Wedding Etiquette Forum

How to get family to dress formal?

I come from a small town and most of my family will not be prepared to "dress-up" for any event. At most family weddings they will attend in dress slacks, a skirt or what I refer to as a church dress and the men will show up in dockers or even cargo shorts. 
I've been married before and it was a very small event in which most of them didn't get to attend (I planned it in a week), so this time I want to all out and make sure everyone is there. However, I want this day to be very special for my fiacncee' and I, so I want people to dress accordingly. Something tells me that if I do not specify my family (and quite possibly some of his) will show up dressed for a bbq :( .

Any advice on how to let every one know that we want semi-formal or formal attire for all guests? No exceptions!
«1

Re: How to get family to dress formal?

  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_family-dress-formal?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:c570775c-f511-4686-ab1d-a423888f717dPost:9fff616f-59a6-439a-8fee-ff2f60370314">How to get family to dress formal?</a>:
    [QUOTE]I come from a small town and most of my family will not be prepared to "dress-up" for any event. At most family weddings they will attend in dress slacks, a skirt or what I refer to as a church dress and the men will show up in dockers or even cargo shorts.  I've been married before and it was a very small event in which most of them didn't get to attend (I planned it in a week), so this time I want to all out and make sure everyone is there. However, I want this day to be very special for my fiacncee' and I, so I want people to dress accordingly. Something tells me that if I do not specify my family (and quite possibly some of his) will show up dressed for a bbq :( . Any advice on how to let every one know that we want semi-formal or formal attire for all guests? <strong>No exceptions!</strong>
    Posted by 44deanna[/QUOTE]
    Are you going to have Tim Gunn stationed at the door turning people away or something?
    image
    Whatever you hatters be hattin. -Tay Prince
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_family-dress-formal?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:c570775c-f511-4686-ab1d-a423888f717dPost:4ad88d85-2047-4c41-842b-56673d082630">Re: How to get family to dress formal?</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to How to get family to dress formal? : Are you going to have Tim Gunn stationed at the door turning people away or something?
    Posted by laurenclaire1386[/QUOTE]

    Awesome. 
    Warning No formatter is installed for the format bbhtml
  • make your wedding black tie or black tie optional and put it on the invitation.  of course this means your wedding must actually be a black tie or optional wedding, and not an outdoor barbeque or afternoon brunch.

  • You don't dictate their attire. It will still be a special day for you and your guy no matter what the people around you are wearing. Odds are, they'll know that weddings mean more than just backyard barbecue attire anyway.
  • LD1970LD1970 member
    First Anniversary First Comment 5 Love Its Name Dropper
    I vote for "get over it."

    How on earth would "your day" be any less special for you and your fiance if people came in casual dress?
    You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough. ~Mae West
  • Honestly, it won't make any difference on your day how people are dressed.  You won't even notice. 

    You said they show up to most events in "church dress"- what's wrong with that?  I doubt they will show up in shorts or jeans, they are adults.  You can't tell them how to dress.
    image
  • If you want people to dress formal, you should indicate that with your invitations and the place you're getting married.  If you don't people showing up dressed for a BBQ, don't have a BBQ reception.  Pick a really nice venue and use fancy invitations.  Spread by word of mouth that people should really dress up. 

    Beyond that, you could put Black Tie on the invitation but that would mean you expect people to go rent tuxes for your wedding and for women to wear gowns, and I don't think that's what you want.

    How your guests dress is really one of those things you can't control.  It won't affect your day or your marriage.    You don't really plan to have someone at the door kicking out those who might show up in jeans or shorts probably, and if you do, then you'll look like the terribly tacky and rude one, not them.
    image
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_family-dress-formal?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:c570775c-f511-4686-ab1d-a423888f717dPost:3de80f09-8f9e-42c1-b677-891fc925c785">Re: How to get family to dress formal?</a>:
    [QUOTE]You don't really plan to have someone at the door kicking out those who might show up in jeans or shorts probably, and if you do, then you'll look like the terribly tacky and rude one, not them.
    Posted by danieliza1127[/QUOTE]
    Unless it's Stacy and Clinton, then they could redress everyone real quick and make them look better. I blame all my bad jokes about this on all the make over reality crap I watch on TV.
    image
    Whatever you hatters be hattin. -Tay Prince
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_family-dress-formal?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:c570775c-f511-4686-ab1d-a423888f717dPost:3de80f09-8f9e-42c1-b677-891fc925c785">Re: How to get family to dress formal?</a>:
    [QUOTE] How your guests dress is really one of those things you can't control.  It won't affect your day or your marriage.  
    Posted by danieliza1127[/QUOTE]

