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.

See also
Gold wedding rings

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.

Color palette

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 🙂

See also
we make a bouquet with daisies and cornflowers or roses for a wedding, fashion trends

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

White tie

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.

Black tie

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.

See also
Wedding bouquet of carnations


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

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.