Deciphering the Wedding Dress Code

Fairies have you received a wedding invitation and you can’t for the life of you understand the dress code? Wedded Wonderland have got you covered.

Dress codes can be extremely useful. You can get a whole lot of information about a wedding – its tone, theme and styling just from the dress code. It also gives the guest plenty of guidance in deciding what outfit is just right. Surely getting dressed-up for a wedding is the most exciting part of a wedding when you’re a guest, right Fairies? Here’s a handy breakdown of all the possible dress codes.You can thank us later.

Smart Casual

Usually set for a more relaxed wedding, the smart casual dress code is a balance between casual and neat. Think nice blazer paired with a great pair of jeans or a nice dress that isn’t too risqué. You’ll want to look relaxed yet polished. Smart casual does not mean sneakers – unless of course they’ll be running involved.

Jacket and tie

This dress code is pretty self-explanatory for a male guest, but what about women? Suit and tie is generally a little more formal than a cocktail so you might want to wear a more muted coloured dress. Although if dresses/skirts aren’t your thing, go for a pantsuit or tailored slacks and a blouse with a blazer. Heels are optional.

Deciphering the Wedding Dress Code

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The cocktail dress code is most applicable for a garden wedding or one that is semi-formal. Cocktail is a great dress code because you’re expected to wear something a little more fun and flirty, plus you have no restrictions when it comes to patterns and colours (although there is a fine line in whether to wear white – but that’s another story altogether).

Morning suit

This dress code is exclusively for a very formal, day time wedding (i.e. before 4:30pm). Think royal family attire, tailcoat, waistcoat and striped trousers. You’ll be expected to wear a formal dress with a hat in tow. We’ve got Melbourne cup vibes with this dress code which gives you the perfect excuse to buy a fabulous hat.

Deciphering the Wedding Dress Code

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Possibly one of the hardest dress codes to decode. It lies somewhere between cocktail and black tie. You’ll be expected to look very polished, but not restricted in terms of length, colour or shape.

Black tie

Reserved for formal evening weddings, men are traditionally expected to wear a tux and bow tie. However, these days a tailored suit with a tiny splash of colour is totally acceptable. A black tie wedding is the perfect excuse to break out that gorgeous floor-length dress you’ve been dying to wear.

White tie

A rather uncommon dress code, the white tie is the most formal they can get. A white tie expects a ball gown, with some events requiring evening length gloves. Men are expected to get properly decked out with tuxedo pants and an evening tailcoat.

Deciphering the Wedding Dress Code

Image via: Harry Potter Themed Wedding Even JK Rowling Would Love!

Film-Themed Wedding

If the couple have specified their theme such a Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter, Star Wars, Game of Thrones etc. they’re giving you the invitation to get decked out. However, you’re not expected to go all out and dress exactly like the characters. In fact they’re wanting you to feel included. Add a touch of magic with some fur or wand.


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Posted in Guests, Planning, Theming by wedded wonderland

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