    This. It's pretty rude to tell people what they should or shouldn't wear.
  • cenglecengle member
    First Comment First Anniversary
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_family-dress-formal?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:c570775c-f511-4686-ab1d-a423888f717dPost:4ad88d85-2047-4c41-842b-56673d082630">Re: How to get family to dress formal?</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to How to get family to dress formal? : Are you going to have Tim Gunn stationed at the door turning people away or something?
    Posted by laurenclaire1386[/QUOTE]

    If so, I am definitely crashing this wedding.
    But I promise to be dressed appropriately while doing said crashing.
  • Buahaha... I can just see Tim Gunn:  "We can make it work"  "Oh my god, it looks like country bumpkin threw up on your trousers!" "What IS that?!"

    OP, get over it. 
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_family-dress-formal?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:c570775c-f511-4686-ab1d-a423888f717dPost:0ec948a7-bbb9-4774-887d-c2194f071e92">Re: How to get family to dress formal?</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: How to get family to dress formal? : If so, I am definitely crashing this wedding. But I promise to be dressed appropriately while doing said crashing.
    Posted by cengle[/QUOTE]
    Make it work!
    image
    Whatever you hatters be hattin. -Tay Prince
  • Since you've stated they've asked before, and you've told them Church attire, they will probably ask again. Though, I don't see how Church attire would not be formal enough; I grew up going to Church in dresses, stockings and heels. Just tell them it is formal attire (if they ask). They can figure out themselves what that means to them and how they can accomidate that request.

    image
  • I guess I should have made more clear the shorts thing...
    We are talking actual shorts. I had an uncle shot up after cutting grass with the green stained shoes to an evening wedding. Now are we following?

    I don't want them to feel they cannot attend but I do want them to respect the time and cost put in to the event. Yes it will be an evening wedding with a sit down meal served. I will be the first to even consider something like this and I don't want them to feel out of place next to someone in a suit. I guess thats more my concern than how I feel. I don't want uncle "joe" in stained shoes next to uncle "bob" in a suit feeling like an outcast because he wasn't prepared.
    I just was hoping for the right wording to let everyone know what I wanted... not a tounge lashing for wanting to see my family at thier best.
  • Put formal attire on the invitation. Talk to close family members.
  • CellesCelles member
    Combo Breaker First Comment

    As others have said, you can't dictate your guests' attire.   I think you could probably get away with asking a relative (your mom, perhaps, or a close aunt?) to spread the word that the venue is more upscale and that semi-formal or formal attire would be appropriate. 

    image
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_family-dress-formal?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:c570775c-f511-4686-ab1d-a423888f717dPost:9ba76118-1cbb-4d82-8dac-0afee7c817bf">Re: How to get family to dress formal?</a>:
    [QUOTE]As others have said, you can't dictate your guests' attire.   I think you could probably get away with asking a relative (your mom, perhaps, or a close aunt?) to spread the word that the venue is more upscale and that semi-formal or formal attire would be appropriate. 
    Posted by Celles[/QUOTE]

    This is good advice.  Also - keep in mind that your guests will want to look their best because they know that its a special day and that you won't notice (or care) at all.  I promise.
    Warning No formatter is installed for the format bbhtml
  • Again, if they ASK, you can tell them that it's semi-formal.  If they don't ask, then it's their fault if they "feel like an outcast".  Also, Dani gave you good advice about setting the tone with your venue and invitations.

