The AZ of marriage ceremony costume codes

Finding the right outfit for a wedding can often be a daunting task. While an invitation can give you a guideline, it can be difficult to decipher exactly what is appropriate. We’ve broken down the most common wedding dress rules so you can choose the perfect outfit to celebrate!

See more of Jaide and Chris’ wedding here

Smart casual

As the name suggests, an elegant, casual dress code works for a more relaxed and relaxed wedding mood. As tempting as it may be to think of smart casual to mean jeans and a nice top, it is not. For the ladies, a dress, skirt or pants are a nice choice. Pair it with a stunning top and some sleek heels or sandals. For the men, a shirt with a collar and a nice pair of pants or trousers is both casual and chic!


A semi-formal sits right across from a casual dress code. Your look should still have a formal element in it, but it gives you a wider choice of options. For men, a suit is the way to go. Try a lighter shade for daytime weddings and a darker one for the evening. Avoid black whenever possible as it blends into the formal territory. Ties are optional too, so it’s entirely up to you! For the ladies, both a full length and a cocktail length dress are acceptable. If you want to wear something different, a smart pantsuit or jumpsuit are both very chic options!


A cocktail dress code is just below a formal look. For men, choose either a darker suit (navy, black or anthracite) or a combination of sleek pants and a blazer. Mix with a lighter colored shirt, add a tie and you have the perfect cocktail look! For women, you have a few options! A dress is a must have and make sure it isn’t too short or revealing. Keep the look elegant and chic.


A formal dress code implies that black tie is optional. In this case, men can wear a tuxedo or black suit. This is more often paired with a black tie, but you can add a bow tie for an extra element of style. For the ladies, a cocktail dress is best. This can be either floor length or midi length. Don’t forget to style your look with elegant jewelry and a glamorous heel.

Black tie

More commonly used for evening weddings, black tie means it’s time to get dressed up properly! For men, you can channel James Bond as your tuxedo. If a bow tie isn’t quite your thing, a nifty black tie is acceptable. For the ladies, a fabulous floor-length dress is the best option. You can opt for a cocktail dress too, but make sure to keep it elegant and classy. Don’t forget to add an elegant paragraph!

White tie

Now it’s as formal and regal as they come. When we hear the dress code for white ties, we have to think of the royal wedding! For men, this dress code consists of a black tailcoat, white shirt, white bow tie, and formal black shoes. For women, a full length ball gown is a must! Think of the Met Gala and the Oscars.

Beach or destination wedding

If you are heading to a wedding, you need to pack the perfect outfit! The first thing to consider is the weather. If you are in a warmer climate, pack lighter clothing. Ladies, light floral dresses, and sleek sandals are great options for warmer weather. For the men, a linen suit or collar skirt with more elegant shorts or trousers also works.

When attending a wedding, there are a number of guidelines that generally apply to any celebration. Avoid breaking these wedding attire rules, whether they’re based on tradition or not so common knowledge.

Wear white

This will almost certainly upset the bride and attract guests’ attention for the wrong reasons. Leave the new white dress at home and let the bride shine on her special day. If there is a dress code that allows white then go for it! Most importantly, don’t ask the bride if it’s okay to wear white. This can make things really awkward and awkward!

Keep it appropriate

Whether you are surrounded by family, friends, or only know a few people at the wedding, make sure that your look stays appropriate. Save the mini dresses and plunging necklines for a girls night out and keep your look classy and sophisticated.

Stick to the code

Whether the dress code is your style or not, this is the special day for couples! Make sure you are following the guidelines they provided and if you are not sure, don’t be afraid to ask!

If you’re looking for a way to thank your guests, check out some of our favorite ideas here!

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