Taking Comfortable Attire To New Extremes

by admin on January 1, 2013

I am a big fan of your website. I spend way too much time on here enjoying other people’s stories – I suppose I’m a bit of a voyeur! So here’s my fun little story – nothing big and my husband and I still laugh about it to this day. We were married ten years ago. It was a somewhat formal ceremony – the bridesmaids in pretty formal dresses (that I swear they’ll be able to wear again some day!! Really!!) and the groomsmen in tuxedos. One of my husband’s groomsmen, let’s call him “Frank”, was very vocal in his dislike of having to wear the confining tuxedo. Frank is a somewhat large man, but we’d had the tuxedo custom-fitted so it should have been comfortable. He wore the tuxedo through the ceremony and the post-ceremony photos with no problem. Then, when we were on our way to the reception Frank pulled me aside and said, “Hey, do you mind if I take this off?” I assumed he meant the jacket and replied, “Yeah, no problem!” I guess I shouldn’t have assumed. About 15 minutes later, Frank sauntered into the reception wearing flannel pajama bottoms, an old ratty t-shirt and corduroy slippers. I might have been angry if it weren’t so hilarious! To this day my husband and I still laugh about the groomsmen who showed up to the reception wearing his pajamas. 1231-12

{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Cat January 1, 2013 at 10:07 am

I think I would have explained that he could remove the jacket, not appear at my reception in his pjs. I would have sent him back to change.
If a person is past the age of three or four years, I would expect him to continue in his party clothes until after the party. Pajamas at a party are only expected if mommy and daddy are going to send you to bed at eight o’clock.


Lo January 1, 2013 at 3:26 pm

Oh wow that’s really embarrassing. My young cousins changed out of their formal clothes for my reception but they’re children, not members of the wedding party.

He couldn’t have at least packed some nice clothes to change into that were fit for public viewing?

Good on you for laughing, I think I would have cracked up but been completely shamefaced about it.


Iris January 1, 2013 at 4:13 pm

My mind is boggling over this because I find it SO outrageous that someone would consider this appropriate attire to anywhere at all, let alone to a formal wedding. Really though I just wanted to congratulate you on being able to laugh at it instead of getting angry.


travestine January 1, 2013 at 5:02 pm

My BIL did something similar at his wedding to my StepS. After the ceremony in my parents’ backyard, the first dances, photos, etc., the toasts were made. His was the last. It consisted of: “I’d like to thank everyone for coming, I’d like to thank my parents for being here, I’d like to thank Mr. & Mrs. S for having the wedding at their house and for letting me marry their daughter …. now let’s all go out and get p****d!” I thought my StepS’s grandparents were going to have strokes on the spot!

He then proceed to head into the house, put on his long underwear shirt, decades-old jeans, workboots, suspenders, all accessorized by the ballcap from a well-known tractor company, and that was his attire for the rest of the evening.

Having only met him two days earlier, and given that even though he was only eight years older than my 20 yr old StepS but looked about 20 years older (he was mistaken for her father repeatedly on their honeymoon), I cried for what I thought would be her future. I didn’t give their marriage much hope. But – looks (and behaviour) can be deceiving. Nearly 35 years later, they have a beautiful daughter, he’s been an good husband and dad, and while we will never be close, he is part of my family and I have come to respect him for the good life he has supplied for my sister. She is happy, they are happy, and so while he may not be the man I might have chosen for her based on his performance at their wedding, her heart knew best.


Library Diva January 1, 2013 at 8:41 pm

I’m glad OP has such a sense of humor, because really, that groomsman’s behavior reflected on him and no one else. @Travertine — it’s nice when these impressions are wrong. A similar thing happened in my family. A cousin of mine married an uncouth man who none of us cared for. Most people gave it 6 months to a year. It’s been nearly 15, and while I’m still not that guy’s biggest fan, they’ve produced two beautiful children and by all appearances have a happy life, which matters much much more than whether or not I personally enjoy his company.


Angel January 1, 2013 at 9:22 pm

How mortifying! But good for you for finding the humor in it–I don’t know if I would have been able to. I will never forget at my wedding almost 10 years ago, my parents invited all of the employees who work in our family business. Quite a few of said employees were quite young (early 20’s some in late teens) and clearly didn’t have much experience with formal attire. Being the bride and also their co-worker, quite of few of the young (male) employees came to me about a month before the wedding and asked for suggestions on attire. I informed them where the wedding would be, and told them anything was fine, just no jeans, sweatpants, stuff like that. If they had khakis and a button down shirt, even a nice sweater, that would have been ok. Some of them already had suits in their closet–and said they would wear those. Fine. So imagine my surprise when DH and I walk into our reception and one of my co-workers is wearing a powder blue track suit, one of those Kangol hats, and fancy tennis shoes. I could not believe it. He looked like he was about to star in a rap video, not attend a formal wedding reception. My mother, who had never met him in person, thought he had crashed the reception and that he was a complete stranger! My dad informed her that no, he works for us.

