The dos and don'ts of dressing for weddings
dress up. Two people have invited you to witness and honour their
marriage vows: that's huge. The least you can do is look glamorous and
decorative in their wedding album.
• DO wear something upbeat. A wedding is a celebration of love. Asymmetric, experimental Belgian tailoring in charcoal felt does not send the right message.
• DON'T wear anything too obviously foxy. You're there to applaud and cheerlead, not to try and steal the limelight. Sorry, but this is not the moment to exercise your Slutwalk principles. Too much cleavage, too short, too tight etc looks unsisterly and attention-seeking.
• DO read the invitation closely for dress code and dress code clues. An evening reception in a city restaurant requires a totally different look from an afternoon in a country church.
• DON'T get hung up on outdated traditions. If Samantha Cameron can go hatless to the royal wedding, you don't have to wear a hat to Cousin Brian's nuptials if you don't want to, whatever your mum might think. (Maybe you can compromise on a silk flower.)
• DO go ahead and ask the bride, or one of her close friends, if you're unsure if they'd mind you wearing white. Some brides do, some don't – if you're not sure, check. Do not, however, leave this call until the morning of the wedding when the inner-circle will be, shall we say, a bit busy.
• DON'T forget to think about what you wear over the dress. You need a wedding-appropriate coat or jacket. Most weddings involve a fair bit of standing around outside and there's no point wearing a gorgeous dress if it ends up hidden under a dreary coat.
• DO try the outfit on before you leave home if you're going to be getting ready in a hotel. Check that the outfit works and that you have the right underwear etc. The Saturday morning I spent trying to find a nude strapless bra in Anglesey is etched on my memory, and not in a good way.
• DO take a safety pin in your bag. There's always someone at a wedding who needs a safety pin. Be that nice person who comes to the rescue.