advise, thank you. E.W., Cincinnati, OH


A Dear E.W.,

Follow the dress code. If the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses, meaning you would wear your best (and darkest) business suit, a white collared shirt, handsome tie, black socks and leather shoes and belt, if you don't wear braces (suspenders). If you are an usher (groomsman), you will be given a button-hole (boutonniere) of a single flower to show you are a go-to person for information and assistance.

It sounds as though the ceremony is at the club followed by the reception. You would arrive at least 15 minutes early and ask the groom or best man what you can do to help: It may mean handing out service sheets and greeting and guiding guests to a seat. (Sometimes there is a seating plan.) All unaccompanied women are escorted by an usher; standing to the female guest's left, offer her your right arm as you guide her up the aisle to an empty seat. When ushering two women who are sitting together, offer an arm to each woman as you stand in the middle, between them.

Traditionally, the bride's guests sit on the left and grooms' to the right of the nave. However, if the sides are signifcanily lopsided, throw that etiquette to the wind and even out the sides when seating guests for the ceremony. The front pews/rows are designated for family and the best man, who returns to his seat on the right side.

During the recessional (going back down the aisle), you would offer your right arm to one of the bridemaids or, say, to a solo older woman and lead her down the aisle. If cars are waiting for the wedding party, you would help women into the waiting cars, or in this case help to direct guests to the reception hall.

As the wedding is being held in the evening at a private club, there will most likely be planned seating, so look for a seating chart or table card with the number of your table. When the signal is given to be seated, don't dawdle because the other men at your table won't seat themselves until everyone has arrived at your table. Don't keep other guests waiting. Your dinner partner is on your right, so dance with her first, then with the person on your left. The same with conversation, switch to talk to the other when the courses change (if not before). At some point, try to dance with the bride and then her mother, the groom's mother, and other family members or friends of the bride's whom you know or would like to know. You wouldn't leave the club until the bride and groom have cut the cake, or better yet, not until after the bride has tossed her bouquet.

More and more wedding couples control the social media by not allowing cellphones and photographs that are not preauthorized. Likewise, you wouldn't randomly get up and make a toast to the bride without the go-ahead from the best man.

There may or may not have been a receiving line as you entered the reception. If so, you would have introduced yourself to anyone in the line whom you didn't know or say your name to help them remember it. If you haven't thanked the bride's mother (or the bride and groom if the parents are not hosting) in the receiving line, you would find them before leaving to thank them for inviting you to such a lovely wedding. Follow up with a thank-you note within the month and by sending a wedding present from their bridal registry before the year is out. ~Didi


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Groomsmen: Searsucker Suits
Q 6:00 outdoor summer wedding in Nashville: is it appropriate for the groomsmen to wear seersucker suits? Bridesmaids are wearing short dresses.

A Having the dress code for the groomsmen seersucker suits is a great idea. My only hesitation is that you don't want them to have to go out and buy the suit. Most young men will already have a navy blue blazer, so if you have them all wear theirs with a pair of cream-colored pants and black loafers, they will then have more wearable outfits going forward. Why don't you have the groom poll the groomsmen to find out if they all have seersucker suits and, if they don't, would they be willing to buy one?

With the seersucker suit be sure to establish the color of the stripe whether it is gray or blue, there is also red and green, so you'll want to make that clear. They will also need white collared shirts and, traditionally, off-white bucks with light beige or cream colored matching socks. I'm assuming if they have the suit already, they'll have the off-white bucks. It is those who don't have the suit who will have to also buy the shoes. Brown or black Gucci style loafers could be an alternative.

Why not go on line to J. Crew, Brooks Brothers, or other such stores and find the costs and do a comparison before choosing what you want them to wear? That way all the men will have the same attire.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Guest Register
Q What would be the appropriate attire for the guest registrar to wear at the wedding?

A It would depend upon the dress code of the wedding and the gender of the guest registrar. If the person is a man, he might wear a dark suit, white shirt, black shoes and socks, the tie would fit in with the color scheme of the wedding, and he would wear either a boutonniere or a white handkerchief in his jacket breast pocket, but not both. A woman might wear a well- cut skirt suit with one of the wedding flowers pinned above her left breast.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Guest Wants to Wear White, Too
Q Is it right for another woman to wear a white dress at a wedding? My mother-in-law wants to wear white to our friend's wedding is this right?

A Why would she want to wear a white dress to the bride's wedding? The only woman who is dressed in white at a wedding is the bride. The wedding is all about the bride and the groom and the bride wears white so that everyone knows who is getting married. If your mother-in-law wants to wear white to a wedding, she needs to save her white dress for her next wedding.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Guest: 2: PM
Q I am going to a semi-formal summer wedding at 2pm. I want to wear ivory ruffle long sleeve blouse with black thin patent leather belt, dressy grey capri, dressy 1" multi-color pointed toe pumps. But I am not sure if I should wear pearls around my neck to complete my outfit? Also I am not sure if I can get away with a pink leather purse of black?

A It all sounds great except for the capris. Even if you're eleven years old, you wouldn't wear capris to a semi-formal wedding. Wear a pencil or short skirt instead. Then you can wear the pearls. Somehow pearls and capris just don't make it. You can say the combo would be too much of a good thing, or that capris are just not the right thing to wear with pearls.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Guest: 3:00 P.M.: Florida
Q Attending a wedding tomorrow in a state park at 3:00 in Florida. What is the appropriate thing to wear in 90 degree hot weather outside at a park?

A It depends upon your gender, age and build. This is a rather general answer because I don't know the specifics, but you would wear light weight summer clothing that you would wear to an upscale restaurant. A woman would wear a dress and probably a hat with beautiful shoes and a man would wear either a light-weight suit or a blazer with dress khakis or off-white pants.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Guest: 3:00 PM Ceremony
Q Urgent! I need help! I am a female who has been invited to a 3:00 wedding at a Presbyterian church in Williamsburg, VA, with the reception at a country club at 5:00. The invitation does not mention anything on the attire, but it is written in script and in black ink. I have bought 2 different dresses. With the style being long dresses now- a-days, would a long dress be inappropriate to wear to this wedding or should I go for the shorter dress?


A You would not wear a long dress to a three o'clock wedding because you would feel silly. Most women look dowdy in long dresses. These days shorter dresses are the way to go.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Guest: 4:00 PM
Q Hello Didi,

I am attending my boyfriend's uncle's wedding and I have no idea what to wear. I am in my twenties, 5'6, fairly thick 155 lbs and the wedding is at four o'clock. I don't want to be too flashy because I don't really know anyone there, but all I really have is black dresses. Also the invitation doesn't say anything about a dress code. Please help.

A Luckily because it is a four o'clock wedding you're not getting stuck having to wear some dreary "gown" that will make you look dowdy. The dress code, even though not stated, is suits and dresses, so wear a really great dress that flatters your curves and falls just above your knees. Nothing flashy, as you say, so no beads or sparkles, but the quality and the tailoring of the dress can flatter your figure. Curves are great; follow that line.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Guest: 4:30 pm Coastal Wedding
Q My husband and I will be attending a 4:30 wedding on Sat., Sept. 19. The wedding will be in church with dinner and dancing to follow at a Coastal location, possibly outside. What is the appropriate dress for both of us? The invitation is sort of formal in appearance.

A I apologize for not getting back to you sooner but I've been away in Bar Harbor, Maine, at a family burial.

To get back to you. If the invitation doesn't specify that the dress code is "Black Tie," then you are off the hook about having to get all gussied-up, which means that your husband won't have to wear a tuxedo. He can wear a navy blue blazer and grey flannels pants with a collared shirt, black leather belt and shoes, and dark socks. Tie of his choice. Alternatively, a dark grey or dark navy blue suit would be quite suitable.

It also means that you won't have to wander around in a dreary long dress. Wear what you would wear if you were going to an upscale restaurant. According to your age, a cocktail dress or skirted dinner suit would be appropriate. The younger you are, the flirty and shorter the dress. The older you are, the more tailored and dignified the dinner suit or sleeved dress, with an emphasis on quality of construction and fabric.

Since I don't know which coast you're on, it is hard for me to gauge the weather. In the Northeast, if you're not wearing a dressy skirt suit or a dress with a matching jacket, you'll need a dressy sweater here, because at 4:30 PM it is about 60 degrees.

Since the invitation is "sort of formal in appearance," dress well and dignified, but simply. No flashy colors, print, or sequins. Do wear good quality jewelry, shoes, and clutch bag, if you have them.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Guest: 6:00 pm: South Carolina in September
Q I'm attending a 6:00 pm wedding on a plantation in Charleston, SC, in early September....I'm over 60 and a relative of the groom....what should I wear? Suggestions so appreciated.

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify that it is Black Tie, then you can assume that the dress code is Suits and Dresses. A man would wear his best dark suit, white collared shirt and black shoes, socks and belt, and a great tie. A woman would wear a dressy skirt suit that falls just below her knees with beautiful shoes and a small, pretty clutch bag.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Guest: Afternoon
Q I am going to a 3:30 PM wedding on a Sunday. Should I wear a short dress or a gown?

A Wear a short dress for an afternoon wedding no matter what the day.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Guest: Beach in the Fall
Q My husband and I are attending a 4:00 wedding on the beach this weekend. Although we are in the South, it is going to be quite chilly. I have a brown sweater dress that I thought I might wear with tights and heels. Do you think that would be appropriate? If not, any suggestions are welcome!

A Instead of the heels, which might sink into the sand making it difficult for you to keep your balance, why not wear a beautiful pair of soft, tall boots.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Guest: Black Dress
Q I am going to my boyfriend's brother's wedding next weekend. The wedding is at 1:00, and I have two dresses I am considering wearing. One is a knee-length turquoise dress. The other is a black, knee-length dress with pink trim and a pink silk belt. The black one looks much nicer, but is it okay to wear it to the wedding?

A Wear the dress of better quality. Whichever dress is the best well-made will probably fit you the best. The dress that fits the best will flatter your figure the most. Don't worry about wearing black. Black is very popular right now to wear to a wedding. Just don't look over-dressed by wearing too much jewelry, or having too many accessories. Keep it simple and chic, and you'll be elegant.

When in doubt, look in the mirror and take off one accessory.



Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Guest: Champagne Colored Dress
Q If you are a wedding guest, can you wear a dress which is a champagne color?

A If you consider the dress a beige and not a an off-white, champagne is always a very chic color. It is the classic color dress to a wear to a wedding.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Guest: East Tenneessee 3:00 pm
Q Dear Didi,
I have enjoyed your website very much. As a homeschooling mom, I try to teach my children as much about etiquette as I can. I want them to be as well rounded in their education as possible.
We have a family wedding coming up February 26th in East Tennessee. It happens to be my niece's second wedding and she is approximately twenty-six. She wanted to plan a small wedding. When we received the wedding invitations, it stated nothing about dress etiquette and I understood that we needed to RSVP for some type of meal she was having. So much has change since the invitations went out. Now, the wedding has grown in size and it will be held at the National Guard Armory at three in the afternoon. The groom will be in his dress uniform and she has decided to wear a wedding gown. However, there now will only be a cake and punch reception.
My 12-year-old son was going to wear his dress khakis with a cable knit sweater and nice dress shoes. Now, should he wear a button down shirt, tie, and sports coat? He really does not own a suit at this age, so I am wondering what I quickly need to get him this week so that he will be dressed appropriately. I will need to purchase a sports coat for him, I just do not know what type and color if indeed he does need to wear one.
My daughter will wear one of her beautiful church dresses with light tights and beautiful shoes. Do you think that will be all right? She is nine years old.
I had planned to wear a navy sheath dress with a matching jacket and dress it up with jewelry. Would that be okay? Would it be too early in the day for pearls? Or, perhaps, you might suggest another idea?
My husband was going to wear his dress khakis, button down shirt, tie, and sports coat. Will that still be appropriate? It seems as if the dress code which was never stated has changed with the groom wearing his dress uniform. Should my husband wear a suit?
Thank you so much for taking the time to read our email. We would greatly appreciate any suggestions you could offer as to how best to dress for this wedding that seems to have grown and changed since the invitations were sent. We are running out of time now and after speaking with my mother yesterday, it seems the wedding has changed greatly since we received our invitation. We do not know how we should dress now and would love your suggestions....any and all. My time is running out and I am getting upset that we will not be appropriately dressed and I would like for all of us to look nice.
Thanks again and I look so forward to hearing from you!
Blessings!


A When there is no specific dress code for a wedding, suits and dresses are always safe, and in fact are considered the dress code. Even though the groom is wearing his dress uniform, it is a three o'clock wedding, which does not call for formal guest attire. The bride always seems even more special if she is the only person at the wedding in a long dress; however, there is no need for you to wear a long dress.

Your sheath with jacket sounds perfect. Pearls are always traditional at a wedding, so do wear them. Your daughter's outfit sounds perfect. I'm a huge fan of letting children that age wear what they are comfortable wearing, so let her choose what she wants to wear because she needs to feel comfortable in whatever she is wearing.

Your husband can wear a sports jacket, but if he has a dark suit, he could wear that. Remember this is not a formal wedding. Your son can wear a white button down shirt with tie and his khaki pants. He doesn't need a blazer, let him wear the jacket he would wear to church on Sunday. He is more apt to lose a new jacket, and is less likely to lose a jacket that is familiar to him.