I was able to laugh about it once we came back from the honeymoon. 🙂


NostalgicGal January 1, 2013 at 9:22 pm

Good friends had a theme scifi-fantasy wedding. That’s what they wanted. I sewed his outfit because the tailor bailed on him six weeks out and he was in a tight spot. I had my sewing machine nearly pack it up and spent two straight days literally handsewing trying to get that outfit done, so was short on the sleep. But. Dec 31 1999, it was their wedding, and I showed in a red flannel nightgown and a grey cloak I’d made from an old fleece blanket a few years before. The wedding was a massive party, everyone had a blast, and I did get a few queries as to ‘what or who was I supposed to be?’ and told them the backstory. I was heading home and straight into bed. That is the only time I could condone someone over the age of 4 wearing flannel PJ’s to the wedding reception!


Bint January 5, 2013 at 8:54 am

I don’t understand this. Did they know you would do this? Was it fancy dress for Hogmanay? You chose to attend their wedding in your night gear? I mean…I’m confused as to whether this was a joke they’d agreed on or not, because otherwise this is inexcusably rude and everyone would have thought you were a massive attention hogger. Turning up in your nightie at a wedding?

I am assuming this has to be fancy dress.


NostalgicGal January 13, 2013 at 1:55 am

Not ‘formal’. Not a ton of white satin in sight. No suits, no ties, no cummerbunds.

The bride wore a costume, she dressed as Amidalla and the groom was dressed as Anakin Skywalker… the Best Matron (he had a female friend stand for him) was dressed as a celtic warroriess in a plaid sleeveless dress… the Lord of Honor (she had a fellow stand for her) was in a kilt. Everyone was in a costume and if they weren’t, there was a lot of street dress.

If you’ve ever been to a major science fiction convention, it looked a lot like a gathering of those attendees. She carried a $3 handful of Iris from the grocery store checkout line flower stand just so she had something to mangle for her wedding jitter nerves. This was NOT a formal wedding, it was almost an anti wedding.

I was very much NOT out of place, and I almost ended up doing the ceremony. We’d had ugly weather and the officiant had to travel and I was the backup being in town. And they were perfectly fine with my garb, in case I had to stand and do the ceremony instead.

I would say it was one of the more memorable and ENJOYABLE weddings I’ve ever been to.

It was also not a ‘nightie’ it was a full length solid red plaid flannel nightgown that covered me from neck to wrists to ankles. It was not my normal night garb either, I just happened to have it and it was about three wearings from brand new.

That is something other posters are not understanding, this wasn’t a traditional style wedding. It was very much an alternate theme wedding and it was what they wanted. Are we still friends? Very much so.


flora January 2, 2013 at 11:32 am

This reminded me of my husband’s near miss on ettiquette. My husband hates dressing up for any reason. It’s not just a comfort thing, he has ethical reasons as well and it’s a bit complicated to explain. Well, we were asked to be in a good friends wedding and we were both thrilled until I reminded him friend always wanted a very formal wedding. Sure enough the groomsmen were in tuxes. He balked. Pouted. Hated the fitting, friend told me he looked like he was going to cry. He get the tux. The lady at the rental place says he needs to try it on and get it back for further fittings within a week. I told hubby this, he balks and pouts and I don’t push the issue, he’s a big boy. Well, the night before the wedding he finally tries it on and the pants don’t fit. He freaks out. Says there’s no way he can wear these pants. Thankfully I remmeber that he was a black suit. We try the pants on and thankfully not only do they fit they match perfectly. Not only was he comforted that he only had to wear half a tux, but he was the only groomsman with pockets.
Same wedding, the maid of honor asked all of us if we were going to change our shoes for the wedding. I figured she had some tasteful flats or ballet slippers. No, she wore tazmainian devil slippers through the repection.


whatever January 2, 2013 at 3:04 pm

@nistalgicgal: seriously, you couldn’t spend two minutes to throw on a dress (any dress, just not a night gown)? nobody cares if your hair or make-up are done, or if your outfit is thought through and matches, but a flannel night gown at a wedding is never acceptable. even when we attended one with my son being a year old he wore his best baby pants and a buttoned shirt.


SherlockSara January 16, 2013 at 9:47 pm

She just completely explained that it WAS acceptable. Not every wedding is the same, that is the whole point of her post.

You are right about one thing — nobody cared about her hair or make up. But here is where you are wrong — they also did not care about her dress.


Fangdoc January 2, 2013 at 6:16 pm

Here’s the story from my own wedding: After the church ceremony, after the formal wedding party pictures were taken, my mother-in-law asked if we were done taking pictures. The photographer said, “yes, we’re all done here,” meaning HERE, at the church. My MIL (AKA the mother of the groom) and 17-yr-old SIL (who was a bridesmaid) then go back to their hotel room, change into t-shirts, jeans, and flip-flops, and then proceed to the reception. Upon seeing them, I was speechless; the photographer seemed to take it much worse than I did; and my own 17-yr-old sister (who was also a bridesmaid) took this as her cue to up the ante by changing out of her bridesmaid’s dress and into a low-cut, tight, black minidress that I don’t think our mother knew she owned. The pictures from the reception are… interesting. But we got the formal shots at the church, and my husband and I are still married 15 years later. In the intervening years I have been a bridesmaid for both my sister and my SIL, and despite wicked impulses to the contrary, I kept my dress on till the bitter end of both their receptions.


