News: IT'S THE 2ND ANNUAL GUATEMALA LIBRARY PROJECT BOOK DRIVE!    LOOKING FOR DONATIONS OF SCIENCE BOOKS THIS YEAR.    Check it out in the "Extending the Hand of Kindness" folder or here: http://www.etiquettehell.com/smf/index.php?topic=139832.msg3372084#msg3372084   

  • November 20, 2017, 07:03:34 PM

Login with username, password and session length

Author Topic: Wearing wedding attire pre-wedding?  (Read 10621 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Meletiquette

  • Member
  • Posts: 156
Wearing wedding attire pre-wedding?
« on: September 22, 2015, 12:09:59 PM »
A friend of mine is getting married and her and her husband-to-be chose to buy all the wedding attire for their wedding party to reduce their financial burden. For the bridesmaids, the bride purchased the dresses and shoes (bridesmaids were allowed to help pick out the color, style, etc.) and for the groomsmen, her fiance purchased suits, shirts, and ties (rather than renting tuxes). These purchases were also meant to be the "thank you gift" that is customary (at least in my circle of people) for the bride and groom to give their wedding party at the rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding.

The issue is with one groomsman. The attire was purchased several months in advance of the wedding date when all the groomsmen were together one weekend. The groom is holding a couple of the suits until the big day, but one groomsman (who is local) got his altered at the place where it had been purchased, and picked it up later the same week. Since then, this groomsman has added this suit to his rotation (he wears suits to work every day). The bride and groom know this because he thanked them for the suit and told them how comfortable it was at a recent event we were all at.

In the moment the bride didn't say anything, but later commented to me that she thought it was inappropriate for the groomsman to be wearing a suit purchased for the wedding before the event itself. I agreed with her - since it was a gift, he could do whatever he wanted with it after the intended use, but until then he should have refrained from wearing it. Because, what if something happened - it got stained, ripped, lost by the dry cleaners, etc. - who would be responsible for purchasing a new one?

Thoughts? Should bride (or groom) have said something? Can bride still say something or did she miss her chance by not saying it in the moment? The wedding is still a few months away...

HannahGrace

  • Member
  • Posts: 1281
Re: Wearing wedding attire pre-wedding?
« Reply #1 on: September 22, 2015, 12:44:49 PM »
I think the groomsman is responsible for getting to the wedding on time with the suit in appropriate condition (not stained or ripped).  I think if he is getting use out of it now, so much the better for him.  I would not support the bride saying anything now, or at any time, about it.  If she didn't want him to wear the suit before the wedding, why didn't she hold onto it?

Outdoor Girl

  • Member
  • Posts: 16402
Re: Wearing wedding attire pre-wedding?
« Reply #2 on: September 22, 2015, 01:17:59 PM »
I think the groomsman has shown very poor judgement.  By wearing the clothing prior to the wedding, and presumably laundering it appropriately, his attire may no longer exactly match the other groomsmen/groom.  It will not look as crisp as the new suits, IMO.

More power to him to be able to wear it to work but he should have waited until after the wedding, IMO.  Perhaps the groom, who his presumably his friend/relative, could say something.  'Dude, we didn't mean for you to wear the suit before the wedding!  What if something happens to it?  You could spill something on it or tear something.  Could you please take it out of your work rotation until after the wedding?  After the wedding, it's all yours to wear or not, as you like.'

I do agree with HannahGrace's point that the bride and groom should have held onto it until the wedding, once the alterations were completed.
After cleaning out my Dad's house, I have this advice:  If you haven't used it in a year, throw it out!!!!.
Ontario

TootsNYC

  • Member
  • Posts: 33792
Re: Wearing wedding attire pre-wedding?
« Reply #3 on: September 22, 2015, 01:59:24 PM »
The biggest problem I see is that subtle signs of wear will make the suit look less fresh on the day.

So he should be refraining.


But if it were something--oh, like cufflinks, or a necklace for the bridesmaids--that wouldn't really show any signs of wear....

I think as the bride I'd still feel a little "taken advantage of" that you're using the gift before you've quite "earned" it. It's mildly a form of payment, and...


I don't think that's completely logical, I fully admit.
And if I felt that way, I might never say anything to you (but I might puzzle it out with my friends), because I also might feel that I wasn't being logical and didn't therefore have the right to criticize you about it.