Weddings are a joyous time, so relax and have a good time and your children will, too.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Guest: First Wedding
Q Hi, I am a 20-year-old female. I am from Valdosta, Georgia, and I was recenty invited to a wedding that is to be held on March 26 at 4:00 in the afternoon. It will be held at someone's home. I have never been to a wedding so I don't know exactly what I am supposed to bring or wear. I wasn't able to make it to her bridal shower so should I bring her a gift? On the invitation it does say that they will have a wishing well. And is it rude just to go to the wedding and not stay for the reception? I'm a little on the shy side when it comes to dancing.















A My dear, weddings are a lot of fun. The sooner you experience your first wedding, the more weddings you'll want to attend. Wear a cocktail dress that falls just above your knees with pretty shoes.

What you have to remember is that everyone at the wedding is there because they are connected to the wedding couple in one way or another, so you are all in the same boat, so to speak. You all have the connection of knowing at least one person. Most people won't already know any of the other guests.

Weddings are the perfect place for someone who thinks she is shy, because you're all coming from different directions so you can always connect with another guest by asking, "How do you know the wedding couple?" "Are you a friend of the bride or the groom?" Asking simple questions that the other guest can connect to is the easiest way to break the ice and make new friends.

Make this a growing experience. Tell yourself that you're going to the wedding because you like your friend and that most of the other guests don't know any more people than you do; everyone you talk to will be happy that you made the effort to talk them. So you mustn't skip the reception. Receptions are great fun.

If you don't know how to dance, ask a friend or sibling to show you how to dance ahead of time. Dancing is all about listening to the music and then moving your hips, shoulders, legs, and arms to the beat of the music while keeping your head centered. If there isn't someone to show you, just turn on TV or the radio, close your eyes and dance. Since you're all alone, nobody can judge you. Practice makes perfect.

About the shower present, ask if your friend, the bride, has a bridal registry. If she has registered/listed with a chain store, you can look at the list and find a small present to have sent to her from the shop. Remember it is not the cost of the present that is important, but the fact that you get her something she has chosen that she needs and likes.

Please, do yourself a huge favor and go to your friend's wedding because you want to have a good time while showing your respect to your friend, the bride.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Guest: Five O'Clock Church Ceremony
Q Can my husband wear a medium wheat to light brown colored jacket with dark pants to a 5 pm church wedding in VA (Aug. 29)? and would a black dress be an appropriate color for me to wear? I wear a size 16W.

Thank you.

A If the jacket is a good cut and made of high quality material, the medium wheat to light brown jacket should be fine; however, instead of the dark pants, he should wear a pair of lightweight grey flannels. If he would rather wear the dark pants, then he should wear a darker color jacket.

It is quite fashionable to wear a black dress to a five o'clock wedding, as long as it is not a long dress. You might want to lighten up the all black look with a pearl necklace and pearl earrings.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Guest: Four O'Clock Winery Wedding
Q What would you wear to a 4:00 pm semi-formal early September wedding held at an outdoor winery in central California if you were a 40-year -ld female? I was thinking black pant suit with a light shawl.

A Since I don't know your crowd, this is a rather personal answer.

You could certainly get away with wearing a black pant suit with a light shawl to an outdoor wedding at a California winery, but you might find that you'll have more fun in more festive attire. A beautiful silk tunic with pants or a festive blouse and skirt, both with strappy sandals, would be far and away more fun to wear to a winery wedding.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Guest: Las Vegas: 4:00 PM
Q I am going to a April wedding @ 4:00pm in Las Vegas at an Estate. Can I wear a dress that have pink print top half and bottom half black w/ black pumps??

A Yes, that sounds fine assuming it is a short dress and falls above the knees, because at a four o'clock wedding you would wear a cocktail dress.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Guest: Man: 6:00 pm: Charleston, SC
Q Men's attire for a 6 pm wedding in Charleston, South Carolina? Dark or summer suits preferred.

Is a navy blazer, with dark grey or cream gabardine cuffed trousers, with white plain collar shirt and silk print tie, black bit loafers appropriate?

Which trousers do you like better?

A If the dress code on the invitation is "Dark or Summer Suits Preferred," it means "Suits & Dresses" are the dress code. However, if you don't have a suit you can go with the "preferred" giving you an option to wear a navy blue blazer, with dark grey cuffed trousers, with white plain collar shirt, and silk print tie, black bit loafers and black socks and belt.

Officially, the end of summer was September 22nd, so put away your cream colored trousers.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Guest: Man: Navy Blue Suit
Q We have been invited to a 6:30 Episcopal church wedding the 10th of April. Is it ok for my husband to wear a navy suit or does it need to be black? The reception is outside at the parents' home.

A A dark navy suit should be fine. If he wears a white shirt, that does not have a button-down collar, along with a good silk tie, preferably in a bold stripe, your husband will be very well dressed. However, he should wear a black belt, black shoes--even if they are loafers--with black socks.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Guest: Men in Black
Q Is a black shirt and pants with a white tie and grey linen jacket appropriate for a Sunday lunch wedding reception, at the Bedford Post Inn Farmhouse restaurant - private ceremony took place on a different day?

A In my opinion, if this is a country Sunday wedding reception, a black shirt and black pants sound rather dreary. In winter that would be fine, but I am assuming that this reception is this spring or summer. A seersucker suit with white bucks might be more appropriate. Alternatively, a navy blue blazer with cream or colored slacks, or a light weight navy or grey suit would be most fitting for the occasion. Of course, a white shirt and a colorful tie would work with all three.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Guest: Monogrammed Shirt
Q A debate is going on amongst my co-workers whether or not a man should wear a monogrammed shirt to a family function, such as a wedding. He will also be wearing a jacket, he is a guest and not a member of the wedding party.

A There is nothing wrong with wearing a monogrammed shirt to a family function. Some people have all of there shirts monogrammed.

Others would be upset to see the monogram on the cuffs of the shirtsleeves, but I find it amusing.

Sorry, but I don't understand why this is up for debate.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Guest: New York: Rooftop: 8:00 PM
Q What should I wear to a rooftop reception in Brooklyn at 8pm April 1st? I'm a 27-year-old female. Attending my boyfriend's co-worker's reception. Casual.

A Most probably the evening will be chilly at an April evening rooftop wedding in Brooklyn. Check to see if it is an enclosed rooftop or open to the elements. Be safe and warm, wear a cocktail dress under a warm winter coat.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Guest: October Outdoors
Q What do you wear to a four o'clock wedding that is outside in October?

A It would depend upon your gender, build, age, and the climate at that location. Therefore, this is a rather general answer since I don't know the dress code or the location of the wedding.

If you are a man and the wedding is in a relatively mild climate, you would wear a classic, two-button cotton poplin, dark suit with flat front pants, or a navy blue blazer with dress khaki pants or grey flannels. With either of these outfits, you would wear a white, long-sleeved, collared shirt that is not buttoned down, a silk tie, with a dark leather belt and shoes, and dark socks.

If you are a woman, you would wear a dress with sleeves that falls just below your knees, with a light sweater. If you are of a certain age, you would wear a skirt suit or a dress with a matching jacket. Since you might be walking on grass outside, you will need to wear shoes that don't sink into the ground if the soil underneath the grass is damp from previous rain. A beautiful pair of pumps or low heeled shoes should be fine, along with a clutch bag, and a good piece of jewelry. I'm a big fan of hats at outdoor weddings, so if you have one that matches your outfit, this is the time to wear it.




Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Guest: Outshining the Bride
Q Hi Didi, desperately need your help for a wedding this weekend (April 30) in Midwest, 6 pm ceremony in museum with dinner and dancing to follow in the outdoor garden under a tent. Invite said "black-tie optional." I am 29, tall and slim. Would it be inappropriate for me to wear a brightly colored silk cocktail dress that hits above the knee? My thought is to pair it with nice simple heels, gold jewelry and an elegant wrap. Bride is very laid back. Saw her recently and she said cocktail dresses are totally fine, so I'm more concerned about the brightly colored pattern - it's always been my style to wear bold bright colors. Thoughts?

A Bold, bright-colored on you are totally in trend. Wear your brightly colored, silk cocktail dress with style. Patterns and pop colors are in trend. My only concern is that you don't want to be the eye-catcher that takes the guest's eyes away from the bride. It is her special day, all eyes should be on her. If you think that your dress will take away from full attention on the bride, then by all means don't wear that particular dress. Instead wear an elegant, dignified dress that fits into your friend's wedding.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Guest: Toronto: June: 3:30 PM
Q Hi Didi,

I am going to a 3:30 pm wedding in Toronto, Canada, in June, the reception starts at 5:30 and goes on into the evening with dancing at 9:00 pm. I'm not sure what to wear, I am in my late 40s....can you please help?

Thanks,
Dee

A Since this isn't a black-tie wedding, or that would have been mentioned on the invitation, and the ceremony is taking place in the mid-afternoon with a reception at 5:30 and dancing at 9:00, you could certainly get away with wearing one great dress to all three events, perhaps changing your shoes and small clutch bag, and adding a piece of jewelry before either the 5:30 or 9:00 events. You'll find that half of the guests will change and the other half won't bother, so you can do either. Others may not bother with the ceremony at all, and just come in Suits and Dresses, the dress code for the wedding.

Alternatively, you could go with two outfits and change before the 9:00 dancing, if you are staying in a hotel near either of the events.

Or since Toronto is not going to be all that hot in June, you could wear a dressy suit with a shell under the jacket, or a sheath with a matching jacket, and take the jacket off for the dancing. Wearing an outfit with a jacket gives you more options and more flexibility with the weather.

You could even wear a beautiful hat to the ceremony and reception and leave the hat in your hotel room before going to the dance.

My guess is that, the reception is a cocktail buffet, as opposed to being a a seated dinner, so if you arrive at the reception late, you can wander into the dance from there. Three and a half hours would be a long cocktail reception, so you could certainly go back to your hotel room after the ceremony to rest up for the evening, reapply makeup, and change into cocktail party attire. Meaning a short cocktail dress that falls just above your knees.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Guest: Virginia: April: 5:00 PM
Q Wedding etiquette for a 5:00 wedding in a church reception following in Virginia in April.

I am 5'6", wearing a size 18 and I don't like wearing a dress. Could I wear black slacks and a crisp white double collar blouse. And I have no clue about shoes to wear.

A The dress code for a five o'clock church wedding is "suits and dresses," so you would wear either a skirt suit or a dress with sleeves, the hem would fall just below your knees. Beautiful shoes and a small clutch would be good accessories.

I know you're not going to like my answer because you want to wear a pantsuit, but this is a wedding and if you want to fit in, you should probably wear a skirt suit or dress.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Guest: White Dress: 5:30 PM
Q Didi,

I am a bridesmaid in my girlfriend's wedding in June (next week) at a country club just north of Boston. My mom (60 yrs old) wants to wear an off-white, close to light tan dress that has a pattern in the material (that is also off-white). It's just above the knee and has a gold zipper down the back. Is this appropriate? She has the body for it and amazing legs. She is planning to wear the dress with gold jewelry and tan shoes. There will be less than 100 people at the wedding and the bride's dress is ivory. The wedding is at 5:30 pm. Myself and the other bridesmaid are wearing yellow. Please help!

A If your mother doesn't want to look like a wanna' be bride, she shouldn't be wearing white, off-white, ecru, or ivory. The only person at the wedding wearing white is the bride. Out of respect for the bride on her wedding day, your mother wouldn't wear a whitish colored dress.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Guest: White Evening Dress
Q I have been invited to a formal wedding in early April. I have a georgeous winter white evening gown with beading across the bodice that I just love. Is it inappropriate to wear a white gown to a wedding?

A I am terribly sorry, but you aren't going to like my answer. As a guest, you cannot wear white to a wedding. The only woman wearing white at a wedding is the bride. You will be making a horrendous faux pas, if you wear a white dress to a wedding. The other advice I can give you is not to wear an evening gown. The long dress look at weddings is so over. The only time you would wear an evening gown to a wedding would be for an eight o'clock formal wedding. Then I still wouldn't. Most women over a certain age look dowdy in a long dress. I don't know your age, your build, or the time of the wedding but depending upon those three, why not wear a short flirty chiffon dress, or if you are over a certain age, why not wear a really dressy dinner suit that has a skirt that falls just below your knees and lots of good jewelry.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Guest: Woman: 5:30 pm Church Wedding
Q 5:30 pm wedding, historic college chapel, reception at nice restaurant (though I can't attend it), and in SC with high temperature of 43 degrees F in December.

Because I can't attend the reception, my attire is probably less formal than it needs to be. But maybe not. I'm trying to blend what I've heard about Christmas weddings and black being en vogue. Please let me know if this outfit is a mistake. I am wearing a black velvet, fitted jacket over a red holiday top with black skirt that stops right at the knee and has a little flounce to it at the bottom though it is not made of sheer or other super lightweight fabric. It is also a matte black color. Also I plan to wear black heels, but am unsure if they should be conservative pumps or strappy heels due to the occasion and cold weather. Also unsure if I should wear tights or hose and what color if so. The time of day, weather, and fact that this is a Southern wedding are all confusing me at this point. I am 30ish yrs. old and plus sized. Even though I am not attending the reception, since everyone else will be dressed accordingly, I don't want to stick out like a sore thumb. I've always struggled with putting my best fashion foot forward, so any advice you can give to spare me embarrassment is much appreciated.

