How do you write a Dress Code on a Wedding Invitation?
Mentioning a dress code ensures your event stays as formal or as casual as you want, and it’s helpful for guests to know exactly what is expected of them for attire. Here you will find some helpful ideas for wording your Dress Code whether you’re hosting a formal or casual wedding.
Where to include your Dress Code
If you want to be specific about the dress code there are three main places you can do so:
Your Wedding Invitation
You can include your Dress Code on the lower left or right-hand corner of the invitation. Alternatively, place the Dress Code at the bottom centre of the design.
A separate Information / Details card
If you are including a Details or Information card with other important information for your guests, use this to list your dress code as well as it keeps your invitation nice and simple.
Your Wedding Website
If you are already providing a wedding website for other details and important information for guests, use this space to also list your dress code.
White Tie or full evening dress is the most formal of all wedding dress codes. Gentlemen dress in long-tail tuxedos and the women don full-length ball gowns.
Black Tie usually indicates an evening wedding where men wear tuxedos with black bow tie and women wear formal floor-length gowns. Despite the name, Black tie does not mean you must wear black, although traditionally men would wear a black tuxedo and a bow tie.
Formal or Black Tie Optional
These phrases mean that guests are encouraged to wear attire that suits a black tie dress code, but that this is optional. Men should wear a dark suit with a shirt and tie if they don’t wish to wear a tuxedo. Women may wear a floor-length gown, or a knee-length cocktail dress, a pantsuit, or dressy separates.
Lounge Suit or Semi-Formal
A step down in formality from Black tie and suitable for a semi-formal daytime wedding. This indicates that the wedding party will be in formal wedding attire, and it’s optional for all guests. We recommend a classic suit or tux including a tie, and formal evening wear (floor-length dresses or evening pantsuits) for women.
Jacket & Tie
Similar to Lounge Suit or Semi-Formal, however Jacket & Tie indicates that it is acceptable for men to wear a sports jacket, suit jacket or even a smart blazer and chinos with a tie. Women may wear a cocktail dress that is shorter than floor-length, a pantsuit, or dressy separates to a Jacket & Tie event.
Cocktail attire isn’t overly formal and is asking guests to be dressed a step above smart casual. An above-the-knee hem (or any length above floor length) is appropriate for women. Men can wear a suit (tie optional) or sports jacket and dress shirt.
Smart casual means wedding guests are being asked to dress neatly, without being overly dressy – or overly casual. We recommend a dress, smart trousers or a skirt for women and dark denim, chinos or suit paints with a neat shirt for men.
You can format the writing of your dress code in a few ways, keeping in mind that the style should be consistent with the rest of your wording. The Dress code can be written with or without a colon or other mark appropriate to your design (for example a bullet or vertical bar). Examples include:
Dress Code: Formal
Formal Attire (Black Tie Optional)
Looking for more helpful hints for your wedding invitations? Be sure to read our other articles:
You can read more about wording for your stationery pieces as well as download PDF examples and suggestions on our Wording & Etiquette page. Be sure to browse our Collection for examples and ideas as well.