Snarky Brides

Problems with Guests

So I have several guests that don't understand the meaning of semi-formal.  One asked me today if jeans were acceptable! And then FIL wants to wear a Canadian Tuxedo-- HELL NO I'M NOT ALLOWING THAT SHIT AT MY WEDDING.

What do I say to them?
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Re: Problems with Guests

  • InkdancerInkdancer The Shire member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
    To your FIL, you can say "my father will be wearing X and my mother will be wearing Y". But you can't tell people "don't wear Z", it's not polite.

    Semi-formal doesn't really have a definition. If you have already sent your invitations, people may be taking cues from that as to what they should wear, and that could have something to do with the questions you're getting.
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  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited February 2014
    Ditto PPs. Semi formal is kind of a made up thing. And guests can wear whatever they want if your event isn't black or white tie unless your venue has restrictions. You "won't allow" people to wear these things? Do you intend to have bouncers turning them away if they do wear "that shit"?
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
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  • Inkdancer said:
    To your FIL, you can say "my father will be wearing X and my mother will be wearing Y". But you can't tell people "don't wear Z", it's not polite.

    Semi-formal doesn't really have a definition. If you have already sent your invitations, people may be taking cues from that as to what they should wear, and that could have something to do with the questions you're getting.
    The reason being for semi-formal is because formal or black-tie would probably be too much for FI's family. I'm not trying to do casual because it's at 8 PM and at a super classy venue.

    So shouldn't they be taking cues from the fact that it's at 8 o'clock in the evening? 
  • dolewhipperdolewhipper [wh]orlando member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    In my circle, Semi formal can mean anything from a cocktail dress to dark jeans with heels and a cute top. I agree with what Inkdancer said :)


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  • InkdancerInkdancer The Shire member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Anniversary First Answer
    Inkdancer said:
    To your FIL, you can say "my father will be wearing X and my mother will be wearing Y". But you can't tell people "don't wear Z", it's not polite.

    Semi-formal doesn't really have a definition. If you have already sent your invitations, people may be taking cues from that as to what they should wear, and that could have something to do with the questions you're getting.
    The reason being for semi-formal is because formal or black-tie would probably be too much for FI's family. I'm not trying to do casual because it's at 8 PM and at a super classy venue.

    So shouldn't they be taking cues from the fact that it's at 8 o'clock in the evening? 
    You can have a birthday party at your house at 8 pm. That won't help them much.  And if they aren't familiar with the venue, they may not know its reputation.

    Ultimately, if a guest wears something that isn't really suited to the vision of your wedding, it isn't going to hurt anyone. Most of the pictures will be of you and your FH, and some will include wedding party and family.
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  • I have to agree with inkdancer and grumbledore. It is very rude to dictate what your guests wear. Isn't it more important that they feel their best, whatever that might be? 


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  • KatWAGKatWAG Chicago member
    2500 Comments Fifth Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Inkdancer said:
    To your FIL, you can say "my father will be wearing X and my mother will be wearing Y". But you can't tell people "don't wear Z", it's not polite.

    Semi-formal doesn't really have a definition. If you have already sent your invitations, people may be taking cues from that as to what they should wear, and that could have something to do with the questions you're getting.
    The reason being for semi-formal is because formal or black-tie would probably be too much for FI's family. I'm not trying to do casual because it's at 8 PM and at a super classy venue.

    So shouldn't they be taking cues from the fact that it's at 8 o'clock in the evening? 

    You shouldnt be dictating your guests attire at all. If soemone shows up in jeans, your wedding wont be ruined.

    Use your invitation to set the tone. If you are having a fancy wedding then there should be an inner enevlope, multiple inserts, and letter press. A casual invite coudl be colorful and a unusual shape.

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  • I was at a very fancy wedding where a guest showed up in jeans. I can assure you everyone was talking about that guest and his rudeness for not wearing appropriate attire--no one blamed the bride and groom. And it didn't ruin or overshadow their wedding--although some of this individual's behavior did overshadow things a bit. The bride took it all graciously, and even when another guest offered to escort the rude individual to his hotel, she refused and was happy to let him have a good time. I pretty much thought she was amazing after that.
    happymellowlouandbeanMarzipan13
  • cmfarr said:
    So I have several guests that don't understand the meaning of semi-formal.  One asked me today if jeans were acceptable! And then FIL wants to wear a Canadian Tuxedo-- HELL NO I'M NOT ALLOWING THAT SHIT AT MY WEDDING.

    What do I say to them?
    I'm Canadian and I've never heard of a Canadian Tuxedo. What the heck is it? The Canadian Tuxedo seen around the world Weird quoting on the iPad Ewwww. I've never seen someone wear that in Canada ....