A Thank you for all the details. It makes it so much easier. I am sorry you are not attending the reception because I think your outfit sounds great for the reception as well as the church. Since you're not going to be dancing, I would skip the strappy sandals and be comfortable in beautiful pumps with stockings a slightly lighter shade than your legs. And play down the jewelry. You will be fashionable, elegant, dignified and mysterious--because you won't be showing up at the reception.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Guest: Woman: Five O'Clock at a Yacht Club
Q My grandson is having an outdoor wedding at a yacht club in July. It will be at 5:00 p.m. I am 81 years old and am wondering what to wear.
Thank you,
Bonnie Garrison

A A good summer suit or skirt with a coordinating jacket. A dress with a lovely thin cardigan would work, as well. The length would fall just below your knees and you would wear practical low-heeled, soft shoes or flats that you've worn in. If you do wear stockings or panty hose, make sure that the color is as light as your skin and not darker. Good opaque hose will cover any slight imperfections in skin tone. Then accessories with a couple of pieces of your very best jewelry. For instance, pearls and your favorite brooch. Most importantly, you can wear a chic, but dignified, hat.

If you are heavy set, then wear navy blue or beige.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Guest: Woman: Flats
Q I am a 50-year-old woman who cannot wear high heels anymore. What style of dress can be worn to a night wedding with flats? I would still like to look fashionable. I stand all night at these weddings and I need comfort yet style.

A Nowadays there are so many beautiful flats that you should be able to find flats to go with outfits that you already have in your wardrobe. Flats go with knee-length dressy skirt suits, cocktail dresses, and evening dresses. Visit an upscale department store and go to their better shoe department to get an idea of what's available. Then after you've gotten some ideas, try to find copies at less expensive shoe stores or discounted.

The key to wearing dressy flats is to wear quality legwear a shade lighter than your skin tone with a bit of shine to them to dress them up.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Guest: Woman: Ten O'Clock AM at Ski Resort
Q How would you suggest a guest should dress at a 10 a.m. wedding, being held at a ski resort in February? The invitation doesn't suggest much in the way of a dress code, but the invitation itself is quite non-traditional in nature, so I'm guessing it won't be too formal an affair.

A It depends upon whether the ceremony is outdoors or in. Believe it or not, wedding couples do get married on the tops of mountains and ski down to the reception in the lodge. My guess is to wear your best ski or apres ski clothes, which would include anything with fur. Fur boots, fur-lined vest, fur muff, fur hat. Be dressed warmly enough to stand the outdoor cold, but chic enough to look festive in the photos. If you've ever wanted to look like a "snow bunny," this is the time. Should you not wear fur, black leggings, a beautiful, soft sweater and hat along with apres ski boots would be just as chic.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Guest: Women
Q What should a 50 year-old woman wear to her best friend's son's wedding? The wedding in in May in south GA. It will be held in a large Methodist church at 6:00 pm. This young man was brought up like a brother to my children and my son is in the wedding.

A As I don't know the dress code (the formality--black tie or not) for the wedding, nor do I know your build or lifestyle, it is a bit of a stretch to answer.

This is a general answer. Women our age want to look dignified, and elegant--but not stuffy. For a six o'clock wedding, wear what you would wear to an upscale restaurant or to a formal cocktail party. In my opinion, you would not wear anything long because women our age tend to look dowdy wearing long. Nor would you wear anything shiny, jiggly, or with sequins. I would suggest a black cocktail dress that falls just below the knees with pale, shimmery hosiery, black good shoes, and a clutch bag. Alternatively, a sheath dress with a matching jacket or a dress with sleeves that falls just below the knees would be lovely as well. The important thing to remember when choosing an outfit for a wedding is that you want to wear a well-made, good quality outfit that is tailored to your build. Or go with a more relaxed outfit from a designer such as Eileen Fisher. See her at eileenfisher.com.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Guest: Women In Black
Q Would a dressy black sleeveless dress (knee-length - age 52) along with my pearls be appropriate to wear to a 7 p.m. plantation wedding in Nashville? The Bridesmaids are wearing black short after 5 dresses and heels. Is is in poor taste for a guest (myself) to wear black also? Our dresses nowhere near are the same.
Thanks!

A It is quite trendy to wear a short black dress to a wedding these days and you are fine doing so; however, because you do not want to look as though you are trying to compete with the young bridesmaids, you might want to wear a pashmina or scarf of another color on/off your shoulders to identify yourself as not part of the wedding party. You might even want to wear red, silver, or gold evening shoes, as opposed to black.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Guest: Women In Red
Q is it appropriate to wear a sleeveless above the knee red dress to your sister-in-law's wedding?

A It would depend upon your build as to whether or not that bright red dress is appropriate or not for your sister-in-law's wedding. If you have knobby knees and oversized legs, then I would wear a dress that falls just below your knees. If you have flabby upper arms, then I would say you should wear a dress with short or three-quarter-length sleeves.

As to the color red, traditionally, you wouldn't wear red because it is the "look at me" color. When everyone should be looking at the bride in elegant white, you'll be stealing the show in your drop-dead gorgeous red dress. Red is not the best color to wear to a wedding because it is so eye catching and. therefore, it is perceived as a "look at me" color.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Guest: Women: Black Dress
Q Hello, I'm going to a 4:OO wedding outside in September in Fl. A reception will follow inside. This all will be at a garden/old farm-type location. My husband/daughter/son will be in the wedding. Will it be ok for me to wear a cute black dress?


Thank you,
Andrea

A Absolutely, a little black dress is always chic. A short black dress for a late afternoon wedding is perfect.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Guest: Women: Plus Size
Q What should a 50 year-old, 5'2", plus-size woman wear to her best friend's son's wedding? It is a 6:00 pm, formal, not black-tie event. It is a church wedding. We live in south Georgia. The wedding is at the end of May.

A Since it is not a black-tie wedding, you are off the hook about having to wear a dowdy long dress. Look for a well-constructed dressy dinner suit. When I say well-constructed, I mean a suit that will pull you in at the waist but still has soft shoulders. You want to have it fitted to your body to give you a nice shape. You don't want a bigger size six, you want to wear a stylish dress or dinner suit that fits your curves.

Because it is so hard to find dresses with three-quarter length sleeves, the jacket of the dressy dinner suit is perfect if your arms are not buff. Have the skirt shortened to just below your knees. Wear shimmery pantyhose that are a shade paler than your skin tone.

You might want to start by surfing the net for plus size dresses and "holiday." Try gaylabentley.com. Gayla Bentley's plus size clothing can be found at department stores such as Neiman Marcus. If you go to neimanmarcus.com and type in a search for Gayla Bentley apparel look for a knee-length dress with three-quarter sleeves that comes in black or brownberry. The dress is slimming and yet dressy enough with pretty pearls, earrings, and shoes to dance the night away at a formal wedding that is not black-tie. At our age, we want to look dignified and elegant, and also do some dancing.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Guest: Women: Plus Size
Q What should I wear to a 4 pm church wedding in Texas in March? Their weather is calling for a high of 67, sunny with 0% chance of rain. The wedding is followed by a dinner reception at a downtown venue (industrial chic?). I am a 33 year-old woman and a little on the heavy side. Help! :-)

A You want to wear a short black dress with a waist and a slightly flirty skirt that falls just above your knees. You want to wear a dress that is stylish that fits your curves, along with a great pair of the highest heels you can dance in comfortably--unless you're over six feet tall.

Since you live in Texas, I'm assuming you are either near a Neiman Marcus or not too far away from one. Look on neimanmarcus.com for plus size dresses. For instance, I saw a black one today with three-quarter length sleeves that would be perfect. When you get on the NM site type in the designer Gayla Bentley, then apparel/dresses and you'll find a short black dress with great sleeves, a low back and scooped neck that comes in at the waist that might suit you. It also come in a dark brown. Since I don't know your size this is a very general answer. Be sure to have the dress shortened to mid-knee or just above your knees, and if it has to be altered, take the plunge and have the dress fitted to your build. It will only be more flattering. Try wearing a shimmery pair of dressy panty- hose a tone lighter than your skin and great earrings. The rest is up to you. Have fun!


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Guest: Women: Shoes
Q My husband and I are attending a 5 pm wedding in Savannah Georgia. The wedding will be in a church. The invitation states formal attire requested at the bottom. I purchased a coral skirt suit to wear and my husband is wearing a sort of mingly grey suit.

My questions: Is this appropriate attire? What color shoes to wear?

A Black satin open-toed sling-back heels would work nicely. You could wear black patent leather shoes, if they were delicate, otherwise if clunky, they might look at bit like Halloween. Since coral is such a strong color, the black satin would be softer, more elegant than black leather. If you have beautiful beige, soft leather shoes, that would be my first choice.

Is this appropriate attire? If your husband wears a white collared shirt with a silk tie and black shoes, then he would be fine. If the invitation doesn't specifically state Black Tie, then what you've both chosen sounds perfect. The dress code is stated as formal because they want to be sure that the men wear a tie and jacket.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Guest: Women: Wearing White
Q Is it ok to wear white to an afternoon wedding? The skirt has a black thread trim....

A The only woman at the wedding wearing white is the bride. If this is a white skirt with black thread trim, then wear a black blouse or shell with the black and white skirt. Believe me, you will feel uncomfortable knowing that people are thinking, "Why is she wearing a white dress, doesn't she know better?" You could probably get away with it by wearing accessories that are not white, for instance a chic black hat or pretty a black jacket and shoes, accompanied by a small black and white clutch bag.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Guest: Women: Wearing Pants
Q I am a 62 year old woman attending a Houston (a Sunday morning)wedding the last week of September. Would a mocha-colored suit (long jacket with pants)be appropriate attire?

A In my opinion, pants are not a good choice for a wedding. Coincidentally, just this morning I finished viewing 600 photos of a wedding here in Newport earlier in the month and one fact stuck out loud and clear: the only woman wearing pants stuck out. She did not look appropriately dressed, especially in the group photos where the other women were wearing lovely dresses and chic skirt-suits.

The thing about dress codes at weddings is that you want to fit in. You don't want to stand out and make a statement. I know you're not thinking that you want to draw attention to yourself deliberately, but you will. People will notice that you are wearing pants.

Since I don't know anything about your coloring or your build, this is a rather general answer. I did also notice that the women guests who looked as if they fit in were not wearing dour colors. Weddings are cheerful, happy occasions and you want to dress accordingly. I know you're thinking, well, Houston is a sophisticated city! Well, I attended a cool wedding in Houston that was very chic and very cheerful. The only reason you would wear the color mocha would be if your hair is colored mocha. Then that would work, but I still don't like the idea of your wearing pants, on a Sunday no less, to a wedding.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Guest's +1: Lake Oswego, OR: September: 5:00 PM: Gift
Q Hello Didi,

I read through your "Do's and Don'ts" and found them very enlightening. Many of them are lost on my generation, I'm afraid. Thank you for taking the time to write them out in such a concise manner. I do have a question for you. I'll be attending a wedding on September 22nd at 5:00 pm. I was invited as a friend of mine's +1 per the Bride's suggestion. It felt a little awkward but I was available for the evening so I figured I'd attend. I've RSVP'd and was told by my friend (the original invite recipient) that I didn't need to worry about a gift because the bride said so. Should I still get something? Is she just saying that to make up for the fact that I was a last minute invite? Also, being as the ceremony begins at 5:00 pm and it's the first day of Autumn, I'm sort of at a loss as to what to wear. The ceremony is to be outside if the weather allows for it. It will be held at The Foundry at Oswego Pointe Lake Oswego, OR, reception to follow there as well. I'm a single, 26-year-old female. I'm a bit curvy and want to feel attractive without, obviously, upstaging the bride, but want to feel seasonally appropriate as well as time of day appropriate. What would you suggest? I was considering a dress I already have in my wardrobe. It's a chocolate Chantilly-style lace over a robins egg blue slip, boat neck, sleeveless, just below the knee, straight shift style, with some flattering darting/cinching at the hip. It does have discreet pockets, and about a 4-5 inch slit on the back hem. I just worry it feels more afternoon than evening, but perhaps 5:00 pm allows for that? Thank you so much for your time, Didi. Hope this finds you well. Looking forward to your response. Sincerely, Anna Sciscente

A Your chocolate and blue lace dress sounds perfect for a five o'clock wedding. Wear nude colored shoes and carry a small clutch bag.

About the gift. It may be that your date is sending a present nice enough to cover you. Wait until after the wedding to decide. If you feel a lot of money was spent on each guest then send a small token from the bridal registry. You can get that info from any of the other women guests. By sending a token gift from the bridal registry, you are sending them something that they have chosen because the like it and need it. Alternatively, send a heartfelt, short thank-you note saying how much fun you had and mention a highlight or two (the band, DJ, decorations, ceremony).

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Guests Wearing White or Light Cream
Q Is it improper for a guest to where white or light cream to a wedding?

A It is not proper for a guest to wear white or light cream to a wedding. Respect the bride who will be wearing white, or a shade of white, by letting her be the only woman wearing white. It is a matter of respect.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Guests: 4:00 pm Michigan in June
Q I am going to a wedding with my new boyfriend. This will be the first time I meet any of his family and since it is his cousin's wedding I will be meeting his entire family. It is 4:00 pm wedding in June in Michigan. I am 29, red head, size 20 and hour-glass shaped. He is wearing a navy blue pin-striped suit. I don't know much about the wedding but I know he was told to tell me to wear something classy, conservative and "high end casual". I have no idea what this means and I have no idea what color to wear to match a navy blue pin-striped suit. Please help.

