Wedding Attire Simplified

White rose meme

Wedding Attire Simplified

With summer on its way and wedding season in full swing, I was inspired by this article on The Knot to (hopefully) help people choose the right outfits for summer weddings.  Let’s face it, some of the attire requirements can get a little confusing!  Hopefully, this article will clarify some of that confusion and help you look your best!

If the invitation says…

“White Tie”

This is the most formal of all dress requirements.  Consider the Royal wedding of William & Kate.

For Him:  A tuxedo and long black jacket with tails. A white bow tie is a must with black formal shoes and white gloves for dancing.

For Her:  A full length formal ball gown in a neutral color like black or dark brown. Dramatic jewelry, hair, and make-up are appropriate.

“Black Tie”

This is almost as dressy as white tie and it usually means that the wedding is an evening affair.

For Him:  A tuxedo with black bow tie

For Her: A long evening gown or chic cocktail dress with plenty of embellishments

“Formal” or “Black Tie Optional”

This is somewhat less formal than black tie, but still quite dressy for both him and her.

For Him:  A formal dark suit and tie are a good choice but a tuxedo is acceptable

For Her:  A long dress or formal cocktail length dress in a dark and neutral color

“Beach Formal”

This suggests an elegant beach wedding so dress to impress while also considering the elements.

For Him  A linen suit or light summer suit with linen shirt, tie optional

For Her:  A formal tea or knee-length summer dress with flats or wedges.  A long dress would also be appropriate, but be sure it is a lighter color and flowy and that you wear flats

“Dressy Casual”

Pay attention to the time of the event. This wedding dress code is somewhere between semi-formal and casual. Wear darker colors for evening and lighter for a daytime wedding.

For Him: A suit and tie. Color choice is dependent on the time of day

For Her: A cocktail dress or a dressy top and skirt


Casual means casual. However, I would not suggest wearing jeans and a tank top, but I would suggest feeling comfortable wearing something you would wear to a nice dinner out with family and friends.

For Him: Dress pants with a polo shirt

For Her: A summer sundress or skirt and top



  1. This is actually super helpful. I’ve always a little under or over dressed at weddings. And I have 4 in a row coming up next month. Thanks for the tips! I’ll be sure to use this site as a guide and fit right in with everyone else 🙂

  2. I am so bookmarking this! It is the worst when you aren’t sure exactly what the dress code means. But I have to say I have never been to a white tie event!

  3. This is a great break down. I hate when I go to weddings and people are clearly not dressed in the appropriate attire. Whenever I’m unsure/in doubt, I go for something on the more formal side. I’d much rather be over dressed than under.

  4. I have see a few weddings on TV and some when I was a kid but not one as an adult yet. I am loving this post, actually learned the attire for a wedding

  5. This post is super helpful! I’ve gone to far too many weddings where guests were not properly dressed lol.

Leave a Response