And I -might- actually feel glad that you're enjoying it early, and a little proud that I picked something you'd actually like.

I also think that as a bridesmaid, I'd never do it. I'd want the special "first time wearing this" moment to come at the same time as everybody else.

Lynn2000

  • Member
  • Posts: 8322
Re: Wearing wedding attire pre-wedding?
« Reply #4 on: September 22, 2015, 02:33:29 PM »
Yeah, that's a tough one. I can see both sides there. I think he definitely erred by telling the HC he was using it beforehand; but then again, if you don't see anything wrong with doing so, you won't see anything wrong with telling people about it. In fact I'm sure he thought they would love to know how much he's enjoyed it.

I feel like it's one of those things where there's a "specialness" aspect that is going to be really important to some people, and other people are just going to find that a little too precious and impractical, you know? To be honest, if I went to the trouble of buying his suit so everyone would have a certain look at the wedding, I'd be peeved if he damaged it by wearing it in advance--whether it's general wear and tear or faded or a bit wrinkled/not crisp or whatever. And what if he totally ruined it, and he couldn't get it fixed in time for the wedding or afford a new one? To achieve the look I was going for--the point of providing the suit in the first place--I'd have to shell out money for it again. Or, just give up and have one person look different. Not a major disaster or a friendship breaker, but it's a boneheaded move on his part--it just feels careless to me. Like, I bought this for this one purpose, after that you can do whatever you want with it, all I ask is that you use it for that purpose, in the right condition!

But maybe the wedding day will come and the suit will look perfectly fine, couldn't tell it apart from the others in a blind test. And then I would just look like a control freak, you know? If I had worried about this aloud to too many people. Because why didn't I hang onto the suit for longer, if it was so important, or specify wedding attire that couldn't be worn every day (like a tux), or at least tell them, "Hey, please don't wear it until the wedding day"?

To me it really ties in with some of the food threads we've had lately. Which is more important, that your closest friends stand up with you, or that everyone match? (vs. is socializing more important or keeping the food theme) I think the most important is that closest friends stand up with you; but that doesn't mean that everyone matching is unimportant. Like I said in another thread, "What's important is that we're all together" is what you say when some third party spills red wine on the suit the morning of the wedding. It's not what you say if someone has been unreasonably careless or is simply ill-prepared, because they've decided their own convenience or whatever trumps their friend's request (that they agreed to). The tricky thing here, is that I'm not sure if wearing the suit to work constitutes "unreasonably careless" or not. Going off-roading in the suit, yes, that's unreasonably careless; but a 9 to 5 office job? I just don't know.
~Lynn2000

EllenS

  • Member
  • Posts: 4654
  • I write whimsical vintage mysteries.
    • My Author Page:
Re: Wearing wedding attire pre-wedding?
« Reply #5 on: September 22, 2015, 03:31:20 PM »
I think the groomsman is responsible for getting to the wedding on time with the suit in appropriate condition (not stained or ripped).  I think if he is getting use out of it now, so much the better for him.  I would not support the bride saying anything now, or at any time, about it.  If she didn't want him to wear the suit before the wedding, why didn't she hold onto it?

POD to this. The groomsman is responsible for arriving at the wedding with the suit in mint condition, and doing whatever it takes to make that happen.

IMO, if the suit (properly cared for) would be looking worn and the color faded, after being in an office work rotation with several other suits for a few months, then the groom bought some freakin' cheap suits, and none of them are going to look good by picture time, anyhow.

mandycorn

  • Member
  • Posts: 1988
Re: Wearing wedding attire pre-wedding?
« Reply #6 on: September 22, 2015, 03:47:35 PM »
It feels off to me to get new clothes for an event, and then wear them before the event, so I totally understand why the bride feels that way. For me, I think it goes back to not being allowed to wear new school clothes before school actually started.