A It sounds as though you would wear a navy blue or black dress with short sleeves that falls just above your knees. Assuming this is a spring, summer, or early fall wedding, this dress, or skirt suit, should be a linen, heavy cotton, and stretchy or well-tailored to fit your curves. Look for a soft V-neck dress made of a stretch cotton, jersey, lightweight stretch crepe, or linen viscose stretch; these sophisticated crepe textures go from day into night. Take advantage of that hour-glass figure and show those flattering curves. Taupe, beige or black shoes with a heel if you aren't tall, beautiful flats with a bit of sparkle or a bow, if you're tall. Pearls are the wedding jewel, so wear a string of pearls and pearl earrings - they don't have to be real. Carry a small clutch for your comb and lip gloss. If your legs are not tanned and well-groomed, wear quality legwear with a bit of shine that are a tone lighter than own skin color.

Since this is an afternoon wedding, you don't wear a long or tea-length dress. The dress code sounds conservative, yet sophisticated, so you want a fresh, well-tailored look for an afternoon wedding. Stay away from bold colors and patterns, and if you can't find a navy blue dress of skirt suit, wear a black dress or skirt suit. If you can't find a black or navy blue dress with a short sleeve, then wear a sheath with a matching jacket or a simple, light-weight summer sweater. Go to EileenFisher.com and click on dresses, where you will see flattering dresses with a V-shaped neck line that will elongate your hour-glass shape and be appropriate for an afternoon wedding that goes into evening. All you would have to do is to accessorize with beautiful shoes and pearl earrings.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Guests: Hats
Q My niece is getting married on June 26 at 6:15 in The Gardens of Elizabeth Chaney Mansion, attire is formal. Mother of bride, aunts (including me) are wearing black knee-length dresses. My dress is a strapless chiffon, I have found a black chiffon wide brim hat. Would it be acceptable for me to wear it?

A I went to the Elizabeth Chaney Mansion Web site to try to imagine a middle-aged women in a strapless, black chiffon dress wearing a wide brimmed black chiffon hat dancing in the ballroom, and I can't see. If you kiss the bridal party in the receiving line and greet longtime friends with a peck on the check, you'll, literally, have to hold on to your hat. With formal attire it is fun to be creative, but less is more. If the dress code for the wedding is short black dresses, it is a chic wedding. I want you to be dressed appropriately. Think of the wedding photos. Will they say, "Who is the woman in the big black hat on the dance floor?"

I understand that you want to dress up your dress. You can do so with other accessories: for instance, a necklace consisting of three strands of pearls along with pearl and diamond earrings, which don't have to be real. You can also drape a lovely scarf over your shoulders while sitting at sunset outside to warm yourself from the chill of the oncoming night, then use it playfully seated at dinner and on the dance floor.

One last point--and it is a big one. Will you feel awkward doing the two-step on the dance floor in a wide brimmed hat?
Why not wear the hat to the ceremony and then leave it in the cloak room before going into the reception.

At English wedding ceremonies, which are usually held at two o'clock, women usually wear hats, but the reception is hours later and those women have had time to change into evening attire after putting away their hats. Many older women wear hats to formal occasions, but they are fitted to the head and brimless.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Guests: Six O'Clock Wedding
Q Hello. Thanks for this site! We're going to a 6 pm wedding in California one hour from Los Angeles. The weather gets cooler around 7 and it's at a country club. The invitation was formalish. What does a mum wear (42), 5'.4" build? Dad (50), kids teen girl 16 and boy 12. Thanks in advance for your response...

A If the dress code doesn't specify "Black Tie," then you are off the hook about having to wear a long dress. You can wear a flirty cocktail dress that falls just above your knees. Your husband can wear a dark suit with dark socks, shoes and belt, but a very good, striped collared shirt with a coordinating tie.

As for the teen girl, she can wear what she would wear to a dance. In other words a fun dress, that isn't glittery but reflects her own style. The boy would wear a navy blue blazer with dress khaki pants, a collared shirt and tie of his choice. Brown loafers with navy blue or khaki socks would be fine.

By the way, since I don't know the details of the wedding (such as the dress code or location), this is a rather general answer.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Hair Extensions
Q Hi Didi,

I will be a bridesmaid at a wedding in California on a boat in January. I cut my hair in June to be really short and I'm trying to grow it out as long as I can for the wedding because the dress will be strapless and I don't feel very comfortable with this short do. My face is round; my hair dark, fine, and wavy. Could you please help me figure out what to do with my hair? I am at total loss what to do. I've had long hair for most of my life, am constantly styling my hair with heat (it flips in an unseemly way) so that means I will have to trim it before the wedding for the best look. Do you know how I should cut it and style it?

A Why not get some hair extensions. They are easy to use once you get the knack of fastening them. The day of the wedding you can take them to the hairdresser to fasten in after s/he's styled your hair. But practice with them first. Hair extensions will make your hair look fuller and thicker, and of course, a bit longer, but what I think you're worried about is the fullness, which is easily fixed with hair extensions.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Halloween
Q I am going to my brother's wedding this Friday night. My fiance is wearing khaki-colored dress pants and an orange button up dress shirt. I plan to wear a black dress. Will this go together? What should I wear?

A Yes, you'll be right in trend for Halloween, black and orange. Why doesn't he wear a black jacket, shoes, belt and socks? I bet you'll get a lot of comments, "Happy Halloween!"


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Hat or Fascinator Required: England
Q Hi Didi,

I am going to a wedding in SW England on September 6 at 2 pm in a Cathedral. The weather is already quite chilly there (though there could be a warm snap). Instructions for the wedding are (taken from the wedding site):

"Service in the Cathedral quire. Dress-code: Yes, it is a hat wedding – women not wearing hats (or substantial fascinators) will not be let in. Men in suits (dapper or morning). Buses will come and scoop you up from outside the cathedral after the service and deposit you at Penny Square Barn for more celebrating."

I am struggling with the hat decision, as I don't know whether or not straw is still appropriate on Sept 6 in England (I guess technically it is in the US...). I'm also frankly struggling with what a "substantial" fascinator is. I'm guessing it's something along the lines of what the Duchess of Cambridge wears on "occassions."

Also, it seems there will not be a change of attire, as there are no further instructions on that matter.

Advice?
Thanks!
Portia

A A fascinator is your solution. Actually they are quite fun and easy to wear. They are put together like a decorated headband and you hardly notice it once it is on. Unlike a hat with a brim that you have to hold on to when someone ducks in for a kiss. Also, one would image that a beautiful scarf would be perfectly acceptable. And of course you could take it off for the reception and tuck it into your small clutch or tie it to the chain on the bag. I love a gorgeous scarf that you can always tie loosely around your neck to make a different fashion statement for after the ceremony.


We like hearing from you. Remember that many of the other guests will be feeling the same way you do about having to wear something on their head after they've just had their hair done for the occasion.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Hat: 3:00 PM: Martha's Vineyard
Q Is it appropriate to wear a hat to a 3:00 church wedding on Martha's Vineyard, with a pretty fancy reception following?

A Most certainly, you can wear a lovely hat to a summer wedding and reception in Martha's Vineyard.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Hat: 6:00 PM: Georgia
Q Is is appropriate to wear a hat to an outdoor wedding that starts at 6:00 in Georgia?
Thanks,
Jenny

A Traditionally, often called a cocktail or dinner hat, a fitted, brimless hat worn by a woman in the evening is seen as a fashion statement. For instance, the bell-shaped evening cloche can be elegant and sophisticated in a soft fabric, beaded, or lace (worn by a bride) with a delicate embellishment, such as an appliqu, embroidery, of jewel. In the evening, you want to stay away from a floppy hat with a brim, unless the brim is small and tightly rolled in toward the head. An evening hat is a fabulous fashion statement, definitely wear one that is fitted and lovely, but without a brim. Alternatively, you could wear a beautiful fascinator to a six o'clock wedding in Georgia.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Hat: Evening: Kentucky: 7:00 PM
Q I am 65 and attending a close friend's daughter's wedding. I want to wear a beige hat that is perfect for the darker beige dress and matching quarter-length sleeve jacket (St John's). The wedding is a 7:00 PM in a Gardencourt setting in Kentucky. The date of the wedding is July 14th. Is it appropriate to wear my hat as late as 7:00 PM?

A Thank you for the great hat question. When and where to wear a hat largely has to do with the size of the brim. For instance, starting in the early evening - after four o'clock in the afternoon - you wouldn't wear a garden hat, which has a wide brim. The purpose of the brim is to shade the face from the sun. However, you could wear a tailored hat or a fascinator, which is a decorative headband. Coco Chanel wore the perfect soft summer evening hat made of a pliable straw that had a narrow brim that she rolled into the crown of the hat.

The simple answer is that a small hat or fascinator is very chic for an evening wedding.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Hat: Wide-Brimmed: April: 4:00 pm
Q I will be attending a family church wedding on April 20, 2013 at 4 p.m. in IL. There will be a dinner/reception following but do not think there will be dancing. I am planning to wear a yellow dress with a blk/white patterned dress coat (not an outer-type coat) and would love to wear a wide brim blk hat. Would it be appropriate to wear this type of hat on this occasion?
Thank you,
Kathie H.

A The wide-brimmed hat would be great for the wedding, but you would need to wear an evening hat, which is much smaller, for the evening festivities. Often a woman will leave their wide-brimmed hat in the car or in the coatroom before going into the dinner/reception. If you wish to wear a hat to both, wear an evening hat, such as a cloche or fascinator. A cloche is a bell-shaped hat that is fitted close to the head and doesn't have a brim. A fascinator is a highly decorated headband that can be worn day and night with dressy clothing. Either of which would be lovely for the wedding and reception.

After six o'clock at night, you wouldn't be wearing a wide-brimmed hat, because in theory the brim is to keep the sun off your face.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Hats
Q What is the dress code regarding hats at a catholic church wedding?

A Weddings are the perfect opportunity to wear a hat. In my experience, one is more apt to see hats at a Catholic church than veils and mantillas, except on the bride, of course. I encourage women to wear a hat or fascinator. However, I do warn that if they are in the receiving line doing the greetings and being kissed on the check, they should wear a hat with a narrow brim, or they'll have to hold their hat with one hand more often than not to keep it from slipping off.

Hats can be the fashion statement in the outfit, a lovely hat can be marvelously feminine and slightly mysterious. As with bags and shoes, always wear hats of the finest materials. Also important is the line of the hat. If a hat has good lines it doesn't need ornaments and trimmings as distractions.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Hats: 5:00 PM
Q Is it all right to wear a hat to a 5:00 indoor wedding?

A Assuming you're a woman, yes, hats are very appropriate wedding attire. The later in the day, the smaller the hat, but I'm sure you know that. If you are a man, you would take your hat off indoors, even for a wedding.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Hats: 5:30 PM Ceremony in the South
Q Is it appropriate to wear a hat to a 5:30 church wedding in June in the South?

A By all means, wear that hat. Hats are the perfect accessory for a wedding, no matter what time of year or which climate. However, you might want to leave that beautiful hat in the car or cloak room during the reception. The exception would be if the hat has little or no brim, or has a tightly rolled brim, then it would pass as a dinner hat. A wide brimmed hat--no matter how charming--might be clumsy to dance in when the tempo takes it up a couple of notches. In that case, leave the wide brimmed hat in the car for the dancing.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Hawaii: Capris: October
Q I am attending a wedding in October. It's in Hawaii states cocktail attire on the invitation I'm 50 years old and plus size. I was wondering if I could wear Capris.


A You're not going to like my answer. Personally, I think the capris length looks ghastly on anyone over twenty-one. If you're off to the supermarket or laundromat, OK. But, hell no, do not wear capris to a wedding. Out of respect for the bride on her wedding day, wear a beautiful knee-length cocktail dress or maxi dress. Excuse me for saying so, but a plus size pair of capris sounds scary. Give them to your nearest Goodwill immediately.

We like hearing from you, even when we know you won't appreciate our opinion.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Hawaii: June: 4:00 PM
Q Hey there, I am attending my husband's cousin's wedding in June, here in Hawaii. The ceremony is at 4pm in a fish pond and garden reception afterwards. My question is, should I stay away from floral dresses? I f not, how about a white dress with blue flowers? Thanks!

A Not sure why you want to stay away from floral, after all it is a garden reception. What I am not sure about is the white dress. As long as the blue flowers are prominent, that's fine, but out of respect for the bride, you don't want to be wearing what appears to be a white dress. The bride should be the only woman wearing white at her wedding.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Hawaii: Singer + Actress
Q Hi Didi,

Thank you so much for your reply. The wedding invitation is from one of most well-known families in Honolulu. The bride is a former model, movie star, and lawyer. It is not a Luau wedding. It will be in the Central Church then at a 6 pm reception in the Hilton Hawaii Village's ballroom. They don't specify dress code but every time I see the bride she is dressed nicely, classy and stylish. I'm a singer and actress and also love to dress classy, nice and stylish. Besides shorts and tank top as our dress code, living here in Hawaii I don't dress up much. I never go to weddings here in Hawaii. I moved here 2 years ago from California. I don't want to look too dressed up or too casual.

I would appraciate your advice. L.L.

A At the Prada store in Honolulu, you may be able to find the current favorite wedding guest dress, a pink and black knee-length dress with a wide gold belt that I think you'll like.

