• tietheknotinstyle

Tip Tuesday: Cracking the Wedding Dress Code

Updated: Jun 14


One important detail to be sure to include on your invitations or wedding website is your wedding dress code! Rather than thinking about a dress code as restrictive, consider it a way to help guide your guests so they will be able to dress for your theme and feel comfortable. Additionally, indicating the dress code on your invitations will help you field questions from confused guests and guide them in the right direction.


Today I'm sharing the most common descriptions of wedding dress codes, and what to do if you decide to create your own. Hopefully these will help guide you as you determine the wedding vibe that most fits your style!


  • White Tie: This style wedding is more rare these days, but if you're invited to a white tie wedding, expect to bring your A-Game. White tie is the most formal of all dress codes, so guests can expect to wear a glamorous ballgown, heals, and elegant accessories.

  • Black Tie: After White Tie, this wedding dress code is the next most formal. Plan to dress to the nines in your classiest cocktail dress or evening gown.

  • Formal Attire/Black Tie Optional: Wedding invitations calling for formal attire or black-tie optional indicate that though tuxedos aren't required, the event is still very formal. A long evening dress or formal cocktail dress would be most appropriate.

  • Cocktail Attire: This wedding dress code is typically the most popular. This dress code still indicates a semi-formal affair, and ladies can expect to wear a dress of any length, or even a pretty jumpsuit.

  • Beach Attire: If you're invited a beach wedding, you can expect a more casual feel, such as a floral sundress and sandals.

  • Semi-Formal/Dressy Casual: This dress code can include a variety of options that fall between formal and casual. A cocktail dress or a dressy skirt and top would be appropriate.

  • Casual/Day Time: An invitation that indicates that the dress code is casual, typically means anything goes—but you may want to skip out on jeans or shorts. Think "business casual" with a wedding twist, such as a summer sundress or a skirt or slacks with a nice blouse.

  • Create your own: Don't let yourself feel limited by these traditional dress codes. Feel free to make up your own! Pinterest has a lot of great theme ideas, but you can also incorporate your venue to make it feel more personal, such as “Texas Cocktail" or "Backyard Barbecue." If you choose to go this route, it would be helpful to add a little description so you're sure that guests will interpret what to wear correctly. Don’t forget to clarify the terrain, too!


Shop the looks!

Scroll through for sample looks I put together for each dress code with pieces from one of my favorite retailers, Revolve:

Disclaimer: No items featured in this post are a part of a paid sponsorship. However, affiliate links are included in this post through my LIKEtoKNOW.it. It means so much to me when you love the looks I share, and sincerely appreciate when you use my links! xoxo


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