Many of the questions I receive are about wedding-wear. This isn’t too surprising – weddings nowadays take many shapes and sizes and along with that comes an abundance of dress codes. A simple description of some of the popular wedding dress codes will hopefully make things easier. And remember: if you are still in doubt – it’s always safer to dress up then to dress down.
Casual beach wedding:
- Ladies – a cotton knee length dress, flat sandals that you can take of easily in the sand, small clutch bag and your sunglasses. Take along a cropped cardigan for when it starts to get chilly.
- Gents – a plain short sleeved cotton or linen shirt (un-tucked is perfectly acceptable), paired with cotton or linen casual flat front pants and leather slip on mules.
- Ladies – a festive knee length dress and strappy sandals matched with a small bag.
- Gents – a plain or printed long sleeved shirt (un-tucked is again an option) paired with flat front cotton or linen pants and closed leather shoes.
Jeans are still inappropriate for even the most casual wedding. Wedding casual is not the same as stay at home weekend casual.
Semi–formal / Dressy Casual:
Business Casual for both ladies and gents is the order of the day. Skirt and pant suits, a dress or separates with heels for her; and a long sleeved shirt (tucked in) with dress pants, belt and dressy shoes for him. This is the trickiest of all dress codes – ask the bride and groom if you are still unsure about the level of formality they have in mind.
- Ladies – a smart knee length dress or dressy suit separates with heels and accessories.
- Gents – a dark or light suit with white or pastel shade of shirt and matching tie. Tuxedos are inappropriate for daytime formal weddings unless specified.
Formal / Black-Tie (for evening weddings):
- Ladies – cocktail dresses, dressy evening separates, dressy suits or long dresses are options. Heels, wraps and accessories are a must and so is a small elegant evening bag.
- Gents – Tuxedos are optional unless specified. Dark suits with dark shirts and dark ties are best. Trendier versions of tuxedo jackets with black shirts and no tie are also acceptable.
Ultra Formal / White-Tie (this is Oscar night!):
- Ladies – Glitz and glamour galore! Only your best long ball gown, accessories and highest heels will do. Hair is best up or left loose with structured curls.
- Gents – Three-piece full dress with waistcoat, white tie, shirt, cumber band and shiny shoes.
Congrats to the bride and groom, have fun at their joyous occasion and above all, arrive with style!