Through Bergdorf Goodman, you could have them email you an image of the Valentino short sleeved, knee-length dress "poudre silk dress with watersnake pleats." It is on page 176 in the current catalogue.

Of course the classic wedding guest dress can always be found at Carolina Herrera, carolinaherrera.com. On the current fashion show video, look at Show look #19, #31, #32. Then in the Resort 2014, I like Look #13 for you. But I'm not sure you can get it yet, although it would be a great dress for you.

If I were you, I would go to the Bergdorf Goodman Web site bergdorfgoodman.com and click on 'Dresses,' then 'Cocktail,' where you'll find a extraordinary collection available now. For you I like the dresses by Lela Rose, especially Kaleidoscope Organza Dress, Lace & Pearl Printed Silk Dress. Also, they have Carolina Herrera's Floral Peaked-Sholder Jacquard Dress; and Valentino's Sleeveless Ceramic Lace Sheath Dress and Valentino's Sleeveless Tapestry Lace Sheath Dress. I can send images of them from their Web site, if you can't find them. Just let me know.

Lastly, to get a sense of what dresses are trending and available now, go to the Web site Rent the Runway, renttherunway.com, and click on Wedding Boutique and Cocktail, where you will see dresses that may be available in a department store near you or can be purchased or rented on line through the Web site.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com







Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: High End Fashion: California: October
Q I am attending a wedding in California in October. The ceremony is at 3:00 pm but then the reception is at 6 pm. I am very trendy and wear more of the high-end designers. What would your suggestion of dress be?

A Quite frankly, it largely depends on your age. As I don't track email address with intake info, I don't know your age. So this is a very general take. Carolina Herrera is the standard for wedding dresses and wedding guest dresses for all ages. Etro is a runner-up. Prada and Stella MacCartney are always good.

In this situation, you have the option of changing outfits for the reception with dinner and dancing, which people who wear high-end fashion often do. Some think it is pretentious and you would be the best judge of that for this particular wedding. If you find that people are not changing for dinner, then the dress code would be cocktail attire. Look at the invitation to see if there is a dress code. If it doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses and you would wear a knee-length cocktail dress to the ceremony and not change.

In that case, this season I like:

Carolina Herrera Fall 2013 Martha look #19, an embellished meteorite and rose quartz organza dress with black velvet elements.
Carolina Herrera Fall 2013 look #36, a meteorite and black sequin dress on emerald silk crepe.
Carolina Herrera's look # long-sleeve black silk twill with in a colored dahlia print and a velvet trim.
Etro long-sleeved tunic dress in black and white viscose with "star dust" micro-bead embroidery.
CD Greene long-sleeved cocktail dress in black with mirrored-embroidered sheer top.
Misha NONOO sheath dress in ink and white smoke digital floral-print double silk georgette.

(All but the first two can be found at Bergdorf Goodman.) Check out BG's Web site as well as Carolina Herrera's. Love Prada, but Prada is for the very young.

We think of wedding guest dresses in pastels, but for fall weddings of course one wouldn't wear a pastel color. The key with wearing black and white to a wedding is that the black shouldn't be too black and the white shouldn't dominate. Shoes would of course depend upon the dress and you would carry a small clutch bag.

We like hearing from you.
Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: High-Heel Boots at 5:00 Wedding
Q I have a friend who is going to a 5:00 wedding in Texas in Jan. This is an inside wedding. She would like to know if she can wear high heel dress boots with a nice skirt?

A Find the dress code for the wedding. If this is a black-tie wedding, meaning a formal wedding, then leather boots would not be dressy enough. Most five o'clock wedding are informal, so I am sure that high-heel dress boots with a nice skirt would be perfect.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Hispter Wedding: Woman: Age 20: Virginia: August: 1:00 pm
Q Dear Didi,

I am 20 years old and attending a 1 o'clock wedding in Virginia in August. The wedding is inside with reception to follow; it is also very much a hipster wedding. The groomsmen are wearing navy slacks with white buttondowns and suspenders. Now, I have a pastel green chiffon dress that hits a little above my knees. However I don't have any shoes to or jacket to go with it. Any suggestions?


A The goal of being a hipster is to look like you're not trying. Hipsters make what's old new again. Dressing like a hipster means wearing something from a vintage boutique, thrift shop or secondhand store, such as a beaded cardigan sweater (although too hot for August), a patent leather belt, shoes or clutch bag. Patent leather because hipsters love vinyl. Or look for a vintage jacket, cotton sweater, shawl or bag that is floral, paisley, or lace and is soft and beautiful. Dresses are perfect (and I personally love chiffon) preferably floral or soft and vintage. Wearing things that don't match perfectly are very hipster. You want that,"I can't be bothered look" that actually takes planning by wearing, say, a large flower headband, neon nail polish, an insect or animal pin, a bright belt, or a bird or floral necklace.

Also, look at hipster magazines, such as Vice, Another Magazine, and Wallpaper, if you don't already know them. If there aren't any vintage or second hand clothing stores in your area, look for Urban Outfitters, American Apparel, H&M, ASOS, and CobraSnake - all labels well known to the hipster fashion scene.

Green is the new black, but you might want to stay away from accessorizing with preppy pink, and look for shades of blue that look good but aren't too matchy-matchy. I like a French blue or turquoise with a pastel green, as opposed to pink. Lastly, no occasion calls for a great hat, or decorative headband (fascinator), more than an afternoon wedding.

That said, hipsterism is a contradictory and self-confused subculture, so if you are a preppy, then be yourself and wear pink and green. A lot of East Coast hipsters are preppy.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Home Wedding: 8:00pm
Q Hello,
I'm invited to a wedding today 11/18/11 at 8pm is going to be held at my friend house. I am guessing it is going to be a simple wedding since is in the house. I need help on what to wear, I do not want to look over-dressed. But I want to look pretty. Help please

A When in doubt about wedding attire, go with the dress code Suits & Dresses. Therefore, you would wear a well-made cocktail dress that falls just above your knee (or just below if you're over fifty) with beautiful shoes and carry a small clutch bag.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Honorary Bridesmaid: 7:30 PM in Georgia
Q I am an honorary bridesmaid at a wedding in May in Georgia. I was told to just find a black dress. The wedding is at 7:30 in a Cathedral with a dinner/dance reception following. What length dress should I wear?

A If the wedding is not a Black-Tie wedding, then you are off the hook about having to wear a long dress. Since I don't know your age or your build, this is a rather general answer. Look for a short black dress with a flirty skirt in, say, a chiffon. A dress that will be fun to dance in. Then find beautiful high (if you aren't too tall) heels that are comfortable enough for dancing. If you're over forty, you'll probably want to wear legwear. Look for a good quality pantyhose a shade lighter than your skin tone that has a bit of shine and shimmer to it. They will dress up that little black dress.

As to the length, if you are under fifty, the hem of the dress can fall just above your knees. If you have knobby knees or are over fifty, just below your knees is usually more flattering--unless your legs are stunning.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Houston: 1:00 PM Ceremony: November
Q I am attending a family member's wedding in late November, in Houston, TX. It is an outdoor wedding at 1:00. I am 5'3", and wear size12-14. I have very fair skin with pink undertones, and have blonde hair with lots of white highlights, (all natural, no hair coloring involved). Since it is outside, I need to know what shoes and what color (solid color or a print) to wear. The reception is later that evening, so this dress will just be for the wedding ceremony, and a small gathering for lunch afterward.
Thank you for your help.

A I am not a fashion stylist. My area is etiquette and manners. To ask advice from a fashion stylist, go to the website what2wearwhere.com and give Hilary Dick our kind regards.

We like hearing from you, sorry we are not able to help you on this. We're here to help with manners and etiquette.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Houston: 7:00 pm
Q I'm attending an after 7 wedding in Houston where my boyfriend is the best man. What do I wear?

A Look at the wedding invitation to find the dress code. If it doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses, which is cocktail attire. To see what kinds of dresses are trending go to the Web site Rent the Runway, renttherunway.com and click on Occasions, then Cocktail Attire and Weddings. Find a knee-length cocktail dress you like and then look for it or similar dresses in a department store near you. Or you can rent or buy a dress on the site. Add beautiful shoes and carry a small clutch bag.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.vom


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: How Does Woman Dress for Black Tie Wedding
Q What type dress should I wear to a black tie wedding? Must it be long???

A No, you do not have to wear a long dress to a black tie wedding, but you might not want to wear pants, no matter how dressy. You might wear whatever you would wear to any occasion where the invitation states black tie: silk sheath with pearls, dinner suit, cocktail dress, three-quarter length flirty dress, satin strapless short dress. Don't forget an evening bag, pretty shoes for dancing, and good jewelry.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Husband Wants to Wear Sports Jacket: November: 5:30 PM
Q My husband and I are invited to a wedding in Georgetown VA in November. It is being held at the Sequoia Restaurant on the river at 5:30. It's a nice trendy-looking restaurant, an expensive menu, but not super formal or super expensive is what I gather from the menu. I am 40 years old, fair with brown hair, 5'4", 155 lbs. What do my husband and I need to wear? He was hoping to get away with a sport coat rather than a suit.

A Your husband isn't going to like my answer and since there might be other guests in sports jackets, he'll be fine. However, when the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can safely assume the dress code is "Suits & Dresses." Out of respect for the bride, he would wear his darkest best suit with a white shirt that doesn't have a button down collar, and black shoes, socks and belt; also a great looking tie. A 5:30 wedding is considered an early evening wedding and after six o'clock he wouldn't wear a button down collared shirt.

You, of course, would wear a very well-made solid color cocktail dress, in either black, navy blue, or dark green, that comes to your knee with beautiful black classic pumps and carry a small clutch bag. Alternatively, you could wear a sheath with a jacket, or if you have a short, black pencil shaped skirt, you could pair it with a jewel-colored fashion blouse (that fastens in the back, not the front). Neither of you want to look overdressed, because that would mean badly dressed. Think quality clothing with minimal accessories.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Indianapolis: Mother and Young Son
Q I am 30 years old with a young son. We are attending a 6:00 pm rehearsal and then a 7:00 pm wedding and reception at a country club in Indianapolis in May. I am overweight and very short. I don't wear dresses.

I don't know what to wear. The invitation says nothing of dress code. Help! Thank you!

A When the invitation doesn't explicitly state Black Tie, then the dress code is Suits and Dresses. For a six o'clock wedding, you will need to wear either a skirt suit or a dress. Your son can wear khaki pants with a white shirt and a jacket of some kind.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Informal: 5:30 PM
Q I am attending an outdoor wedding at 5:30 pm; however, the invitation states informal. What should I wear?


A Even though the invitation states that the dress code is Informal, you are being invited to a wedding. Unless the wedding is taking place on a mountain top or on some other rugged terrain, guests will still be in Suits & Dresses. It's always easier to take off a tie and put it in your jacket pocket, rather than arrive and find that you're under-dressed. Out of respect for the bride, you would dress appropriately. A man would wear a tie and jacket and a woman would wear a nice dress with beautiful shoes.

I would have to know more about the setting/location to be more specific. For instance, an informal wedding in a city would be dressier than an informal wedding in a rural area. If you're not sure, ask around to find out what others are wearing or ask the bride or her mother, sister, or best friends. If that's not possible, dress casually but wear good quality casual clothing. It might not be a dressy wedding, but since it's a wedding, you want to be well dressed in well-made, quality clothing.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Invitation
Q Can you ask for dress code on wedding invitations?

A The style and form of the wedding invitation says a lot about the kind of wedding the bride and groom hope it will be. If the invitation follows a formal format and does not say "Black Tie," than it is assumed that it is semiformal and the dress code is that one wears one's best clothes. For men, that would mean a dark suit, collared shirt, tie, dark shoes and socks; for a woman it means a dressy dinner suit or dress, with pretty shoes, bag, and, possibly, a great hat. If the wedding is informal, the invitation will reflect that style; black tie would not be listed as the attire. If the ceremony is in a church or temple, guests will assume that the dress code, at the very least, is what one would wear to a religious holiday service. On the other hand, an invitation to a wedding on the beach in Nantucket, pretty much tells the guest the dress code: Dress Casual. If you are concerned that the format and/or style of your invitation does not give guests enough information about the dress code, than by all means, tell them what you want them to wear in the lower right hand corner of the invitation, or centered directly under the last line of the invitation: Black Tie, Dress Casual, Cocktail Attire, Semi-Casual. Traditionally, an invitation would only state the dress code if it is Black Tie.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Invitation: Heel and Tie
Q What does "heel and tie" dress code means? What can we use in a October wedding with that code?

A The expression 'heels and ties at five' means cocktail party attire. Another dress code that is used to mean ladies in heels and dresses and men in jackets and ties is simply 'Suits & Dresses." Personally, I think when it is not a black-tie wedding, 'Suits & Dresses" is the perfect dress code. It is clear and simply right to the point.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Invitation: Informal
Q My daughter is planning an outdoor wedding/reception that will take place on the grounds of an 1800s manor house plantation. The wedding will be 1:00 pm. It will be a BBQ reception where we will have volley ball, horseshoes, etc. We would like to request casual attire but do not want shorts and t-shirts for the wedding portion; we would like more of khakis polo-type for men and capris nice top for women... how can we word the invitation to best allow our guests to know what would be appropriate

A The dress code that might suit the look you're going for is "Dressy Casual," or "Business Casual," which means that what the guest would wear is what he/she would wear to work on Casual Fridays. That would include no cut-off jeans, or jeans of any kind, no flip-flops, no t-shirts with slogans, no wife-beaters (undershirts), no shorts, no bare mid-driffs, no gym clothing, no sweatshirts.

