YOU ASK! WE ANSWER! YOU DECIDE!
By Callie Gordon, Lillie-Beth Brinkman, Helen Ford Wallace
QUESTION: I am attending a fall evening wedding that will be outdoors in Oklahoma City. I want to look nice for an evening wedding. I am worried about potentially being cold in cocktail attire, but also getting a long dress dirty if it happens to rain. I am in my mid 20s, as is the wedding party, and most of the guests. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
CALLIE’S ANSWER: Wear a cocktail dress and bring a nice neutral scarf to wrap around your shoulders.
LILLIE-BETH’S ANSWER: I went to the most fun outdoor wedding a couple of years ago at the same time of year, and the couple getting married solved the cool-weather problem with their party favors: Placed in about every other seat (one per guest couple) was a nicely wrapped, monogrammed blanket for guests to use if they were cold. It was such a nice touch! Obviously, since you’re not the host, you can’t offer that option, even though it is a fun idea for others planning their own weddings. You can, however, wear a scarf or a wrap that could be used to cover up your arms or to drape temporarily on your legs during the ceremony. I know you’re trying to plan your outfit in advance, but you can also check on the weather report for the week and adjust your outfit accordingly, keeping your long dress in mind if there’s no chance of rain.
HELEN’S ANSWER: A dressy cocktail dress or a stylish suit with a beautiful blouse and jacket would work for the fall wedding. You can remove the jacket if it is too hot. A floor-length formal gown is always lovely and hopefully if it is raining, the wedding will be moved indoors.
The weather is usually still hot at this time of year, but cool fronts are always on the horizon. A pashmina shawl, wrap or scarf is a good fashion accessory for any season or event.
GUEST’S ANSWER: Heather Warlick, Mood Publication Editor: As a part-time wedding singer for the last decade, I’ve been involved in so many Oklahoma weddings I’ve lost count. So, I’ve seen tons of amazing fashions on wedding guests. That’s one of my favorite parts of the job.
Fall evenings in Oklahoma can get cold, so you need to make absolutely sure you have something to put over your shoulders to keep you warm. That’s the most important part of your outdoor event wardrobe.
If the reception features a band or DJ for dancing, be sure to choose shoes you can dance in or bring a pair of slip-on flats in your clutch.
As for dress length and style, have fun! That’s the point of a wedding and reception: to celebrate the couple with a party. Don’t wear all white. Don’t get too short or sexy. Don’t get hung up on the definitions of “formal” and “cocktail attire.” Do let the event be a chance to let your personality shine through your fashion. Dance around a little bit in front of the dressing room mirror to see how you’ll look on the dance floor.
If all else fails, grab your favorite LBD (little black dress) and jazz it up with a fabulous rhinestone brooch, a few stacked bracelets, chandelier earrings, a metallic or animal print clutch and a pair of modern platform pumps.
Callie Gordon is twenty-something; Lillie-Beth Brinkman is in her 40s; and social columnist Helen Ford Wallace is 60-plus. To ask an etiquette question, email firstname.lastname@example.org.