So, I'm totally with her, but I'm not sure if saying anything now is worth the trouble. At best, it keeps the suit looking new and crisp, but at worst, it causes drama with one of the groomsmen. I guess it's a question of how much it bothers her and how much she thinks the suit may get worn between now and the wedding, and how they think the groomsman will react to the request that he not wear it between now and then.
"The trouble with quotes on the Internet is that you never know if they are genuine" - Abraham Lincoln 

Lynn2000

  • Member
  • Posts: 8322
Re: Wearing wedding attire pre-wedding?
« Reply #7 on: September 22, 2015, 04:59:01 PM »
For practical advice, I would suggest the bride talk to the groom about it. I'm assuming this groomsman is his friend (and not, say, her brother) and will be standing up on his side. If the groom doesn't see it as a problem, or doesn't think broaching the subject is a good idea, then I would just leave it alone, and hope for the best. Odds-wise, the suit will likely be fine come the wedding, or if it's not, it will be pretty obvious that the groomsman is responsible for cleaning/repair. Although it's possible he could damage the suit so badly it can't be repaired or replaced in time for the wedding, that seems fairly unlikely to me, and probably best not to worry about it. Again, I'd be more likely to say something if the man was known to be really hard on his suits or take poor care of them, or wore them while doing unusually active things, such that noticeable damage would be more likely to occur.
~Lynn2000

shortstuff

  • Member
  • Posts: 423
Re: Wearing wedding attire pre-wedding?
« Reply #8 on: September 22, 2015, 06:12:35 PM »
I'd feel very differently about this if it was a one-time, special occasion when the groomsman wore the suit.  Something similar almost happened to me with 1 bridesmaid, but the major difference was she bought the dress herself (picked it out too), and she wanted to wear it to a special dinner on an anniversary vacation, and it was her only fancy dress that fit post-child.  I was only disappointed that she couldn't, because the alterations weren't done yet.  One use would have made no difference to me, I think, because it was still being used for a 'special occasion' and would quickly go back in the bag. 

I think putting the suit into the work rotation is over the top.  It reduces the 'specialness' of the gift to me, because I am one of those people Lynn mentioned who value the "specialness" of everybody wearing a new, matching suit together on the wedding day.  It's one of those things that I think the groomsman shouldn't have done, but an announcement from the head couple with a rule to prevent this would not have gone over well at all. 

If the bride is worried about the condition of the suit on the wedding day, she and her fiance could discuss offering to clean the suit pre-wedding for this groomsman, holding onto it to help with travel, etc.  It may seem like rewarding the questionable behavior, but it seems a small price to pay to calm the bride's nerves (if she has any). 

EllenS

  • Member
  • Posts: 4654
  • I write whimsical vintage mysteries.
    • My Author Page:
Re: Wearing wedding attire pre-wedding?
« Reply #9 on: September 22, 2015, 11:16:37 PM »
I'd feel very differently about this if it was a one-time, special occasion when the groomsman wore the suit.  Something similar almost happened to me with 1 bridesmaid, but the major difference was she bought the dress herself (picked it out too), and she wanted to wear it to a special dinner on an anniversary vacation, and it was her only fancy dress that fit post-child.  I was only disappointed that she couldn't, because the alterations weren't done yet.  One use would have made no difference to me, I think, because it was still being used for a 'special occasion' and would quickly go back in the bag. 

I think putting the suit into the work rotation is over the top.  It reduces the 'specialness' of the gift to me, because I am one of those people Lynn mentioned who value the "specialness" of everybody wearing a new, matching suit together on the wedding day.  It's one of those things that I think the groomsman shouldn't have done, but an announcement from the head couple with a rule to prevent this would not have gone over well at all. 

If the bride is worried about the condition of the suit on the wedding day, she and her fiance could discuss offering to clean the suit pre-wedding for this groomsman, holding onto it to help with travel, etc.  It may seem like rewarding the questionable behavior, but it seems a small price to pay to calm the bride's nerves (if she has any).

Those are some practical suggestions for the bride to get what she wants without looking overtly bossy/intrusive, but I don't think managing the bride's nerves are a manners issue on behalf of the groomsman. The bride may get some sympathy, but she is still being controlling, IMO.

They bought the man a suit, just as if he bought it himself, of course he can wear it whenever he wants. Because it's his suit. The provenance is irrelevant. She may not like it, but he did not do anything rude. The members of the wedding party are doing a favor for the HC, not the other way around.

