Sure, sure, getting married is stressful. But pity the poor guests who must navigate the social minefield that is the modern wedding (budgets, booze and bizarre seating arrangements are just the icing on the five-tier cake) with unwavering cheeriness. Oh, and all without the promise of a Happily Ever After… at the end of it.
Nothing, however, can be quite as bamboozling to a wedding guest as what to wear. Dress codes are daunting, they threaten to wreak havoc on our sense of style. Ask yourself, is there any other event that would sway a normally rational woman into a fascinator? Thought not.
And now, just as you were getting to grips with what to wear to a wedding – thanks to coronavirus, they’re all cancelled (well, for now). Or, increasingly, moving to Zoom. The rise of the virtual wedding brings with it a whole new host of ‘but what to wear?’ worries. This is unchartered territory, after all.
But in the spirit of rose-tinted romance, let’s look at the wins for the virtual wedding dress code. First off, as nobody will be able to see them, you can consciously uncouple from those shoes you can’t stand in. In fact, do away with standing around for hours on end altogether, it’s time to take your pew on the sofa. You can also say ‘cheerio’ to silly hats, even the most high-maintenance couple would admit they’re a bit much in this new context. You can quit worrying about fabrics that will crease on the journey there, leave the control pants in your underwear drawer and forget about cramming everything into a postage-stamp clutch.
That’s what’s off the menu, but what’s on it? For starters, make sure, like an IRL wedding, you choose something that is special enough to show respect for the occasion (arguably this matters more than ever, logging on in your pyjamas hardly says ‘I am honoured to be here’) but not so special that it says ‘all eyes on me please’. Zoom is the spiritual home of waist-up dressing, so interesting collars and shoulder detailing is a win here – frills, flounces and ruffles denote just the right amount of romance. Statement earrings and hair accessories are also your friends now. Be warned, the laptop glare can be infamously unforgiving: bolder colours and graphic patterns work better on camera than ditsy prints and wishy-washy pastels.
Remember too that some rules do still apply – primarily, wear white at your own risk. And if you still can’t grin and bear it? A ‘bad WIFI connection’ excuse works wonders.