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03.06.2003: Etiquette Schmetiquette
common-sense manners
for real-world living
1 2 3
wearing black to a wedding ...
Q: Help!  I am attending a large, fancy wedding -- for the daughter of my boss (begins at 5 p.m). Is it permissible to wear black to weddings these days?  (In December of 2001, I attended the medium-sized wedding of another daughter of my boss, where the bridesmaids all wore black.)

I'm a large woman, and black is definitely my color.  However, I do not want to commit a great faux pas and embarrass my boss.

The favor of a reply will be GREATLY appreciated. Thanks, in advance.

A: As a girl whose closet features a predominance of black, I hear you on this dilemma: black is simple, stylish, classic; it looks great on just about everyone. And if it's a-ok to wear it to a holiday party -- clearly a festive event -- why not a wedding? Fortunately, even my rather traditional mom has more-or-less conceded that in modern day America, black seems to be a perfectly fine color to wear to a wedding. And for an evening wedding in particular, where women are frequently dressed in more formal cocktail attire, I’m guessing that you wouldn’t be the only woman decked out in the ever-popular black dress. So go for it – if you’re worried about the color not being festive enough, you can always ward off the lingering no-black-to-wedding-believers by pairing it with a nice, colored shawl/ wrap/ pashmina-type thing to brighten up the ensemble.


engagement party guest list ...
We were just engaged and have not yet finalized our wedding guest list. It's going to be a small "affair". We're planning an engagement party to which we would like to invite many of our friends but we suspect we may not be able to invite them all to the wedding itself.  Can you invite someone to your engagement party if you're not certain you can invite them to the wedding?
A: Wedding guest lists are a tricky thing – you want everyone you love to be there, but then again, your sweetie, your parents, and his parents generally all feel the same way as well. To keep things small and intimate, then, compromise is generally a necessity, the unfortunate result being that you won’t be able to invite absolutely every single one of your pals … a fact that any good friend (especially one that’s gone through the headache of planning a wedding) should be able to understand. 

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