Whether it’s your first or your fifth, your wedding is one of the most important occasions you will ever celebrate. Many people choose to mark their nuptials by wearing the most formal clothing they can find and ask their guests to observe the same dress code. However, more casual dress at weddings is becoming more and more common. Many people embrace these trends, others detest them. Debates on this issue hit the headlines recently, as Kanye West was photographed attending the wedding of his friend and fellow artist 2 Chainz in slippers that were too small for his feet.
Much of Twitter was outraged by the absence of brogues, Oxfords or even smart trainers on Kanye’s feet. His failure to observe long-standing traditions regarding appropriate wedding attire were viewed by many as nothing short of outright disrespect. However, it is important to ask whether a wedding should be defined by tradition or by the personal relationship between the married couple and their guests.
This issue goes to the core of the meaning of a wedding to those celebrating the occasion. For an increasing number of couples, their wedding is an opportunity to share their joy with those closest to them. What people wear to the event doesn’t matter. Far more meaning is placed on the fact that they are present to share in that couple’s happiness on a monumental day in their shared life.
The idea of a lavish celebration, costing huge amounts not just to organise, but to attend can be off-putting to couples who opt for more relaxed weddings, as significant travel and suit hire costs can exclude some of their friends and family from taking part in the occasion and sharing in this happiness.
Additionally, it can be difficult to persuade kids to spend a whole day wearing a suit, while sitting still and not talking throughout the ceremony. Sometimes, a more casual dress-code can minimise any risk of excessive fidgeting and make the occasion more manageable for every member of the family.
However, some couples prefer a more traditional wedding, with suits, ties, jackets and waistcoats which would impress Gareth Southgate. Attending a wedding in casual dress could be viewed as a failure to appreciate the marriage’s significance by these couples. For them, a celebration involves dressing up and pushing the boat out when looking for a venue, to create an occasion which their guests will remember for a very long time.
Moreover, if a couple has earned a lot of money over the course of their relationship, they often enjoy demonstrating their success by wearing luxurious clothes to their wedding. Often these clothes are made bespoke for them, come at significant cost, and dictate a formal dress-code for their guests.
Whichever dress code you opt for at your wedding, it is important to remember one thing; it’s your wedding. Whatever you are comfortable wearing and whatever you feel your guests will be comfortable wearing, should determine the dress code. There’s no obligation to have a certain type of wedding or dress in a certain way while participating in one. If someone had turned up to my wedding wearing Kanye-style slippers, I would not have been impressed; but then that’s just me. You may prefer a completely different style of dress, and that’s fine. The main focus of your wedding should be a celebration of the love you and your partner share for each other, alongside your closest friends and family, rather than debates about what people are wearing.