I’ve been through several weddings before my own, and one of the things I noticed was that obvious difference between the teenage people in the entourage and the older ones. You can almost tell which ones are the bridesmaids and which ones are the primary sponsors. This is not just because of their apparent age, but because of what they wore. In one wedding I attended, the younger ones had trendy asymmetrical party dresses, that touched the floor in a free-flowing cut! They looked so carefree and young, and rightly so! On the other hand, the older ones wore short lace tops that covered their whole upper body, with thick and structured cloth that looked stiff and uncomfortable. Don’t get me wrong, they looked good, but they looked like they could use a doze of carefree youth. I also noticed that it is the young ones that seem to have the most fun, while the older ones tend to keep to themselves.
That was what inspired me to design my wedding the way we did — we wanted a carefree and fun wedding that would bring everyone together! We wanted our guests to feel like their younger selves once again, and just have fun for a day. We envisioned having everyone around, where each person would feel open to talk to the other guests, regardless of age. So we decided to try out some innovative ideas.
Instead of holding it inside a hotel or an enclosed venue, we decided to hold it in a garden space, beside the pool side. Closed footwear was discouraged as we provided rubber slippers and sandals for giveaways. And the guests were encouraged to done their best sunglasses. Despite the carefree and summer-vacation feel of the venue, we wanted to have a consistent look and feel for the wedding. One of the other means we used to achieve this was the dress code. We made our guests wear something trendy. To make the look of the whole wedding cohesive, we pre-selected the cuts that the entourage (and even the guests) had to choose from.
My husband was worried that we won’t be able to get everyone on-board the plan, that some of the might think it too much of an inconvenience to have to align with our theme. So we sat down and discussed, I wondered: Why do older people wear that kind of clothing? Three things came to mind: 1. They are used to it; 2. They are afraid to experiment, and; 3. They don’t want to spend too much.
Used to wearing a certain style
Older people are beings of calcified behavior. They probably got so used to wearing “stiff” clothes to weddings, so they don’t think other ways to dress up anymore. But I told my husband then, there’s a trendy dress for everyone — for every size, shape and even age. It’s just a matter of giving them options and suggestions on what they could consider! So voila! We provided them a catalog of fabric samples and cuts to choose from. To make the look of the whole wedding cohesive, we pre-selected the cuts that the entourage (and even the guests) had to choose from. Everyone had to select from the pre-made catalog. We had asymmetrical dresses, v-necks, Greek cut dresses, halter top dresses, and a lot more other cuts that they chose from. There were choices that will fit their temperament and age, but with enough trendiness to try something new. We also created a pre-selection of fabric which they can choose from. We chose charmeuse, jersey and lace for the women, then cotton and khaki for the men. My aunts and uncles loved it and they were excited to have their dresses and tops made! The popular choice was the deep v-neck dress with semi-bundled straps that made them look like Greek goddesses. Their hair styles were worn down, with trendy curls. It was a far cry from the usual bee-hive looking hair styles they wore!
Afraid to experiment
Getting out of your comfort zone can be rewarding, especially for older people. It’s a refreshing way to re-invent yourself, even if it’s just for a day. My uncle wore his white top and khaki pants with suspenders, and looked like a strapping fellow! He was smiling and mingling with my other uncles like they were in their 30s! It was a breath of fresh air! Just by changing how they dress for a day made them feel good about trying something different, and in a way, made them feel younger.
Cut down on cost
I asked my husband’s aunt why they don’t like experimenting with new cuts and clothes, and she said they don’t want to spend on a clothing piece that might not fit them nicely. So what we did was we put the price of the fabric per yard on the catalog that we made. We also made arrangements with the fabric store to give us discounts if we hit a certain number of orders. And so we were able to get a number of our guests and entourage to purchase and have their trendy dresses made! So you see, trendy dresses don’t have to cost much. On the average, one person spent around $150, that’s not bad for a dress you can wear several times for different occasions.
So come the day of my wedding, I finally got to see what the entourage and guests looked like, and I was very happy with how it turned out! Everyone looked so young, refreshing, and full of life! They wore free-flowing dresses in light summer shades. The older guests had a blast with their trendy dresses and felt like young cats and chicks once again. As for me, one of the most valuable gifts I got during my wedding day was to have shared the feeling I had with the people I loved — that we’re still young with happy hearts and life is great.