Demystifying Wedding Dress Codes

Weddings are very special occasions in a couple’s life. It is every couple’s wish to have the perfect wedding. There are a million decisions to be made and one decision that often gets overlooked is the dress code. You might have already picked out what you and your partner will wear in accordance with the theme you’re going for, but the wedding dress code for the guests might have slipped your mind. A dress code ensures that the guests look cohesive with the event you’ve planned so carefully. It also makes it easier for the guests, who’ve already had to ponder over the wedding gifts, to pick their outfits. There are several dress codes you can go for depending on the venue and the tone you want to set. 

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White-tie is the most formal of all the wedding dress codes and is not that common: think royal balls and White House state dinners. Men are required to wear a tuxedo with tails, a white bow tie, a formal white shirt and a white vest. Women can wear formal floor-length ball gowns. Some events might even require the women to wear long gloves.


Black-tie, while not as formal as white-tie, is still a formal affair. It is also the most commonly opted for in regards to a formal dress code. Men should wear tuxedos, but can opt for a more modern design along with black tie and white shirt. Women can wear floor-length gowns or cocktail dresses to a black-tie wedding, or might even wear sophisticated pantsuits.  

Black-tie optional or formal

This wedding dress code implies that the event is slightly less formal than a black-tie event. There might not be a lot of difference for women’s attire, except that they might be able to wear gowns or dresses with a midi-length hem. Men can still wear tuxedos or go for a formal dark suit. 


Cocktail is a mix between elegant and comfortable, and is one of the most popular choices for a wedding. Women can wear knee-length or tea-length or a midi dress or even a pantsuit. Men are required to wear a suit and tie. Guests are still encouraged to wear smart and dressy attire, but ensure that it is not fancier than the couple’s. 


A casual dress code is for when a wedding is going to be held outdoors at a place like a beach. Such an event will be laid-back and not as demanding when it comes to attire. With that being said, there are still some requirements to be followed as one cannot just turn up in a tank top or jeans. If you are asking your guests to dress casual, it is best to outline a few specifics. For men, casual will mean a nice button-down shirt with slacks or khakis. Jackets are not required. Women can wear sundresses with wedges or dressy sandals.

Your guests should easily be able to find attire to suit your dress code including modest dresses such as those from Dainty Jewells. Wedding dress codes might also differ depending on the seasons. For instance, you might want to make the most of the beauty of spring during your wedding ceremony. Whatever the dress code might be, ensure that you convey it to the guests and your wedding will be as beautiful as planned.

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