A wedding dress code for guests is a real stumbling block: someone considers it an integral part of the holiday, while others consider it to be the whims of demanding newlyweds. We are sure that the dress code at the wedding helps both the guests and the couple, and negativity is easy to avoid if you correctly communicate your wishes. In this article Chanfashion will help you figure out what types of dress code are there, how to choose the right one, and how to politely explain to guests what they should wear to your wedding.
Why do you need a wedding dress code?
The main mission of the dress code is to help the guests invited to the event to choose an outfit and look appropriate there. This is a kind of clue that will explain how official the wedding will be and how much attention should be paid to your appearance.
What is the dress code for a wedding
Before choosing the preferred dress code for guests at your wedding, let’s figure out what factors the choice depends on:
Evening format. First of all, focus on the format of the wedding. For example, for a classic dinner with an exquisite menu, smart-casual, which allows jeans and sneakers, is definitely not suitable, but at an informal picnic in nature, a tailcoat and an evening dress will look strange.
Location. A wedding location can dictate its own dress code conditions. A fashionable restaurant in the heart of the city and the seashore clearly provide for different outfits for guests 🙂 The more pretentious and expensive the location looks, the more strict the dress code it requires.
Program. If active, moving competitions are planned at the wedding, then tailcoats and tight floor-length dresses will not be the most logical requirement.
Time. Traditionally, the later the event starts, the more elegant images need to be selected.
Assess the capabilities of the guests. We understand that sometimes with your wedding you want to almost surpass the Cannes Film Festival or the Oscar ceremony 🙂 But do not forget that being a guest at a wedding is not so cheap: you need to buy a gift (often not cheap), get confused with clothes, makeup and styling, pay for a taxi . For some guests, this may already be difficult due to limited finances, so not everyone can afford expensive outfits and jewelry. Soberly assess the possibilities of guests and their costs so that your upcoming wedding does not turn from a long-awaited holiday into stress for the guests.
How to convey the importance of the dress code to guests?
It is not enough to come up with a suitable dress code and color palette for a wedding, it is also important to correctly present this wish to guests.
Attach an explanation
If it’s crucial for you and your fiancé to follow an intricate dress code at your wedding, then add a card with a little explanation and details to the invitation envelope. If most people are familiar with the “Cocktail” or “Black Tie” dress code, then the less common designations are better explained.
For example, if you indicate that you are waiting for guests in A5 outfits, it is worth explaining that this stands for “After Five” and implies quite elegant clothes without too much glamor, but at the same time not restricting movement.
Recently, there has been a growing trend to ask guests to dress in a specific color scheme that matches the style and palette of the wedding. We advise you to place examples of suitable colors on a dress code card — it is convenient to take it with you when shopping or use it when sorting out your wardrobe in search of an outfit for your wedding.
Provide guests with at least 5–6 color options, half of which should be fairly basic and common. This will make it easier for the invitees to choose clothes, which means that the chances are increased that everyone will comply with the declared dress code. For example, if you have a pastel pink range in your wedding decor, then guests can also be offered beige, burgundy, sand and brown — all these colors are harmoniously combined, but at the same time everyone can choose the right shade for him. In addition, in the photos, the guests will not merge into one big pink, one-color cloud 🙂
Don’t get stuck
Remember, the dress code was invented for convenience, and not an additional reason to get nervous or quarrel. Do not forget that at your wedding there will be real people, relatives and loved ones, and not extras in perfectly matched costumes. Yes, someone cannot afford right now to buy a new outfit that can only be worn on special occasions. Someone fundamentally does not wear dresses, someone categorically does not go blue, and someone … simply forgets or does not attach much importance to the request.
Not everyone treats the dress code with close attention, but this does not mean at all that they want to offend you or specifically ignore the request out of spite. An ephemeral beautiful picture is not worth sorting out relations with relatives because of the color of the jacket or the height of the heels. Let go of the situation and enjoy the holiday — this is your main task on your wedding day 🙂
wedding dress code options
The most elegant and pompous dress code with strict rules and restrictions. White tie is used for charity dinners or other formal events with the participation of distinguished dignitaries.
Men must wear a long tailcoat, with a white three-button waistcoat and a white bow tie. White gloves are also included. Women should choose a long evening dress, high gloves and high heels. Expensive jewelry is welcome.
A less formal version of the White tie dress code and perhaps the most common for special occasions. Men can replace the tailcoat with a black tailored suit, and women, in addition to a long evening dress, can choose a cocktail dress no longer than the knee.
It is also a fairly common dress code option for evening events, including weddings. Here you can already afford some liberties in the wardrobe: for example, bright colors of shirts for men, shorter or more unusual dresses for women, as well as the absence of mandatory jewelry and accessories. However, the outfits still need to be quite festive.
A typical example of cocktail outfits: a shirt, trousers and a jacket for men, possibly complemented by bright socks and a tie or bow tie (or without them). For girls, these are shoes with high or medium heels, a dress just above the knee, an elegant trouser suit or overalls is also possible.
The abbreviation A5 means “After five” — this is the dress code for semi-formal events that allow more liberties and freedom in clothing. In general, such a dress code was conceived for events that you can go to immediately from the office after work, so it looks like a combination of business style with a couple of evening details. For example, it can be a sheath dress, high-heeled shoes and a bright clutch or massive jewelry. Pantsuits, blouses and skirts are also acceptable. At the same time, the image should not look too pretentious or, on the contrary, careless and sloppy — simplicity and elegance are valued here.
A win-win dress code for a summer wedding, especially on the beach or river. Natural light fabrics and a light palette are welcome: sand, beige, cream, as well as shades of blue and light blue. Women should choose light dresses and sundresses, while men should choose white linen shirts and light trousers. As an accessory, a hat for protection from the sun is perfect.
Smart casual dress code is suitable for an informal wedding party with a relaxed atmosphere. Shirts, blouses, jeans, cardigans, low-cut shoes are suitable here — any comfortable clothes without much elegance. With such a relaxed dress code, it is worth paying attention to ensuring that the elements of the wardrobe are combined with each other and make up a harmonious look.
Thematic dress code
Weddings with a certain stylization may have their own specific dress code. For example, for an informal Rustic wedding, you can wear a plaid shirt with a vest, Boho means light dresses made of natural fabrics with fringes, perforations and asymmetries. It all depends on the style of the wedding you have chosen. But it is important not to overdo it: the required wardrobe items should be simple and common enough that guests can easily not only buy them for the wedding, but also wear them to other events after.