Weddings are an important day in many people’s lives. It is a time when family and friends come together to support the beginning of a new marriage. And it is during this time that you will most likely be seeing everyone (and their moms) that you know.
So it is not only important to look your best, but it is also important to dress according to the feel/formality of the wedding. Especially here in the Northwest is can be challenging to decide what to wear with the unpredictable weather and casual atmosphere, but don’t let this fool you. To help you navigate through your closet and pick out the perfect outfit here are breakdowns of attire requests often found on invitations.
Black Tie: This is a very formal attire request. Etiquette states that men should wear tuxedos and women should wear floor length formal dresses. Depending on the fashion for women their dresses can be shorter than floor length but should always remain below the knee.
Black Tie Optional: A black tie optional wedding usually means the host would like the men to wear tuxedos. If you are not able to wear a tuxedo or rent one, then a dark colored suit with a tie is a good alternative. Women should wear long formal dresses, although sometimes a mid-length dress can be worn depending on the bride and groom.
Formal/Cocktail Attire: For a wedding requesting formal attire or cocktail attire, men should wear either light or dark colored suits with ties being optional. If you are unsure about the formality of the event bring your tie with you and leave it in the car if you notice more men without ties. Women should wear cocktail dresses that usually fall about knee length and maybe a little bit shorter. Depending on the venue (outside/inside) and location, seasonal high heels should be paired with the dress.
Resort/Formal Beach Attire: If the wedding is being held outside, but at an upscale resort or destination location, some invitations will request resort or formal beach attire. If this is the case, Men should wear light colored slacks (linen, khaki, grey, white) with a collared shirt. Women should wear summer dresses that are not too short for a resort. For both men and women nice sandals are appropriate, however, flip flops are not.
Garden Attire: If you have been invited to a backyard or garden wedding the attire requests are a little bit more casual. For men slacks or khaki pants with a collared shirt is perfectly acceptable. The garden attire request is really meant to notify the women, reminding them to wear flat shoes since they will be outside on the lawn. For women summer dresses, linen pants or skirts are acceptable. Since the majority of the weddings will be outside it is important to dress weather appropriate so bringing your SPF for those hot summer days or a sweater to keep you warm.