Poll: Do You Get to Dictate What Other People Wear to Your Wedding?

We all know by now that when it comes to weddings, brides are given the green light to be dictators. They are allowed — nay, encouraged! — to tell their five best friends what to wear, boss around people who make food, arrange flowers and tailor clothing, and unleash violent bouts of rage on their betrothed, all with no consequences.

But how far do bride-to-bes really get to take this premarital fascism? Are they allowed, for instance, to tell their parents — who aren’t in the ceremony — what to wear?

Such was the dilemma presented to Prudence over at Slate recently, where a mother wrote in complaining that her future daughter-in-law picked a dress for her that sounds, to my best approximation, to be shit-brown in color, so that she’ll match the floral arrangements. I personally find that a horrific overstepping of bounds, but I can’t say it better than Prudie, who writes:

It used to be that “wedding colors” were pretty simple: The bride wore white. Sometime in recent years, however, getting married has become like an episode of a crazed decorating show with family and friends being treated as if they are animated paint chips.

Animated paint chips. Fucking genius. But more importantly, what do you think?

Sorry! This poll is now closed.

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    • Eileen

      You get to tell them how formal you want them to look. That’s it.

    • M

      I can understand certain requests, within reason [I remember some advice column about a woman who was mad because she wore her cat ear headband everywhere and they were PART OF HER IDENTITY ZOMG but her friend asked her not to wear them to her super-formal wedding and she was horrified that her friend could be so insensitive to her NEEDS as a guest. Yes, cat ears]. However, I can also understand people not listening to said requests, within reason [as in, not cat ears].

    • Laura

      I intend to request that all the ladies wear a hat or at least a fascinator. Mostly because I like the look and at the last wedding there were a total of 3 hats, me, MotB and another older woman (no idea how she was related) and maybe another 3-4 fascinators and this was a really big do (~100 guests)…
      Would asking that be treating my future guests as animated paint chips?! *plunges into self-doubt*

      • Eileen

        Yes, unless you’re royalty.

      • Miss Juice

        I think encouraging hats is ok, just don’t be too pushy in your phrasing. Since hats have no real bearing on formality, which is the only thing you can dictate, I would probably let that preference spread through word of mouth and hope that it catches on.

    • Dara

      I know someone who was invited to a wedding and they showed up late to the reception wearing jeans and a t-shirt with a matching date. The Groom and Bride refused to let them in. I think that’s alright.