October 22

Inappropriate Wedding Attire: Today’s Diva Dish

Today’s question from a reader is quite the dilemma, indeed:

Dear Divas,

I have a fairly close friend who dresses inappropriately at weddings (and by “inappropriately,” I mean she never wears anything without sky-high hemlines, plunging necklines, hot pink colors and Lycra fabric). I know she’ll be disappointed if I don’t invite her to my wedding, but I’m afraid she’ll embarrass me with her outfit.

Is there anything I can do short of not inviting her?

Thanks for the help!


Dear Jenna,

Unfortunately, all of the etiquette books will tell you that as the host of the event, your prerogative should be the utmost consideration for your guests. This also requires you to have measure of trust that your guests will show respect for you as well in both their attire and behavior.

If you’re quite certain that this friend will arrive in an outfit that will make your grandmother gasp, you have a few options. Not inviting her could indeed ruin your friendship, especially if you have friends in common who are on the guest list. But at the same time, inviting her without addressing the issue will probably leave you more worried about her outfit than your bridesmaids’ dresses—a source of unnecessary stress to say the least.

If she’s particularly thick-skinned, you might get away with asking your friend to wear something more conservative, but that depends both on her personality and the nature of your friendship.

Here’s what we recommend—go shopping with her! Invite her out to catch up and grab lunch, then go shopping for a dress you can both live with. If that doesn’t work and it’s not worth ending a friendship over, we suggest you invite her anyway and just laugh it off as adding a little color to your big day.

What advice would you share with Jenna? Leave us a comment and let her know!

Do you have a question for our wedding experts? Send your etiquette, wedding planning or style dilemma to blog@weddingpaperdivas.com and we’ll post an answer for you!


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About Katie

Katie M. is a Writer at Wedding Paper Divas. She has the privilege of viewing nearly every piece of stationery before it goes up on the website, giving her the ultimate inside scoop on upcoming trends in the stationery world. She loves classic designs with a surprising twist, and enjoys finding new ways to express her ever-evolving personal style—a blend of traditional glamour and bohemian whimsy that makes Wedding Paper Divas a perfect fit! In addition to her love for writing, Katie is obsessed with health and fitness, skincare, UC Santa Barbara, all things adorable, the beach, dancing, cooking, getting real mail, fresh flowers, discount shopping, and shoes (who isn’t?). Katie is a contributing editor to Diva Dialogue. Be sure to check out her recurring feature, “Rant or Rave.”

2 thoughts on “Inappropriate Wedding Attire: Today’s Diva Dish

  1. Abs

    I second Terry’s comment; add pics!

    1. If she’s a really good friend, put her in the wedding so she has to wear a dress of your choice.
    2. Talk to her, openly and honestly.
    a.) “You’ve a rockin’ body and can pull off any dress, so lets shop for something together as I love to play dress up, esp. with a real life Barbie!”
    b.) “You know I love you, but don’t dress like a ho at my wedding; it’ll distract the groom. Wedding dresses can’t compete with clubwear.”
    c.) “It totally cracks me up that you’re the center of attention at everyone’s wedding because of your outfits, but for mine, try to wear something appropriate.”
    d.) “Hey, I’m going clubbing Friday night and need a skin-tight wow dress; can I borrow something you’ve worn to a wedding as a guest?”

    I’m cracking up here. It’s absolutely killing me!

    BTW, at my wedding (10+ years ago)to my ex, a dear friend showed up to the reception in jeans and a tshirt. It was a very formal wedding. I was happy as can be to see her and gave her a giant hug. She didn’t stay long b/c she felt inappropriately dressed. I didn’t say a word beyond “I’m so happy to see you!” If your friend has no shame or sense of decorum, there’s a good chance she doesn’t realize what she’s wearing is inappropriate. There’s also a good chance that she’s a diva who always needs the lime-light, even when it should be directed at someone else. If that’s the case, it’s very sad and speaks volumes about her sense of self-worth.


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