(Closed) How do I tell her what to wear?

posted 6 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
13292 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

I honestly don’t see a problem with a guest quietly and privately asking the bride what appropriate attire is, if she is unclear. 

“Hi, ___!  We’re so excited to hear you’ll be able to make it to the wedding, and are looking forward to celebrating with you.  Our venue is actually outdoors, so keep that in mind when deciding your footwear, and you can wear a nice sundress or something like what you’d wear to Sunday mass.  Of course, no need to get a fancy ballgown, but no bikinis either! 🙂 As for the registry, we opted not to create one, as so many of our guests are traveling to be with us.  Your presence on this day is more than enough.  Thanks, and looking forward to celebrating with you on August 11!  Love, Bride & Groom” 

Post # 4
1755 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

@UmbrellaMoon:  As to the lodgings, she may be looking for something that affords them a bit of privacy or that something is going on at his parents at that time.  Some parents still get upset about a couple sharing a room even in this day and age.

As to the registering.  Simply tell her that you’re not registered, no explantion  is needed.  If she asks, just tell her that you would prefer guests gift you with what they wish to and that you find it more interesting seeing what people come up with.  It’s not judgemental of her choice.

Lastly, as to what to wear, she may simply not know what’s expected.  I’d just politely say that it’s casual.  Think a pretty sundress and comfy cute sandals.

I don’t think she’s trying to be offensive.  As someone who’s planning her own wedding, she probably is extra aware of etiquette and intends to be polite.  Since one officially shouldn’t include registry info in an invitation, if she’s aware, she’s asking to be nice.  And outdoor can honestly mean sooo many things anymore, I can see where she might ask. 

Post # 5
6222 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - The Liberty House

I don’t see anything wrong with what you just said at the end-  that since it’s summer, you suggest that she wear a knee length daytime dress and appropriate footwear for walking in grass. 

and as far as the registry goes, just tell her you haven’t registered and leave it at that. “as far as registry info goes, we actually don’t have one- sorry for the confusion!” 

I wouldn’t put too much thought into it. 

Post # 6
8738 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2011

Honestly, I think you are being too sensitive. Just say something like the following:

Give basic hotel info.

As for the registry you can say, “Your presence is present enough.” And you could say you don’t have a registry (you don’t have to say why).

For dress code just say that a semi-casual dress is probably best and to wear shoes appropriate for grass.

I really wouldn’t be that fussed over guests asking what to wear. She is probably picking up from the invite that the wedding is casual-ish but is wanting clarification as to what degree.

Post # 7
6222 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: August 2013 - The Liberty House

@Cappugcino:  agreed- I don’t see anything offensive about a guest who wants to get you a gift, respects your opinion on where she should stay, and wants to make sure she is dressed appropriately for your wedding.

Post # 8
2981 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: August 2011

Personally, I think you need to take a deep breath and realize that no matter how “obvoius” you think the solutions are to lodging and attire, many people are pretty clueless when it comes to things like this. Rather than risking upsetting you by doing “the wrong thing”, they found it more approprate to ask, which I think is fine.

Also, I’d tread a bit carefully here with the way you view the bridal registry. Saying “have the nerve to tell them what to pick for us” can come across as offensive to a lot of bees whos traditions include the bridal registry. Please understand that while you don’t agree with this tradition, which is fine!, some guests prefer to know what the B&G want, so they won’t feel like they’re risking throwing their money away on something they won’t like or use. To each their own.

You’re most likely going to get many guest questions. It’s just a part of the game. I’d just try to be as polite as possible. Word of mouth is a powerful thing. Maybe have a few key people spread the word around as to what your expectations are. 

Post # 9
7173 posts
Busy Beekeeper

I totally remember when simple questions from guests would drive me OVER the edge!  She’s likely a tad unsure and because she’s planning her own wedding and has her own expectations for her guests, doesn’t want to get it wrong with you!

Try to see it as her being considerate vs. being annoying and clueless. 🙂

re: lodging – don’t read too much into it – who knows what dynamics are involved with her SO’s family and why they aren’t staying with anyone.  She wants to know where you’d suggest staying, since you likely know which places are nicer than others.

re: registry – I’d say something like:  we went the untraditional route and decided not to register.  We wanted guests to have the freedom to select the gift of their choosing, should they decide to gift us with something.  Or – something like:  we love surprises and wanted to be surprised with what guests decided to give us!

re: dress – there’s no formal dress code.  It’s a day-time wedding and the weather will be ‘x’.  I’d expect most female guests to be a in knee-length dress.  Also, the terrain will be grass/gravel/whatever – so keep that in mind, when selecting footwear.

Post # 10
3885 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

Agreed with PP who feel it’s not at all inappropriate for a guest to inquire about the dress code.  I’d just say something like “Our wedding will be a “smart casual” dress code; dressy sundresses for the ladies and Dockers for the gents is the general style we’re expecting”  or whatever look you’re going for. You can add “since we’ll be outside on the grass, closed flats would probably be more comfortable than heels or sandals.” Just word it the same as you’d explain to her if you were in person, and try not to be snippy, because it doesn’t sound like it was intended to be anything other than a genuine, honest question.

Post # 11
1304 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2011

I think you are expecting her to read your mind a bit than is reasonable.  She’s not doing anything wrong.  You’re being a little hypercritical in my opinion.

Post # 12
1561 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

She didn’t ask you anything inappropriate.  

Hi <blank>

We actually don’t have a registry.  As far as what to wear, a short dress would be great, and be careful with your shoes since we are going to be outside – maybe flats or wedges.

See you soon! <you>


Wow that was hard.

Post # 13
1252 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2011

I don’t know why any of those questions would have bothered you.  It is very considerate of her to not assume that she would be staying with family, as it is for her to ask if you’ve registered anywhere so she can get you something you want/will use.  Asking about the attire is perfectly normal/acceptable unless you included it on the invitation.  I would never assume that the wedding would be less formal just because of the way you worded your invitations or because it is outside.  My invitations had formal wording and my wedding was on a Saturday evening, but I still got questions from people about what to wear.  It is far better that she asked you rather than assume something and show up in something completely inappropriate.


Post # 14
2103 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

You are reading way tooooooo much into this.

You dont’ have to explain WHY your aren’t registered…just tell her you chose not to register.

As far as attire, tell her it’s “semi-formal” or it’s “garden” or “casual”…or, like I told whatever term covers what you are hoping for.

Maybe she’s wondering where others she knows are staying…and quite possibly does not like to stay with family. I know I’d be qutie happy to spring for a room so I can have my privacy.

Do you just not like her?

Post # 15
10366 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

It seems like you are using your wedding to be smug and a bit snarky (sorry, but that’s how it comes off).

Is it really so hard to say: “We’d love a personal gift from you instead of something off of a registry” instead of calling registries “rude and impersonal”. Is it really so hard to say “Sunday best or cocktail attire would be appropriate” instead of rudely rattling off “use your common sense”?!

And if you’re expecting people to read subtext into your font color choices, how people do and don’t respond to RSVPs and other issues is going to blow your mind.

Post # 16
1748 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

I actually want one of my guests to inquire about the dress code and that guest would be my Future Mother-In-Law. I have concern that she’ll show up, if she shows up, in a mini skirt and a leather jacket. BUT. There’s zero I can do about this and I pray that she’ll actually come to our wedding, even if she looks like a 21 year old slutty biker chick.

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