I have been with my boyfriend over a year now. So far, his close family have all been wonderful, loving, and inclusive of me at every turn. I like them all and am looking forward to perhaps being a member of their family someday.
A few months ago, he and I had decided to accept the wedding invitation of his cousin in a far-away state. The drive would be over seven hours each way, a car would have to be rented (we do not own one), and we also had the consideration of paying for the hotel room, food, gas, not to mention the gift!– all normal expenses for an out-of town gathering.
Now, just so we are clear, my beautiful boyfriend’s family and myself are all working class people. There is not an over-abundance of wealth. We are not in poverty, but are also not worry-free concerning finances, either.
After we RSVP in the positive, having set aside over 600$ for a two-day event, we notice on the bride’s wedding website that she has stipulated “No black or excessively dark clothing”. I was (and continue to be) appalled. I had intended to wear “my best”, which would have been a black pair of dress pants and a lovely navy blouse I have. As we are working-class, I haven’t owned a formal, floor-length dress since high school, and have always worn my very best dress clothes to weddings and funerals. I have never had someone be snide to me concerned this.
It is also fair to mention that I am slightly over six feet tall and am no stringbean. My dress clothes cost an outrageous amount of money. My pants easily cost anywhere from 85 to 150$ a pair, are always altered, and there is no way on Earth I would ever buy light-colored pants! Normal dresses and skirts are out of the question due to scarring on my legs (it is distracting to see and painful to be questioned about). I checked around online with the tall-ladies stores and found nothing our already-strained budget could accommodate. Thrift and resale shops also yielded nothing- women of my height and size simply don’t cast aside clothing that fits, apparently.
So, I rescinded my commitment and sent my partner off alone. For two days, he was somewhat-alone and tagged along with his siblings and cousins. When he returned, he showed me the photos. I had expected to see a formal wear pageant depicted. This was not the case at all. There were men dressed entirely in black at this function- pants, shirts, and ties (no jackets were worn). There were women dressed in navy and black as well. Pants on ladies were also depicted. I was crestfallen and felt very self-conscious about this. I had been expected to be there to meet this branch of his family, and felt so embarrassed.
While I don’t imagine it was intended to slight me in particular, I found it in very poor taste to dictate guest dress code at a wedding. When my best friend married years ago in a lovely church wedding, “your best” was all that was expected. Should I ever have the fortune of marrying my man, rest assured, “your best” will indeed be the requested outfit should anyone inquire- even if “your best” is a pair of pressed khakis and a polo. I certainly wouldn’t have the gall to post it on a website! Isn’t one supposed to be more concerned with your guest enjoying your day with you, rather than ‘looking just right’ for the photos?! What a joke. I don’t think I’ll be concerning myself about such trivialities in the future, and keep those that are not close to us at arm’s length. 0627-10