I've narrowed it down to fancier than jeans less formal than a ballgown.
November 9, 2009 8:36 AM   Subscribe

What should I wear to a Salvation Army wedding? I'm sure most people will be in their uniforms, but needless to say that's not an option for me. The bride and groom are both elderly, and the reception will be held in the social hall at the church, so I don't think it will be super formal.

Most of my nicer stuff is black, but given their ages (he's 80ish, she's in her 70s) I don't know if that would be too "modern" for the circumstances. Would a black skirt and pastel blouse be OK? Party dress? I'm totally lost. Unfortunately I'm going as the guest of my boyfriend, who is utterly clueless about appropriate fashion for this sort of thing, so asking him is out.
posted by Kellydamnit to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (10 answers total)
I've been to a couple of SA weddings and the women there have been dressed nicely, but conservatively.

Plunging necklines and thigh-high slits are not seen - there are no rules about this, it just isn't done.

Wear your nice stuff, keep it demure, have a good time.
posted by unixrat at 8:41 AM on November 9, 2009

Response by poster: Yeah, I figured conservative would be the word of the day, fashion wise. What level of formality are we talking, though? Fancy business casual, or nicer than that?
posted by Kellydamnit at 8:47 AM on November 9, 2009

I think a skirt and blouse would be fine, personally, or a simple wrap or print dress. I think a party dress would be overkill. My experience is that the atmosphere is "come as you are" casual, and the non-soldiers who spend time there may or may not have the money to wear really nice/fancy clothes. So, the times that I went to chapel, or attended other functions like Thankgiving or Christmas parties, it seemed like women were mostly in pants and their nicest blouse/top.

I think it also depends on where this Corps is located and the usual clientele.
posted by cabingirl at 8:49 AM on November 9, 2009

Just the blouse and skirt would be fine. Given the age of the bride and groom (and how sweet is it that they've found love and happiness at their age) it isn't at all likely to be some story book wedding. I'd just dress the blouse and skirt up a bit with nice jewellery and a cute, dressy purse and smart pumps.
posted by orange swan at 9:17 AM on November 9, 2009 [1 favorite]

I would recommend that you wear the same thing you'd wear to a very formal job interview: a nice, conservative suit. I would try to avoid black if possible.
posted by anastasiav at 10:45 AM on November 9, 2009

if you'd wear it to baptist/mormon/lutheran services, it's appropriate for the wedding. conservative, not too flashy, nicely pressed
posted by nadawi at 11:50 AM on November 9, 2009

Most older people find black (and white, for that matter) really inappropriate for weddings, so I would avoid that if at all possible.
posted by Sidhedevil at 12:51 PM on November 9, 2009

What nadawi said.

Think 'Soccer Mom goes to Church'. No sleeveless, skirt at least to your knees. Wear something that you would be comfortable wearing to go to church with your grandma. A nice blouse with a knee length skirt sounds perfect. If your skirt is black then you should probably go with a more cheerful blouse. Something in a pastel would be appropriate.
posted by TooFewShoes at 3:27 PM on November 9, 2009

Response by poster: OK, another idea... red and brown plaid bias cut skirt, ankle length, with a brown blouse and cardigan. too casual?
unfortunately 80% of my wardrobe or more is black, and I'm on unemployment so I absolutely don't have the money to get something new to wear for this, even from a thrift store.
posted by Kellydamnit at 7:25 AM on November 10, 2009

your second idea sounds just fine - toofewshoes is also right - if you go for a black skirt, just make sure the blouse is colorful/cheerful and wear some bright/pastel jewelery and lighter pinks/frosts on the makeup.
posted by nadawi at 3:16 PM on November 10, 2009

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