Etiquette Rules of Wedding Attire

Wedding attire etiquette can be very confusing sometimes. People don’t know exactly what to wear depending on the time of the ceremony, the season of the year, or even the venue. Clearly, what is expected at a beach wedding will be very different from a black-tie affair. It is up to the bride and groom to make clear their desires with regard to dress code so as to lessen the burden on the guest by setting the appropriate expectations.

Here are some guidelines to follow:


Bridesmaids’ dresses have to be coordinated with your wedding gown, in elegance, and in style.

For indoor weddings and evening weddings, the bridesmaids’ dresses are floor length. If your wedding is informal and/or outside, the dresses can be knee-length.

Keep in mind that the color and style of the bridesmaids’ dresses must be flattering to all or most of them.


For guests, they should wear formal attire: men in suits and women in a cocktail dress, unless the invitation indicates black tie dress code. Fabrics and style are sophisticated and jewelry is flattering. Women use a small handbag instead of a purse.

It is acceptable to wear a black dress to a wedding, especially if it has color accessories, like a pin or a scarf. This way it will look like attending a celebration and not a funeral.

Keep in mind the time and the venue of the wedding when indicating a dress code on your invitations. Use simple words to describe a dress code: names vary and they are very confusing, so be as specific as possible.

If you are a guest and still don’t know what attire would be appropriate, ask someone close to the family of the bride or groom what they suggest.

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