Friday, June 5, 2009

Decoding the Dress Code

We're really not trying to be P.I.T.A.s. (That's pain in the, um, you know what.) But early in the planning, Mr. Bruschetta and I agreed we wanted to encourage our guests to embrace a dressier look for our summer soiree. After we secured the date with our two venues -- the St. Thomas of Villanova Church and the F.U.E.L. House (both gorgeous buildings inside and out) -- we discussed precisely how formal a wedding we were envisioning.

And, although Emily Post would cringe and scoff, we've decided to print the guest attire on our invitation, so there is no confusion or uncertainty among our family and friends -- and no one arrives under-dressed (and ultimately feels uncomfortable).

What makes me uncomfortable, though, is the notion that wedding dress code should correspond to the time of day the celebration takes place. I'm opting to focus on the evening start to our reception (a 5:30 cocktail hour, with the reception concluding at 10:30), rather than the afternoon ceremony -- since I really don't feel that an earlier celebration should dictate less formal attire. Mr. Bruschetta and I have agreed that male guests should consider a dark suit (or a tux for anyone who wants to kick it up a notch), while females could select a gown or cocktail dress (as my girls will be proving that knee-length can still be formal). But I'm struggling precisely how to define our guest attire.

Weddingbee reader El Capataz recently shared a link to a helpful resource filled with information about what to wear to a black tie event. And when Mrs. Penguin was in the midst of her planning, she wrote a post about the spectrum of guest attire. For our purpose, I'm toying with phrases like "black tie optional," "black tie invited," and "black tie preferred," unsure which would best communicate to guests the feel we'd like our wedding will have.

Ultimately, I realize this post is simply focused on one aspect of our wedding (and a frivolous one at that); however, we're really hoping our guests will have fun with the more formal vision we've created for the wedding -- and consider getting some attire inspiration from Mama and Daddy Bruschetta's mischevious, attention-seeking and aptly named "tuxedo" cat, Pita.

So, hive, help me out. What description should we use on our invitations to convey the suggested attire to our guests? Are you planning on a dressier feel for your wedding -- and your guests?

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