Guest Guide

How to Decode the Dress Code for Every Wedding

Discover, manage, and track all of your vendor communication, contracts, and timelines in one place.
White Tie 
This is by far the most formal attire. Imagine you're heading to a fancy gala or walking the red carpet at an awards show. If you're a gal... A floor-length gown. Don't hold back! If you're a guy... A tuxedo jacket with tails, a formal shirt, a black vest, and a bow tie. 
Black Tie 
This is the most popular pick for a formal wedding. It's less formal than a white tie, but still pretty fancy! If you're a gal... A floor-length gown, dressy separates, or a cocktail dress in a formal fabric. If you're a guy... A tuxedo, a white dress shirt, a black tie, and a cummerbund. 
Black Tie Optional
Yes, it's pretty much what it sounds like. You can choose to go black tie, or you're welcome to keep things a little less formal. If you're a gal... A long dress, like a silk maxi (unless you want to go with a glam gown), or a cocktail dress in a formal fabric. If you're a guy... A dark suit and tie or a tuxedo. 
Cocktail Attire 
It's less formal than a black tie, but it's still far from casual. If you're a gal... A cocktail dress, of course! If you're a guy... A dark suit (although lighter colors work in the summer) and a tie. But feel free to have a little more fun with your shirt. 
Festive Attire 
This can be a confusing one... It's like cocktail attire, but with a little more permission to get creative with it (think bold patterns and colors). If you're a gal... A cocktail dress or separated with a touch of flair, and statement-making accessories. If you're a guy... A contemporary suit and a snazzy tie. Live it up! 
No, it doesn't mean a t-shirt and jeans. But you can opt for something you'd wear to a nice dinner party or work event. If you're a gal... A sundress or laid-back maxi dress. If you're a guy... Dress pants with a button-down shirt and a blazer or jacket. The tie is optional. 
Farm Chic 
Okay, so we might be jumpin' the gun on this one. BUT with the popularity of barn and farm weddings on the rise, we thought we better define it too. If you're a gal... A sundress and cowboy boots. (you will be stepping in dirt and mud!) If you're a guy... Dress pants, and a button-down shirt with cowboy boots or less formal shoes. Bonus points if you rock a gingham or vintage floral tie. 
Alexia Conley
About The Author
Founder of Wiley Events.