Post # 1
We are having a very formal/black tie requested wedding. While not all guests will be in a tux, most will be wearing a very nice full suit. Everyone in our wedding party is wearing a tux with literally a black tie, and the women are all wearing floor length dresses (bridesmaids, me, mothers). My FI’s aunt and uncle we asked to do a reading in our ceremony. When I last saw aunt, she mentioned a pair of black pants and blouse she was hoping she’d fit into so she could wear it to the wedding. I know she never wears dresses, but since she is part of the ceremony, I feel that she may look a bit out of place. However I don’t want her to be uncomfortable or offend her by asking that she wear a gown.
Post # 3
I think, actually, that black pants and a nice blouse might be nice for a reader. She will only be up there for a couple minutes and she’s not actually part of the wedding party, so I think it would be okay for her to not wear a gown. However, you could maybe drop hints by mentioning offhand how the wedding party is all wearing gowns, tuxes, etc.
Post # 4
ladies in black pants suits or slacks and blouses can look extremely elegant, especially if they accessorize. Perhaps you could say something like “that (insert fashion accessory here) that you have would be perfect with that outfit, it will make you look so formal and elegant!” This is a very polite way of reminding her that it’s a formal affair, and reinforcing the dress code in her mind without coming off as pushy or controlling.
If she doesn’t have a fashion accessory that you know of, you can always offer to loan her one, not so much that she needs one (chances are she has something in her closet to dress up her look) but just to plant the dress-up seed.
Post # 5
I say if she doesn’t normally wear dresses, let her wear what’s comfortable, especially if it’s a dressy bouse and pants. If it bothers you that much, you might offer to go shopping with her to pick out something together.
Post # 6
I think she will look nice. The most important thing is that she feels confident and comfortable. If she is wearing something else that she is not 100% on, that could really look worse and cause her to be uncomfortable. Clothing is emotional.
Post # 7
I think it’s rude to request she wear a gown if she normally doesn’t wear dresses. I hope she wears a dressy blouse and slacks, or a nice pants suits, but I don’t think there is a polite why to tell her so.
I am also have a formal black tie wedding, however I know everyone not going to strictly adhere to the dress code. She sounds like an older lady so I think its better for her to be comfortable.
Post # 8
If FI’s aunt doesn’t wear dresses, then it’s unlikely that she would be comfortable wearing one – even for an event as special as your wedding. As long as the black pants she’s planning on wearing aren’t spandex or that awful cotton stretch yoga pants style then she should look perfectly appropriate.
Trousers or dress pants, a dressy shoe, a nice blouse and classy jewelry will look put together, respectful and fairly formal. If you worry about her accessories you could gift something that you like the looks of (but perhaps is “fashion” jewelry vs. actual precious stones) at your rehearsal dinner. This would be especially easy to do without offending her if you plan to give your BMs a necklace (or earrings) to wear on the wedding day.