5 Common Wedding Dress Codes Explained

If you’ve been invited to a wedding one question you’re probably asking yourself, is “What am I going to wear?” While most brides and grooms will have a dress code in place, it can be tricky to decipher what exactly is meant.

Some individuals enjoy searching for the perfect outfit, but for others, the process can be quite challenging. If this sounds like you, then keep reading. Here, we’ll explain five of the most common wedding dress codes and provide some tips on what to wear.


A casual dress code is for more intimate and relaxed gatherings, such as a backyard wedding. Guests have a lot more freedom and in most cases, you don’t need to go and purchase an expensive gown.

For men, pants or dress shorts and a button-down shirt are appropriate. Women can wear something like these beautiful havana style dresses, a skirt or dressy pants. In other words, whatever you feel comfortable in!

Black Tie

Black Tie is the most formal wedding dress code and is usually for larger events in expensive locations. For men, this means a nice black tuxedo, black dress shoes, and a black tie. 

For women, a floor-length formal gown is recommended. When choosing a color, try to avoid white and anything too bright. Jewelry should also be elegant and understated – you don’t want to draw attention away from the bride.


Semi-formal is a step down from Black Tie but still requires a rather formal outfit. Men can wear a dark suit, dress shirt, and tie but have a little bit more freedom when it comes to pattern and color. 

Women can wear a cocktail dress or separates. Jewelry and accessories should still be dressed up, but not too over the top.

Cocktail Attire

Cocktail attire is one of the most popular dress codes for weddings as it works well in almost every type of venue. A simple dark suit and tie is a perfect choice for men, while women can choose a lovely midi-length dress with a playful design.

For accessories, a clutch, comfortable heels, and unique jewelry are all great choices. You can have fun experimenting and there are fewer restrictions.

Beach Formal

Last on the list, Beach Formal is a unique dress code specifically for destination weddings in warmer climates. Lightweight suits and sundresses with bright and colorful prints are appropriate.

When choosing footwear be sure to get information on where the ceremony will be held as you won’t want to wear heels in the sand. It’s also wise to choose accessories to protect yourself from the sun, such as a wide-brimmed hat or sunglasses. 

Dress To Impress!

Choosing what to wear for a wedding can be overwhelming, but with a little knowledge, you can be sure to dress appropriately for the occasion. If you’re still having trouble, reach out to some of the other guests. Your friends and family members should be able to point you in the right direction.