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Dress code for guests at my wedding

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by MedStudent, Apr 21, 2013.

  1. MedStudent

    MedStudent Member

    Messages:
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    Location:
    Between New York and California...
    Ok so I'm getting married in 2 weeks, and within the last month, an issue has come up and I'd like to see what everyone here thinks about it.

    First however, I want to say that I'm going to try and present this in the most un-baised way possible so as to get as many honest responses as possible. Here are the facts:

    I am getting married in Washington DC in early May.

    I have purchased my own tux, shoes, and accessories, and they are all traditional black tie.

    There will be no groomsmen, bridesmaids, maid of honor, or best man as this is a Persian wedding, and they don't have "wedding parties" in the American sense.

    The dress code for wedding guests is expected to be suit and tie, nothing less.

    Here's the "issue":

    I found out 2 weeks ago that my future brother-in-law decided to get a MTM tux for the wedding (it's already a done deal). His tux is identical to mine except that his is a shawl lapel and mine is a peak lapel. I believe he will be the only one besides me wearing a tux at my wedding.

    Without giving any of my own personal thoughts on this, what does everyone else think about this decision?
     
  2. laundry day

    laundry day Active Member

    Messages:
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    Mar 23, 2013
    I don't see a problem.

    1. It is no less than a suit.
    2. If you're concerned about the tuxes looking similar, they are tuxes. Tuxes tend to look similar.
    3. If you want to be the only one wearing a tux, then you're going to have to make sure that no one else is wearing one and ask your future brother in law to forgo the tux in favor of a suit.
    4. The lack of groomsmen means there isn't a problem of them all dressing in similar fashion or formality (that is if your future brother in law would have been in the wedding party).
     
    1 person likes this.
  3. manchambo

    manchambo Well-Known Member

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    Dec 18, 2012
    I think that its a douche move by him. Having been married almost 15 years, however, I would strongly advise you to let it go. You might comfort yourself with the knowledge that he will look stupid to people who understand such things, not you.
     
    1 person likes this.
  4. erpet

    erpet Well-Known Member

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    May 3, 2011
    Yes, the embarrasment, if there is any, will be his.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. Gauss17

    Gauss17 Well-Known Member

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    This. I doubt anyone will notice. If they were exactly the same, someone might, but as is. I do not see an issue.
     
    1 person likes this.
  6. lordjeebus

    lordjeebus Well-Known Member

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    I think that at any affair where it is appropriate for someone to wear a tuxedo, it is appropriate for anyone to wear a tuxedo should they choose.
     
    3 people like this.
  7. GBR

    GBR Well-Known Member

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    He is a silly man but he is the one to be embarrassed. Just ignore the issue and don't let it ruin your day.
     
    1 person likes this.
  8. punchdrunkwelle

    punchdrunkwelle Active Member

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    Apr 10, 2013
    It's a non-issue for me considering he's going to be my brother in law. But I'll probably mention it in passing, it wouldn't hurt the relations I'm sure.
     
    1 person likes this.
  9. Eteo

    Eteo Member

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    Aug 29, 2012
    Yes ignore it.

    No one will really notice. He is part of the family and most will assume he is just part of the 'party'.
     
    1 person likes this.
  10. Veremund

    Veremund Well-Known Member

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    Frankfurt, Germany
    

    If it's a really a non-issue for you, then don't mention it at all. If you mention it, then it is an issue for you.

    Take it as a compliment. He wants to look his best as a show of respect for you and his sister. We're not women who get huffy if someone else shows up to the party in the same dress.
     
    1 person likes this.
  11. MedStudent

    MedStudent Member

    Messages:
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    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2012
    Location:
    Between New York and California...
    Thanks for all the responses. I guess the general consensus is that it is a faux pas for him to do this, but it is his faux pas to make, and I should just keep my big mouth shut. I think that's sound advice, but I'm not sure that's what I'll end up doing. See, what I didn't go into detail about in the first post was the thing about not having a wedding party...

    I had to have a semi-serious guy talk with a couple of my friends about how I honestly was not able to have a best man or groomsmen, but if I was able to, it would definitely be them. Now my future brother-in-law is going to be showing up in a matching tux AND giving a speech. It'll look like I lied to my best friends about not having a groomsman/best man, and while yes, I could explain the situation to them, I'm not sure they'll understand. Plus, I'd rather not have to make a bunch of heartfelt apologies/explanations to my friends. I kinda feel like I'm being robbed of a best man here and I'm going to look like an absolute schmuck on my wedding day.

    FWIW, I think my bro-in-law is 100% genuine in his intentions to wear a tux simply because it's a huge day for him. His sister (whom he's very close to) is getting married to a guy he really likes (me). He wants to honor the occasion by going all out with his attire, he just doesn't know the etiquette.