For a cocktail party, you might use Business Casual, but for an informal wedding reception Dressy Casual, means that the above articles of clothing are forbidden, and yet encourages those who want to be a little dressy but also comfortable enough to play volleyball and horseshoes.

I understand that you want people to be dressed respectfully because this is a wedding, but that you also want guests to take off their jackets and ties to play volley ball, which is why I want you to be really clear and use the dress code Jackets & Ties, which means blazers and sports jackets as opposed to suits or tuxedos. By allowing the men to wear informal jackets and ties, you're suggesting khakis and yet you're forbidding jeans. Seeing the dress code Jackets & Ties, the women guests will dress casually, but appropriately nicely. Let's face it, you want people to wear their best casual outfits, but you don't want them wearing jeans, cargo pants, or flip-flips. So talk it over and decide which of the dress codes listed below fits the style of your wedding:

Business Casual
Dressy Casual
Jackets & Ties
No Socks

I put in No Socks, because to many it means Jackets and khakis, but that the guest doesn't have to wear socks with his loafers. In my opinion for a plantation wedding, you want the men at least to wear a jacket and a tie, both of which they can take off after the ceremony.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Invitation: Levels of Formality
Q My fiance and I are starting to work on our wedding details, slowly but surely, and we have some family members who we have now seen at a few weddings wear jeans or other inappropriate clothing. What is the appropriate way to set a dress code for those who might not know what's appropriate?

A The level of formality, or informality, of the wedding invitation dictates the dress code. If you want guests to wear tuxedos and evening dresses, then you have the words "Black Tie" printed in the lower right corner of the invitation. On a less formal invitation, when you want to be sure that the men wear ties and jackets you can put "Jacket & Tie."

So, if you have an elegant or traditional invitation then the guest will get the picture that he needs to wear a dark suit and white shirt and tie. If you send an informal information that is not as traditional, then expect guests to dress informally.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: iowa: November
Q I am going to an afternoon November wedding in Iowa. I have a knee-length, no sleeve black dress with silver/grey floral design (looks a little like an Asian style dress), and a simple earth tone knee-length short sleeve dress that would need a belt or something to help dress it up.

Which one would be more appropriate? And what shoes should I wear for either? Is it really still a no no to wear white shoes after Labor Day?

A What are you asking? What you wear to a wedding depends hugely on the time of day of the wedding. You would wear a cocktail dress to an early evening wedding and a day dress to a morning or afternoon wedding. Please return to my Web site www.NewportManners.com with this important information.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Island Cocktail Attire
Q What is the appropriate dress for a wedding reception that is island cocktail attire?

A For a formal evening wedding, Island Cocktail Attire could mean a white dinner jacket or a short strapless chiffon dress; less formally, Hawaiian shirts and shorts. When the wedding doesn't state Black Tie or formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. Translate Suits & Dresses to what you would wear to a cocktail party on a Caribbean Island. Think open collared button-down short-sleeved shirts with white pants for men and pretty summer dresses with strappy sandals for women.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Island Resort: 6:00 PM
Q We have been invited to a black tie optional 6 pm wedding at an island resort country club in December. My S.O. Is wearing a tux and I have a long red gown (flowing chiffon) that I would like to wear. I'm 53 and not sure about long. Appropriate?

And what does one wear to the morning after brunch (9:30)?

Thanks!

A Love the look of a long flowing, red, chiffon dress. How I love chiffon and the color red! However, my guess is that most of the women guests will be wearing short cocktail dresses because they're easier to pack and, overall, are more youthful looking. The real problem is the color red. Red is the most attention-grabbing color, which is why, out of respect for the bride, you wouldn't wear bright red. One of the berries or corals would be fine, but poppy red or fire-and-ice red are too hot to wear to someone else's wedding. Chinese brides wear bright red to grab everyone's attention. Also, I think with your height (like mine), you would look taller wearing a knee-length dress with nude colored (perhaps patent leather) heels and legwear a shade a lighter than your skin tone with a bit of shine to it to elongate the look of your legs. Unless of course, your legs are tan and buff, then you wouldn't need legwear at a resort in the tropics.

The morning after begs for linen. That is if the resort is on a tropical island. A linen dress, skirt, slacks, tunic, or blouse always looks fresh the morning after. Linen is The luxury fabric in the tropics.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Jackson Hole, WY: 2:30: July
Q Hi Didi,
I am attending a 2:30 wedding in Jackson, WY in mid-July. The wedding is in a Catholic church with a 4 pm reception and continuing well into the evening. The bride is a friend of my boyfriend's and I am clueless as to what to wear. I am 36, size 0/2. I have a one-shoulder Trina Turk graphic print dress that falls just above my knee that I am thinking of wearing with some metallic strappy wedges. Thoughts/suggestions? Thank you in advance!

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress codes is Suits & Dresses. Jackson Hole, WY, isn't dressy because the quality of the clothing is more important than the dressiness of the outfit.

Your Trina Turk graphic print dress that falls just above your knee sounds perfect; however, I'm never sure about metallic shoes in summer. They remind me more of Christmas and New Year's. You might prefer to wear a more summery-looking shoe. How about wearing a pair of nude or taupe- colored patent leather heels or stappy sandals. I also don't think wedges are that easy to dance in all night long. You can be assured there will be a lot of dancing. If you do get new shoes, be sure to wear-in them ahead of time. Jackson Hole will be really beautiful, have a great time!


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Jewelry
Q I am a guest, invited to a late October evening wedding in Kentucky. I'm wearing a 3/4 sleeve, v-neck wrap dress in black. Ankle strap black heels with very sheer black hose. Tell me if that sounds appropriate. Also what type of necklace? Pearl, no necklace? What advice do you have for me? thanks ever so much.

A In late October you wouldn't wear black legwear to a daytime wedding because they would be too heavy looking. If the wedding is in the evening, you could wear very sheer dressy black legwear that has a shimmery shine so they don't look like leggings, not a good look on anyone. I'm not a fan of ankle straps because I think calling attention to ankles makes them look thicker. Without straps, your ankles will look narrower.

Jewelry is so darn personal. Pearls, of course, are the quintessential jewelry for weddings. Whatever you do, don't pile on your engagement ring, your eternity ring, and a bracelet with dangling charms. Your most beautiful piece of jewelry should be your wedding ring. You don't want to look ostentatious, when one sophisticated piece of jewelry will do. Think about wearing antique earrings because they're never out of fashion and, whether the wedding is in the evening or during the day, they adapt to any style. You never ever want to wear a bulking necklace with large earrings because you'll look like a Christmas tree. A grouping of interesting bangles is a fun look, as is a handsome cuff. Then there are those who wear colored gem rings (affectionately called cocktail rings) for their health and consciousness-enhancing powers: for instance I wear a large aquamarine, the "serene" stone. Apparently, it helps calm the nerves and reduces fluid retention, gives clarity of mind, enhances personal creativity; thus it eases fears and phobias, and inspires love, peace and serenity. At the end of the day, of course, diamonds are a girl's best friend.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Jewish Day Wedding In Boulder
Q Hi There! Wedding Etiquette Question: We are attending a wedding from 11am - 5 pm at the St. Julien Hotel in Boulder, Colorado, at the end of October. The ceremony is a formal Jewish service from 11 am 'til noon. The guests in attendance will be from Colorado and New York City. This is a very upscale crowd. What should a lady wear to such an event?!!? Thanks for any advice!

A As you probably know, a morning going into afternoon wedding is not a Black Tie wedding, especially when taking place in Boulder, a chic hippie mecca. The morning Jewish ceremony may be formally religious, but that doesn't mean you would dress in conventional formal attire. A wedding such as this is about wearing very high quality day clothing that fits in with the territory. A woman would wear a fabulously Western day dress with chic flats, or a hippie long skirt with a great blouse and beautiful boots. It is all about quality of design, fabric, material and leather, and not about the bling. Other than having every piece of the outfit high quality Ralph Lauren Western, you can have fun copying the look.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Jewish Orthodox Wedding: Beach Resort: CA: 3:00 pm
Q Hello Didi,

My fiance and I are attending an Orthodox Jewish wedding this August. The ceremony is at 3 pm, on a Sunday at a beach resort in California. My fiance is not Jewish and I am not an Orthodox Jew. The invitation specifies Black Tie, what do we wear?

Does he need to wear a tuxedo or would a black suit suffice? If a black suit is appropriate then what color tie should he wear?

Do I have to wear a long dress, or can I wear tea length or cocktail length dress? Must my dress match the dress code of the more religious attendees or since I'm not very religious can I wear something less conservative?

Thank you for your help!



A It is too early in the day to wear Formal Attire, such as black tie, but when the invitation states black tie your fianc either has to wear a tuxedo or a dark suit with a long black or dark tie. You would wear a well-made cocktail dress. You probably don't want to be traipsing around in an evening dress, so wear a beautiful cocktail dress with fabulous shoes and carry a small clutch bag.

Since I'm not a fan of the tea gown, I wouldn't recommend it to anybody no matter what their religion. It is a dowdy look because it cuts the woman calves in half and makes her look shorter than she is. Maxi cocktail dresses are big this season, so if you want to go long, you can certainly find them. On a hot summer day, personally, I would rather wear a short dress without sleeves. Because it is Orthodox, you probably wouldn't wear a strapless dress that was very short.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Jewish Wedding
Q I'm going to a 3 day Jewish wedding and must dress formal, do I wear hose or not with long formal chic dress?

A With a long dress, one wouldn't need to wear legwear, if one's legs were well groomed and buff. If your evening shoes are enclosed, leg wear may make your feet more comfortable.

We like hearing from you.
Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Jewish Wedding
Q I'm not a family member of a Jewish wedding. I have been invited by a family member. When I asked about gifts for the bride and groom I was told give money for a charity.
How much should I give? I'm having a tough time, single and disabled on limited income. But, I don't want to appear cheap?

A The very least you would give would be one hundred dollars to the charity. Customarily, you estimate how much the host is spending on you for attending the wedding, which would be anywhere upward of a hundred dollars depending upon the venue, the meals, the champagne, music, etc. For instance, if you were also invited to other festivities around the wedding, such as a rehearsal dinner, you would give more.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: July: 6:00pm
Q I have a wedding to go to this Saturday, July 26 6:00 PM, I have no clue what to wear, I have a nice off the shoulder, above the knee blue dress and a nice pair of colorful wedges. I was wondering if that was appropriate?

A Your blue cocktail dress with a pair of colorful wedges sounds perfect.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: July: Wearing Tan and Blue
Q I am the aunt of the groom for a July 3rd wedding that starts at 4pm in a catholic church. I want to wear a skirt that was my mother's that has off-white and tan and light blue flowers on it. Would this be appropriate for this event?

A Pick up the tan and blue in the skirt by accessorizing with those colors and you should be fine. For instance a blue tunic or blouse and tan shoes and bag. Top it off with a blue and tan hat and you'll look lovely.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Jump Suit
Q My husband's niece is getting married at 2 pm on a Saturday in October, reception follows right after. Is it ok to wear a black jump suit with a wide black belt, black heels and a pearl necklace? I know the bride is wearing a designer wedding dress but the venue is rustic, help please!! Thank you

A I'm having a hard time imagining any woman wearing a jump suit to a wedding. When the invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. For an early afternoon wedding you would wear a beautiful dress or dressy skirt suit.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: June: 3:00 pm: Shrug
Q I am attending an afternoon wedding in Corpus Christi, TX, on June 1st, 2013. The 3:00 ceremony will be a full wedding mass in the church, with a 6 PM reception to follow at a nearby hotel ballroom. Would summer type "maxi" dress be too casual? It's a black and white print and I would wear a black or white "shrug" type sweater with it. I'm also considering a dressier black and white polka dot knit knee- length dress. Which would be more appropriate? Thank you!

A Since I'm not a big fan of the "shrug," because I think they make a woman look shorter and older than she is, for a 3:00 pm wedding you would wear a knee-length or tea-length dress. The dressier dress sounds less dowdy and more appropriate.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: June: 3:30 PM Ceremony + 6:30pm
Q My friend is getting married June 28th. The invitation says nothing about the dress code. The wedding is at 3:30 in the afternoon on a Saturday in a place of worship, so it should be conservative but the reception is at 6:30 in the evening at a country club. What should I wear?

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses, meaning cocktail attire. Dark lightweight business suits for the men and knee-length cocktail dresses for the women.

We like hearing from you but we need to know more about you in terms of lifestyle, build and age in order to give you a more precise answer. Happy to help further with more information or you can return to NewportManners.com and type in a search in the archives for wedding guest dress code 3:30 pm.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: june: Florida
Q I am 22 and petite and am going to a wedding in Florida on June 4th. It will be held inside of a clubhouse but it does not say Black Tie.... Does this mean that I can still wear a short dress or should i still go along with a long dress?? Please advise.

A When the invitation doesn't specify Black Tie, then you can assume that the dress code is Suits and Dresses; meaning cocktail-style dresses that fall just above your knees are what women guests your age will be wearing.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Junior Bridesmaid + Bridesmaid's Age
Q First I must apologize because two minutes ago I was trying to write an email to you and by mistake I sent it without any content.

My sister is getting married and someone said bridemaids need to be of a certain age. I have never heard such thing and would appreciate it if you could confirm it.

Thanks and good luck with your book!!

