Hey, Julie, I need your help with an etiquette problem for my upcoming wedding. We’re having our reception in a barn on a lovely old estate. Even though it’s an outdoor wedding and the reception is in a barn, it is going to be quite a lavish affair. I’m getting a lot of questions from friends about whether or not they should dress casually since it’s in a barn. Some even asked if they could wear jeans. Julie, how do I let people know, without sounding rude, that I would still like them to dress up as they would for any wedding? Thanks, Wendy
Dear Wendy – Congratulations on your upcoming nuptials! I’ve been hearing questions similar to this more and more often. Wedding venues have branched out far beyond the country club or hotel event room and some gorgeous formal weddings are now being held in venues like your barn. Your guests who have never been to a reception in a barn likely aren’t picturing a rustic structure with soaring ceilings that can be turned into an absolutely stunning and chic setting. They’re likely thinking that perhaps you’re having a casual party, more like a barbecue which, in their defense, some people do have for their weddings. This can be cleared up simply by politely getting out the word about dress code. If you have a website, you can put something on there saying “Casual formal attire requested” (assuming you don’t want them in black tie), or you could say something cute such as “We’re dressing up for our wedding and we’d love it if you would do the same – please wear your Sunday best.” If you haven’t got a website and the invites have already gone out, send it out in an email and ask guests to share the word with others.