    After sleeping on it and reading the advice here, I think what I'm going to do is gently explain to him my side of things. I'll maybe even ask for his help in finding a matching tux for my would-be best man so we can do things right: I'll have a proper best man and he'll be a groomsman. Three of us in tuxes. They'll be in shawl lapels, I'll be in a peak lapel. We still won't have bridesmaids though, so the whole thing's just gonna be weird and I don't see any way how I can resolve this without looking like an a-hole in someone's eyes. I'm kinda hoping he'll just leave the black tie gear at home.
     
  12. unbelragazzo

    unbelragazzo Well-Known Member

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    Have you talked about this with your fiancée? I think you should be sure you have her support for whatever you choose to do here. She may be able to help you explain things to her brother.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2013
  13. MedStudent

    MedStudent Member

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    Yes, she's been very helpful. But she's also kinda caught in the middle, so there's only so much she can do.
     
  14. AdamWill

    AdamWill Well-Known Member

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    "I don't see any way how I can resolve this without looking like an a-hole in someone's eyes"

    I suspect this may be the pressure of the occasion getting to you. You know what? It's great that we all have standards here and try to hold onto some of the strict old-school rules of formality, attire for different occasions etc - but in the real world, both in the past and now, it's really not like that unless you're at an East Coast or British 'society wedding'.

    I've been to, oh, 10 or 15 weddings in the last couple of years - that time of life - from one in a fire hall where everyone wore their very best AE polo shirt and drank beer out of plastic cups to one where the groom hired out a local concert hall for the ceremony and a club (gentlemen's club, not nightclub) for the reception. And here's the takeaway: as long as the bride and groom look happy to be there and there's food, drink, music and dancing, 95% of those in attendance will have a great time and not give a damn what anyone's wearing or how anyone behaves. And even the bitchiest 5% will concentrate on the women's outfits. The tux / suit / sport coat / worse ratio among men in attendance was pretty varied at each event, and there were certainly ones where the groom plus some random attendees were in tuxes, and even some where the groom was in a suit and some guest or the MC or the best man was in a tux. And you know what? No-one gave a toss.

    Just trying to send you a positive message here - don't sweat it. Show up, smile, have a good time, pour lots of drinks. Anyone who cares about you will be happy to see you happy, and anyone who's petty enough to think you're an a**hole because your brother-in-law's wearing a tux is not worth caring about. And for whatever some idiot from the internet's advice is worth, I would not bring it up with your brother-in-law; I can't picture any way that conversation works out well. Even if he defers to your wishes out of respect for the groom, he's going to wonder why you're being so priggish about it, I think.

    (Some of the 'background' pages on the black tie guide have some neat pictures from way back showing that, below the 'society wedding' level, strict dress codes have rarely been observed at weddings for decades. Guys have been getting married at 2pm in tuxes since at least the 1940s, for instance, it's not some modern degradation.)
     
    3 people like this.
  15. Thanks SF (a new me)

    Thanks SF (a new me) Well-Known Member

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    personally, I don;t see any issues. Just make sure you wear better shoes, accessories, and better fitting tux and shirt than him :) ..Good Luck and congrats...
     
    1 person likes this.
  16. Geezer

    Geezer Well-Known Member

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    Sep 13, 2009
    Location:
    London
    

    MedStudent,

    This is very wise advice. How you handle your relationship with your brother-in-law to be is entirely up to you, and it's not easy to give good advice on that to a stranger on the internet. But as long as you and everyone else have a good time, no-one will care or remember the details of who wore what.
     
    1 person likes this.
  17. AmericanGent

    AmericanGent Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    667
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    Dec 30, 2012
    Location:
    Florida, unfortunately
    This day is mainly about your fiancé. Make sure she is happy. You don't want her to have a bad memory of her wedding for the rest of her life because you and her brother had a falling out.
    I am in a mixed-culture marriage too and I can not stress enough, this is her day- make sure she is happy and everything will be fine.
     
    1 person likes this.
  18. Gauss17

    Gauss17 Well-Known Member

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    ThisThisThisThis.
     
    1 person likes this.
  19. gort

    gort Well-Known Member

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    Unless the BIL is standing up there with you I think you will be safe from anyone misinterpreting the situation and thinking he is your best man, no?
     
    1 person likes this.
  20. mhdena

    mhdena Well-Known Member

    Messages:
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    Jan 3, 2008
    3 groomsmen and no bridesmaids = bad idea.

    When is he giving this speech, before the wedding or at the reception?

    Is he paying for the wedding or giving his sister away in the ceremony?


    He sounds like an immature kid who wants to be a part of the show, imo.


    If he's not paying for anything, you and your fiance need to tell him to be like the rest of the guests and sit his ass down!
     

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