Dressing for the Wedding 101

Trust me, I get it. Trying to decode an invitation for any hint as to what you should wear is definitely not the easiest task. Even when it states the attire on the invitation, the expected dress is still a bit vague.  No need to fret, I'm here to break it down and hopefully provide you with some clarity. Here it goes...

1. White Tie: The most formal of formal. White tie weddings require no creativity on your part. Ladies should be in floor length formal evening gowns in dark or neutral colors. Gentlemen, bust out that tailcoat and those white gloves. Both, along with a white shirt, white vest, tie, and black lace-less shoes are required.

2. Black Tie: A step down from White Tie. Girls are still expected to be in floor length formal gowns. But, men can step it down to just a full black tuxedo with vest or cummerbund.

3. Black Tie Optional:  Vague for sure. My thought is, if you want me to wear black tie, just say it. The father of the bride and groom along with the wedding party will most definitely be in tuxedos. Boys, if you have a tuxedo and truly enjoy wearing it, by all means bust it out. If not, a dark suit with a dark tie or bow tie is completely acceptable. Ladies, a floor length gown or cocktail dress is appropriate.

4. Formal: It's just about the same as Black Tie Optional. The same dress is expected of women, but men don't need to wear a tuxedo. A dark black, navy or gray suite with a white shirt and dark or neutral tie is preferred.

5. Semi-Formal: This is much less intimidating if you ask me. A cocktail length dress in a nice material such as silk, chiffon, or satin with a bit of beading is expected. Guys, stick with those suits!

6. Dressy Casual: A bit of a confusing word combination. Is it dressy or casual? Here's the basic need to know. If it's a casual fabric such as a cotton, go with a more formal style. If it's a more formal material such as silk or chiffon, then go with a more casual style. Boys, you're still wearing a suit. Maybe you can skip the tie or jacket. But don't skip both!

7. Casual: It should be assumed that any morning or daytime wedding at an informal venue is to have casual dress. Girls, think a nice sundress and a pair of wedges. Guys, khaki pants and a dress shirt with a nice pair of shoes will do the trick.

Hope this cleared up a few things for you! Have a great weekend!

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