(Closed) Guest Attire and Behavior…How would you approach this?

posted 7 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
1243 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2010

@ejay15:  I went through this too, so I understand how you feel. I was stressed because I was raised that one of the ways that you show respect for other people, is  by dressing appropriately.  Before the wedding, I would have said “People who show up in jeans or don’t understand that the restaurant has a jackets only policy are being disrespectful to me and my DH”.  So, no.  I don’t think that you are horrible for feeling this way.

My after wedding advice- Here’s the thing: the people I was worried about showing up dressed inappropriately showed up…dressed inappropriately.  Did it reflect on me?  No.  It reflected on them.  As soon as I stopped trying to make it about respect and how I was raised and how I would be SO embarrassed, I realised that it was just clueless people, doing clueless stuff.  It had nothing to do with me and it has nothing to do with you.

What I did to alleviate some of my concerns was to put a little note on our website (we had a cocktail reception so we got A LOT of questions about what people should wear).  Would this work for you?  I think that it would be better to do something like this then to single your uncle out.  

Post # 4
1327 posts
Bumble bee

Yeah I am having this issue too, my side of the family and FI’s side of the family have two totally different ideas of what semi-formal attire is. It am pretty worried that his family is going to look way under dressed. Especially since we are only having 15 guests, my SIL and Brother-In-Law live in baseball caps so I don’t think they are going to be happy about my asking for no hats.

Post # 5
3267 posts
Sugar bee

There really is no polite way to tell someone “don’t dress like a bum at our wedding” or any iteration of that. 

How they dress is no reflection of your upbringing or you personally.  People who dress inappropriately look bad, not those that happen to be born into the same family. 

I have “hillbilly” relatives (my nicknames for them) too, so I can sympathize.  The last time I saw them, they were wearing track pants at my dad’s funeral.  But that is who they are.  They are happy like that.  So I just accept that about them.  Some people make inappropriate jokes, others have BO, and others dress like fools. 

Post # 6
2699 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

Can you write ‘formal attire only’ on his invite…? Try not to worry too much. If he turns up in jeans….noone is going to judge you at all.

Post # 7
5118 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

I’d see if your mom can bring it up in conversation with him or his girlfriend (if she talks with her). Something casual like ‘Oh, I still need to get to the store for a dress for the wedding. Ejay15/FI or we (if she and your father are hosting) are looking forward to a cocktail/formal/gorgeous (best adjective for the recipient) event.’ Then your mom could suggest he wear ‘x’ outfit (if she knows of a nice one he has) or ask if the Girlfriend has gotten a formal/cocktail dress? 

Like PPs said, though, their manner of dress reflects on them, not you. Just roll with it. You can always request your photography steer clear of focusing on them. 🙂

Post # 8
287 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

I second that noone will judge you for him.  Having your mom talk to him might help, and at very least she could do it at the wedding.  I had a relative get a little trashy and out of hand at my wedding and I just sent my mom over to talk to them and it took care of the situation haha.

Post # 9
69 posts
Worker bee

Haha! I was worried about this as well, except it was my dad I was worried about!! I didn’t know how to tell him to dress without being disrespectful. lol.

There have been people wearing jeans at the last two weddings I have been to! This really surprised me. But, I did not judge the bride and groom. I really didn’t judge anyone. I’m not sure if those people don’t know, dont care, or what.

I would recommend not singling your uncle out. I would just put on your website that it is formal attire, or dressy attire and leave it at that. Also, try not to be embarrased by your uncle. Just go with it. If he shows up in jeans, or does something humiliating (hopefully he won’t), just roll with it. lol there really isn’t anything else you can do.

If your mom is really close to him, she could casualy ask him “What are you wearing to the wedding?” Maybe wait til it’s a little closer to the date. If he says jeans, she could say, “Oh you really should wear slacks.” Even if he didn’t wear a suit and just wore kahki pants or something, it would be much better than jeans! But, if they aren’t really close I wouldn’t suggest that.

Post # 10
5423 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: November 2012

I was debating writing “cocktail attire requested” on the invites so everyone knew not to dress casually.  It would be directed to everyone so that no one felt singled out.  At the same time, not everyone reads.  If they show up underdressed they should be embarrassed not you anyway.

Post # 12
2261 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2013

@ArwenBride: I agree with you on this. Many people dressed innapropriately to our evening wedding. 

This doesn’t reflect on you at all! 

And… I agree there really isn’t any good or easy way to ensure people won’t do this to you on your day! 

You’d think that an evening reception, indoor, place or venue would suggest a dress code. But no. We live in an era sadly void of people who know what is and is not appropriate to wear to weddings or special events. :/ 

You can do as much as you can to plant bugs in people’s ear that they may want to look nice… however there’s really no way to make sure this happens. Sorry! It bugs me, too. I was raised so differently than most people I know where I live. 

Post # 13
164 posts
Blushing bee

What I did is, I put a dress code on our wedding website and blamed it on the venue:).  It is actually quite common for venues to have dress codes.

In order to not look like a control freak, the dress code actually erred on the side of leniency allowing “business casual” for gentlemen.

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