Decoding The Wedding Dress Code

This always comes up when designing invitations and while sometimes it's obvious what to wear to a wedding, sometimes it can be just plain difficult. I think the only thing people know for sure is don't wear white (ladies) and no jeans allowed (yes, even in barn weddings). Just don't do it. If you need some help decoding that beautifully designed wedding invitation you got in the mail though, we are here to help.

If the invite says "black tie"

This is a very formal affair and usually means this is an evening affair

She should wear:

A long formal dress.

He should wear:

A tuxedo. A bow tie would be a nice touch as well.

If the invite says "formal" or "black tie optional"

This means that a tuxedo isn't required, but would still be appropriate.

She should wear:

A long formal dress, pants suit, or a chic cocktail dress.

He should wear:

A tuxedo or suit and tie.

If the invite says "cocktail attire"

This is the slightly less formal version of "formal".

She should wear:

A cocktail dress or pants suit.

He should wear:

A suit and tie.

If the invite says "beach formal"

This suggests an elegant beach wedding- so dress to impress but also for the outdoor elements.

She should wear:

A formal sundress at tea or knee length.

He should wear:

A light weight linen shirt and pants. Khaki's would work as well. No tie is required though for this dress.

If the invite says "semiformal or "dressy casual"

This is the most common for outdoor weddings.

She should wear:

A cocktail dress or dressy skirt and top.

He should wear:

A suit and tie are appropriate but you can choose the color (light or dark) based off the season and time of day.

If the invite says "casual" or "daytime"

This usually means anything goes (besides jeans). To be on the safe side though, stick with business casual. Tank tops and shorts are a no go.

She should wear:

A summer sundress or a skirt/dress pants with a nice blouse.

He should wear:

Dress pants or khaki's with a button down shirt or polo.

Wondering how to address the dress code? A simple "Formal (or whatever you choose) attire requested" line on your details card will do the trick.

I blog wedding tips weekly, to view more click here!

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