If you receive an invitation to a wedding without mention of a dress code, you may wonder what you should wear.
No one wants to embarrass themselves with the wrong attire at a wedding. That moment upon arrival at the ceremony, when you’re wondering if you totally missed the mark, can be an uneasy feeling!😅
But you can remove dress code doubt from guests’ minds when you put the dress code on your wedding website and invitation! And it’s so easy to do.
In this blog post, I’ll outline how to word the dress code on your wedding website, explain where to put the dress code on an invitation, and provide specific examples of dress code wording that sounds warm and inviting.
And if you’re worried that suggesting a dress code to guests is rude, don’t panic. When done properly — as I outline in this post — you’ll feel confident that your wording will come across as fun, courteous, and thoughtful, rather than as an imposition.
Let’s get started!
In this blog post, we’ll cover:
• Is a Wedding Dress Code… Rude?
• Where To Put Dress Code: On The Invitation
• Where To Put Dress Code: On The Website
• Where to Get a Free Wedding Website
• Wedding Dress Code Wording, Explained
• Fun and Unique Wedding Dress Code Samples
Is It Rude to Put a Dress Code on a Wedding Invitation?
So, what’s the verdict? Is a dress code rude? NO! It is not impolite to share the wedding dress code with your guests. It all comes down to wording in a way that is warm and welcoming.
Proper wedding dress code wording gives your guests a boost of confidence! They’ll know exactly what others will be wearing without having to ask around. They’ll also have a concise notion of the theme and formality of your wedding.
And remember: a dress code is a suggestion, not a rule. Your guests have the right to wear whatever they choose. And while most guests (if not all) will abide by the dress code, you don’t have to worry they’re doing it out of spite. I promise, most guests really appreciate the courtesy of knowing what the attire is ahead of time.
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Now, let’s talk about where to include the attire info on your invite.
How To Put the Dress Code on a Wedding Invitation
Based on proper wedding etiquette, there are three ways to put the dress code on an invitation. When you put the dress code on an invitation, it will be very simple, e.g. “Black Tie”, “Black Tie Optional”, “Beach Casual”, etc. You don’t have a lot of space to work with, so keep it short and sweet.
1. Lower Left-Hand or Right-Hand Corner of the invitation card: This is the most traditional option, but it can sometimes clutter up your card. Therefore, you can opt for the second method instead.
2. Reception Card: Include it as a byline on your wedding reception card.
3. Wedding Website: Rather than specifying the dress code in writing, include your website address instead.
Here’s how you’ll include dress code wording: “For more details including dress code and lodging, please visit our wedding website at [URL].”
Or, simply, “More info can be found at our wedding website: https://ourweddingwebsite.com“. Guests will visit your website and see the dress code.
Make it unmissable for guests with a QR code to your link. Guests can scan the code with a Smartphone or tablet and it will direct them to your wedding website for dress code info.
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Now that you know where to put it on the invitation, here’s how to put the dress code on your site.
Where to Put Dress Code on Wedding Website
The invitation requires short and sweet verbiage due to space constraints. But your wedding website allows you to write more long-form wedding dress code wording. The tone can also be slightly less formal than the invitation dictates. In other words, have some fun with it. :)
You can type in a short message to your guests on the website so they’ll feel confident in their wedding attire choice at your celebration. If you don’t have one yet, here’s where to get a stylish complimentary website.
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You can add dress code directly on your website in one of these three places:
Guests will look to the “Events” tab to find out the Ceremony, Reception, and Dress Code details.
DRESS CODE PAGE
You can create your own separate page specifically labeled ‘Dress Code’ and include it in the ‘More’ tab. This ensures your guests don’t miss it.
If you prefer, you can include some specific details about your attire requests on the frequently asked questions — FAQ — page of your website. You can add the FAQ page as a drop-down in the ‘More’ tab.
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Now, let’s get into the specifics: here is each wedding dress code, explained, with wording samples for your guests.
Dress Code Wording Examples for Your Wedding Website
Here are some examples to guide you.
“White Tie Please wear a tuxedo with white shirt, white vest, and white bow tie, or a floor-length gown.”
“Black Tie. Please wear a tuxedo with black bow tie, cummerbund, and vest, or a floor-length gown.”
READ: 34 Best Black Tie Wedding Guest Dresses for exactly what this entails.
“Black Tie Optional [or] Formal. Please wear a tuxedo or a dark-colored suit with necktie or an evening gown/cocktail dress.”
Note: “Black Tie Optional” and “Formal” are synonymous.
“Cocktail Attire. We ask you to please wear a dark-colored suit (tie optional) or dress pants with dress shirt and sports jacket; or, please wear your favorite cocktail dress, dressy blouse and skirt, or a jumpsuit.”
