Need Advice on "Coctail" Attire for Men and Gift for Wedding

Updated on August 26, 2008
C. asks from Littleton, CO
8 answers

Hi Moms,
My family and I are attending another family member's wedding this weekend. The invitation says "coctail attire" and the wedding is at 6:30p.m. Does my husband HAVE to have a "Dark Suit", or will a neutral suit do the trick. Also, do I need to wear nylons with my coctail dress? THis is her 3rd marriage, his 2nd. Are we obligated to bring a gift. THe bride and groom are much better off financialy than are we, and are our parents ages. Can a card and a sincere sentiment do? If my husband does not wear a DARK suit, is this a HUGE social "no no". Others attending the wedding are very well known in the high end business industry. Thanks to all the moms who are more versed on miss manners than I.

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answers from Denver on

If it is too much of a hardship, then next time, do not attend! I think you can find something thoughtful and inexpensive.

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answers from Casper on

I am not so up on the attire, but I will give an idea for a gift. When my husband and I attend a wedding where the couple seems to have EVERYTHING that they need because of their monotary status or where they have been married before and such we tend to give more sentimental gifts. I go a little cheesy and give them hints for a successful marriage with candies to go with. For example give them a "Take 5" candy bar and say with it "When you are angry TAKE 5---get control and then talk about what is bothering you". But the other ideas of a frame or photo album are good too. Good luck.



answers from Denver on

Hi C.,

I always say that if you don't know which way to dress always aim towards the dressier option. I would rather be overdressed than underdressed. As for the nylons, it seems very "in" these days to not where nylons even with a cocktail dress. If you have some nice heels and a nice dress, I think you could get away without nylons. I do think your hubby should wear a dark suit or even light pants and a dark sport coat.

As for the gift, I would definitely get a gift... no matter how inexpensive or small. If you can't afford much then go towards getting something really thoughtful. Go to one of those stores that personalize things. Maybe get a nice frame with their names and wedding date on it. Or get two champagne or wine glasses with their wedding date on it. It is something simple but they will always remember the day when they look at them. Or one thing that I did for my cousin (when I couldn't afford much) was to take tons of photos during his wedding and reception then before they left the reception I went and developed all the photos at a one hour photo. I gave them the photos before they left. This was a huge treat for them! I did put them in an album before I gave it to them but you wouldn't have to do this.

Hope this helps.



answers from Denver on

Because of the work my husband does, we end up going to lots of formal gatherings with "cocktail attire". Definitely don't worry about nylons- especially this time of year. If you have open toe shoes, just make sure your nails are painted!!

At the events we've been to, the men almost exclusively are in dark suits. I doubt if he wore a lighter one he'd be pointed at or anything, but since you asked- if he has a dark suit, I would definitely suggest it. If you need one on the cheap, my husband gets a lot at K&G clothing store. There's a couple around town. Suits for like $99.

As for the gift. I feel your pain- I think it's silly for well-off, well-established people to expect gifts. Not that they aren't entitled to happiness and to enjoy their day, but I think it's classier to ask for donations to a charity or something. That aside, you should bring one. Maybe having their names and wedding date engraved in a frame or beer mugs or something. Things Remembered (usually in malls) does a nice job and plenty of it is very affordable.

Have fun!



answers from Denver on

I would say that the suit would be ok and does not have to be dark. People are much less formal today, you would be surprised! As far as a gift maybe a donation to their favorite charity in their honor would be nice, they don't need to know the amount. You should do something though, you will be getting food and refreshments etc! Or what about something you could create for them! It is hard today with more well established couples, but a gift is always nice and nurtures relationships.( and does not need to be expensive, but thoughtful!) Oh yeah, nylons are WAY out! You do see some dark popping up now but in the summer go bare, and a pedi for sure if you have open toe( and you can do that yourself!)



answers from Denver on

I don't think nylons are required and a light suit would not be a "no no". I certainly would not spend money on a new suit. As for a gift. I think either a simple gift like candles etc would be better than just a card. Or you may ask someone else to "go in with" and get a group gift. If that is not affordable enough, I wouldn't give anything. I think a card would let them know that you can't afford something and you didn't give. If you don't give them anything they may never realize you didn't give. Which I think is more tactful.



answers from Denver on

Definition of Cocktail Attire from About Fashion:

Cocktail Attire

Cocktail Attire means short, elegant dresses for her and dark suits for him.

I think you will feel strange if you dress outside of what is requested. You say these are family members: can you call and ask if it would be ok to wear a light colored suit?

IMHO, you definitely need to bring a gift if you are going to attend. If you didn't have to bring a gift every time someone was more well off than you, then not too many gifts would be given!! I would find out if they are registered someplace and see if there's anything affordable.



answers from Boise on

For an inexpensive gift, try going to Ross Dress 4 Less. I looked on my SIL-to-be's online wedding registry and checked out the general color scheme and taste, and found a set with a glass dish, metal holder for the dish, pebbles, and three candles. She had a very similar one on her registry, and it was the same colors. The one on the registry was $45, and the one I bought was $10. While I was there, I had to decide between a cool ceramic vase, the candle set, and a really cute coffee-table photo album. The vase and album were each under $10. Especially if you know the couple well, you will be able to find something they would like.

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