For them to say anything would be a good way to lose a groomsman. Anybody with a backbone would give them the suit back and be done with it.
« Last Edit: September 22, 2015, 11:18:40 PM by EllenS »

Oh Joy

  • Member
  • Posts: 1982
Re: Wearing wedding attire pre-wedding?
« Reply #10 on: September 23, 2015, 07:42:42 AM »
...
They bought the man a suit, just as if he bought it himself, of course he can wear it whenever he wants. Because it's his suit. The provenance is irrelevant. She may not like it, but he did not do anything rude. The members of the wedding party are doing a favor for the HC, not the other way around.

For them to say anything would be a good way to lose a groomsman. Anybody with a backbone would give them the suit back and be done with it.

I hear what you're saying, but to me the gift isn't 'given' until the wedding.  It's just a logistical difference that the groomsman has possession already rather than it being wrapped in paper and waiting as a surprise at the HC's home.


Meletiquette

  • Member
  • Posts: 156
Re: Wearing wedding attire pre-wedding?
« Reply #11 on: September 23, 2015, 07:43:48 AM »
Thanks for the replies. The issue seems to be a divisive one - it's interesting to see the different perspectives here. I think the bride realizes in retrospect that she should have held all the suits, including the one for this groomsman, but he was very insistent on picking it up himself. Bride is very non-confrontational, so I doubt she will end up saying anything to him. She is less concerned about whether everyone matches (I don't think she had even considered that the suit could look more worn than everyone else's - I won't bring it up!) and more concerned about potential damage that could occur. I agree the risk of anything happening is low.

EllenS

  • Member
  • Posts: 4654
  • I write whimsical vintage mysteries.
    • My Author Page:
Re: Wearing wedding attire pre-wedding?
« Reply #12 on: September 23, 2015, 08:15:40 AM »
...
They bought the man a suit, just as if he bought it himself, of course he can wear it whenever he wants. Because it's his suit. The provenance is irrelevant. She may not like it, but he did not do anything rude. The members of the wedding party are doing a favor for the HC, not the other way around.

For them to say anything would be a good way to lose a groomsman. Anybody with a backbone would give them the suit back and be done with it.

I hear what you're saying, but to me the gift isn't 'given' until the wedding.  It's just a logistical difference that the groomsman has possession already rather than it being wrapped in paper and waiting as a surprise at the HC's home.

Well, since that is an abstraction, which flatly contradicts the concrete reality that 1) the suit is paid for and he was told it was a gift to him, and 2) the suit is in his closet, I certainly can't blame the groomsman for not psychically understanding that expectation.

TootsNYC

  • Member
  • Posts: 33792
Re: Wearing wedding attire pre-wedding?
« Reply #13 on: September 23, 2015, 08:27:29 AM »
I asked my DH. (I love when folks here do this--check in with their other-gender spouse who isn't all that focused on etiquette, etc., to see what their instinctive reactions are.)

I said, "Would you wear the suit before the wedding?"
His immediate, forceful answer:  "No."

He elaborated: "It has a job to do. Once its job is done, then it's yours. Presumably you already have a suit if you have a job interview, or something."

He sort of elaborated on the idea of damage, but I think even more than that, he felt that it just wasn't appropriate, even if you thought you could be completely sure it wouldn't be damaged.

I have to tell you, there's no way I would wear the Little Black Dress I'd been *given* to be a bridesmaid until the wedding itself. No way.

I might actually feel the tiniest bit different if I'd purchased the dress; I wouldn't even then, but I might feel more tempted.

I think it matters hugely that this is a gift--it's a gift with a purpose. I gave it to you in order for you to wear it to my wedding. For you to risk it is just hugely wrong. 

EllenS

  • Member
  • Posts: 4654
  • I write whimsical vintage mysteries.
    • My Author Page:
Re: Wearing wedding attire pre-wedding?
« Reply #14 on: September 23, 2015, 08:34:03 AM »
LOL.

I just asked my DH what he thought. He said if the groomsman is good enough friends with the groom to be in the wedding party, he should know that the bride is high-maintenance, and put the suit aside in order to spare his buddy a couple of months of grief. He thought it would be well within "guy code" for the groom to ask/remind him.

He was also concerned about the possibility of damage. Considering that DH does not own a pair of slacks without pen marks on the pockets, that's understandable. The idea of "specialness" did not compute.

ETA: to finish the thought, hit "post" too soon the first time.
« Last Edit: September 23, 2015, 08:39:26 AM by EllenS »