Even before the wedding invitation is fully read we all think “what am I going to wear?. For most women it is an excuse to rush out and buy a new outfit that is fitting for the occasion. But what may cross your mind is “what is the dress code”. As a bride or groom this should be addressed on your wedding invitation. Yes It may be a beach ceremony but do you really want guests to be wearing flip flops and shorts at your wedding? Even if it is in a ballroom do you want a formal black tie dress code or something a little something more relaxed? Below are some examples of dress codes for weddings as a guide for your big day.
The black tie option is as formal as you are going to get. Black tie means that the men are in tuxedos complete with cufflink, black shoes and may be as far as to add a colourful waste coat or bow tie. For women you will see formal cocktail dresses, long evening gowns, or glamorous evening separates.
Think – Old Hollywood
Usually for weddings held after 5pm, cocktail attire means a step up from smart casual although not as formal as black tie. Fitting for obviously a cocktail themed wedding or something a little more relaxed. You will see the women in cocktail dresses and heels and the men in long trousers with an open shirt collar.
Think – Sex and the City
Although this dress code sounds like you will have guests show up in bikinis and shorts, most guests love the excuse to dress up, even if it is a casual affair. Flowing summer dresses and flats are most likely what you will see the women wearing. For men, although some may wear the Bermuda shorts and polo, you will find most will be in long linen slacks with dress flip flops and an open collar linen shirt, even men love an excuse to dress up.
Think – Wedding in the tropics
One step up from barefoot beach, although one step down from cocktail attire. This attire is great if you want a more laid back wedding although you are hosting it in a yacht club or restaurant where flip flops and shorts would not be acceptable. Women would most likely be in dressy slacks with an evening top or pretty summer dresses, and men would be in linens or lightweight suit.
Think – Dinner with your friends at an upscale restaurant
Themed weddings call for dress codes such as Great Gatsby, Black and White or something specific to the couple’s interest like Medieval. This can make for a great fun evening and guest should take the effort to dress smartly and dress within the theme, great for guests with the same interests also.
Think – Roaring 20’s
Casual means “anything goes” and you will find that most people will decide on their attire obviously by the location of the wedding which if casual, is most likely on the beach or at a private residence. You may see guests dressed in cocktail attire and you may see guest dressed in jeans and t-shirts. By having casual attire dress code you are letting your guests be comfortable and themselves at your wedding.
Think – Your friend and family BBQ get together
If your wedding is held in a garden or private residence then the attire you are most likely to see is women dressed in sundresses and big hats and men in polo shirts and dress slacks or a lightweight suit.
Think – Alice In Wonderland garden party