Photo Credit: Scott and Dana Photographers
As weddings are becoming more and more diverse in their style and theme, so are the outfits that guests are wearing. Providing suggested attire will help ensure guests dress appropriately for your big day based on your venue, location, weather, theme and formality. Guests will also appreciate the guidance so they don't show up too casual or too dressy – no one wants to feel like they're out of place! We always suggest including this guideline within your mailed invitation but you can also go into more detail (if desired) on your wedding website. Explore the different types of attire below to choose how to best suggest attire for your guests within your wedding invitations.
Black Tie attire specifies that men should wear a tuxedo and women should wear formal, floor-length gowns. Black Tie wedding attire is formal, extremely dressy and allows little room for other allowances.
Photo Credit: Michele Beckwith
Black Tie Optional
This falls between Black-Tie and Formal Attire. Men are still encouraged to wear a tuxedo, but can also consider a nice, tailored, dark-color suite, and women should wear a floor-length evening gown or a formal, elegant cocktail dress.
Formal Attire is less formal than Black Tie, but more formal than Cocktail Attire. Men should wear a tailored, dark color suit and women should wear an elegant dress or a sophisticated pantsuit.
One of the most popular wedding attire recommendation choices, guests have more flexibility with colors, patterns and hemlines. Men should wear a suit jacket and tie with dress pants, and women should wear a short, formal dress, long skirt or a tailored pant suit. Women should also consider their accents in terms of jewelry and/or shoes to "dress up" or "dress down" their outfit.
Semi-Formal or Dressy Casual Attire
Semi-Formal or Dressy-Casual is slightly less dressy than Cocktail Attire. Men should wear a suit jacket (ties are optional) and women should wear a less structured dress (consider a midi or wrap dress), a fashionable jumpsuit or skirt. Think business-casual wear here!
Beach wedding attire is typically more lenient since it’s important that guests dress appropriately for the weather. Men should wear a lightweight dress shirt with slacks (blazers are a nice addition for a fancier event) and women should wear light-weight skirts or flowy dresses. Advise guests on appropriate footwear to wear if they’ll be walking on sand most of the time.
Photo Credit: Instagram via IAMMARIELOZANO // Weddingomania
Daytime Attire or Casual Attire
Daytime Attire or Casual Attire is the most relaxed of the suggested dress codes – although guests should still understand they need to dress appropriately for the important event. Suggested attire for men in this category is a blazer with a button-down (no tie) with khaki pants, and for women, a sundress or relaxed jumpsuit. Guests have the most flexibility here with colors, patterns, fabrics and outfit accents (considering shoes and jewelry).
But you can get even more specific…
You may also consider requesting guests to dress with a theme or color palette in mind, which will in-turn create the perfect aesthetic for Pinterest-worthy photos. The key here is keeping in mind that not all guests will be able to (or want to) follow the suggestion. If you do decide to make this request, we suggest including this information on a Details card – not the invitation (where the attire suggestion normally goes). This will allow more space for you to provide in-depth details about your request while keeping your invitation card clean and formal.
There can be gray areas in knowing what verbiage to use when suggesting the right attire for a wedding, but using the guidelines above will help make this process easier, and again, remember to consider your wedding venue, location, weather, theme and formality. In the end, providing this suggestion eliminates confusion for your guests and provides you peace of mind that everyone will arrive dressed appropriately and picture-ready.