Justin January 2, 2013 at 6:58 pm

I guess I misunderstood getting more comfortable at a formal event, I thought it was removing the jacket, loosening the tie, and undoing the top shirt button.


Kate January 2, 2013 at 9:52 pm

Good Lord. Well done on not having a Bridezilla meltdown – I think I would have been close!
I’m glad he made it through the photos before throwing his tantrum. Honestly, it’s a tux, not a straightjacket or a leather bondage outfit. You can survive for one night.


NostalgicGal January 2, 2013 at 10:24 pm

@ whatever…

It was a wedding where literally ‘wear a costume’ was the theme. The bride was dressed as Amidallah from Star Wars and the groom was Anakin… one fellow was in gorgeous full klingon garb with appliances and a pro makeup job, and proudly carried his frilly dressed 10 month old granddaughter around for part of it. The celebrant was in a lovely kneelength doublet of chain maille that looked almost Norman…

That’s why my ‘costume’. Blanket cloak (it looked like a cloak though, not just a plain blanket as it was cloak shaped and lined) and to ankles red flannel nightgown. That’s why I was asked by a few as to who I was supposed to be, we did have a fellow in bathrobe and carrying a towel as Arthur Dent… As it was I almost ended up doing the ceremony as the officiant was running late… and the B&G were fine with what I wore. The Best Matron was in celtic warrioress plaid and the Man of Honor was in a kilt. Totally non-traditional wedding. Others were in street clothes, there were a lot of jeans there.


LovleAnjel January 7, 2013 at 9:33 pm

You couldn’t come up with a better cover story, like Prof. McGonagle rousted out of bed by Hermione? If I was at a costume wedding, saw someone in something like that and was told they just didn’t want to have to change clothes when they got home…. I would not think the best of them.


NostalgicGal January 13, 2013 at 1:42 am

On my third straight day up, I went for tongue-in-cheek truth. I was the seamstress who had a date with a pillow. I shouldn’t have driven there or home but I was also the backup officiant so I had to show. I didn’t actually say to people that I was going straight home to bed, that was my PLANS however. I didn’t make that clear in my first response. ‘I am on my third 24 hours, I need to have a date with my pillow’ is how I put it. I dressed for my date after this one…. and I was not familiar with the Harry Potter books (and still am not) (sigh, hopeless)


delislice January 4, 2013 at 7:18 am

One of my husband’s attendants was an old family friend who was in his mid-30s and, frankly, a self-centered jerk. Our service lasted about 40 minutes with a receiving line (for 100 guests) and reception in the fellowship hall immediately following. These poor fellows had to be in their morning suits for three hours at the outside, probably more like two.

So what does Jerk do? Change into a T shirt and jeans the second he can. No even khaki’s and a button-down shirt.

We just kind of rolled our eyes and said, “That’s _________!”


GleanerGirl January 5, 2013 at 12:21 pm

The only times I went out in public in my pajamas:

1) a pajama party – I drove there and back home, and otherwise was only in the person’s house, where everyone was similarly attired.

2) vacation and too darned sick and tired to dress before trudging to the food court to get some chicken soup. I did not linger to party. I shuffled as quickly as I could manage. I was ashamed, but I was just tooooooo draggy to bear getting dressed.


penguin tummy January 6, 2013 at 4:34 am

I received an invite to a wedding where my .BF was best man, so I would be sitting apart from him. The invite said dress formal, so I phoned the bride to ask how formal, eg a ball gown or regular wedding clothes. I didn’t know her that well so I thought i should check. She laughed heaps before telling me it was to make sure another guest, who i also knew, would be dressed appropriately . He had nearly been turned away from a previous friend’s reception venue because he was wearing jeans and button up shirt! The venue manager pulled him aside to told him he was lucky the bride to & groom had paid for him or he would be asked to leave. Regular wedding attire was fine! For the record, said gentleman did wear trousers and shirt.


redblues January 27, 2013 at 2:23 pm

What I like about this story is that the B&G laughed about it and never let it ruin their day. The groomsman came off looking like a boor all by himself and there was no scene to make anyone uncomfortable. You get the ‘Perfect Bride’ nomination from me OP! For future reference, I now know not to trust the behavior of a grown man who whines like a 2-year-old because he has to wear a tux to a wedding in which he is participating.


sylvie October 20, 2013 at 8:07 pm

Now, that was funny! Sure, the guy chose a rather unconventional comfortable outfit, but you’re still laughing 10 years later. Good job, Frank!


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