If you’re not sure what you should be wearing to the wedding, check the invitation to point you in the right direction. On most wedding invitations, the dress code will be provided. There are different levels of attire ranging from beach casual to the most formal of affairs. Here is a guide to better understand the suggested dress code beginning with the most formal:

Wedding Dress Codes 

White Tie

A white tie wedding is extremely formal and not very common for weddings today. A white tie dress code invites guests to dress up in their most glamorous wears. This dress code requires men to wear to tuxedos, a white vest, and is completed with a white bow tie. Ladies are asked to wear full length formal gowns accessorized with elegant jewelry. This attire is usually reserved for high end political dinners and galas, and of course, the Oscars!

Black Tie

Black tie is the second most formal dress code, the one most typically suggested at a formal evening wedding. Ladies may wear evening gowns, usually floor length, typically in darker tones. A dress higher than knee length is not appropriate.  Men are expected to be wearing tuxedos complete with cummerbund and a black bow tie with a patent leather dress shoe.

Black Tie Optional

As the title suggests, black tie optional provides the guest with the option to attend in formal attire, but also allows for men to opt for a dressy suit with a tie, and women to select cocktail dresses or fancy separates. Where black tie suggests a woman wears a floor length gown, black tie optional offers the opportunity to wear either a floor length or knee length dress.

Cocktail Attire

Cocktail attire requests that men attend wearing a fashionable suit and for women to wear cocktail dresses. Floor length gowns are too dressy for this occasion. A cocktail dress is usually at or above the knee. Cocktail attire is meant to be chic and fun!

Dressy Casual

Dressy casual will require different attire depending on the time of day for the wedding. A day wedding that is dressy casual will allow for less formal day time wear, perhaps a nice dress or pantsuit. Men can attend in slacks and a nice shirt. Jeans and tennis shoes are not appropriate.

Beach Attire

When a wedding is to be held on the beach, the factors of the environment are brought into consideration when suggesting a dress code. For a beach wedding, men typically wear linen shirts and pants which are more comfortable on the sand and under the sun. Khakis and neutral tones are most typically seen. Men do not wear ties for beach attire and may wear a nice sandal. Women typically wear pretty sun dresses for the occasion, perhaps an upscale sunhat, and dress sandals which are appropriate as you will be on the sand for the ceremony.


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