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  • So I have several guests that don't understand the meaning of semi-formal.  One asked me today if jeans were acceptable! And then FIL wants to wear a Canadian Tuxedo-- HELL NO I'M NOT ALLOWING THAT SHIT AT MY WEDDING.


    What do I say to them?
    Nothing. They can wear what they please. Semi formal is not a thing and you certainly shouldn't have told people what to wear. What do you mean you won't allow it? You would turn guests away for not dressing the way you want? Does what your guests wear really matter more than their presence?
    Don't worry guys, I have the Wedding Police AND the Whambulance on speed dial!
    doeydojenniferurs
  • thisismynickname2thisismynickname2 City By The Lake member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    While saying "ditto" to the guidance provided above, I'll also add that to many people, "semi-formal" is indeed a thing. In college I was in a sorority, and we had two main dances (as did all the other Greek organizations): Spring Formal and Fall Semi-Formal.

    Semi-Formal meant cocktail dresses for the ladies and slacks, collared shirts and ties for the men.

    If someone were to ask me what to wear to my wedding at an upscale restaurant, I'd verbally suggest semi-formal attire by indicating that's what the bridal party and parents would be wearing. 

    The term used to describe a look is a "know your crowd" thing. Every wedding I've ever attended could fall into the "semi-formal" bucket. I'd rather be given that guidance than "summer upscale casual" or other b.s.
    ________________________________


    louandbeanoffthemarket915ashleyep
  • While saying "ditto" to the guidance provided above, I'll also add that to many people, "semi-formal" is indeed a thing. In college I was in a sorority, and we had two main dances (as did all the other Greek organizations): Spring Formal and Fall Semi-Formal.

    Semi-Formal meant cocktail dresses for the ladies and slacks, collared shirts and ties for the men.

    If someone were to ask me what to wear to my wedding at an upscale restaurant, I'd verbally suggest semi-formal attire by indicating that's what the bridal party and parents would be wearing. 

    The term used to describe a look is a "know your crowd" thing. Every wedding I've ever attended could fall into the "semi-formal" bucket. I'd rather be given that guidance than "summer upscale casual" or other b.s.
    I was also in a sorority and we had semi-formal dances and the description was similar to the one you gave.  But still, I remember every year comparing potential outfit choices with other people to figure out whether my outfit was "fancy enough" or "too fancy."  Cocktail dress means different things to different people (some cocktail dresses are "dressier" than others).  Then add accessories into the mix and you've got a huge range of formality/fanciness that "fits" the dress code.  When does semi-formal become formal.  What's the difference?

    And then there's the fact that to other people "semi-formal" means nice dark wash jeans, pumps and a silk blouse.  

    The fact that the term means different things to different people is what makes "semi-formal" not be a "thing" unlike "black tie" which actually has a specific meaning.
    Don't worry guys, I have the Wedding Police AND the Whambulance on speed dial!
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  • PolarBearFitzPolarBearFitz member
    500 Love Its 500 Comments First Answer Name Dropper
    edited February 2014
    I personally equate 'semi-formal' with 'business casual' which is a thing. The definition is collared shirts, dresses, skirts and professional shoes. No jeans.

    I however agree with the PPs that your invite should dictate your dress code by the formality of the invite itself. It is rude to request/require certain attire directly on the invite in text. Don't be that couple. No one cares what everyone else is wearing at your wedding and it will in no way change anything about your ceremony.

    RebeccaB88
  • I personally equate 'semi-formal' with 'business casual' which is a thing. The definition is collared shirts, dresses, skirts and professional shoes. No jeans.

    I however agree with the PPs that your invite should dictate your dress code by the formality of the invite itself. It is rude to request/require certain attire directly on the invite in text. Don't be that couple. No one cares what everyone else is wearing at your wedding and it will in no way change anything about your ceremony.
    This is even more confusing to me!  Maybe for men's dress the two equate, but I couldn't imagine wearing "work" clothes to a party.  Jeans and a fancy top would be far more festive than boring work slacks and a sweater.
    Don't worry guys, I have the Wedding Police AND the Whambulance on speed dial!
    mimiphinMaggie0829
  • Inkdancer said:
    I personally equate 'semi-formal' with 'business casual' which is a thing. The definition is collared shirts, dresses, skirts and professional shoes. No jeans.

