Dear Miriam | What Should You Wear to a Zoom Wedding?

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Dear Miriam,

What do you think is the right protocol for what to wear to a Zoom wedding? Should guests dress up or not bother?

Signed,


2020 Wedding Guest

Dear Guest,

The only standard you need to adhere to is showing respect to the couple. Beyond that, there are numerous acceptable possibilities that depend on so many variables. What’s right for one guest might not be for another, so while you make your own decision, reserve judgement of anyone else.

Assuming it’s a regular Zoom meeting and not a webinar, guests will be visible to each other and to the couple. In place of more traditional photos that aren’t possible, there will probably be screen shots, and the video will likely be saved, so unless you confirm otherwise, I would expect you’ll be seen.

You could consider the popular Zoom option of dressing up the top half of your body. Though while this may be fine for work, it seems a little sad when it comes to a wedding. If you’re not into the idea of full wedding garb, opt for something neutral and maybe add a necklace or a tie. At the very minimum, get out of your pajamas!

Of course, you could turn your camera off and avoid the clothing question altogether, but that’s neither very festive nor very communal. If you have a lot of distractions in the background, turning off your camera may be necessary at certain points, but better not to plan on that. (Since you’ll surely be muted, I would not consider kids to be a distraction in this case.) Kids aside, ideally you’ll be able to clear your schedule so that you are fully available and you can feel like you’re actually “attending.”

To that end, your clothing choices may be less about the wedding couple and more about yourself. How will you feel watching the wedding? Will you enjoy the process of getting dressed up? After so many months without events, would you like the opportunity to put on something nice and set aside the time and space to feel celebratory?

Overall, think about what it means to participate in such an occasion virtually. If your takeaway is that this is the weirdest time ever and why have the facade of formality from your living room, fine. That’s a reasonable reaction to the time we’re living in. But if you think that one way we acknowledge the importance of a moment is through clothing, and you want that experience, even from home, don’t hold back.

Find a way to revel in your garb from the comfort of your own home, along with all the other guests, everywhere, who are also playing along.

Be well,

Miriam

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