Dress codes for weddings may vary from wedding to wedding but if you aren’t fashion savvy, deciding what to wear to a wedding, even as a guest, can be quite a task. So, here’s a compiled list of 9 different wedding attire ideas – find the right one for your event!
Even though a big rule at weddings is to never outdress the bride, your wedding attire is still an important statement piece. So, whether it’s a casual or white-tie wedding, take the necessary measures to look your best while adhering to the wedding dress codes.
Weddings are great festive occasions for dressing up and celebrating love. However, what should you wear if you do not know whether your outfit is suitable wedding attire? From white tie to casual, learn what to wear to any wedding by the end of this article.
White Tie Attire
The most formal of the nine options is white-tie wedding attire. No exceptions are made for women to wear anything other than a formal floor-length evening gown. Women typically accessorize with jewelry, gloves, a classy clutch, and high heels.
As for men, a tuxedo with tails, a formal white shirt, a white vest and bow tie, white or gray gloves, and formal footwear such as derby shoes or oxfords are required. A black waistcoat is considered unacceptable. Think White House state dinners to get the gist of how formal some wedding dress codes are.
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Black Tie Attire
The next formal attire that follows is a black tie which usually signifies that it’s an evening wedding. Women are still required to wear formal floor-length evening gowns, however, if the wedding seems to be less formal, an elegant pants suit or chic cocktail dress might also be appropriate.
A black tie event has an automatic tuxedo requirement for men. Furthermore advised are a black bow tie, a black vest, and patent leather shoes. A white dinner jacket and black tuxedo pants are also acceptable for weddings in the summer.
Formal or Black-Tie Optional Attire
Women can wear a floor-length gown, a sophisticated cocktail dress, or a dressy pantsuit, just as they do at a black-tie event. There isn’t much of a difference between black-tie and formal black-tie optional attire, however, it is acceptable if your dress reveals the ankles unlike at a black-tie event.
Men may choose to dress in a tuxedo or in a traditional dark suit, white shirt, and modest tie. As a result, a tuxedo is not necessary, but it would still be suitable given how formal the occasion is. With this wedding dress code, newlyweds get a formal wedding while guests get some flexibility.
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Cocktail Wedding Attire
Cocktail attire is usually a combination of elegance and comfort and the right balance between formal and casual attire. Weddings that are more formal than a day celebration but more casual than a night wedding using fall into the cocktail dress code for weddings.
Typically women opt for midi, knee-length, or tea-length dresses when it comes to cocktail dresses for weddings. On the other hand, male guests at weddings must wear a suit and tie regardless of the venue.
Semi-Formal or Dressy Casual Attire
A semi-formal wedding attire provides you flexibility for comfort, but be careful not to dress too casually. Men should wear a dress shirt and pants, dark or light depending on the time of day. For an evening wedding, dress in darker colors; for a daytime wedding, choose lighter shades.
Choose a fancy skirt and top or a below-the-knee dress, or even a stylish pantsuit, and pair it with elegant high heels, formal flats, or wedges. But, floor-length dresses would not be appropriate.
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Festive Wedding Attire
Women usually opt for cocktail dresses for wedding attire if the event is considered festive. Pair your festive cocktail dresses with bold accessories and high heels or dressy flats while male guests should wear a suit with a well-designed tie and pocket square.
Don’t be afraid to get creative. It’s a festive wedding, after all. Jazz up your festive attire by choosing festive colors, designs, and patterns. Remember it is simply a fun and colorful version of semi-formal wedding attire.
Casual Wedding Attire
When you think of casual attire, jeans, t-shirts, and sneakers usually come to mind. However, the dress code for weddings labeled as casual requires a little more than that, unless specified as accepted. A sundress with wedges or dressy flats for women and men should wear khaki pants or dress pants with a collared shirt.
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Tropical or Destination Wedding Attire
Tropical wedding guest dresses accordingly to the warm or hot tropical weather as most destination weddings are on a beach, cliff, garden, or somewhere outdoors. Beach wedding attire for men is simple, Guayabera shirts are usually deemed as appropriate wedding attire in the tropics. It can even be worn as beach formal wedding attire if jazzed up right.
Concept Style/Themed Wedding Attire
Wedding dress codes vary so much that coming in at number 9 is hard to specifically describe what to wear. Themed weddings can range from a movie plot, and specific colors, and even focus on a concept such as Bohemian, fairytale, glamorous, etc.
Luckily for themed weddings, the invitation should clarify the theme and dress code so you can dress more appropriately for the wedding. Some invitations will even specify any unacceptable wedding dress codes.
However, if the invitation you’ve received was not very clear, we suggest using the venue to get an idea of where the wedding attire may fall from a white tie wedding to a casual wedding.
Whichever of the 9 different wedding attire ideas you choose, make sure you balance your comfort with the wedding dress code to ensure you never feel over- or underdressed.
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