    I however agree with the PPs that your invite should dictate your dress code by the formality of the invite itself. It is rude to request/require certain attire directly on the invite in text. Don't be that couple. No one cares what everyone else is wearing at your wedding and it will in no way change anything about your ceremony.
    My company calls their dress code "business casual". I am currently wearing jeans and a t-shirt with a monkey on it and I am still dressed nicer than the Director of Inside Sales.

    lmao - at my firm, "casual Friday" means you can wear khakis. That's it, nothing else changes.

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  • cmfarr said:
    So I have several guests that don't understand the meaning of semi-formal.  One asked me today if jeans were acceptable! And then FIL wants to wear a Canadian Tuxedo-- HELL NO I'M NOT ALLOWING THAT SHIT AT MY WEDDING.

    What do I say to them?
    I'm Canadian and I've never heard of a Canadian Tuxedo. What the heck is it?

    It's denim shirt and jeans! I don't know where it originated from :)
  • While saying "ditto" to the guidance provided above, I'll also add that to many people, "semi-formal" is indeed a thing. In college I was in a sorority, and we had two main dances (as did all the other Greek organizations): Spring Formal and Fall Semi-Formal.

    Semi-Formal meant cocktail dresses for the ladies and slacks, collared shirts and ties for the men.

    If someone were to ask me what to wear to my wedding at an upscale restaurant, I'd verbally suggest semi-formal attire by indicating that's what the bridal party and parents would be wearing. 

    The term used to describe a look is a "know your crowd" thing. Every wedding I've ever attended could fall into the "semi-formal" bucket. I'd rather be given that guidance than "summer upscale casual" or other b.s.
    I was also in a sorority, and my FI is a fraternity brother. I guess that's where I get the definition of semi-formal! 

    I did indicate what my bridal party and my own parents were wearing, and it didn't help much. My own father will be wearing a tuxedo! Imagine how the family pictures will look if FFIL wears jeans!

    That's what I thought-- semi-formal is far better than some other b.s. I've seen (i.e. "Garden Party Dress", what are we, 5?!). 
  • thisismynickname2thisismynickname2 City By The Lake member
    5000 Comments Sixth Anniversary 500 Love Its First Answer
    I definitely see how "semi-formal" could still indicate fancy jeans with a silk or sparkly top and heels. Alas, that's how we dress for fancy bars and restaurants, while weddings mean wearing a skirt.  Perhaps it's the difference between "a night out" and "an event"?

    With this bad weather I haven't had a fancy night out in ages! 


    ________________________________


  • lovesclimbinglovesclimbing Alaska member
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    While saying "ditto" to the guidance provided above, I'll also add that to many people, "semi-formal" is indeed a thing. In college I was in a sorority, and we had two main dances (as did all the other Greek organizations): Spring Formal and Fall Semi-Formal.

    Semi-Formal meant cocktail dresses for the ladies and slacks, collared shirts and ties for the men.

    If someone were to ask me what to wear to my wedding at an upscale restaurant, I'd verbally suggest semi-formal attire by indicating that's what the bridal party and parents would be wearing. 

    The term used to describe a look is a "know your crowd" thing. Every wedding I've ever attended could fall into the "semi-formal" bucket. I'd rather be given that guidance than "summer upscale casual" or other b.s.
    I was also in a sorority, and my FI is a fraternity brother. I guess that's where I get the definition of semi-formal! 

    I did indicate what my bridal party and my own parents were wearing, and it didn't help much. My own father will be wearing a tuxedo! Imagine how the family pictures will look if FFIL wears jeans!

    That's what I thought-- semi-formal is far better than some other b.s. I've seen (i.e. "Garden Party Dress", what are we, 5?!). 
    Someone who used to post on here used to post a picture of her dad and her FIL.  Her FIL is in a tux.  Her dad is in overalls (or vice-versa, I don't remember.)  It didn't ruin her wedding. 

    If you really don't want his jeans visible, tell the photographer to arrange the pictures in such a way that your father is behind other people (that probably shouldn't be difficult. I'm used to family pictures where the dad is one of the tallest people, so naturally he would go in the back).

    Also, have the photog get some waist up shots.

    hellohkb
  • I personally equate 'semi-formal' with 'business casual' which is a thing. The definition is collared shirts, dresses, skirts and professional shoes. No jeans.

    I however agree with the PPs that your invite should dictate your dress code by the formality of the invite itself. It is rude to request/require certain attire directly on the invite in text. Don't be that couple. No one cares what everyone else is wearing at your wedding and it will in no way change anything about your ceremony.
    It is a thing but every company defines that thing differently.  I was on the personnel committee at a previous employer and management was proposing changes to our dress code so I did some research as to what "business casual" officially entailed.  Every article I read was different.  Every employee handbook (some companies have them online) was different.  Some were very broad and others very specific.  I found some that went as far as to dictate what type of fabrics and colors were acceptable.  If I were to start a new job and was told the dress code was business casual I would ask for more specific guidelines because it may not be the same as where I used to work. 

