Dress Code: To Be or Not To Be
Dress codes can be tricky for guests to decipher. White tie, black tie, semiformal, festive; the options can leave even brides confused as to how they can steer their guests towards stellar wardrobe choices. That then begs the question of where to convey this expectation. Do you place it on the invitation? That is up to you.
Whether or not a dress code matters to you, it is important to clearly convey your expectations to your guests. They may have a totally different idea of “semiformal” or “festive,” so be clear about what you’re envisioning. No one’s a mind reader, even if they are really trying.
Placing the dress code on the invitation is one option. The style of the card can also hint at the type of dress expected of your guests. Beautiful, thick cardstock with calligraphy is more likely to convey “white tie” (the most formal attire) than a bright, wildly typographic card.
If you choose to omit the dress code on the invitation, have it up on your wedding website. And above all, elaborate on what the dress code, whether “semiformal,” “beach formal,” “black tie,” and everything in between, means to you. Be specific to avoid confusion. Are jeans okay? Are bow ties required? Are you thinking of ball gowns or short, flirty cocktail dresses? You don’t have to elaborate on everything, but be sure to explain anything that may be a cause for confusion.
Of course, clothes won’t be the star on the wedding day, but everyone appreciates a few pointers when it comes to big events. It will also save you surprises, because whether or not we think we have them, we do all have expectations that we intrinsically believe will be met. Save yourself and your guests the drama so that everyone can focus on what really matters: you and your wedding.