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How will your wedding vendors dress on your wedding day?

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Let me start this blog by saying that as I type this at my desk, I am in my old softball team t-shirt, a pair of Reebok warm up pants, and a pair of gym shoes. Comfort is key today. I also have no appointments coming into the office, and I don’t have to perform anywhere tonight so it should be a nice easy day here at K.C.E.

The reason I prefaced this is because I am writing this blog about how disappointed I have become with the way that other wedding professionals dress at events. Timothy Whaley Photography was the first photography studio that I knew of to offer photo journalistic photography in Chicago. I remember when Tim told me that he would send a main photographer in formal attire to capture the wedding as well as second photographer dressed as a guest to be “under cover” and blend in with the guests to capture the emotions of the wedding day, I thought this was brilliant. This was the first time I had known of a company breaking the industry standard of a tuxedo at weddings. In the past 5-10 years however the overall industry has stepped away from wearing a classic tuxedo to just dressing in black.

This past Friday, I worked with a photographer dressed in khaki slacks and a polo golf shirt at a wedding reception held in a beautiful Double Tree hotel. In the past year, both myself and my staff have worked with photographers dressed in shorts and either gym shoes or flip flops at traditional wedding receptions. I have posted these pictures on my personal Facebook page with my feelings that it was horrific. I was shocked at the amount of comments defending these people. “Well he may take amazing pictures.” “How he is dressed really isn’t reflective of his work or professionalism.” In one post, I was even called a bully by posting his picture. I never posted his company name or his personal name. When did we as an industry get to a point that dressing professionally was no longer a part of being a professional? There is a difference in being dressed in black and looking sharp and being dressed in black and looking under-dressed like you just rolled out of bed.

A lot of wedding vendors have explained to me that dressing formally simply isn’t realistic yet every weekend I see very hard working wait staff at these same weddings dressed in a tuxedo shirt, tie, vest, and dress pants carrying hot trays of food and moving tables and chairs while also serving hundreds of people so I am not sure how much I believe that explanation. Even my mail man dresses in a uniform.

I find it rather interesting that what some wedding professionals wear to a wedding wouldn’t be formal enough to get them into a downtown nightclub.

It is both my personal and professional opinion that a wedding professional should dress both comfortably enough to do their job as well as formally enough to be at a dress code that is at least equal to that of a guest at the event. If a tie needs to come off for something then it should be put back on later. Our staff loads our equipment into the facility in a Keith Christopher T-shirt and jeans or shorts depending on time of year. After we are all set up, we change into a formal black tuxedo and our assistants, lighting techs, photo booth operators, etc. all dress in shirts and ties with pressed black slacks and black dress shirts.

If you are a planning a wedding or party and you are reading this blog, please make sure that you discuss dress code in detail with your wedding vendors before your wedding day so that you are not stuck with shorts and flip flops on your wedding day.