Some Common Dress Codes for Weddings

Wedding Tips
Wedding Dress Code

Ever been invited to a wedding and found yourself wondering what “festive attire” is? Or are you about to get married and confused about specifying that people wear suit jackets? Couples sending out invites have lots of questions about expected attire and which to go with, and here as with many things, it is a personal preference that should hold more weight than tradition. Following are some of the tips you can provide on your wedding website for guests to follow.

Black Tie

Black-tie weddings are generally held in the evening. It is a step below white tie and is formal as occasions go. Women can choose among a stylish cocktail dress, long evening dress, pant suit, or dressy jumpsuit. Men can show up in tuxedos with a bow tie and black leather shoes.


A formal dress code is only different from a black tie in one respect: tuxedos are optional here. Again, women can choose among a stylish cocktail dress, long evening dress, pant suit, or dressy jumpsuit. Men can wear a tuxedo or a dark suit along with a shirt and tie.

Summer Formal

There is bound to be confused with this one. Just remember the main goal is to look formal while bowing to outdoor weather conditions. It is tough but doable. The casual variant of this code sometimes includes Hawaiian shirts and dress pants although that can take the class out of the whole event. The formal version expects women to wear summer sundresses with sandals, or a dressy jumpsuit. Heels are not a good choice for the beach; wedges serve much better. Men can wear light suits with linen shirts and pants, as well as boat shoes or sandals. No ties required here.

Cocktail Attire

This form of attire does away with the formal look while making the person look well dressed. Women will find this perfect setting to bring out that “little black dress.” Other options are skirt and blouse or dress pants. Men need to show up in either a dark suit or a blazer or sports jacket.


This dress code is increasingly common these days, mainly because thematic weddings are very common now. Guests can aim for formal while incorporating elements that match the underlying theme. If there isn’t one, they can simply raise the flair of their chosen outfit. One good example is a vivacious floral tie, although only few can pull that off.

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