I think you go to a wedding for multiple reasons, to celebrate, to mingle, to socialize, but most importantly to show your respect (pay your respects was the old term) to the newly married bride and groom. Part of that respect is at least putting some effort into your clothing and grooming. They put a lot of effort into planning the wedding, and though enough of you to invite you, why wouldn’t you put some effort into getting ready.
All that being said, I’m not saying you need to spend a ton of money, buy new clothes, or anything like that. Simple things….wear CLEAN clothes, collared shirts, jeans (if you must) that are not torn, wrinkled or too faded, shave, wash, deodorant, clean shoes, etc. If you have a jacket and tie, how about wearing it? If you don’t, just dress appropriately.
Here are some definite don’ts that I have personally witnessed:
1. Never wear a ball cap…I don’t care how nice it is or how bad your hair looks.
2. Never wear sunglasses indoors, either on your face or on your head or on your hat (see #1 above).
3. Never wear your work boots.
4. Never wear your work boots (see #3 above) if there is fresh cow crap on them.
5. If you insist on wearing tennis shoes, wear clean tennis shoes…they shouldn’t look (or smell) like you just ran a marathon thru the mud.
6. Men…sandles are never appropriate.
7. Crocs are not formal footwear.
8. Men…pants are only appropriate if they have a zipper or button fly. Sweat pants, wind pants, and jogging pants are not wedding attire.
9. Women…if you are going to wear open toe shoes, how about we crop those tonails?
10. Women…undergarments (including bras) probably should be worn…but if you aren’t wearing them, don’t brag about it.
11. Tattoos can be neat…but if they are too riske…how about covering them up…kids are at weddings also.
12. Shorts…unless you are under 6 or at beach wedding, shorts aren’t appropriate. Even at a backyard wedding, at least wear pants for the service…you can change to shorts later for the party if you must.
13. If the wedding is in a real church dress clothing is a must. No jeans, shorts, etc. Keep in mind that in a church you are not only respecting the couple, you are respecting the big man of the house.
14. Dress to impress, not to express. It is the bride’s day and she is the only one who should be making a statement. Dress to look good, to look appropriate, to impress others with your thoughtful choice of attire. Do not dress to draw attention. Save that for the club or bar. People should only remember how beautiful the bride looked, not how goofy her second cousin dressed with leather, no bra, 87 piercings, 92 tattoos and green & violet hair, looked.
15. Tasteful makeup. Control the amount of perfume. Control the amount of cologne or aftershave. Less truly is more.
16. The lost art of dress up. Can any woman deny that a man always looks better in a suite? Doesn’t a beautiful woman in a dress turn every head? We played dress up and dreamed of wearing fancy clothes when we were kids…why don’t we now? I think every man should own a suite and tie…or at least a sport coat and tie. Weddings, funerals, job interviews, graduations…all these events are great to dress up for. A man can buy a good fitting suit for less than $100 that will last him for years if he keeps it in plastic in the closet. As guys we spend hundreds if not thousands of dollars on hunting, fishing, sporting goods, power tools, etc and yet we can’t spend $100 on a suit every 10 years?
The goal is not to get you to go out and spend money you don’t have on clothing you won’t wear. The goal is to get you to understand that a wedding is about the bride and groom and showing respect to them, it’s not about a free chicken dinner. If you aren’t willing to put forth the effort to be presentable at the wedding, you are probably better off not showing up…after all, who knows which videos you will show up in and ruin if you dress like a goof ball or a bum.
I’m sorry if this was a little harsh…I just see too many weddings where the couple puts forth a ton of effort to have a great experience only to have it ruined by half a dozen jokers who show up looking fresh from the homeless shelter. You stand out like a sore thumb.