Easy Guide On Wedding Attire

Its wedding season and you know what that means, our confusion about what proper attire is for the vastly different events.  The wedding coordinators at Event Planning DC are here to help with this easy guide on wedding attire.

When the Invitation Says: White-Tie Wedding Dress Code

This is attire for the most formal event you can think of.  Attire you would wear to attend a White House reception dinner.  Ladies should wear a formal, floor length gown with conservative jewelry, high heels, and an elegant clutch.  There are no exceptions to this.  Men should choose a tuxedo with tails.  A formal white shirt should be worn with a simple colored vest and bow tie, think white, gray, or black.  Formal footwear should be worn as well like derby shoes or oxford styles.

When the Invitation Says: Black-Tie Wedding Dress Code

A step down from formal, but still incredibly dressy, black tie weddings most often occur in the evening.  There are a few more options for men and women alike at a black-tie affair.  Ladies can choose from a formal gown or a classy cocktail dress.  Dressy heels or flats can be chosen. 

If you are uncomfortable in a gown or dress a dressed-up pants suit is acceptable.  Men must wear a tuxedo, but it doesn’t have to include tails.  A black tie, vest or cummerbund are completely acceptable. 

Patent leather shoes can be worn.  If the wedding is in the summer, men may consider a white jacket with black tuxedo trousers.

When the Invitation Says: Formal or Black-Tie Wedding Dress Code Optional

This is the trickiest of tricky invitation to receive, let us help decode.  This means that the occasion is slightly less formal than black tie, so a tuxedo is not necessary, but it is still formal enough if you want.  Ladies can dress as they would for a black-tie wedding.  Men however can choose a tuxedo if they want but can also be appropriately dressed if they show up in a formal dark suit, white shirt, and conservative tie.

When the Invitation Says: Semi-formal or Dressy Casual Wedding Dress Code

This is when the time of the wedding really plays a role in how people dress.  Darker is better for evening events and lighter colors and fabrics are better for the daytime.  Ladies should choose a cocktail dress or dressy skirt and top.  A floor length gown is inappropriate. 

Heals, wedges, or flats are acceptable.  If an event is outdoors, then it is best for ladies to avoid traditional heels as they are likely to get stuck along the way.  Men should wear a suit and tie, again depending on the time of day it can be light colored or dark.

When the Invitation Says: Festive Attire Wedding Dress Code

This one is new and has a lot of leeway.  Attendees can have fun and play with their look or choose cocktail attire that is a bit more playful.  Ladies can choose a cocktail dress or super fun party dress. 

Funky accessories are okay and bold colored shoes as well. Men should wear a suit jacket however it can be jazzed up with a colorful tie and jazzy pocket square.

When the Invitation Says: Casual Attire Wedding Dress Code

This is usually the case for weddings that are outdoors or on the water.

It will be a laid-back occasion and attire is simple.  Of course, you should NEVER, let me say it again… NEVER, wear jeans, shorts, or a tank to a wedding.  Not even when it is noted that it is okay.  Ladies should opt for a sundress and wedges.  If you think it may be chilly a sweater can be worn.  Sandals and sneakers are still off limits.   Men are free to wear dress pants or khakis.  A collared shirt is recommended but a tie and sport jacket are optional.  T-shirts and tennis shoes are off limits.

When the Invitation Says: Tropical or Destination Wedding Dress Code

You must dress appropriately for the weather.  Always err on the dressier side if you aren’t sure however you want to be comfy for the weather.  Ladies can choose a sundress with sandals or wedges.  If it is super sunny a hat that blocks the sun is just fine as an accessory.  For men a sport shirt or lightweight jacket is appropriate.  Short sleeve button downs are a great option as well, consider a guayabera style shirt. Khaki pants are appropriate for men as are dock style shoes. 

Think Casual when dressing for this type of wedding.

Wedding attire is always a little tricky.  It is always better to be over-dressed verse under dressed EXCEPT in situations where you “out attire” the bride and groom.  If you have any doubts reach out to the couple.  If you are close enough to be invited to their special day they will have no problem at all telling you how you should dress for the occasion.

Event Planning DC provides full event planning, partial event planning, wedding planning, month-of (day-of) event coordination, event styling/design and decorating services throughout DC, Maryland, and Virginia, with access to local and national vendors who may provide additional services suitable for your event and budget.  We pride ourselves on providing only the highest quality event coordination, giving you and your guests the perfect day, no matter what the occasion including exclusive corporate and non-profit eventsweddingsBar & Bat Mitzvahs, community events and milestone celebrations.  More information can be found online at https://www.eventplanningdc.com.

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