When it comes to weddiquette, trying to decipher the dress code that best suits your wedding can be hard. That word or two after ‘dress code’ can get mashed up more by your guests than that game of chinese whispers I played in the second grade where ‘pretty trees’ turned into ‘Richie farted’.
What you choose to ask your guests to adorn is up there in importance – as important as what colour your wedding dress is and what your bridesmaids wear. Your guests set the scene – they are part of your decor and set the tone of the entire day and night.
Here’s the definitive guide to wedding dress codes (with a little visual help straight from the runways) that will help you decide which is best for your very own love day.
(Aka Dress the Frock Up. Head to toe glamour baby!)
Babes: Floor length and ridiculously fancy. And no, it definitely does not mean wear white. Think OTT, haute couture, runway / Met Ball /Oscars aka. total drama!
Boys: A dress coat aka. A Full black tail coat (otherwise known as Tails), black trousers, white shirt, white bow tie. This is non-negotiable! Unless you are attending 16 Royal weddings this year, I recommend hiring this get up.
Aka Feeling Fancy.
Babes: Think long. Floor or ankle length and no cotton ‘summer-type’ dresses.
Boys: A black dinner suit with white shirt. Bow tie is a must.
BLACK TIE OPTIONAL
Aka Black Tie’s flexible cousin.
Babes: Same as black tie and you can even go a little shorter with the hemline. Nothing above the knees though. Let’s keep it classy.
Boys: Opt for a nice dark suit and tie. Bow tie is optional with this one.
(For “Formal”, follow Black Tie Optional dress rules.)
In the past, this has meant something between Cocktail and casual. My interpretation is a little more fun and allows you to remove the word Lounge Suit from your memory and *fingers crossed your vocabulary forever.
Babes: Think fa-shun. Cocktail, long slip dress with eff off fab accessories, fancy jump suits, nice pants with OTT tops and pant suits are all encouraged.
Boys: A suit and tie is fine, coloured jackets are also acceptable and runway inspired suiting is encouraged. Viva la velvet.
Cocktails may or may not be served at this wedding, but you WILL dress like you will be swilling martinis and smoking a Cuban.
Babes: Knee length or a tiny bit above, tight and short is a no-go – we are not going clubbing here people. Colours and prints are a-ok, as are pant suits and dressy jumpsuits.
Boys: Dark suit (traditionally black), neck tie, white shirt. You handsome devil.
As much as I do protest, this one keeps coming back to haunt me and is way popular and about as easy to digest as bone broth for the generation 55+ years of age. So here it is:
Babes: Follow the cocktail dress code above.
Boys: Navy, grey or lighter toned suit with white shirt and a tie. Add a pocket square like you mean it. La-di-fricken-da.
Normally reserved for a beachside soiree or garden nuptials.
Babes: a simple dress, prints, colour and fancy flats are all acceptable. Heels are optional.
Boys: Pants, a nice shirt, jacket and tie optional. Definitely no jeans, don’t be ridiculous.
GENERAL RULES AS A GUEST…
+ wear head to toe white (unless the invitation explicitly says to).
+ get your ‘tatas’ out along with your butt cheeks at the same time.
+ wear a veil. Or any veil like accessory.
+ to wear black
+ to double check with the bride when you receive the invite. –But please don’t go sending her a million photos of options of what you may or may not wear. Ain’t no bride got time for that. Just send her this article and ask which one she meant if it is not worded as above.
+ to wave your hands in the air like you just don’t care and scream ‘encore’ at the band for an awkwardly long time after they have stopped playing.
article adapted from a sweet piece written by After the Rock for The Vault Online.