“Semi-Formal Attire. Please dress up for a fun evening with us! Please wear a dark suit with a dress shirt and tie (vest optional), or a cocktail dress, dressy top and pants, or jumpsuit.”
“Dressy Casual. We hope you dress comfortably to celebrate with us! Please wear a dress shirt or polo, dress pants, or dress shorts; or, please select a sundress or dressy separates with comfortable shoes ready for dancing!”
“Beach Formal. We ask you to please wear a light-colored suit or linen shirt and dress pants, or a midi-length, knee-length dress, or maxi-length sundress.”
“Beach Casual. The ceremony will take place on the sand, so please wear comfortable shoes and beach casual attire. Please wear linen pants and linen shirt or polo to keep you cool and comfortable, or please choose your favorite sundress! We can’t wait to celebrate by the seaside with you!”
“Casual. We ask you to please celebrate with us in comfortable, casual attire! Please wear a pair of khakis with a light colored shirt (blazer and tie optional) or a favorite sundress or skirt and blouse combination. We hope to see you there!”
Lastly, if you want no specific dress code — aka you mostly want your guests to avoid wearing jeans — include the following:
“Dress Code: We want to see you all dressed up! We ask that you please wear dress pants and a collared shirt with tie or a suit, a dress, or a pantsuit. We can’t wait to celebrate with you! No jeans, please.”
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Planning a thematic event? Here are some samples on how to word fun and unique wedding attire suggestions.
Fun and Unique Wedding Attire Wording Samples
If you have a specific dress code in mind, you can include it in more detail like these examples. Remember, keep it fun and optional: guests don’t want to be forced to participate in a particular theme attire, but if you make it sound fun they may be willing to do it. :)
• Halloween Costume: If you’re planning a Halloween themed wedding, you can encourage guests to wear costumes. “Costumes strongly encouraged in lieu of dressy attire. We can’t wait to celebrate our unique Halloween-themed wedding with you!”
I attended a Halloween-themed wedding in October and it was SO. MUCH. FUN! Everyone dressed up in costumes!
• Tropical Theme: “It’s a tropical-themed celebration! Dress is casual, with a tropical twist: please wear a Hawaiian or floral print shirt, dress shorts, or your favorite resort-wear dresses in similar colors and prints. No fancy suits, ties, or floor-length gowns necessary. We can’t wait to toast and celebrate!”
• 1920’s Vibe: “Our vintage wedding venue offers a unique 1920’s/Art Deco-inspired vibe. We’d love for you to dress on-theme, if you’re interested! Please join in on the fun with a classic suit with bow tie, or a beaded gown with sequins or geometric patterns. Feather fascinators, rhinestones, and pearls encouraged!”
You get the idea!
And last but not least, you can always utilize your website to add a bit more information that is helpful for guests. Here are some ways to do it.
Include More Dress Attire Suggestions on Your Website
In addition to the above, you may wish to include particular elements of the dress code as notes for guests.
For instance, if you’re nervous about guests wearing heels hobbling down cobblestones or uneven gravel at your ceremony, you may suggest an alternative footwear option.
Be specific: “The terrain at the ceremony is rocky in high heels, so you may be more comfortable in dress shoes with a wedge, thick block heel, or flats.”
Perhaps your beach ceremony on the sand or your wedding in the woods won’t be especially friendly to guests wearing heels. You can offer a suggestion such as,
“Our beach wedding on the sand will be difficult to walk on in heels. Please wear sandals or flats to the ceremony and reception (or bring your favorite heels for dancing in the indoor ballroom afterward!)”
Guests will appreciate the heads up.
And if you’ve never walked on sand in heels… yeah, it’s pretty near impossible. :)
Some couples even use a shoe valet: a place to to “hold” dress shoes during the ceremony on the beach. Guests can remove their shoes at that spot and go barefoot on the beach! It’s a great way to keep dress shoes neat and encourage guests to enjoy the seaside celebration in style. This valet sign is available at TheCommonSign.
Or simply, “Shoes Optional!” This sign is available at LizzieAndCoDesigns.
If you think the ceremony by the beach will be a bit too breezy, you may recommend, “Please bring a light sweater or pashmina shawl to wear, as the weather is a bit chilly by the water this time of year.”
For other seasonal suggestions for fall and wintertime, read: How To Keep Warm at a Winter Wedding: Tips for Bride + Guests.
Parking / Shuttle
You can even add elements of transportation to your website as a note for guests. “Parking is a bit tight at our venue, so we’ve arranged a free shuttle for our guests from the hotel! Please enjoy the ride. Pick-up times are…”
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As you can see, a wedding website is so much more than just a place for guests to obtain a copy of your invitation and a map to find the venue! It’s an interactive hub where you can inform guests of everything wedding-day related.
Now that you know how to put the dress code on wedding websites — and a whole lot more — it’s time to publish yours! If you don’t have one yet, get yours for free here. It’s even password protected!
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