How to Dress for a Wedding

Dress Code for a Party & Wedding Sometimes you get an invitation that has unusual dress code term on it and you wonder, what in the world does that mean? Well, below I have prepared a list to get the jist of what it means most of the time, although you may come across one […]

Dress Code for a Party & Wedding

Sometimes you get an invitation that has unusual dress code term on it and you wonder, what in the world does that mean? Well, below I have prepared a list to get the jist of what it means most of the time, although you may come across one that no one knows and you just have to wing it.

The invite says: “White Tie”

This is the most formal of all wedding dress codes (think military ball).

He should wear:
A tuxedo, a long black jacket with tails, a white pique vest, and a bow tie. Black, formal shoes and black socks.

The invite says: “Black Tie”

This is the next most formal wedding dress code and usually means the wedding is an evening affair.

He should wear:
A tuxedo. A black bow tie, cummerbund, and patent leather shoes are also suggested.

She should wear:
A chic cocktail dress or a long evening gown in a dark, neutral color like brown or black. The bride, wedding party, or friends can help answer questions about this.

The invite says: “Formal” or “Black Tie Optional”

The wording here suggests something slightly less formal than black tie. This means that a tuxedo isn’t required but the event is still formal enough for one to be appropriate.

He should wear:
A tuxedo or a formal dark suit and tie.

She should wear:
A long dress, a dressy suit, or a formal cocktail-length dress in a dark, neutral tone like brown, gray, or black.

The invite says: “Beach Formal”

This suggests an elegant beach wedding — so dress to impress, but also dress for the elements (sun, sand, and water). Anything you’d wear to a nice restaurant on a summer day is appropriate.

He should wear:
A summer suit with a linen shirt (no ties required), linen pants or khakis, and sandals.

She should wear:
A formal summer sundress at tea- or knee-length with flat sandals. Makeup and hair can be natural and everyday.

The invite says: “Semiformal” or “Dressy Casual”

Depending on the time of the event, you’ll want to dress somewhere between formal and casual. Wear darker, more formal colors for an evening affair; opt for light colors and fabrics for a daytime wedding.

He should wear:
A suit and tie, dark or light depending on the season and time of day.

She should wear:
A cocktail dress or a dressy skirt and top.

The invite says: “Casual”

Generally, casual means anything goes. That said, jeans, shorts, and tank tops are probably not appropriate unless they’re specifically noted as acceptable. For the purposes of wedding wear, assume business casual to be on the safe side.

He should wear:
Dress pants with a button-down shirt or polo.

She should wear:
A summer sundress or a skirt or pants with a nice blouse, something she can wear to church possibly. Makeup and hair can be natural and everyday.

When planning your event, if you need to include a dress code requirement, feel free. This will make sure all guests feel comfortable, fit-in and nobody is the main focus except the bride and groom. Don’t be afraid to get creative with what you call your dress code, just make sure your guests are aware of what it means.

Tags: business casual, dress code, dress code on an invitation, dress code on party invitations, dress code on wedding invitations, dressy casual, formal attire

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