It’s that time of the year again: wedding season!

Every wedding is different, and the dress codes can get downright confusing: What’s the difference between white and black tie? Does casual dress really mean casual? Can you wear a cocktail dress to a semi-formal wedding?

Here’s a little guide to help you tread through the confusing waters of wedding etiquette.

White Tie


A white tie wedding: The fanciest dress possible, and you’ll need to go all out. For a white tie affair, you should typically wear a floor — think gala attire.

Shop the look:

Model: Mary Orton // Dress: Allison Parris

Black Tie


One step down from white tie is its cousin, black tie. This is also fancy dress, mandating formal attire. However, most people agree that you have a little more freedom when it comes to colour and hem length. A chic high-low gown or a full-length dress will serve you well here!

Model: Lace and Locks // Gown: ML Monique Lhuillier 



Semi-formal weddings give you a little more leeway when it comes to attire. Floor-length dresses aren’t necessary, but you’ll still want to look polished and put together. You can certainly wear a long dress, but a shorter dress is also appropriate (as is a classy jumpsuit!). Try not to let your hem creep up too far, however—knee-length or longer is your best bet.

Model: Style by Alina // Dress: Lulu’s



Cocktail attire isn’t all that different from semi-formal, though it’s technically another small step down on the formality scale. (You can likely recycle a semi-formal dress and no one will be the wiser.) So really, any cocktail dress will serve you well here!

Model: Fake Leather // Dress: Lulu’s



When an invite says beach attire, it doesn’t mean bring your bathing suit! It’s just a heads up that you’ll be near the ocean, where it will likely be both sunny and windy, so dress accordingly. Perhaps opt for a maxi dress to avoid any wind-driven wardrobe malfunctions.

Model: Camille Co // Dress: Dresscode Project



Finally, you might encounter garden wedding attire. Similar to beach dress code, you should keep in mind that you’ll be outside for the event. As such, you might want to choose wedges over stilettos and come prepared with a chic hat if it’s a daytime ceremony. A cute sundress is all that’s needed for this event, and feel free to wear a floral print!

Model: La Petite Noob // Dress: SheInside // Similar Dress: Tahari ASL

Have you ever been invited to a wedding with a strange or confusing dress request? Tell us your story in the comments!

Original Article: The Every Girl

8 thoughts

  1. It’s really interesting to see the difference in weddings between different cultures. I’ve never seen a white tie wedding, even our recent Royal Wedding was only a black tie do for the pre-dinner! Also it’s interesting that it’s all eveningwear, for the ceremony in Britain it is typically morning dress at the most formal, and to wear a full length gown would be seen as showing up the bride. I wonder what weddings are like elsewhere in the world.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve been two a couple Indian weddings and the women wear absolutely beautiful sari dresses! It’s so fun to see how people celebrate and what they wear depending on their culture 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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