    There is no "right wording" because how to dress is not something you tell people on an invitation.

    image
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_family-dress-formal?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:c570775c-f511-4686-ab1d-a423888f717dPost:6ebd5bde-10e8-453f-90e6-c2a651005278">Re: How to get family to dress formal?</a>:
    [QUOTE]I guess I should have made more clear the shorts thing... We are talking actual shorts. I had an uncle shot up after cutting grass with the green stained shoes to an evening wedding. Now are we following? I don't want them to feel they cannot attend but I do want them to respect the time and cost put in to the event. Yes it will be an evening wedding with a sit down meal served. I will be the first to even consider something like this and I don't want them to feel out of place next to someone in a suit. I guess thats more my concern than how I feel. I don't want uncle "joe" in stained shoes next to uncle "bob" in a suit feeling like an outcast because he wasn't prepared. I just was hoping for the right wording to let everyone know what I wanted... not a tounge lashing for wanting to see my family at thier best.
    Posted by 44deanna[/QUOTE]


    My advice remains the same.  Don't take the girls' jokes personally, it's just a question we see often and the answer still remains - it's not appropriate to dictate dress code to your guests unless you are actually doing Black Tie.  If you just want people to dress nice, be sure to spread the word to family and friends that this is a sit down dinner and they should dress up.  Don't put it on the invitations, but word of mouth is fine and if you have a wedding website you could put it there if you really feel like you need to. 
    image
    Baby Birthday Ticker Ticker
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_family-dress-formal?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:c570775c-f511-4686-ab1d-a423888f717dPost:6ebd5bde-10e8-453f-90e6-c2a651005278">Re: How to get family to dress formal?</a>:
    [QUOTE]I guess I should have made more clear the shorts thing... We are talking actual shorts. I had an uncle shot up after cutting grass with the green stained shoes to an evening wedding. <strong>Now are we following?</strong> I don't want them to feel they cannot attend but I do want them to respect the time and cost put in to the event. Yes it will be an evening wedding with a sit down meal served. I will be the first to even consider something like this and I don't want them to feel out of place next to someone in a suit. I guess thats more my concern than how I feel. I don't want uncle "joe" in stained shoes next to uncle "bob" in a suit feeling like an outcast because he wasn't prepared. I just was hoping for the right wording to let everyone know what I wanted... not a tounge lashing for wanting to see my family at thier best.
    Posted by 44deanna[/QUOTE]
    I think we were all following to begin with. And aside from my lack of contribution of something useful and bad jokes, you got very good advice. Take it.
    image
    Whatever you hatters be hattin. -Tay Prince
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_family-dress-formal?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:c570775c-f511-4686-ab1d-a423888f717dPost:6ebd5bde-10e8-453f-90e6-c2a651005278">Re: How to get family to dress formal?</a>:
    [QUOTE]I guess I should have made more clear the shorts thing... We are talking actual shorts. I had an uncle shot up after cutting grass with the green stained shoes to an evening wedding. Now are we following? I don't want them to feel they cannot attend but I do want them to respect the time and cost put in to the event. Yes it will be an evening wedding with a sit down meal served. I will be the first to even consider something like this and I don't want them to feel out of place next to someone in a suit. I guess thats more my concern than how I feel. <strong>I don't want uncle "joe" in stained shoes next to uncle "bob" in a suit feeling like an outcast because he wasn't prepared</strong>. I just was hoping for the right wording to let everyone know what I wanted... not a tounge lashing for wanting to see my family at thier best.
    Posted by 44deanna[/QUOTE]

    Maybe it doens't bother him.  Many people really do not care.  I was just at a wedding a few weeks ago, half the guests were dressed in casual dresses and khaki slacks, the other half were in jeans and tshirts.  It was still a blast.
  • cenglecengle member
    First Comment First Anniversary
    In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_family-dress-formal?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:c570775c-f511-4686-ab1d-a423888f717dPost:7cfe5097-8252-4cb6-a741-418dced1377b">Re: How to get family to dress formal?</a>:
    [QUOTE]In Response to Re: How to get family to dress formal? : My advice remains the same.  Don't take the girls' jokes personally, it's just a question we see often and the answer still remains - it's not appropriate to dictate dress code to your guests unless you are actually doing Black Tie.  If you just want people to dress nice, be sure to spread the word to family and friends that this is a sit down dinner and they should dress up.  Don't put it on the invitations, but word of mouth is fine and if you have a wedding website you could put it there if you really feel like you need to. 
    Posted by danieliza1127[/QUOTE]

