DEAR ABBY: "Bride-to-Be" asked if it was common or proper to wear her wedding gown to the airport or on a plane. You advised her that it was impractical, but there's no law against it. By that, I assume your intention was to say that no rule of etiquette specifically forbids it, rather than a criminal statute.
One of the most basic rules of etiquette is that people dress appropriately for their environment. What reason could a person possibly have for wanting to do such a thing except that she is hoping to coerce every casual stranger who crosses her path into having to offer congratulations and ask the obvious questions so that she can extend her fantasy that the entire world revolves around her wedding? To me, this sounds not only improper but self-absorbed. -- JESSICA IN HOUSTON
DEAR JESSICA: Most of my readers who chose to comment on that letter agreed I was right to discourage the bride-to-be. But not all of them did. Read on:
DEAR ABBY: When I was married, I kept my gown on, even though we were going to Disneyland after the ceremony. It created some of the most memorable moments of the day. Little girls and tourists wanted pictures of my new husband and me, and I got to wear the most expensive and beautiful dress I will ever own for a full day. Carpe diem! Have no regrets. It's her day; let her do what makes her happy. -- JANELLE IN VALENCIA, CALIF.
DEAR ABBY: Allow me to share what occurred while I was part of the crew on a flight from LAX to Miami. We were all delighted when a young bride and groom in full wedding regalia boarded our aircraft. Unfortunately, we lost an engine on takeoff and had to return to LAX, where the passengers and crew waited three hours before another plane was available. By the time we took off again, the bride and groom were more than ready to don something comfortable for the five-hour flight, but their luggage had been checked!
I would advise the bride to bring along a carry-on with a change of clothes should the unexpected occur. The couple on my flight got more than their money's worth out of their formal wear. -- JANE IN MANDEVILLE, LA.
DEAR ABBY: Leaving for my honeymoon last summer, I wore a white baseball cap with a short veil attached so everyone would know I was just married. It paid off with upgrades to first class on our flight, complimentary champagne and many other "perks." Tell that bride-to-be there is an alternative to show that she's just married, and she should preserve her sacred wedding gown for her daughter. -- STARR IN SANTA CRUZ, CALIF.
DEAR ABBY: I just saw the question from the bride-to-be. Please remind her and your readers that it is unsafe to wear anything that bulky -- and perhaps not even comfortable -- on an airplane. If there was an accident or even a crash landing, she could become a liability to her husband and the other passengers -- from catching on fire to getting tangled in the slide to tripping in a dark aisle. This is the reason travelers are advised not to wear clothing made of synthetic material on an airplane. -- PRACTICAL IN MASSACHUSETTS
DEAR ABBY: Tell that bride to call a designer today! I once saw the most wonderful wedding dress, and it could be the perfect solution for her. It was in two pieces, with a full skirt that came off, revealing a beautiful short cocktail dress. Ingenious! The bride said she wore it to dinner several times during her honeymoon. -- AN OLD BRIDE IN SAN RAMON