Weird Wedding Dress Codes: A Guide

wedding dress code

 

OK. So these wedding dress codes pictured below might not actually exist, but sometimes it feels like they could. Since when did dressing for a wedding (or telling your guests how to dress for a wedding) get so hard? From Beach Casual and Dressy Casual to White Tie/Black Tie optional and everything in between, soon we’ll be telling guests what kind of undies to wear on our invites.

With that said, I often find it baffling that guests don’t kind of already know how to dress for a wedding. I mean, I can see the need to put Black Tie on an invite if you expect your guests to all wear tuxedos instead of a suit, but does it mean you can show up to an evening wedding wearing a golf shirt and khakis if a dress code isn’t listed on the invite? The short answer is ‘No.’ While some instructions are helpful if your desired wedding attire is out of the ordinary (Swimsuits Only!) or a specific dress code is required from your venue (IE: jacket and tie, in which case you would say Formal), I don’t always see the need to include a dress code on an invitation unless it’s important to you.

If you do want to include a real dress code on your wedding invite (excluding the funny ones, below), here are the meanings behind the most common ones.

White Tie:

The most formal of all wedding dress codes, it means men should wear a tuxedo with long black tails, a white pique vest, a white bow tie, and even white gloves would be appropriate. Women should wear a formal, full-length gown.

Black Tie:

This means men should wear a tuxedo, a cummerbund, a black bow tie, and patent leather dress shoes. Women should wear an upscale cocktail dress or a full-length gown.

Formal or Black Tie Optional:

Men wouldn’t be out of place in a tuxedo, but guys can also wear a formal dark suit and tie. Women should wear a cocktail dress, dressy suit, or a long dress.

Semi-Formal or Dressy Casual:

For daytime weddings men and women should wear lighter colors, and for evening darker is more appropriate. Men should wear a suit and tie, and women should wear a cocktail dress or a dressier skirt and top.

Beach Formal:

This has the same attire requirements as a formal wedding, but you’re dressing for the elements (IE: wind, sand, etc.). Men should wear a daytime-appropriate suit (no tie required), and women should wear a dressier sundress.

Casual:

While some might think this means anything go, think office-appropriate (which means no shorts or jeans). Men should wear dress pants with a button-down. Women should wear a casual dress or nice top and skirt.

Thanks to Happy Place for the graphic

weird wedding dress codes

 


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