Elizabeth

A Thank you for your kind words.

A junior bridesmaid is usually a younger sister, stepsister, or cousin of the bride or groom who is between nine and thirteen years of age. In other words, if a girl is old enough to be in high school, she would be a regular bridesmaid. This probably has as much to do with dress style as anything. A tween might not yet have the figure to carry off wearing most bridesmaid's dresses, as they tend to be strapless and have a nipped waist.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Junior Bridesmaid: Legwear
Q My daughter is 10 years old and is going to be in her older brother's wedding. She is a junior bridesmaid, her dress is below the knee but about the ankle. Should I have her wear pantyhose or not? She is fair skinned.

A Unless it is cold outside, there would be no reason for your daughter to wear legwear. Not only would she be extremely uncomfortable, but she would probably want to take them off at some point and I don't know how you would handle that unless she wore underpants and then you would have to carry the legwear in your small clutch bag and throw them out in ladies room. Unless she wants to wear legwear to be "grownup," don't make her because it will be a long day for her to be in discomfort. If she doesn't wear legwear, then give the insides of her shoes a slight dusting of talcum powder so she doesn't get blisters. Also, if they are new shoes, have her break them in by wearing them around the house before the wedding.

Should she wear legwear, then be sure the legwear is a shade lighter than her skin tone with a bit of shine (in other words not matte) to it to dress up the legs.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Junior: Dress to Impress
Q Hi, Didi...thank goodness I found you, as I'm in need of some quick style advice! My husband's brother is getting married in November in southern California at 3:30 pm at a hotel on the beach, although the ceremony and reception will not take place on the beach. The invitation says, "dress to impress" (that's an entirely different question for me:)haha
My question is regarding my 18 month old son. I have purchased the coolest knicker/suspender/bow tie/hat outfit for him. The style is vintage school-boy and the knickers and bow tie are dark brown and ivory plaid. His dress shirt is an ivory color. What color would you suggest for his knee-high socks and shoes? Also, should I buy lace-up shoes?

A It might depend upon what color knee socks you can find. How about red knee socks and red sneakers? Off-white bucks with off-white knee socks would be perfect, but the bucks might be hard to find. Whatever you do, match the knee socks with the color of the shoe.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Kentucky: 4:00 PM: September
Q What do I wear to a wedding for a friend? The wedding is at 4:00 PM in Central Kentucky on September 28th. It's supposed to be quite country. I am a female with tan skin and dark hair but it is ombre blonde at the bottom. I am also going with my girlfriend has olive skin with dark hair as well. I am quite curvy but not over weight or anything. But she is really small. Any suggestions on what to wear?

A My best advice is to go online to the Web site Rent the Runway. They have a wedding boutique from which you can rent or buy a trendy dress. You can also get ideas as to what to look for in your local department store.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Kick Push, Off-the-Shoulder Dress
Q Wedding dress code is semi-formal, time 4:00 PM outside in a park and 100 degree weather. Can I wear a black sheath, scarf, and nice sandals, then change to a black lace elbow length dress with nude pumps for the reception and dinner? Wedding is 9-1-2013. Thanks!

A Don't wear a black dress in 100 degree weather because black attracts heat. Wear a paler color such as a pastel or beige. Even charcoal grey would be cooler than grey. And forget about a scarf on a hot day because that will make you even hotter. Why would you change into an elbow dress for the reception when it is hot outside? If you have to wear a sleeve, wear a short sleeved dress or a kick push dress that pushes off the shoulders.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Korea: 11:30 AM
Q Hello..I am blonde and 28 years old and my husband and I got invited to a wedding that is on a Sunday at 11:30 am in November...in Korea! The groom works with my husband in the military. As far as I know, this isn't a military wedding. Help! Thanks in advance!

A Not to worry. A morning wedding is not dressy. The later in the day the ceremony, the dressier the wedding. Since this is a late morning early afternoon wedding, wear a nice daytime outfit. Either a knee-length skirt suit or a day dress with beautiful shoes and carry a small bag. Google the weather forecast for the wedding day while you're packing your bag to see if you need to bring a portable umbrella, raincoat, sunscreen, warm jacket or coat, etc. It should be a fun experience, have a great time.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: LA: October 7th, 2013: 4:00 PM: Outdoors
Q HI Didi.

I am attending one of my closest friends' wedding October 7th at a casual venue outside of LA. The wedding is somewhat casual and at 4 pm. The bride is wearing a short white dress and yellow kitten heels.

I found a lovely cream dress in a light nice fabric. It is lined and sleeveless but not skinny straps. The fabric has mid-sized poppies in oranges and yellows and maybe some reddish pinks. There is a slight ruffle like ruching down the front.

My question is, is it too late in the year to wear florals? Is there a way I can pull this off as a late summer dress? Or should I just find another and put this one away until next spring?

Thank you
Amy

A It sounds like a chiffon dress with a floral pattern, the perfect flirty short dress to wear to a wedding. You're right, though, the dress may be too dressy and too summer-like for an October wedding. To find out what looks are trending this fall, go to the Web site Rent the Runway, rentherunway.com, and click on Wedding/Boutique, where you can find dresses for rent or purchase that you can also find in a department store in your area.

Alternatively, if it is sunny in LA that day, which it usually is, you could definitely wear the floral dress with a short cropped marigold or reddish-pink cardigan or a fitted beige jacket. Wear nude-colored heels and carry a small clutch bag.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Lace Dress: Fall 2014
Q I am invited to an early evening wedding in Boone, N.C., end of September. Two years ago I was the MOB for an outdoor early evening wedding and wore a short Milly nude lace dress with black trim with nude heels. Is it appropriate to wear this dress again?

A Knee-length lace dresses are very popular this season. Which means when the wedding comes around in eight months, you may feel as though you are in last season's dress. On the other hand, I think your Milly nude lace dress with black trim sounds perfect. Going into Fall you could wear black shoes and carry a small black clutch to give the dress a more seasonal look.

Why don't you peek ahead at next fall's fashion, Google 'fall 2014 fashion colors' to see the fashions and colors that will be trending at the time of the wedding.

We like hearing from you.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Late October: 4:30 PM
Q 4:30 pm, church wedding, in late October.

Hello,
I am 21 years old and am attending a wedding in late October. I am planning on wearing a blue/green strapless cocktail dress that goes to the knee. I was wondering what you thought about nude heels? I was also wondering if I have to cover my shoulders in the church, or if I can wear a coat in and then take it off once I am sitting? Thank you.
-Callie

A As a huge fan of nude colored patent leather heels, I would say go for it. However, since I don't know the climate of the wedding location we need to think about this, although, you do mention a coat, which must mean the wedding is taking place north of the Mason Dixon Line. In that case, maybe silver or black shoes would be more appropriate. What color is your coat? If it is camel or a khaki trench coat, then go with the nude shoes. If your coat is black or dark, then wear either black or silver shoes. Yes, you can definitely wear a coat to the church. Depending upon where you are in the world, you might want to wear a nice cardigan sweater under the coat to the church, so that you can take off your coat and fold it before placing it neatly beside you on the pew.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Lavender In Winter
Q I have two events: an evening 50th anniversary dinner at The (Philadelphia) Locust Club in December; a Tennessee afternoon wedding in January. I am 72, am trying not to buy any clothes because I have cancer. I do, however, have a beautiful lavender silk suit. I have always only worn this in spring-summer; do you think it is possible in Dec./Jan.?
Thank you very much!

A I am sorry that you are struggling with cancer, it must be very difficult. As to your lovely lavender silk suit, it would be fine to wear it in December and January with classic black pumps, leather for day and suede, satin or patent leather for night; with legwear a shade lighter than your skin tone. Carry a small black clutch and wear thin black kid or black cotton gloves. By accessorizing with black, you are winterizing the lavender. By the way, just so you know, these days lavender is not just for Spring and Summer, just as white is not just for Spring and Summer. For the daytime wedding, you could wear a chic little black felt hat.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Legwear
Q I am a guest at the wedding. I want to wear a dress, heels, hat and gloves. Will I have to wear stockings? Is it mandatory to wear stockings just because I am wearing a hat?

A There is no rule carved in stone that says you have to wear legwear. As long as your legs are well-groomed and shiny, nobody will know that you're not wearing legwear.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Legwear
Q I'm going to a nephew's wedding the middle of September in Houston, Texas, and the invitation says "formal attire". I am planning to wear a simple, but elegant, knee-length straight black dress. My question is whether I should wear hose. I'm 58 and still think hose would be appropriate with a beautiful pair of heels, but my daughter says "no one wears hose anymore!" Is that really the case for a formal affair?

A The question isn't so much about "no one wears hose anymore," as it is about making your legs look the best they can look. Well-groomed shinning bare legs can look as good as quality legwear. Quality legwear such as Wolford can not only flatter your legs but can enhance your overall look. Go to the the Web site Wolford.com and you'll see legwear that can lift your butt as well flatten your midriff, so I feel the choice of wearing legwear is a personal decision. Your daughter might be able to get away with not wearing legwear; however, you might find legwear is not only comforting but that it flatters your figure. It's all about looking the best you can look.

The short answer is this: when legs are well-groomed and have a healthy shine, there is no reason to wear legwear. If you feel legwear would enhance your silhouette, then by all means, it is a great investment. There are no rules carved in stone, this is an individual decision. If you go with legwear, make sure they are a shade lighter than your skin tone and have a bit of shine to them for a formal occasion.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Legwear
Q Must I wear pantyhose to a 6:00 wedding in a NJ country club? I am wearing a black and silver dress with black open- toe sling back satin pumps. The invitation said Formal Attire optional. My husband is wearing a dark gray suit, white shirt nice tie, black shoes, socks and belt.

A You do not have to wear legwear when your legs are well-buffed, well-groomed, and toned. With the open-toe, you want that polished nail shining brightly.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Legwear
Q I am attending a Fall wedding and am wearing a brown and black dress that falls just above my knees for the reception. Should I wear nude or black nylons? My shoes are black.

A Legwear for such an occasion should be a shade lighter than your skin tone and have a shimmery shine to it. For an example of quality legwear for dressy occasions, checkout Wolford legwear online. You can, also, probably find comparable legwear in a department store near you. Quality legwear lasts forever, when worn with care, and you'll really see and feel the difference.

If it is an evening wedding, black would be fine, but make sure they are dressy, sheer with a shine to them, otherwise you'll look as though you're wearing black winter tights. Ugh!


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Legwear In Summer
Q Two questions: my niece is getting married at a church June 15,2013, reception is at a golf course reception hall, I have the dress, but should I wear nude panty hose or no panty hose?

Second question: my stepdaughter is getting married August 10, outdoors wedding ceremony and tent reception, I am not the mom, I am married to the Dad who is wearing a black tux, the bridal party is in red and silver her mom is in black and white, good heavens what should I wear? She said to me anything except white, there, too, should I wear stockings at all. Thanks Toni

A In answer to your first question, if your legs are well-groomed and slightly tanned or naturally dark, you would not have to wear legwear.

I am not sure what the second question is, but if it is the same as the first except about a different wedding, as long as your legs are well-groomed and shiny, you need not wear legwear.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Legwear: In a Warm Climate
Q I am 68 years old woman, 5'4" redhead and must wear flats for health reasons. I am attending a 10 AM wedding in Newport Beach, CA in mid-August with a reception in a lovely club on the ocean following. Any suggestions on what I should wear? I haven't bought or worn stockings in a few years - must I wear them to the wedding or would bare legs be fine? Thank you so much. I loved reading everyone's questions and your answers on your site.

A No, you do not need to wear legwear to a wedding in a warm climate when your legs are well groomed.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Legwear: Long Island: December
Q Hi Didi. I think I know the answer to this. I am from Florida and attending a wedding on Long Island late December and wearing an above the knee, black satin dress. Do I wear hose? I hate them AND my shoes are Mischka D'Orsay peep toe. I say no. Am I going to freeze????

A Yes, I'm afraid you will freeze in New York late December if you're barelegged. Google the Wolford legwear Web site for the latest trends in legwear. They are awesome and amazingly comfortable. Choose between legwear a shade lighter than your skin tone with a bit of shine to it to dress up your legs, or sheer and shimmer black legwear for a more sophisticated look. When you see how far legwear has come, you might be able to find similar good quality legwear in a better department store in your area.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Length of Dress: Short or Long for Black Tie
Q Does black-tie invitation require a long dress for the women who are friends of the parents?

A It depends upon the time of day of the wedding. The in-trend wedding dress code for guests these days is short cocktail dresses.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Leopard Print Shoes
Q I have a wedding to go to next week. It's a cocktail wedding, black attire optional. I am wearing a black satin short dress. Would satin leopard print heels be ok?

A If this is an early evening wedding, then satin leopard print high heels would be lovely.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: London: 3:00 PM
Q Hey Didi
I am attending a wedding in London the ceremony is at 3pm with the reception following at the same venue. The dress code is cocktail and I have found a dress that is dark blue with a simple floral pattern. I have attached a photo below from the stores site. Would this be too casual or not chic enough? If you think it does work what color shoes and sweater should I wear with it.

Thank you.

A So sorry but this site doesn't receive photos. However, if you answer this email with the photo attachment, I should be able to open it. There are no attachments on your message.

