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It’s not often that Mr. Kitty and I have the opportunity to attend a wedding. In this case, we didn’t know the bride well, or the groom at all, but I say that’s no reason to miss a wedding! Actually, the bride’s brother and sister-in-law are two of our very best friends, so we are slowly infiltrating their families. We were honored to be invited to enjoy their beautiful event with them!
I’ve mentioned before on this blog how I feel about Goth aesthetics at a “normal” wedding. While the main purpose of this blog is to inspire grown-up Goths to be true to themselves, weddings are one of the few times where I feel that standing out too much in the crowd is absolutely, unequivocally NOT OKAY. Disclaimer: my thoughts on this subject apply only to traditional weddings where the bride and groom do not associate with any sort of alternative subculture. If they do, the etiquette might be different, but that entirely depends on the type of wedding, too.
Now, I know a lot of you are reading this thinking, “Hey, I should never have to compromise on WHO I AM.” But let me give you a different perspective on this. A wedding is an incredibly important day to a bride. It’s her one day to shine and fully be the center of attention. Also it’s a very stressful day, involving lots of hard work, nerves, emotion and sometimes even family drama. When you show up in full-blown Gothic regalia, you are a distraction. And a potential source of added stress. Maybe the bride is fine with this, but maybe her great-grandmother is not so much. So, you think, “Now’s my chance to PROVE SOMETHING. I can show all those normal people how awesome Goths are.” But you won’t. Because what you are showing them, no matter how awesome you really are, is that Goths exercise poor judgement. That we are juvenile, rebellious, and put our own need to express ourselves above the feelings of others. They’ll never see your awesomeness through what they perceive as selfishness. This may be an unfortunate state of things, but a wedding is not the time to change the world. You can do that tomorrow. On your own time.
That being said, there’s no harm in expressing a modicum of individuality. Consider it on the same level as dressing for work, but replace business attire with cocktail attire. Yes, you can wear all-black (unless it’s a daytime, summery beach wedding or such – then maybe consider a bit of color). You might be able to pull off heavy makeup, unnatural hair colors, or visible piercings and tattoos… But you should absolutely make an effort to tone it down a bit. This is CorpGoth recently did a post about work attire that is very relevant here. To paraphrase her, you can probably get away with one or two dramatic elements (intense makeup or tattoos), while combining multiple unusual traits (intense makeup AND tattoos) would most likely be over the top.
Believe me, you won’t lose anything by toning it down for a loved one’s wedding. Those of us who are different have an exceedingly difficult time hiding it, and while you may look “boring” to yourself you’ll still look edgy and unique to those who all dress the same. In fact, you will gain a lot of respect in the eyes of those who know your true nature when they see that you have the dignity and class to put others before yourself.
Coffin Kitsch addressed this issue in a recent outfit post over on her blog. I think she pulled it off brilliantly, and her post has some great tips as well.
My dress for this event is from the sale rack at White House Black Market: my new favorite store. I’ve drooled over their pretties for years, and finally decided to start investing in some of these stunning pieces. I’m SO glad I bought this one. I paired my dress with a white satin shrug, and accented the black and white look with dark plum lipstick and gel nail polish. The bracelet is another Charming Charlie find (I’ll show a close-up next time I wear it, because this post has enough photos already!). The Brighton heart locket was a gift from Mr. Kitty for our anniversary last month. More about that later, too!
How do you dress for traditional, non-Goth weddings?
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