    I would never consider the business casual I wore at that job to be equal to semi-formal and wouldn't in a million years dress that way for a wedding.  In fact I was at wedding where people dressed like that and I couldn't believe they would dress so casually for a wedding.  
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  • I agree that semi formal means different things to different people. Several years ago I received an invitation to a "semi-formal no kids allowed"  at home reception for a couple who had done a small DW with their parents. The man I was dating at the time wore a button down collared shirt and tie, dark slacks, I wore a standar black cocktail dress. We carpooled with some mutual friends who were similarly dressed. When we showed up, we were the fanciest dressed people in attendance. The bride was in a knee length halter sundress and the groom was in khaki cargo shorts. Most of the guests were dressed the same. Obviously our circle and their circle did not meet the same semi formal definition. The kid cousin djing off an ipod and the BBQ chicken served on Chinets were enough for us, as were all the snickers we were receiving from other guests. We ate our dinner, dropped our card and generous cash gift in the box and left promptly. The four of us stopped for wine and ice cream and enjoyed a night out on the town all dressed up. 
  • Sugargirl1019Sugargirl1019 Deep in the Heart of Texas member
    500 Love Its 1000 Comments Second Anniversary First Answer
    OP, this thread is probably giving you nightmares. It's giving me nightmares! So just accept that people will think they should wear different things. BUT, given that your event is at 8 pm, I would definitely wear a fancy cocktail dress with heels and done hair and jewelry. FI would be in a dark suit. Depending on the formality of the invitation, we are the type of people to wear floor length dress/tuxedo. Some people dress to your definition "not fancy enough", while others, like me, dress "too fancy". 

    Your wedding will be beautiful and you won't even notice your guests! It'll take some time to be okay with the idea of crazy guest attire in your mind, but it will come!

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    louandbean
  • AddieCakeAddieCake Beyond the Wall member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its Fourth Anniversary 25 Answers
    edited March 2014
    I still want to know what you're going to do if it happens since you said you're "not allowing that shit at my wedding!"
    What did you think would happen if you walked up to a group of internet strangers and told them to get shoehorned by their lady doc?~StageManager14
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  • AddieL73 said:

    I still want to know what you're going to do if it happens since you said you're "not allowing that shit at my wedding!"

    I was wondering the same. Wedding bouncers?

    abbyj700Amyzen83
  • I'm going to echo the other ladies here - you can't dictate what others wear.

    My brother and sister both got married this year. The biggest drama at both weddings were about people voicing opinions on what the family of the bride and groom and bride and bride were going to wear. 

    Even if it were somehow okay etiquette wise to tell these people - trust from someone who has witnessed it - all you will do is hurt people's feelings. My mom is still upset about my sisters wedding in June when it comes to attire. With my wedding coming - I've asked her to go shopping with me for her outfit so I can spend a day with her letting her know whatever she loves and decides on is okay with me. 
  • LondonLisaLondonLisa London, UK member
    Eighth Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    If you are only concerned with how the photos will look and not if your guests are comfortable, then you need to rethink your priorities. Your guests are not props to make a pinterest-inspired wedding board. Semi-formal is not a "thing" outside of high school and university dances. Only if asked, you direct them to saying that your mother is wearing x and your father is wearing y, but they should come however they feel comfortable.

    It is a common pressure in the wedding industry to make brides feel like they need to plan, manage and worry about every little thing so their photos/ day will be "perfect". That isn't how events go in the real world. Something will go wrong and someone will wear something a little inappropriate. You can't plan against that and  it is rude to tell adults how to dress. You just have to realise that you invited these people for a reason and its more important that they are there then what they are wearing. 
  • OP, this thread is probably giving you nightmares. It's giving me nightmares! So just accept that people will think they should wear different things. BUT, given that your event is at 8 pm, I would definitely wear a fancy cocktail dress with heels and done hair and jewelry. FI would be in a dark suit. Depending on the formality of the invitation, we are the type of people to wear floor length dress/tuxedo. Some people dress to your definition "not fancy enough", while others, like me, dress "too fancy". 

    Your wedding will be beautiful and you won't even notice your guests! It'll take some time to be okay with the idea of crazy guest attire in your mind, but it will come!
    It really is giving me nightmares. I thought I was being snarky...

    Thank you for your comments, at least now I don't feel like a total bitch. 
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