A friend mentioned to me the other day she had heard you’re not supposed to wear green to a wedding. That was news to me.
A quick Google revealed that, according to Irish tradition, the colour green attracts the fairies and they could bring mischief and mayhem to the event. How fantastic.
I feel like a wedding may be the perfect time to be conjuring up fairies, even if just to liven up proceedings.
Another long-held belief is that it is inappropriate to wear black, as it could be interpreted as more funereal than celebratory.
The last time I attended a funeral, the person sitting next to me was wearing a multicoloured print dress, red jacket and sunglasses on her head, so I feel like the collective understanding of sartorial appropriateness has bitten the dust.
The one thing my mother taught me about correct wedding attire is that the guest should never try to upstage the bride.
I recall being taken aback at one wedding in the 90s when I noticed a female in her 30s wearing a white strapless satin corset, a white full length, voluminous tulle skirt and a flower in her hair.
The poor bride was in a demure cream silk column dress, which although very chic, looked like a bridesmaid’s dress when she stood next to Ms ‘It Should Have Been Me’.
Another wedding faux pas is wearing anything too sexy, short, revealing or showy. Good luck with that in 2017.
Skip the sequins, the plunging necklines, and the spray-on bandage dresses. Beautiful alternatives are the romantic, floaty, long-sleeved, high-necked dresses by designers such as Zimmermann and Valentino that are currently on trend.
This style of dress is endlessly adaptable, perfect for formal events, the races, cruises, cocktails, and lunches. A floaty mid-calf dress in a pretty floral print may be as formal as you ever need, for anything.
Weddings have always, for me, meant a chance to dress up, to rise to the occasion. This is not a time to be casual, unless the dress code specifically states “Come as you are, we don’t care,” and you don’t plan on being friends with the bride afterwards.
Gay weddings have certainly upped the ante on the chic factor. I was a guest at two very elegant gay weddings last year, in the US and Ireland, (I look forward to attending many more here in Australia when we finally catch up with the rest of the world). These gentlemen really set the bar high – you don’t see too many rental suits there, I can tell you.
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Ultimately, whether the wedding is in a church, on a beach, or in a garden, the general rule is that you are not the star of the day, it is all about the couple.
Choosing an outfit that has some sense of formality is respectful. But to be honest, I wouldn’t mind wearing green just once to see what happens.