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20-40-60 Etiquette: What should I wear to an Oklahoma wedding?
BY CALILE GORDON, LILLIE-BETH BRINKMAN AND HELEN FORD WALLACE | Published: August 19, 2012
QUESTION: I am attending an out-of-state 7 p.m. wedding at a fancy hotel — the Mayo Hotel in Tulsa. The invitation does not say black- tie or formal. Is it OK to wear a long navy dress with a jacket? Or should it be a shorter cocktail dress? All I have heard is that some guests are wearing black and the bridesmaids are wearing blue with lots of sparkles.
CALLIE'S ANSWER: I am sure it would be fine. Ask of one your friends to come over and look at it to get a second opinion. You can never go wrong with a cocktail dress. Have fun!
LILLIE-BETH'S ANSWER: Evening weddings are considered more formal than daytime ones, and, as you mentioned, the site is formal, too. I learned long ago that an 8 p.m. wedding usually meant black-tie and that a 7 p.m. wedding, while still formal, could indicate cocktail attire.
In the 2011 book “Emily Post's Etiquette: Manners for a New World” (18th edition) and on the website, emilypost.com, the etiquette guru's descendants and authors of the book divide wedding attire into separate evening categories: formal, semiformal and evening, with slightly different dress styles for each. The “Emily Post” authors also noted that the ceremony time provides some clues as to what to wear, as well as local custom and nature of the ceremony.
In Oklahoma at a hotel like the Mayo Hotel, I think what you're wearing sounds appropriate and very nice, but if you're unsure, find out more about what other guests are wearing.
HELEN'S ANSWER: The dress sounds lovely and since weddings held after 6 p.m. are considered formal, you can wear either a cocktail dress or floor-length dress. The jacket is great for a church wedding too. Bring your jewelry and carry an evening bag. The color black for wedding guest attire used to be taboo, but not so much anymore. I still think the color white is reserved for the bride.
Jane Kelley of J.J. Kelley Bridal shop noted that long dresses are very appropriate for a 7 p.m. wedding. “I think long dresses are appropriate for any wedding because the bride usually has a long dress,” she added.
And, 20-40-60 reader, we hope you have a great time in Oklahoma!
GUEST'S ANSWER: Linda Miller, author of NewsOK.com's Fashion Matters blog: Traditionally, weddings held after 6 p.m. are considered formal so your long navy dress is appropriate. Many invitations state the dress attire. When none is offered, a black or dark cocktail dress is dressy enough for almost any evening event.
To ask an etiquette question, email firstname.lastname@example.org. For more 20-40-60 etiquette, go to blog.NewsOK.com/partiesextra.com.