Wedding dress codes can be a confusing affair, especially when considering less defined dress such as semi-formal or “daytime” dress. But don’t worry – we’ll explain the in’s & out’s of wedding dress codes so you can be sure to pick the right style for your wedding!


Black Tie

A black tie event is as formal as you can get. Brides, be as dramatic as you wish! Go lacey and bejeweled, or choose the classic ball gown. Fashion-forward brides, have free reign! Accessorize to your heart’s content with glitter, drop earrings, bold necklaces, and other favorites. This is your day to shine.

Grooms, a tux is a classic and essentially a must! However, there are plenty of modern versions of tuxes that ditch the dated elements like cummerbunds and the link. Velvet is definitely encouraged, and patent lace-ups will tie the whole look together.



Semi-formal occasions are fancy, but lack some of the structure of black tie events. Brides don’t have to wear a ball gown; rather, a strapless and slim silhouette dress may just be perfect for the occasion.



Cocktail code is still dressy, but a little more reserved than Black Tie events. Think high-quality fabrics and form-fitting styles that show off all your favorite curves. Men, look for slimming elements, such as skinny ties and a matching belt. Both can add a pop of fun somewhere: a fun clutch, bright colored socks, or a printed pocket square. Cocktail is classic but still essentially fun and modern!


Beach Formal

We don’t typically think of “Beach” and “Formal” together, but here’s a good way to think of it: classy casual. Think formal sundresses that are tea- or knee-length. Flats are definitely okay! Men: linen shirts with a more casual suit top, khakis or other more upscale shorts, and sandals would do perfectly!



“Daytime” or “casual” dress codes sound just like what they mean – guests can stay relaxed in what is otherwise everyday wear. This might mean jeans and boots for the men with a button down. For ladies, a light summer dress is a great option.

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Your Guide to Wedding Dress Codes