You've got the vision in your head - how the ceremony will go, how it will look, and how everyone will come dressed. Now, how do you tell everyone else in a tasteful way? With the right dress code!
Black tie and white tie are the most formal you can go. If you are asking your guests to choose between the Maine Lobster and the Wagyu Filet Mignon, this is probably the right route for you. While white tie is one step up from black tie, both expect men to be dresses in tuxedos, while women are expected to wear full-length gowns.
Formal/Black Tie Optional
Still formal, but not quite as an exclusive feel as a black tie affair, Formal is a step down. Men have the option to wear tuxedos or dark, tailored suits, while women are expected to wear formal wear such as long evening dresses or formal pant suits.
One of the more common ones to make a wedding appear high-end without having your guests pay a high budget, Semi-Formal is growing in popularity. Semi-formal is ideal for settings such as hotels, ballrooms, and other more formal, sit-down settings. In a semi-formal event, the men are expected to be dressed in a suit and tie or sport jacket, while women are expected to be in a cocktail or evening dress or a nice pantsuit.
As beach weddings grow in popularity, so do their fashion. Beach attire is quite causal and great for nearly any outdoor occasion. Women can be expected to wear short to tea-length dresses and comfortable flats, while men should be expected to be in light colored or khaki suits or dress shirt and pants. Men and women can be allowed to wear appropriate sandals, as dress shoes may be more uncomfortable in a sandy setting.
Last but not least, one of the most popular attires - Casual. This dress code is more laxed, allowing for guests to wear almost anything. Unless specified, though, it is still expected that jeans, mini skirts, t-shirts, shoes such as flip flops and sneakers, and other are still a no-go. However, khakis, dress pants, button-ups, appropriate skirts, and dresses are all up for grabs.
Make sure your family members know what your dress code means, as Great Aunt Ida may call Grandma to figure out what to wear, and you don't want her to show up in a ball gown on the beach. Make sure you know what you want and you share your vision with loved ones who may need to pass the message along, and your wedding will be stunning from the bride to the groom to the venue to the guests.