In a perfect world, you would breeze through planning your wedding without a hitch. In the real world, however, problems tend to crop up, some of which are caused entirely by other people! The wedding attire can be a particularly sore spot in some weddings, from the bridesmaids who refuse to wear anything but black to the mother-in-law who wants to upstage the bride with her outfit. These are some of the most common sticky wedding attire situations, along with suggestions about how to resolve them.
Problem No. One: Your wedding colors are pale pink and lilac and your bridesmaids are demanding black cocktail dresses. While it is always lovely when the bride is considerate of what her attendants would like to wear, the reality is that they need to fit with her vision of the wedding. If you are having a romantic garden wedding, black cocktail dresses will look completely out of place! The best you can do is choose a color that your bridesmaids can stand (perhaps a neutral like champagne if they are not pink and lilac kind of girls). Perhaps the bride could also mollify her bridesmaids by giving them a lot of say in the style of the dress, if not the color. Ultimately, though, being a bridesmaid means wearing the dress of the bride's choosing, so the bridesmaids need to grit their teeth and politely wear what the bride wants!
Problem No. Two: Your flamboyant mother-in-law always has to be the center of attention, even on your wedding day. She never got the memo that the mothers of the bride and groom should look pretty without upstaging the bride, and has decided to wear a fire engine red dress with a neckline cut down to her navel and about fifty pounds of wedding jewelry. This is a really tough situation for a bride, because she really cannot tell her mother-in-law what to wear (although if it were her own mother dressing inappropriately, it would be acceptable for the bride to speak up). The groom needs to be involved in this. He has to convince his mom to tone it down. If the groom cannot or will not get his mom to wear something less flashy, there is nothing much to be done about it. Yes, it will drive you crazy that she sticks out like a sore thumb in the group wedding photos, but in the end, it will do nothing to detract from the joy of your wedding or marriage.
Problem No. Three: The bride and her mother cannot agree on a wedding gown...and mom is paying for it. This problem is incredibly common, and also incredibly frustrating. There is something so sad about watching a bride fall in love with a wedding gown, only to have her mom shoot it down. Sometimes another person, like a sister or aunt, can help to convince mom that the bridal gown which she thinks is all wrong is really perfect (especially if her concerns are that it is not traditional enough). The bride can also show a willingness to compromise by offering to let her mom pick out her veil and wedding jewelry. If none of that works, you either have to go back to the drawing board and look for a new gown or buy the one you really want with your own money.
Problem No. Four: You are having a formal wedding and your dad "doesn't do formal". Really, the bride should have a reasonable expectation that her father will dress appropriately for her wedding, but some men are really stubborn about dressing up. If your dad will wear a suit but not a tuxedo, have a black tie optional wedding instead of black tie. If he balks at even a suit, maybe you can talk him into wearing at least a dress shirt with nice pants and a tie. You could even buy the tie if he refuses! If all that fails, you will have point out to him how much more awkward he will feel as the only man in shorts and a t-shirt at a formal wedding than he would if he would just wear the appropriate outfit. You might even mention that some venues have dress codes requiring that men wear jackets. Hopefully, with a little coaxing, you can at least get your dad to wear something respectable, if not exactly what you had in mind!
People tend to feel very strongly about their clothing, even more so when it comes to formal attire. This is why so many sticky situations can crop up when planning a wedding. Hopefully, you now have the tools to manage any wedding attire dilemmas that come your way!