A floral pattern may be a bit too country looking. This is a big city wedding, it is London, women are very chic. They wear florals in the country, solids in the city. I would look for a solid color in a pastel. Since I don't know the date of the wedding, the warmer the weather the lighter the pastel. I like nude colored or heels the color of your skin tone because they elongate the overall look of the leg. Please, don't wear a sweater. Ruins the look of the dress. You won't be outside so you won't be cold.

We like hearing from you and would like to see the photo of the dress.

Didi Lorillard
NewportManners.com


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: London: Four O'clock: Woman
Q Hi Didi - I am attending and actually reading at a wedding at 4:00 in London in March. The reception is immediately following at Banqueting House in Whitehall. Should I wear a cocktail dress and hat? How formal should I be? Thanks for your advice.

A When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. For a four o'clock wedding, you would wear a lovely, well-tailored, knee-length dress, dressy skirt suit, or a fitted dress with a jacket. It goes without saying you would wear beautiful shoes, and either a hat or fascinator. If you're traveling to the wedding, a fascinator would be a lot easier to pack in tissue paper to lie flat in your suitcase.

In March it is starting to get warm, but it's a shoulder month and can be especially chilly at night, so you'll need either a spring coat or raincoat with a thin cashmere cardigan to wear with it. You would wear gloves to the church, but not during your reading.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: London: Hat or Fascinator
Q I am traveling to England in September 2011 to attend my stepsister's wedding. The wedding is at a church beginning at noon, followed by a formal reception at a hotel. My question is, do I need to wear a formal hat or fascinator? Being from California this is something we don't do; however, I want to be respectful. Thank you for your help.

Monica

A Guests aren't required to wear a headpiece to a wedding in the UK; hats and fascinators are fashion statements. Hats are hard to pack because they usually need their own hatbox, so if you decide you want to wear one, take a fascinator that you can decide on wearing at the last minute should the mood strikes you. Hats are great for thinning hair and if you're having a bad hair day; fascinators are youthful, therefore whimsical, and can help stylize an ordinary hairdo.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: London: October: 3:00 PM
Q Hello,
In October I will be attending a 3 pm wedding followed by reception at a private club in London (West End). The invitation states formal. I have a vintage 40’s dark blue fitted lace cocktail dress. I was planning wearing it with a pair of Kate Spade leopard print pumps and a navy swing jacket. My partner is wearing a navy suit with tie and pocket square. We thought we were all set; now a friend says that she is wearing a long dress and another friend thought afternoon formal meant sparkly cocktail dresses. Please help, I am now unsure if we will be sufficiently dressed. We are all in our mid 30’s to 40 range.

Ell in Boston


A The dress code for an afternoon wedding is Suits & Dresses, which would be your very best business attire, so you wouldn't want to be overdressed. Personally, I think your vintage fitted lace cocktail dress sounds fabulous. Lace is always appropriate for a wedding. The swing jacket sounds fine; however, I'm not sure about the leopard print pumps because you wouldn't want to wear yellow with navy blue and some leopard prints are more yellow than others. You might want to go with an unobtrusive, but beautiful classic black shoe, or even silver.

Your partner's navy blue suit is perfect. Please, don't let people intimidate you. As the Parisian fashionistas and gurus profess, "The secret of great style is to feel good in what you wear."


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: London: September
Q I am going to attend a black tie wedding in September in London. What is appropriate dress? I am going as a guest of my boyfriend's and have not met anyone involved in the wedding. Do I wear a long dress, short dress, hat? This is my first time traveling overseas and I want to make sure I look appropriate. Many thanks!

A Look carefully at the wedding invitation and any other invitations extended to wedding guests. British weddings can be different from ours in that the ceremony is usually held in the mid-afternoon followed by a champagne and cake reception; for that you would wear a simple but chic short dress and a hat or fascinator, with beautiful shoes. Then the dinner and dancing would follow later in the evening and that could well be a Black-Tie event or the more in trend Suits and Dresses. For that you could wear either an evening gown, but not a ballgown, or a beautiful cocktail dress that falls just above your knees, with a small pretty evening bag, and of course beautiful shoes.

After your boyfriend accepts the invitation that would include your full name (which the hosts will need for your place card), along with the other out-of-town guests, your boyfriend might receive other invitations for perhaps a post-wedding brunch or a pre-wedding lunch. So, as you say, you want to be prepared and packing can be tricky; for instance a hat would be hard to pack, but a fascinator, which is more of a decorative headband, is much easier to pack. Taking a pair of nude or black patent leather shoes, both of which will go with everything and can be worn with several outfits, would cut down on the number of shoes you have to pack. Remember to be sure to break them in before the trip because you will want to be comfortable dancing in them. Travel in a pair of flats that you can wear sightseeing.

What I suggest is that you find on the wedding invitation material the wedding couple's wedding Web site address on which there will be an itinerary with dress codes for the various events. If you can't find it, ask your boyfriend to ask his friend, the bride or groom for the wedding Web site address. Also, when you find out the address of the dinner, go to the facility's Web site and you can find photos of other weddings to see what they are wearing.

This is a very general answer as I know nothing about the wedding or the lifestyle of the wedding couple. When you learn more details about the wedding, you are welcome to get back to me and I can be more specific. For instance, a lot of London weddings actually take place in a country house just outside of London and could be more low-key with the ceremony drifting into the reception and dinner and dancing, so you would not need to change your outfit for dinner, but you could still wear a hat or fascinator to the ceremony and take it off for dinner. So you see, as you suspect, there are a lot of details to think about. Keep it simple, but elegant. Go for quality over quantity of what you pack.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Long Dress vs Short: Time Cut-Off
Q I am helping with a 4:00 Sunday afternoon wedding and the bridesmaids have already ordered long black dresses. The brides gown is long and white, the groom and groomsmen are wearing black tux. The time for wedding isn't set in stone and I feel it should be at 6:30, because the dresses are long. Do you feel there is a problem with the time? The wedding is mid-October.

A The cut-off for long versus short and formal versus semi-formal is six o'clock. You are fine. Not to worry.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Long Gown: 2:00 PM
Q My brother is getting married May 14 at 2 pm at a church then reception to follow at a hall. I want to wear a long floral gown to the wedding and reception. Is this an appropriate dress? The material is silky and flowy and is backless.

A You can wear a long gown to the wedding and reception, but ordinarily short dresses are worn that early in the day. The bride can wear a long dress for a day wedding, but usually she is the only person wearing a long dress. Try to find a pretty daytime dress to wear to your brother's two o'clock wedding.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Long Island: Sweater Dress
Q Hi Didi,

Attending a vineyard wedding on the east end of Long Island in the beginning of October. Is It appropriate to wear a brown and black designer sweater dress with beautiful detail and fluted long sleeves along with shimmer black shear hose and patent leather heels with matching small bag? The dress falls just below knee. I am 44 years old. It is under a tent with open sides, weather permitting the open sides. It is a friend's daughter's wedding. The wedding is at a church and reception at vineyards. Thanks Debbie

A We are currently experiencing "the dog days of August" here in Newport, which means unseasonably warm days for the end of September. A sweater dress might be too steamy. Look at the weather forecast before getting dressed. Remember that you will be dancing at the wedding reception and if you like to dance, you know how much fun it is to be dancing in a dress with a bit of swing to it.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Long or Short Dress: Formal Attire: 5:00 pm
Q Dear Didi,

I am a 60-year-old woman attending an indoor wedding and reception in Brooklyn, NY in September at Dyker Beach Golf Course. I am a former work colleague and friend of the bride. The ceremony will be held at the venue (not in a church) and will start at 5PM. The invitation says "formal attire required". I would like to know if a sophisticated cocktail length dress is appropriate or if I must opt for a long tea-length or longer dress. Thank you.

A For a five o'clock wedding you wouldn't wear a long dress. Wear a knee-length cocktail dress with beautiful shoes and a small clutch bag. Formal doesn't necessarily mean long these days, as long and especially tea-length tend to make most women long dowdy. The hosts put formal attire as the dress code because they don't want guests showing up in Capri pants or Hawaiian shirts looking as though they are going to an end of summer barbeque or cookout.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Maid of Honor: Shoe Color
Q Hi Didi, my best friend has asked me to be her maid of honor for her, September wedding in Florida. The dress color for the bridal party is a lilac or lavender. I was wondering what color pumps I should wear. Thank you!

A Nude, navy blue, or if the wedding is at night, silver or black pumps.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Maid of Honor: Wants to Change Bridesmaid's Dresses
Q Hi Didi, I'm attending a wedding at 3 pm (ceremony) and following the reception at 5 pm, indoors, October 2nd, Houston area.

It's my best friend's wedding and I'm uneasy because we bridesmaids were asked to wear a short black dress and she'll give to us some olive band to wear around the waist with an ivory medium-sized flower. I already have this nice dress that fits great on me; however, I'm desperate because I wanted to be more colourful, and I have this concept of wearing black is for uncreative people that lack imagination... I'm the maid of honour, have to give a speech... I'm not sure if I have to pop out from the rest of the dames, and how.

I'm 31, white-Hispanic, 5'6" 140 lb
Please help meeeee!!



A Talk to your best friend the bride, ask her if she would compromise and not use the flower or/and the olive sash. Say you want your outfits to have a bit of pop and ask if you could all wear nude colored patent leather high heels, which are in trend right now. The color olive is not an in trend color for this fall; however, bottle green is in trend. Suggest that she Google "fashion colors fall 2011" to see the fall colors and perhaps she'll change from olive to fuchsia, marigold, or a bright blue.

My guess is that the bride isn't going to budge on the short little black dresses, because, let's face it, they are very chic. What aren't in trend is the drab olive and the fake flower. Ask her how the fake flower will go with the bridesmaid's fresh bouquets. She might not have thought about that. You wouldn't have fake flowers on the dresses and real in the bouquets.

If the bride really is your best friend, then you should be able to have an authentic face-to-face conversation with her. As criticism destroys relationships, you don't want to criticize her colors or sense of style, but you can ask her to make compromises by either changing the color of the band, ditching the fake flower, and allowing you to wear in trend nude heels. Ask her to look at the big picture, try to get her to visualize the wedding photos, does she really want her bridesmaids wearing fake flowers and carrying real ones? Wouldn't bottle green be more in trend than olive? You can help! After all that's what a true best friend and maid of honor does: she watches the bride's back and prevents her from making mistakes.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Maid-of-Honor
Q Hi,
I am the maid of honor in my best friend's wedding, and have been given the chance to pick out the bridesmaid dresses! Everyone in the wedding is a size 12 and under, and are all in our 30s. The wedding is February 23 for 2pm in New Orleans at a large catholic church with a big isle. I was curious on length and material of the dresses? However any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks,
C

A Remember a two o'clock wedding isn't formal. The later in the day the wedding, the more formal the attire. When the wedding invitation doesn't specify Black Tie or Formal Attire, you can assume the dress code is Suits & Dresses. Why not look for a knee-length (or just above the knee) cocktail dress that is sensible enough for the bridesmaids to wear again. My choice would be a LBD (little black dress) or it could be navy blue or a berry color. The bridesmaids dresses are usually the color of one of the wedding colors, so find out what the wedding colors are before going forward. Then it's best to consult with the other bridesmaids to try to find a consensus on the style of the dress. Maybe you could have everyone go to the J.Crew Web site and look at bridesmaid's dresses. You want to choose a style and price range for a cocktail dress length bridesmaid dress. While you're on the J.Crew site, look for shoes that the women can buy on line because you'll want to have everyone wearing the same shoe style and height. If you need more help after that, don't hesitate to get back to me.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Maine in October
Q Hi Dear....
I'm attending a 2:30 pm wedding on October first in Whitefield, Maine. The ceremony is taking place at the father of the bride's house (dress code for a Garden Party) with the reception to follow soon afterwards in a location nearby for cocktails, dinner and dancing. Can you suggest what I should wear? What kind of hat I should wear if I decide? It's ok to wear flats? Can I wear a long summer/Spring dress? Black or beige long fun skirt inappropriate? Thanks for your help!

A My best guess is that a summer/spring dress or skirt might be a bit summery in Maine the first of October. A good quality day dress with a bit of sleeves that falls at your knees would be more appropriate for an early afternoon wedding. Top it off with a lovely hat, beautiful flats, and carry a small clutch bag for your lipgloss and keys.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Male: CT: 6:00 PM
Q I'm a male in my mid-20's. The wedding is on Memorial Day weekend at a private event venue in Conn. @ 6pm. The invite does not state any dress code. With a dark blue blazer with shirt, tie, khakis and topsiders (boat shoes) be all right? Thanks

A When the invitation doesn't state a specific dress code, then the dress code is Suits and Dresses. Not sure about the khakis. How about cream-colored pants with the blazer, collared shirt and tie? Boat shoes are not great on the dance floor, so you might want to wear a pair of loafers because they are much smoother for dancing.


Wedding Etiquette: Dress Code: Man: 16-Year-Old: Seersucker Suite
Q Hi Didi (I have a sister with the same name!),

My niece (she's 30, a business woman in Manhattan) is getting married at 5:30 p.m. in the Hamptons this May 31. On her invitation, it says "formal" attire. I have two teen boys, 16 and 13, who will be guests at the wedding. The wedding is at Wolffer Vineyards in Sagaponack, followed by a sitdown reception at the vineyard.

I'm talking to my boys about suits and I'm curious. Could my 16 year old wear a traditional seersucker suit? He thinks they are very cool and of course we would dress it up but do you think it's proper to wear?

If you could get back to me soon, I would really appreciate it!

Thank you,
Laurette Madden-Holman