Family & Relationships Weddings

What Is Formal Wedding Attire?

    Check the Invitation

    • Check the invitation to see if there are any specific wedding attire instructions. Some invitations will say that the wedding is a black tie affair, or casual with no dress code. Black tie formal attire requires men to have a standard tuxedo consisting of a black short coat, black cummerbund or vest, white dress shirt, black tie or bow tie, black pants and black shoes. Standard formal wedding attire will consist of a suit coat accompanied with elements of a tie and dress pants with dress shoes.

    Formal Attire for Women

    • Formal attire for women can consist of many different things. During a black tie affair, women are required to wear a full-length dress, which could be an evening gown or cocktail dress with dress shoes and suitable jewelry. When the wedding requires white-tie formal attire, women should wear full-length dresses.

    Consider the Location

    • Consider the location of the wedding as well. While black- and white-tie weddings have their own required dress code, wedding attire is also dictated by the wedding site. If it is a beach wedding, you might want to steer clear of heels and go for sandals instead. Also, many beach weddings may be on the casual side, which may call for loose-fitting clothes like sundresses or simple dress shirts and ties. If it is a winter wedding, feel free to incorporate a nice coat or wrap along with your wedding outfit.

    Consider the Time

    • Consider the time of the wedding, as this also can affect your wedding attire. If the wedding is a daytime ceremony, women can wear different styles of dresses, including short floral dresses, lightly colored suits, a summery dress or a skirt. The dress does not need to be full length, but should reach just above the knees. If the weather is chilly, make sure to add a shawl or a nice long coat. For men, a daytime wedding means a nice pair of slacks and a collared dress shirt, with a tie optional. For an evening wedding the man's attire will remain the same, except he should add a suit coat, while a woman can wear a cocktail dress or evening gown.

    What to Avoid

    • Unless specified on the invitation, there are certain types of attire that you should never wear to a wedding. These include jeans, T-shirts, and anything that is too large or too small. You should also avoid wearing shorts to a wedding unless it is a beach wedding and casual attire is specified. Make sure to avoid any clothing that might be wrinkled or stained, or anything that may be damaged or have holes in it.

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