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Modern Manners + Etiquette: Hipster Wedding Dress Codes + More

Thursday, August 09, 2012


If the wedding is going to be a hipster affair, how does a guest make sure she honors her hosts' desires?

Spirited questions about wedding social media etiquette and online dating are in high season at Didi Lorillard's NewportManners.com. How to fit in at a wedding when the dress code is Hipster, do I need permission to post photos of my cousin's wedding on FB, can I ask guests to bring their favorite spirit to our engagement party?

Dear Didi,
I'm dating this guy online even though we've never seen each other in person or even spoken on the phone. I'm curious and don't want to wait for him to ask me for my cell phone number. We're addicted to our email exchange. It's been six months, do you think it's okay for me to ask him to call me?  E.M., Westport, MA

Dear E.M.,
Go with your curious instinct. Unconsciously, our voices affect or influence how we're judged. For instance, scientists in a recent study found the quality of your voice—its volume, pitch, timbre, cadence, and speed—invariably determines factors in your degree of success, both socially and professionally. How slowly or quickly you speak and how you modulate pitch and loudness can also be huge factors in how others judge your character and state of mind.

When dating online get to the phone call stage as soon as possible, as soon as your attraction toward each other becomes obvious. Nonetheless, be forewarned, that first conversation could be immediate buzz kill. Not necessarily because of any unpleasantness, but just by what you hear in his voice. For instance, overtones can make the voice sound sweet, while varieties of raspiness can randomly sound sexy, mean or even harsh or cold. On the other hand, if the voice on the other end of the phone quickly elevates the chemistry to the next level, you'll be happy you asked him to call. ~Didi

Dear Didi,
I am 20 years old and attending a 1 o'clock wedding in Virginia in August. The wedding is inside with reception to follow, it is also very much a hipster wedding. The groomsmen are wearing navy slacks with white button downs and suspenders. Now, I have a pastel green chiffon dress that hits a little above my knees. However, I don't have any shoes or jacket to go with it. Any suggestions?  J.M., Barrington

Dear J.M.,
The goal of being a hipster is to look as though you're not trying. Hipsters make what's old hat new again. Dressing like a hipster means wearing something from a vintage boutique, thrift shop or secondhand store, such as a beaded cardigan sweater (although too hot for August), a patent leather belt, shoes or clutch bag (patent leather is the hipster fashion equivalent of vinyl albums). Or look for a vintage jacket, scarf, shawl or bag that is floral, paisley, or lace and is soft and beautiful. Dresses are perfect (and I personally love chiffon), preferably floral and vintage for dancing. Wearing things that don't match perfectly are so hipster. You want that "I can't be bothered look" that actually takes planning by wearing, say, a large flower headband, neon nail polish, an insect or animal pin, a bright-colored patent leather belt, or a decorative bird or floral necklace.

Also, look for ideas at hipster magazines online, such as Vice (hipster dos and don'ts), AnOther Magazine (current fashion), and Wallpaper (current design). If there are no vintage or second hand clothing stores in your area, look online for Urban Outfitters, American Apparel, H&M, ASOS (the UK's largest online store for 16-34 year old men and women), and CobraSnake—all well known to the hipster fashion scene and most don't charge for shipping.

Green is the new black, but you might want to stay away from accessorizing with preppy pink. Look for shades of blue like a French blue or turquoise when accessorizing with pastel green. Lastly, no occasion calls for a lovely hat, or decorative headband (fascinator), more than an afternoon wedding.

That said, hipsterism is a contradictory and self-confused subculture, so if you are a preppy, then be yourself and wear pink and green. A lot of East Coast hipsters are rather preppy.  ~Didi

Dear Didi,
Didi, I love your website and your advice made sure I dressed appropriately for my cousin's lovely country outdoor 4pm wedding last week - thank you!

Query: Facebook postings of wedding pictures -- Should the bride and groom and/or their parents be the first to post pictures of the bride and/or groom?  I took some great shots of them, but I'm thinking I should let them post their own formal pictures. I would like to post some reception pictures I took of my cousins. Would it simply be better to email my pictures directly to our family group so they would have discretion to post what they want on Facebook?

Any suggestions appreciated. I am an attorney by background and more recently was certified in professional presence by the London Image Institute, and I am puzzled by this one and would so appreciate your guidance!  Thank you in advance and best regards,   P.A., London, UK

Dear P.A.,
In general, as long as no person in the photo has a beverage glass (or beer or champagne bottle) in their hand and isn't dancing on a table with the skirt of their dress held high, you can post the photo on a social media site. Don't post photos that make any one person look foolish or undignified—or annoying photos that will come back to haunt you both. As tempting as it may be, don't post photos where any one person looks overly chummy dancing with another person's spouse/partner. Before posting a photo, ask yourself, "Would I want my children to see me doing that or looking like that?"

About the etiquette of asking the wedding couple's permission and waiting to post until the wedding couple and the family post theirs, that horse is out of the gate. Formal photographs take a while to get posted. Social media photos are immediate. If they're on a wedding trip where Internet is sketchy, it could take weeks to get the nod. In that case, in the meantime, make a slideshow of your photos to share with the wedding couple, the family and the wedding party that they can post at their discretion.  ~Didi

Dear Didi,
My partner and I are hosting our engagement party at a friend's house and are providing dinner and SOME beer, wine and vodka but knowing how much our family and friends drink we would like to ask them to bring a little extra or their favorite spirit to the party just in case. I'm not too sure how to ask this politely without sounding rude or cheap?  L.C., Woonsocket

Dear L.C.,
Congratulations on your engagement!

The only problem with a party such as an engagement party, where guests will feel they have to buy you an engagement present, is that then you cannot ask them to help out by buying some of the booze. However, by word of mouth you can get the message out that it would be helpful if they brought their favorite spirit.

If you would rather have guests bring booze rather than an engagement present, on your invitation put this line at the bottom near the RSVP contact information: In lieu of a gift, bring your favorite spirit.

Also, remember that a decent liquor store will take back any unopened bottles the next day for a refund or store credit, if you want to spring for extra liquor in fear of running out.  ~Didi

Didi Lorillard researches shifting etiquette at NewportManners by answering questions on relationship dilemmas, wedding etiquette, dress codes and manners. Or find Didi on Facebook, Twitter, or LinkedIn, or Pinterest after reading her earlier GoLocalProv columns, some of which are listed below.



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