Royal Wedding Dos and Don'ts

BY Steven Petrow

April 27 2011 3:15 PM ET

STEVEN PETROW X390• Wear this, not that. Fortunately, the royal wedding invitation is very specific in stating the dress code for the occasion. “Dress: Uniform, Morning Coat, or Lounge Suit.” A lounge suit is what the Brits call a business suit. As for the morning coat, that’s a long coat with a front cutaway, which in this country we call “tails.” The final touch for two gentlemen attending a royal wedding is pair of umbrellas; it is London, after all. By the way, the mention of uniforms refers to military ones — not any skanky leather accoutrements hanging in the closet.

Real life: Two men or two women attending a wedding or ceremony of commitment needn’t be all matchy-matchy. Just remember: Dress for the formality or informality of the occasion. You don’t want one of you in a tux and the other sporting an open-collar shirt with jeans (no matter how much your designer denim may have cost). You will be seen and photographed together; think about that as you plan your outfits.

• No tweeting, please. Even though Gareth Thomas has 21,000+ followers on Twitter, he should be sure to turn off all his mobile devices as soon as he enters the church.

Real life: No phone calls. No tweets. No texting. No Facebook updates. Not during the ceremony.

• Leave the kid at home. It’s fantastic news that Sir Elton and David have adopted a baby boy, but unless little Zachary is named on the invitation, he is not invited.

Real life: When you receive a wedding invitation, pay close attention to the names on the envelope and the details inside. Never assume you can bring your little one.

• Leave the boyfriend at home. For Gareth Thomas, who is reportedly not in a committed relationship right now: Don’t make the mistake of bringing a casual mate as your companion, unless your invitation says “plus one” or “and guest.” With the 1,900 seats in the abbey so coveted on that day, I can guarantee that Gareth has been invited solo (although I’d be happy to join him if I’m wrong).

Real life: Even the most casual ceremonies have a formality about them; don’t mistake a wedding invitation for a dinner invite. Nor should you e-mail your hosts to ask whether you can bring your sweetie along.

And one last pointer for both Sir Elton and Mr. Thomas: Please don’t be late. This is good advice for all weddings (you should arrive about 20 minutes early, in fact). At Westminster, every step will be timed to the minute, and “homosexual standard time” is no excuse for tardiness.















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