So I’m going to a wedding; you care about that and want me to tell you about it.
Here’s how it goes: the dress code, it seems like, is going to be basically inverted. Guests are being told to wear whatever the hell they want; bride and groom don’t care. Groom is wearing a suit; groomsmen shirt and tie. I was told by my date, the maid of honor, that I should do what I feel comfortable in but my defaulting to a suit was totally unnecessary, to the point of being quaint even; really I don’t even “have to” wear a tie. So OK, I’m polite, it isn’t about me, when in Rome, etc. If they invite you to an In Honor of a Recently Departed Hip Hop Star of Your Choosing wedding, smile and turn your quadruple XL pants around backward, and have fun, right.
The bride and groom are the renegades of the family, though; the rank and file, I hear, will be dressed in standard wedding gear because they’re more traditional people. This will - importantly and self-servingly - include the extended family of my date, whose sister’s wedding it is, all of whom (the whole family) this wedding is my date’s occasion to introduce me to. Date’s father is in the same boat as me in that he said something about wearing a suit and they told him he didn’t “have” to; it isn’t clear whether he’s going to or what his whole perspective on this critical contemporary issue is.
Obviously nobody’s going to concern themselves overly much with how I personally resolve this - I’ve explicitly been told “no one cares.” This is mostly a philosophical musing about whether these rules of etiquette and respect even apply where the bride and groom don’t care about them - like if you dress up and they aren’t, is that actually disrespectful? Or is it respectful even if they don’t acknowledge it? Isn’t this all really about my own sense of propriety and is that unavoidable?. My sense is that there are probably a lot of people on this board who share the bride and groom’s view on traditionality. So: there’s a likelihood that dressing like the wedding party suggests would look mildly disrespectful to a traditionalist outside observer. There’s a likelihood that dressing according to the standard rules about weddings, which would mean I fit in with the other guests, would also mean I dressed nicer than the groom. So what would you do?