Confused? We’re breaking down the top 6 wedding dress codes. Here’s everything you need to know.

June 01, 2017

Wedding Dress Codes Explained | Julianne Blog

{ Image via Instagram user @alexandrakr }

Wedding season is officially upon us and with it comes those dreaded dress codes! What exactly does “casual” mean anyways? Prepping for a wedding is already enough of a whirlwind, the last thing you need to be worried your outfit won’t be appropriate. Breath easy though, we’re breaking down the most common wedding dress codes and explaining exactly what you’re expected to wear. Mystery solved!

1. Your Invitation Says: “White Tie”

This is the most formal of all the dress codes. Think of a White House state dinner, a formal ball or royal affairs.

  • Formal floor-length evening gowns. Bags should be small and elegant. This is also an opportunity to pull out your finest jewelry!


2. Your Invitation Says: “Black Tie”

This is the second-most formal dress code. It usually means the wedding will be held in the evening.

  • With black tie you have the option to wear a long gown or a formal, cocktail-length dress. Your dress should be dark neutral hue like black, grey or navy. This is also an opportunity to pull out your top-tier jewelry, shoes and clutches.


3. Your Invitation Say: “Formal” or “Black Tie Optional”

The wording here implies a long gown isn’t required but appropriate should you choose to wear one.

  • You can opt for a gown, formal cocktail dress or formal separates in darker hues.


4. Your Invitation Says: “Semi-Formal” or “Dressy Casual”

With these you’ll want to take into consideration the time of the event. Darker hues work for evening and more colorful, lightweight fabrics are fine for daytime.

  • This is your opportunity to mix it up. A fun cocktail dress, elevated separates or even a dressier jumpsuit would all be appropriate.


5. Your Invitation Says: “Festive Attire”

This dress code is relatively new and definitely a head-scratcher. Essentially you’ll want to dress like you’re headed to a fancier cocktail party.

  • Think of it as an opportunity to get creative and embrace colorful hues and playful accessories!


6. Your Invitation Says: “Casual”

This dress code indicates a laid-back event that will likely be held outdoors or at the beach. That said, unless otherwise indicated casual clothing such as jeans, shorts and tank tops are not appropriate.

  • Think: Summer dresses in silk or crisp cotton or a skirt or trousers with a silk top.

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