Appropriate Dress for Guests at Weddings of a Different Culture

posted 3 years ago in Etiquette
  • poll: Which would be more appropriate at a formal wedding of another culture?
    Dress formally, in your own culture's dress. : (50 votes)
    96 %
    Dress less formally. : (2 votes)
    4 %
  • Post # 3
    Member
    851 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: July 2013 - The front lawn of our church

    I might change my answer if I knew the other culture better, but personally, I find it impolite and disrespectful for people to come to a wedding dressed casually. 

    Post # 4
    Member
    743 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: October 2014 - Our Backyard/Steakhouse

    @Duncan:  I’d find something within the modesty guidelines of the culture that is already in my closet

    Post # 5
    Member
    1327 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: April 2014

    I would wear the same thing I wear to any wedding.  Typically the weddings I go to women wear cocktail dresses, men in suits.  If it was more formal than that I might wear a long dress instead (also if it was a more modest culture, out of respect to that covering up with a longer skirt would feel appropriate).

     think it would be rude to show up in a casual outfit just because it’s a different culture.  While you might mean it not to stand out, it could be taken that you don’t respect that culture and don’t see it as a formal event just because it’s different than what you’re used to.

    Post # 7
    Member
    405 posts
    Helper bee

    @Duncan:  I would consider it cultural appropriation to wear formal clothes from a different culture, just for the wedding.  It would be different if I lived amongst that culture for a long period of time.  But if I knew 2 Chinese or Indian people getting married, and they invited me, NO WAY would I wear traditional Chinese or Indian clothes!  I’m not from that culture, and I do not live in that culture, so it is inappropriate.

    If you are invited to a formal wedding for a different culture, wear clothing from your own culture that is formal – ie, tux for men, long evening gown for women.

    And actually, people in other countries, especially in north Asia, are starting to wear western clothes to weddings.  You probably wouldn’t stand out.

    Post # 8
    Member
    568 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: November 2014

    I think the question is too broad with not enough anwsers.

    It depends on the clulture and I think the guests should research the culture prior to assuming what to wear.

    Some cultures may frown upon someone who is not part of the culture wearing the cultural clothing and view it as disrespectful or view it in a mocking manner, while some may see it as a sign of respect and be impressed.

    Post # 9
    Member
    2565 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: October 2014

    @fancymichelle:  + 1 on cultural appropriation

    One of my closest friends’ family is from India.  She has spoken before about how excited she would be when she gets married that she would provide us with saris if we want to wear them. If she didn’t offer, I wouldn’t go out and buy one.  And FI wouldn’t dress in men’s attire from India.

    Post # 10
    Member
    2562 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: March 2014

    Wear a suit – unless it’s specified as black tie, people will be in suits.

    My rule is ‘don’t wear red”, you’ll be competing with the bride. (Brides wear red in Chinese, Indian weddings…)
    That rule may apply to you… a little less, hahaha

    Duncan! Whatever you do, don’t wear a red dress!!!

    Post # 11
    Member
    1500 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: August 2013

    Yep, just dress as you would normally dress. I am Chinese but in no way would I expect any of my non-Chrinese friends to show up in a Chinese qipao. That’d just be weird and inappropriate. In fact I had a very western wedding and expected western dress. Most people did that. 

    Post # 12
    Member
    1202 posts
    Bumble bee
    • Wedding: March 2014

    If I were invited to an Indian wedding, I would not show up in a sari. I dont think its the most appropriate thing to do.  

    If my guest wore a cheongsam, I would think it was a little weird.  Not offensive by any means, just a littttllleeee bit like my guest used my wedding as an opportunity for dress-up, instead of throwing on a nice dress like I expect.  

    Post # 13
    Member
    6964 posts
    Busy Beekeeper
    • Wedding: October 2015

    @Duncan:  I’ve been invited to several very formal Indian weddings. Many guests wear saris and I would like to buy one if these occassions keep coming up because it makes things easier. But instead- I wear a dress that matches the leve of formality. If it would otherwise be black tie, I think you should wear black tie. Don’t tone it down just because you’re afraid to stand out. You’ll stand out regardless. I for sure noticed the white girls trying to keep their saris together. 

    Post # 14
    Member
    804 posts
    Busy bee
    • Wedding: May 2014

    @Duncan: For me, it depends on a lot of factors.  Mostly, I want to be respectful of the wedding and the other guests.  If I was attending a wedding in another country, or if I was very comfortable with the formal wear customs of a particular country, I would be more inclined to wear their customary clothes.  I would also always alter my outfits to conform to the modesty/taboos of another culture (for example, covering my shoulders, or not wearing a certain color).

    From your previous posts, it seems like you belong to a culture where it is common to wear morning suits and top hats to weddings, which isn’t common where I’m from (pretty run-of-the-mill white urban coastal US), and would be seen as inappropriate/costumey.   I would aim to wear an outfit that the hosts and guests of the wedding would understand as an appropriately formal choice.  I think a suit would be a more appropriate choice if that’s what you are getting at.

    Post # 15
    Member
    3735 posts
    Sugar bee
    • Wedding: September 2014

    @Duncan:  I would come attired in my culture’s equivalent dresscode. By that I mean, if it was a formal Indian wedding, I would come dressed equally appropriately but in English/European style.

    I do not think it is necessarily appropriate or well thought of for me to go acquire formal Indian garb to wear to a wedding unless every other person of western European descent is doing likewise.

    Post # 16
    Member
    288 posts
    Helper bee
    • Wedding: September 2014

    I would ask the bride/groom what was best.

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