Questions on Wedding Guests

As we are getting married in a garden in midsummer we do not want people to wear very formal dress.  I know that you do not put dress codes on a wedding invitation, how do we let guests know what to wear? Helena, Lancashire
If the dress code for the wedding is non-traditional, then you can put it on the invitation - for example, 'Informal'. However, to avoid any confusion, it is wise to include an explanatory note in the extra information that goes out with the invitations.
Related Debrett's Links: Alternative Dress Codes, Dress Codes for Guests, Invitations: Extra Information

We are getting married in a small, remote country village. The reception is at least 5 miles from the church. Is it our responsibility to worry about the guests finding accommodation?  And will they expect transport from the reception? Rebecca, Cheltenham
You should supply a list of local B&Bs and hotels with the extra information that is enclosed with the wedding invitations. You could block reserve some rooms at a reduced rate, then guests can phone up and book themselves by mentioning your wedding. Rural transport is a difficult call as coaches and minibuses are an added expense, but taxis are also few and far between. If hotels and B&Bs are all within the same area, or if one hotel has lots of guests staying there, then it is a good idea to provide a coach to take everyone back at the end of the day. Additionally, you should also provide a list of taxi numbers with the invitation.
Related Debrett's Links: Guest Accommodation, Invitations: Extra Information, Transport for Guests

My parents are divorced and I would like to invite my dad's new girlfriend to my wedding. I am very worried about upsetting my mother. What should I do?  And if I do invite my dad's partner will she have to sit at the top table? Megan, Ipswich
You must talk to your parents and air your concerns. If everything is discussed well in advance of the day, then any awkwardness that might arise should be eased. Compromises usually have to be made, but seating everyone together on the top table might be too close for comfort. One solution is to have two top tables, dividing the key players (parents, partners, bridesmaids, best man, ushers, god parents, closest friends) as appropriate. Your mother should respect the fact that it is your day and should be reasonable enough to accommodate your wishes. Equally your father's girlfriend should be sensitive to the situation. Everyone must do their utmost to behave in a civilised manner on the day.
Related Debrett's Links: Divorced Parents, Divorce and Weddings

My fiance's mother, who will naturally feature prominently in the wedding, wants to wear a white suit, which is, in fact, a brighter white than my ivory dress.  I'm concerned that this will look strange but am not sure if I am being unreasonable. Hannah, London
Head-to-toe outfits in white or cream should never be worn to a wedding as they 'compete' (or clash) with the bride's dress. This is espeically true of a member of the wedding party, and a white outfit would most likely look odd on the day and in photographs.
Related Debrett's Links: Mothers, Dress Codes for Guests

 

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