By Grace Kenganzi
While talking about upcoming weddings with friends recently, what we were going to wear came up. It seemed like an easy topic and that we would soon move on. In my naivety, I mentioned the outfit I was planning to wear to a certain wedding, and the fact that I had worn it to another wedding this year. The responses! Turns out my dress of choice was a no-no, a wedding faux pas. Apparently there are rules to choosing the outfit you are going to wear for a wedding.
Finding the wedding dress is supposed to be the bride’s problem. That is what every wedding magazine and show says. It also seems to be the general rule. When the month of the wedding comes, the bride usually knows what she will look like; whether it will be a Cinderella or A-line gown, whether she will have a train or not_ you get the idea.
So when did this stress transfer from the bride to the guests? Apparently, the invisible rules are;
- You never repeat a dress. It does not matter that the dress is in a timeless style and that one of the reasons you bought it was because it looks like those dresses you will wear for years without having to worry about it being in vogue or not. How dare you be shameless enough to be seen in the same dress at more than one wedding? Do you want people to think you don’t have other clothes in your closet?
- Who are you wearing? It is not enough to find a good dress. The dress must also be an opportunity to name drop. “Oh I’m wearing so-and-so.” “I bought mine at the-other-one’s boutique.” Think of yourself at a red carpet event with paparazzi asking, “who are you wearing?” This is the glamour your dress should exude but it reminds me of those “my knicker is pink, mine has flowers, mine has ribbons” conversations we had during the Sunday school breaks.
- Accessories are just as big a deal. After they poured cold water on what I’d planned to wear, my friends were quick to remind me that the accessories need to complement the dress. This is not news to me, which is why I have two trusted purses I hold for weddings. They have enough space, go well with almost every outfit and they are easy to carry around. But it turns out even this was a faux pas! Hadn’t I noticed that there are new trends for purses and clutch bags, they wondered.
I have noticed the new trends. I have also observed the pressure some women go through to find the perfect outfit for a wedding. That dress that will look good on Instagram(IG), complete with the perfect caption. Something like…
#OOTD Trendy designer
#Facebeat Popular MUA
#Accessories The other cool boutique
#Awesomeness I got it from my mama
You get the gist. Social media –IG and Pinterest especially – is making us a little crazy guys. Being a wedding guest comes with enough pressure on its own today. From themed wedding meeting launches to bridal showers that have got a life of their own, there is enough pressure going around.
Do I want to show up looking good for a friend’s wedding? Of course. Should I be as stressed out about finding the best dress for the day as the bride? No. If I have a dress I have worn to other weddings, and it still fits, you best believe I’ll wear it again. Of course there are a few rules I apply to this, for instance, I won’t wear it to consecutive family weddings. Also, I usually change things up with my shoes or jewellery.
About tailoring clothes, I have seen beautiful clothes and asked a tailor to create something similar. That should be the exception, not the rule. I shouldn’t be running around like a headless chicken trying to get the perfect dress. If I find an already made dress in a shop, then you best believe it is what I will buy. I wonder how my friends would react if they found out that sometimes I borrow outfits from my sisters or close friends. I’ll bring it up at our next meeting.
Wedding season is soon kicking in. I’m sure I have to attend two weddings on the same day in December. What happens to the no repeating an outfit rule on this day? Will I be expected to have two different outfits on me? Definitely not. Also, can you imagine having to follow up on different tailors for outfits? These guys have a knack for completing outfits later than planned. I am not ready for that kind of pressure in my life.
If you are a wedding guest currently feeling the pressure of finding the dress, girl relax. It is not your wedding. Don’t give yourself unnecessary stress.