Wedding dress codes are so incredibly confusing. Some are obvious. Black tie? Check. I’ll wear a gown. But then you enter the odd ones. I mean really, dressy casual? Isn’t that a contradiction? I once was invited to a wedding where the wedding dress code was business casual. I swear I thought it was a typo! I ended up wearing a modest little black dress, my fool-proof save when the dress code doesn’t make sense.
Since I’m often asked what to wear for different wedding dress codes, today I wanted to cover the 6 most common wedding dress codes. I also brought in some outfit inspiration from some of my favorite blogger babes. I hope this post helps you when your next wedding invitation arrives!
wedding dress code outfits by Everyday Pursuits I Carrie Bradshaw Lied I Style Charade I The Stripe I Memorandum
Wedding Dress Codes Explained
Evening gowns are a safe bet when it comes to black tie weddings. If you don’t like long dresses, you can always do a midi or knee-length cocktail dress. Just opt for fancier fabrics like beading, chiffon or silk. And use a stiletto and jewelry to dress it up. See what I wore to a black tie wedding
Black Tie Optional or Formal
One of the most common wedding dress code themes is black tie optional. It’s great because it gives you so much freedom. While a gown is completely appropriate, you can also do a dress mid-length dress. I’m a huge fan of high-low hemlines for black tie optional weddings since it’s a hybrid between both! See what I wore to a black tie optional wedding
Cocktail or Semi Formal
A cocktail dress is the obvious choice. If the dress on the simpler side, make it a little fancier with glitzy accessories. If the dress is beaded or lace, keep your accessories minimal.
Anything long and flowy screams beach wedding. While I love a good jumpsuit, a long maxi dress works equally as well. Opt for a wedge or fancy flats just in case the ceremony is actually on the beach. Also remember to bring a shawl or something to wrap around your shoulders since it get often get quite chilly by the water. See what I wore to a beach chic wedding
I personally find this dress code to be the most confusing. Casual is the opposite of dressy. Dressy is the opposite of casual. So what on earth does this mean? Basically it means that the bride wants a relaxed wedding but still wants her guests to look chic. Try a dressy jumpsuit, a less dressy cocktail dress (for example, no embellishments) or a nice skirt and top.
Just because a wedding has a casual dress code doesn’t mean you should show up in jeans (unless the invite specifies, jeans are usually a no-go for weddings). I prefer to be a little overdressed than underdressed so I would do a lightweight dress with a pair of flats. You could also do a nice pair of pants or skirt and pretty blouse. Just leave the bling at home.
Click here for more ideas on what to wear for different wedding dress codes.
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