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