Wedding Etiquette Forum
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Dad's attire

We're still just under 8 months to go, but I've run into a problem that I think may need addressing soon.  My stepdad is going to be walking me down the aisle for my wedding (real dad isn't in the picture at all).  He is a self-proclaimed cowboy.  His idea of dressing up is tight Wranglers, a button up shirt, his boots and a cowboy hat.  Normally I don't have any kind of problem with that because that's him and, have to admit, he can easily pull it off.  I've been telling him since just before I got engaged that I wanted him to walk me down the aisle.  Since then, he's come to the conclusion that he isn't going to be wearing a tux but black Wranglers, his boots and his cowboy hat, and then a shirt that matches our color.  I'm not sure about a jacket.  My fiance has asked me to ask my stepdad to wear at least a suit.  He and I are the ones paying for the wedding and that's been the fiance's only request.  He said that he doesn't want attention taken from me during the walk because my stepdad is sticking out like a sore thumb and that's a very good, valid point.  I've tried to address it to my mom and she immediately shot the idea down and said that he would wear what he was comfortable in and it isn't a suit of any kind.  Would it be too much to ask that we come to compromise about it?  I've found western-style tux jackets that he could wear so it isn't as uncomfortable for him, he could still wear his boots, and he only has to wear the suit pants and keep his hat off at all times during the ceremony?  He can put the hat on for pictures and then change into dark jeans for the reception if its too uncomfortable for him.  How should I approach it?

Re: Dad's attire

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    Cliff's notes. Puhleez. But I can say from the title, he can wear what he wants.
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    I'd ask him directly (not your mom). Try to butter him up a little bit, say you know it's not his favorite thing to wear but you'd like him to do this for you on your special day. But if you keep bringing it up, the issue may get bigger, so if there's drama around it now wait a few months to bring it up again. At the end of the day, I'm pretty sure there's nothing you can do but cajole him.
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    Black wranglers and a shirt matching your colors sounds great. It reflects who he is. Maybe you guys can compromise by getting him to wear a jacket with it, but I promise it won't be taking attention away from you. That's ridiculous.
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    I'm going to go out on a limb here and say I don't blame you for not wanting your step-dad to dress like a cowboy. I don't however, think it would take attention away from you. Could you talk to your s-dad and explain to him that it's important to you that you two compromise on his outfit? What about your mom, could you talk to her logically, too? It is important that he be comfortable, though...so this is a toughie....usually I would flame you for wanting your dad to wear something uncomfortable to him...
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    I would wait a couple of months and then talk to him directly instead of your mom.  Start by just asking if he would mind wearing a black jacket and no hat for the ceremony, with his black jeans, cowboy boots, and shirt.  I bet he'll do that for you.  Let him know he can wear his hat in the pictures if he wants, and can take off the jacket after or even during the ceremony but you'd really like him to wear it down the aisle.  As long as you're sweet about it and obviously trying to compromise, I'm sure it will work out.
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    Unless your step-dad wears cut-off denim shorts and a see-through mesh shirt, he will NOT detract from you in any way walking down the aisle. Let him wear the outfit he has chosen; he's an adult. You can't dress him up like a doll for your princess day.
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    My ex-stepfather dressed in exactly the same manner.  He's not invited to the wedding, but I did have a nightmare that involved him showing up anyway wearing formal wear above the waist (full cravat tie, vest and tail coat), with his ratty jeans and scuffy cowboy boots.I'm sure your stepdad will be fine in a dressier version of his regular wear.  Short of wearing a clown suit, he won't be sticking out like a sore thumb.
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    i would think that most of your guests know your step dad and know taht this is reflective of his style.  therefore, i dont think he'll stick out like a sore thumb.if you do feel the need to discuss his attire choice, its really lame to do it through your mom.  i think you shoudl speak directly with him.
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    A western style jacket over black jeans is perfectly acceptable for this situation.  Why would you make him wear dress pants at all?  No one will even be looking at him.  Most cowboys are respectful enough to leave the hat off, particularly in a church setting.

    "You can take your etiquette and shove it!" ~misscarolb
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    Who really cares what he wears? You could try to compromise with him (a western style tux, or a suit for the ceremony and then his outfit for the reception), but it won't take away from you at all, no matter what he wears. If all your FI cares about in this wedding is what your step-father wears, I think you have bigger issues.
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    Let him wear what he wants.  I was at a wedding last month where the father of the bride wore something similar.  It was endearing, it didn't reflect on or take away from the bride at all.
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    Wait, impslave, you're not inviting your step father?  Is he married to your mother?

    "You can take your etiquette and shove it!" ~misscarolb
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    Thanks, everyone, for the great responses.  I definitely don't want to make him uncomfortable, but I also don't want to put him in something that isn't him.  So here's a question that may help with the decision here: can you rent tux or suit pants to fit a 6'4" guy?  I think I've heard that sometimes measurements like that have to be custom made and there's no way I'd ask him to have pants custom made if he'll never wear them again.
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    The black Wranglers and matching shirt sound fine.  If he's usually dressed like a cowboy, it might be more distracting for your family to see him in a suit than in his normal Wranglers.Would he be willing to add a jacket, western tie or bolero?  He could also walk you down the aisle with you on one arm and hold his cowboy hat by his chest or waist, then put it on when he sits down.  His comfort should come first though.
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    My boyfriend in high school was 6'8" and he had no problem renting tuxes from our local mom and pop tux rental for proms and such.  But hey, if he can't rent tux pants, there's your answer.  Black jeans it is!
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    Really, black jeans are more than fine.  I've been to several western weddings (Duh, I lived in Calgary) and with new black jeans, you can't even really tell that they aren't wearing dress pants. 

    "You can take your etiquette and shove it!" ~misscarolb
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    wbiggs, FI is 6'3" and has never had trouble renting a tux.
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    I would HATE it if my dad wasn't comfortable at the wedding. I would also HATE it if my dad didn't look like himself. I would hate the fact that I made him wear something he didn't want to, and look back at my wedding photos and realize he doens't look at all like he normally does. I would want my kids to be able to look at our wedding photos and point out "grandpa's cowboy hat!" In the end, does it really matter what he wears, just as long as he is there? How the hell_ are you trying to impress?
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    *who, not how
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    One of our groomsmen and two of our ushers are about that tall and they had no problem renting tuxes and buying suits.
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    Wading, he's my ex-stepfather; my mom divorced him 20 years ago.  Things had gotten pretty ugly between him and my mom, so I'd rather not have anything to do with him.*returns the thread to it's original topic :) *
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    Talk to your mom. My dad kept telling me he was going to wear his blue jeans , boots, and a button up shirt. Then when FMIL demanded me wear a suit he told me to tell her that does it, he is walking me down naked. lol. Well it turns out that dad wants to suprise me and bought a suit! Mom filled me after a few days of dad telling all he was going to walk me down naked. So dont worry, maybe he will wear a tux.
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    This is what my dad wore to my wedding[img]http://tinyurl.com/l9uqvw[/img]He was very happy and thrilled that I let him chose his own wardrobe for my wedding. I told him I didn't feel comfortable telling a 54 year old man what to wear the day his only daughter (and only child) was married. Show him some of the Western tuxes, I think he would like them. If not, whatever, no one is going to say "omg could you believe that he wore black jeans instead of black dress pants? It ruined the wedding for me"
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