Post # 1
I have a question about dress code. My parents and I are going to my mom’s cousin’s wedding soon (my SO was not invited– maybe they weren’t inviting the SO’s of relatives who are unmarried? Ticked me off because we have been together for over 3 years and are practically engaged, but anyway. . .). The wedding invitation said to wear “Garden Party Formal.” I’m not sure what this means– any ideas? I sort of am figuring that it’s light and summery formal wear, maybe a bit flowery and/or a bit old-fashioned? I was thinking of wearing a flowy below-the-knee lavender (it’s on the dark side of lavender, definitely not pastel) silk chiffon dress (sleeveless) with a white lacy shrug and sparkly earrings and sparkly hair-flowers or some sort, and of course high heels (though not stilettos because the reception is in the couple’s yard at their house). Sound OK? Anyone had/been to a wedding with this type of dress code?
If this will help– the couple is in their late 40’s/50’s, and are having the wedding at their house/garden in a nice (but not fancy) neighborhood in a town near Boston. As far as I know (I don’t know them well) they are fairly sophisticated and somewhat well-off, though I don’t think this is a crazy formal wedding.
Post # 3
your outfit sounds perfect! dressy casual, sounds like the theme of my friend’s tea party bridal shower. everyone wore sundresses, wedges, some people wore woven sunhats.
Post # 4
Gosh, people sure do want to confuse guest with dress code anymore, huh?
What you are describing sounds great!
Post # 5
The first thing I think when I hear “garden party formal” is no heels. Heels sink into the ground and make ugly holes in the grass/dirt cakes on your shoes, not to mention it’s downright uncomfortable. Second thing I would think is that your clothes should be outside weather appropriate whereas you might not take the weather into consideration for an indoor wedding. I think that the “formal” implies that she wants you to dress nice with all that in mind.
Post # 6
Things like this kind of irritate me. “Garden Party Formal” is not a dress code. Even “formal” isn’t actually a dress code: http://www.emilypost.com/everyday-manners/your-personal-image/69-attire-guide-dress-codes
From what I can imagine that this could possibly mean, what you’re wearing sounds acceptable, and really cute. But I’d wear wedges or flats–like a PP said, if the ground is at all moist, your stilettos will sink right in, and that’s a really good way to ruin some shoes 🙁
Post # 7
Awww…geez. It’s like people are trying to be confusing!
I think what you’re planning on sounds great. Honestly, I picture something like what is worn at a garden party at Buckingham palace. Like this:
Post # 8
I think it means “look quite smart but bear in mind you’ll be outside so take the weather into account”.
Post # 9
Thank you everyone! Very helpful replies.
I agree, it is annoying when people tell you nonspecific stuff like this. . .