    All kidding aside, this is good advice.
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_family-dress-formal?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding%20BoardsForum:9Discussion:c570775c-f511-4686-ab1d-a423888f717dPost:6ebd5bde-10e8-453f-90e6-c2a651005278">Re: How to get family to dress formal?</a>:
    [QUOTE]Yes it will be an evening wedding with a sit down meal served. I will be the first to even consider something like this and I don't want them to feel out of place next to someone in a suit. I guess thats more my concern than how I feel. I don't want uncle "joe" in stained shoes next to uncle "bob" in a suit feeling like an outcast because he wasn't prepared.
    Posted by 44deanna[/QUOTE]

    I really don't think that's a concern. At this point, an adult should know how to dress appropriately for  wedding in order to avoid looking out of place. And if said adult doesn't know, my guess is that he's oblivious to the fact that he looks out of place. Oh well. His problem. Not yours.

    Now you COULD find a reception location that requires no jeans or jackets for men or something. Some country clubs do that. In that case, it's fine to either have a small insert in the invitations with their dress code (verbatim) or to put it on your website. But I think you're past that point.
    my read shelf:
    Meredith's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)
    40/112

    Photobucket
  • If your Uncle Joe shows up to an evening wedding in grass stained shoes, I don't think he's going to care what other people are wearing or how he compares to them.
    image
    ttc chart
    BFP 8/01/12, EDD 04/10/12, mm/c @ 6wks, discovered at 8wks, D&C 9/05/12
  • In Response to <a href="http://forums.theknot.com/Sites/theknot/Pages/Main.aspx/wedding-boards_etiquette_family-dress-formal?plckFindPostKey=Cat:Wedding BoardsForum:9Discussion:c570775c-f511-4686-ab1d-a423888f717dPost:6ebd5bde-10e8-453f-90e6-c2a651005278">Re: How to get family to dress formal?</a>:
    [QUOTE]I guess I should have made more clear the shorts thing... We are talking actual shorts. I had an uncle shot up after cutting grass with the green stained shoes to an evening wedding. Now are we following? I don't want them to feel they cannot attend but I do want them to respect the time and cost put in to the event. Yes it will be an evening wedding with a sit down meal served. I will be the first to even consider something like this and I don't want them to feel out of place next to someone in a suit. I guess thats more my concern than how I feel. I don't want uncle "joe" in stained shoes next to uncle "bob" in a suit feeling like an outcast because he wasn't prepared. I just was hoping for the right wording to let everyone know what I wanted... not a tounge lashing for wanting to see my family at thier best.
    Posted by 44deanna[/QUOTE]

    I kind of get where you are coming from. It doesn't change the fact that it isn't really appropriate to tell people how to dress after you've already specified that it is formal by the invitations or by word of mouth. Honestly someone showing up in shorts shouldn't bother YOU, it might make that person feel uncomfortable but there is also a good chance that it wont because they showed up that way (and believe it or not they might actually have a good concept on what formal attire is and were unable to accomidate the request). People ask each other what they are wearing. I know I always do for every event I attend I base what I am wearing on what people I know are wearing to match the formality of the event. If these people are family I am sure they will ask each other. If you MUST intercede, have one of your parents ask the people whom you are concerned about casually ask what they are wearing--though if it is the men you are worried about it probably wont come across very well and will seem kind of rude.
    image
  • 44deanna, where are you having your reception?  I see you're in Columbus, so if its at one of the hotels downtown or the Franklin Park Conservatory or even the Hilton at Easton or Polaris, I think you can easily say your wedding is "black tie optional" on the invites and make the invitations more formal looking, and it would be clear to your guests that you want them dressed up.  As for making your uncle jim feel bad that he doesn't own a suit, I think the fact that you want your wedding guests to be dressed up means that uncle jim is going to have to suck it up and get something from Men's Wearhouse. Otherwise he's showing up in cutoff overalls.
  • The Conservatory
  • Then make your wedding black tie optional.  problem solved. 
  • edited July 2010
    Yep, I'd put "Black Tie Optional" as long as you're having a seated meal, open bar, the men in the WP are wearing tuxedos, etc...

    If it's more casual "cocktail attire" would also work.
This discussion has been closed.
Choose Another Board
Search Boards