Understanding the Wedding Dress Code as a Guest

Read on for help on preparing your guest attire appropriately this wedding season.

With so many couples now opting to have themed weddings or stylized dos, it’s becoming common for invitations to indicate a dress code. If you find that you’re invited to a wedding with a dress code then it is only right that you should do your best to comply; after all, wouldn’t you want your friends to help you realise your wedding vision?


Before we get started, always remember that it is generally unacceptable for anyone other than the bride to wear white or off-white on the day of the wedding. It is also best not to wear anything too revealing. All eyes should be on the bride after all! Here are some tips as to dressing appropriately for different dress codes.




Just because your invite states that the wedding is going to be a “casual” affair, we wouldn’t recommend that you rock up in a t-shirt and flip-flops. Generally speaking you should think business casual; men should wear shirts with smart trousers (unless the invite states that jeans are okay), and women can wear summer dresses or a smart two piece set- always remembering to avoid anything that is too revealing.


wedding dress code


Beach Formal


This dress code is a relatively new one that has risen in popularity along with the beach wedding. Think formal sun-dresses for the ladies- a maxi dress is usually a safe bet, and linen shirts and khakis for the fellas. It is generally accepted that you will have to wear flip-flops or sandals to a beach wedding: anything else is just impractical.


wedding dress code




Or as I like to call it: 'smasual'. This dress code is heavily dependent on the time of day that you are attending. If you are attending a day ceremony then men should opt for paler coloured suit in pastel hues. Women should wear lightly hued cocktail dresses. If you are attending an evening reception then go for darker versions of the daytime outfits.


wedding dress code




You can dress in black tie for this one if you like but it’s not expected; what is expected is that you make an effort. Men should wear a suit and tie at the very least or perhaps a tuxedo if they’re feeling particularly dapper. Ladies can wear formal cocktail dresses, a floor length dress or a smart suit. We would recommend dark tones for this dress code as they give an air of opulence.


wedding dress code


Black Tie


If your invite indicated Black Tie then you are almost certainly attending an evening reception. Women should wear smart cocktail dresses/evening gowns; paying particular attention to their hair & makeup to amp up the glamour factor. Men need to prepare to look sharp in a tuxedo complete with black bow-ties, cummerbunds and patent leather shoes.


wedding dress code


White Tie


The fanciest of all dress codes, and probably the one most of us find daunting. Ladies should rejoice, however; as this finally gives you an excuse to wear a full length ball gown, get your hair and makeup done and generally feel like you’re about to attend an awards ceremony. Men should be kitted out in tuxedos with coattails, white vests and a formal bow tie. If you want to go all out you can even wear some white gloves.


wedding dress code


Now you've got your guests looking fab, here are some tips on how to keep them entertained on the big day!

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