Photo via Athens Wedding Photographer Blane Marable

Deciding on the dress code for your wedding is an extremely important part of the wedding planning process. You typically convey the message of how guests are to dress on the wedding invitation itself. Some of the terms to describe dress that are typically used are “black tie,” “cocktail dress,” or “casual.” All of these express a specific level of dressing and will ultimately help to set the tone for your wedding day. It’s important that if there is anything abnormal about your wedding venue, such as having a beach wedding, that your guests are made aware of this beforehand so they can ensure they are properly dressed.

Black Tie

Photo via Athens Wedding Photographer Blane Marable

Black tie is the most formal of the dressing options, this is also one of the more restricting dress codes. This typically means that men should wear tuxedos and women should wear formal gowns. Extremely unique pieces should be avoided in this case as you don’t want to risk appearing dressed too casually or too outlandishly. Weddings that are at upscale venues or are in the evening are usually black tie. Choosing this attire will convey to your guests that your wedding is an elegant event.

Cocktail Attire


Photo via Athens Wedding Photographer Blane Marable

Cocktail attire is the bridge between formal and informal wear. This tells your guests that they don’t have to dress super fancy like black tie attire would require, but they should still put effort into looking nice for your big day. For women, this means that they aren’t restricted to formal wear, such as long dresses. They have the option to branch out into a shorter dress or jumpsuit while still looking dressed up enough. For men, this style means that they aren’t necessarily confined to a tuxedo. However, they should still wear a dark suit. Like women, they are free to change up their style and add some flare as long as it remains appropriate for a formal event such as a wedding.


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Photo via Athens Wedding Photographer Blane Marable

Casual is probably the most broad category when it comes to dress. Here, you run the risk of your guests showing up dressed too informally. This can be avoided by providing more details on your wedding website with what exactly your expectations are for the way your guests dress. If you choose to have activities in your wedding such as lawn games, be sure to include that on your wedding website as well to set the expectations of your guests ahead of time.

Cayla & Giorgio's Wedding 2018

Photo via Athens Wedding Photographer Blane Marable

If you feel that your guests may need more direction on how to dress, it’s a good idea to post a more detailed description on your wedding website. The place to specify is your wedding invitation because you want it to maintain an elegant feel. The important thing about conveying this vital information to your guests is to be clear and to invite them to reach out to you if they have any questions or require any further instruction.

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