We attended a wedding Saturday afternoon for the first time in ages. The wedding was for a young, relative of Cyndi’s who is a second or third cousin. Knowing it would be blistering hot outside, and we had little significance to the event other than getting my mother-in-law there, we were discussing what to wear last week. As Cyndi tried on some conservative but cool (weather-wise) outfits, I told her I was planning to wear a summer suit and tie, knowing there’d probably be very few guys dressed up.

What People Wore

We were both operating under the belief a wedding commands a certain level of formality and decorum, and as guests, you dress creatively within those guidelines. Well, the array of bold personal statements in clothing went beyond our expectations. We were treated to:

  • A woman in her early 50s in a little black dress…that was about 6 inches above her knees
  • A comparably-aged guy in plaid shorts and a Nike workout shirt WITH a bolo tie
  • A young woman in a red t-shirt looking dress that bore a large University of Nebraska “N” on it
  • A smattering of young guys in shorts and t-shirts
  • An over-the-top trend toward less clothing and more skin with a smorgasbord of sleeveless, strapless, and backless dresses

These are all fine creative clothing statements – just not ideally suited for a wedding.

Even a wedding with a red and yellow Kansas City Chiefs color palette (including the bride entering the reception in a Jamal Charles jersey), a sand pouring ritual (maybe because the couple met in nursery school), bad karaoke singing throughout the actual ceremony, and the worst rendition of Mendelssohn’s Wedding March ever (if I’d have turned on my camera a few moments earlier, I’d definitely have a viral YouTube video on my hands).

The point here is that despite some unusual creative choices, it was the bride and groom’s day to make whatever bold personal statement they wanted. It wasn’t for guests to become misguided creative spectacles with their clothing choices.


Here’s the lesson. Whenever you’re considering making any type of bold personal statement, make sure of three things:

  • You’re really making a statement and not just creating an uniformed distraction
  • Your statement is advancing whatever “conversation” is taking place
  • It’s “your show” to be the center of attention, and you’re not simply taking away from someone else’s big deal

If we can all remember these three ideas, our bold creativity will garner a lot more desired appreciation from others.


These three ideas apply to the political budget grandstanding going on in Washington, D.C. these days. While “the show” really belongs to the people, too many politicians are using a serious budget and financial situation to try to make bold personal statements which don’t seem to be advancing the necessary conversation very much at all. – Mike Brown

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