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Social Experiment: Wrong Outfit in a Wedding Event


It is my cousin’s wedding and the invitation card was specific on the dress code. The reception was to capture an official theme consisting of official dressing code, preferably grey or dark suit/dress. I did not expect everyone to dress as was directed. I opted for a casual trouser and satin grey blouse. This treatise describes my experience in this phenomenology of awkwardness experiment. The paper describes the perception of the people I interacted with towards my personality and outfit.

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The experience

Showing up in a casual outfit at my cousin’s wedding was the worst experience I have undergone in a long time. At the entrance of the reception area, I was stopped by the security guards and was informed that I could not walk into the hall in that outfit. None of the security personnel were interested in my explanation about being the immediate cousin to the groom even after showing my invitation card.

I must have stood at the entrance for almost fifteen minutes before one of the brothers of the groom spotted me and came to my rescue. He was also not pleased with my attire and I could see the disapproval in his face. Unlike the usual days when he always rushes to greet me with a big smile, he was just there and uncomfortably extended his hand to respond to my salutation as though I was a ghost (Fiske and Shelley 14). All the same, his intervention saved the day.

The first person I spotted gazing at me weirdly within the reception hall was my mother. When I gazed back, she turned her face away with the intention of pretending not to have seen me. This is never the usual case. My mother is always very proud of me. If everything was okay, her reaction upon seeing me would be to invite me to sit next to her. To my dismay, she offered the empty seat she had reserved for me to one of my cousins.

As if that was just the beginning of my troubles, one of the ushers, who is my classmate and a relative, confronted me with several questions about my outfit. Before even giving a chance to offer an explanation, she was already indicating to me that I should be seated at the back of the reception to save the groom any embarrassment. I complied with a lot of negative sentiments since this particular usher is never keen on fashion and has fallen a victim of criticism for wearing a wrong outfit in a couple of events (Baron and Branscombe 23).

The last row at the back of the reception was characterized by hostile faces directed towards my seating position. In groups of two and three, these guests were murmuring amongst themselves and occasionally throwing unfriendly gaze towards my direction. Interestingly, I knew most of these guests. I tried waving at one of them when our eyes met but she just ignored the greeting. The person who was most disappointed by my outfit was the groom who had invited me to say a vote of thanks on behalf of all the cousins. Though the groom really tried to downplay my dressing style, I could read disappointment and regrets in his face and body language (Fiske and Shelley 19).


The attendees of the wedding event displayed disappointment, discomfort, and open resentment towards my dressing style. Even close relatives found it necessary to maintain minimal contact with me throughout the event.

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Works Cited

Baron, Robert, and N. Branscombe. Social Psychology: International Edition, New York, NY: Pearson Education Limited, 2012. Print.

Fiske, Susan, and T. Shelley. Social Cognition: From Brains to Culture, California, LA: Sage Publications, 2013. Print.

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StudyCorgi. (2021, May 6). Social Experiment: Wrong Outfit in a Wedding Event.

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