Wedding Guest Dress Code Guide

Wedding Guest Dress Code Guide

Who doesn’t love that excited rush you feel when you check your mail and find an invitation to a loved one’s wedding? Weddings are one of our most joyful celebrations, and it’s always an opportunity to see people you may not see as often as you’d like to. While getting a wedding invite is exciting, sometimes determining what to wear based on the dress code can be tough. To help make choosing what to wear less stressful, here’s a breakdown of the most common wedding dress codes. 



The casual dress code is the easiest dress code to work with, and you likely won’t need to buy anything new to wear. While casual, there are still a few rules: no jeans, tank tops, or tshirts, as you’re still celebrating a wedding. We recommend a sundress or nice blouse for women, and khakis and a collared shirt for men. A good way to think of this dress code is to dress as if you’re headed to a nice lunch with a friend. 



A step up from casual but not quite fully formal, the semi-formal dress code is one that’s sometimes tough to understand. For women, you don’t want to wear anything full-length: a cocktail dress, nice jumpsuit, or nice pantsuit is perfectly acceptable for this dress code. For men, you should definitely wear a nice, collared shirt, but a tie is generally optional. 

Black Tie Optional


Black-tie optional is the dress code most wedding guests have questions about. After all, what does black tie optional really mean? It’s a very ambiguous name. Essentially, it falls between semi-formal and black tie. For women, you can wear full-length formal dresses, but you can also wear a dressy cocktail dress, tea length dresses, and nice jumpsuits. For men, tuxedos are encouraged, but not required—you can wear a dark suit and be well within the acceptable dress code. 

Black Tie


Black tie is the most formal dress code. As the title suggests, tuxedos are the dress code for men. You can wear a white tux jacket, but you should be in a formal, black tie. For women, this means full length formal gowns, or formal pantsuits. Shorter length dresses, like cocktail and tea length, are not formal enough for a black tie wedding. 

Looking for something to wear to your next wedding? Book an appointment at The Bride & Groom, and let us help you find the perfect outfit.