A comprehensive guide to wedding guest attire

A comprehensive guide to wedding guest attire

Everything you need to know about formal and casual wedding guest attire. Find information about wedding dress code for all types of weddings. 


Being invited to a wedding is certainly very exciting but once that initial surprise and excitement is over you start thinking about all the difficulties that come with a wedding invitation. You have to choose a gift, take time off, perhaps even fly overseas if it’s a destination wedding and, of course, choose an outfit. Weddings vary greatly when it comes to wedding guest attire that the bride and groom expect from their guests, so even if you’ve been to couple weddings, you probably don’t feel completely confident when it comes to the attire. Our guide will walk you through the wedding dress code. 


White tie wedding guest attire

White tie weddings are very rare and they are pretty much the most formal when it comes to dress code. Men are expected to wear a black tailcoat with a white bow tie, shirt and a vest. Women have a bit more leeway here but they are generally expected to wear a long formal gown and high heel shoes. Make sure that the dress and shoes are comfortable enough to walk and dance in all day long. 


Black tie wedding attire

Black tie weddings require guests to wear formal attire but the rules are a bit less strict. Men should wear a tuxedo with a formal white shirt and a bow tie, while women can choose either a long formal gown or a shorter cocktail dress, but shoes with high heels are highly preferred to flats. 


Black tie optional or formal wedding dress code

If your invitation says “black tie optional” but you’re not very close to the couple and don’t know many guests, you should probably stick to a black tie and a dark formal suit. Women will be comfortable in a light cocktail dress. 


Semiformal or cocktail wedding attire

If the wedding invitation states that the dress code is semiformal it means that men still have to wear a suit but they can choose to skip the tie. Women can opt for cocktail dresses or separates. 


Casual wedding guest attire

A casual wedding dress code gives guests a lot more flexibility but you should remember that you’re still attending a wedding and need to look nice. When choosing attire for a casual wedding you should think about the location of the wedding and the time of the day when it will be happening. The most formal version of this attire for a man would be a sport coat, the least formal is a polo and shorts. Everything in between, such as cardigans, khakis and button-down shirts is fine as well. Women can opt for a sundress paired with most types of shoes including sandals.

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