Choosing appropriate wedding attire

I am to be in my brother's wedding and they have decided to have the wedding at 10 a.m. My brother is to wear his dress blues, therefore, making the wedding a more formal affair. My sister-in-law-to-be wants the bridesmaids to wear full-length gloves, died to match our navy blue dresses. Our dresses are sleeveless and can certainly handle such a look, but I, and many people I consult, think this is inappropriate for the time of day.

Believe it or not, your outrage is unfounded. American society has become much more casual in its dress. Just look at today’s offices-not many business require a coat and tie for men. And women are now wearing skirts without nylons and with open-toed shoes! So it is understandable how your future sister-in-law’s bridal wear seems too formal for a morning wedding.

With your brother in military dress, the wedding becomes formal--and a morning wedding doesn’t diminish the ritual. Etiquette says that bridesmaids wear long dresses with matching shoes for a daytime wedding. And gloves are the bride’s choice. In fact, the only times gloves are not considered appropriate are at informal day and night weddings.

Now let’s look at proper attire for the rest of the wedding party.

The Bride
◾ Formal Day and Evening Weddings: Long gown (white, off-white or cream) with veil and matching shoes; gloves are optional.
◾Semi-formal Day and Evening Weddings: Long gown (white, off-white or cream) with short veil and matching shoes; gloves are optional.
◾ Informal Day: Short afternoon dress, cocktail dress or suit.
◾Evening Weddings: Long dinner dress or short cocktail dress or suit.

The Groom

◾Formal Day: Cutaway coat, striped trousers, pearl gray waistcoat, white shirt, turndown collar, gray-and-black-striped four-in-hand or ascot, gray gloves, black shoes.
◾Evening Weddings: Black tailcoat, black trousers, white pique waistcoat, starched-bosom shirt, wing collar, white bow tie, white gloves, black shoes.
◾Semi-formal Day: Black or charcoal coat, dove gray waistcoat, white pleated shirt, starched turndown collar or soft white shirt, four-in-hand tie, gray gloves, black shoes.
◾Semi-formal Evening: Black tuxedo, pleated or pique soft shirt, black cummerbund or vest, black bow tie, no gloves, black shoes.
◾Informal Day: Dark suit, conservative four-in-hand tie.
◾Informal Evening: Tuxedo if bride wears dinner dress, or dark suit.

Groom's Attendants
◾Formal Day: Cutaway coat, striped trousers, pearl gray waistcoat, white shirt, turndown collar, gray-and-black-striped four-in-hand or ascot, gray gloves, black shoes.
◾Formal Evening: Black tailcoat, black trousers, white pique waistcoat, starched-bosom shirt, wing collar, white bow tie, white gloves, black shoes.
◾Semi-formal Day: Black or charcoal sack coat, dove gray waistcoat, white pleated shirt, starched turndown collar or soft white shirt, four-in-hand tie, gray gloves, black shoes.
◾Semi-formal Day: Black tuxedo, pleated or pique soft shirt, black cummerbund or vest, black bow tie, no gloves, black shoes.
◾ Informal Day:
◾Dark suit, conservative four-in-hand tie.
◾Informal Evening: Tuxedo if bride wears dinner dress or dark suit.

Bridal and tuxedo rental shops will be able to help you pick the proper attire that fits the formality of your wedding, as well as the accessories.