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Decoding the Wedding Dress-Code

A very common question we receive when helping brides and grooms with their invitation is determining how to ask the wedding guests to comply with a specific dress code. After all, decoding the dress code is not as easy as it sounds. There is a lot to take into account and each dress code has its own nuisances. So let's break it down for you!

First let's list the big no-nos. No-no number one, is please as guests don’t ignore the dress code that is indicated in the wedding invitation. Let's avoid all awkwardness and follow the instructions. And if the invite doesn’t have a dress code, please speak with the bride about it. No-no number two, avoid wearing white, ivory, or soft white. These colors are in bad taste and will look remotely like the bride. We don’t want to steal her thunder. And last No-No, be mindful that it's a wedding, not a nightclub.

If the invitation says festive attire, think bright colors, sequins, holiday-ish dresses. This normally shows up in wedding invitations that are taking place during the winter months. Meanwhile, beach wedding attire which is at the other end of the spectrum is elegant maxi dresses, dressy sandals, men in linen slacks and button down shirts.

Cocktail Attire, also known as semi-formal, are short to midi dresses, made of elegant materials, more structured. Think Coco Channel’s little black dress inspired, cute heels and jewelry to match. Men are normally in slacks, button down shirts, and tie or bowtie or suits.

Black Tie tends to lean on long dresses, classic silhouettes, dressy fabrics, clutch bags and heels. Men are definitely in tuxedos for this, black. There is a sister dress code known as Creative Black Tie. This allows for accessories to be bolder, men’s tuxedos to be of different colors or even patterns, and allows for a more colorful ambiance. If the invitation says black tie optional or formal, there is some leeway. Men can wear dark suits instead of tuxes while women may wear dresses of any length except mini dresses.

And finally, the White Tie. It is the dressiest of them all, the most elegant of them all. Women typically wear black or dark color long evening gowns, classic style jewelry and heels. Men are in tailcoats, non negotiable.

The most popular is the cocktail attire and we see it often here in Florida. It accommodates many things, among them the weather, location, and it takes into account the comfortability of your guests. Tip for brides and grooms, please indicate in the wedding invitation what dress code you are wanting, this will allow for no confusion and no embarrassing pictures! Tip for the guests, when in doubt, ask the bride!

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