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June 3, 2017

6 Wedding Dress Codes & What To Wear

Sydne Style shows what to wear to a black tie wedding in fame and partners dress

This was actually my maid of honor dress for my best friend's wedding. I chose it because it works equally as well for a black tie wedding!

Sydne Style shows what to wear to a semi formal wedding with everyday pursuits

A slip dress like Everyday Pursuits wore is a classic piece that can work for almost every dress code depending how you accessorize.

Sydne Style shows what to wear to a cocktail wedding with carrie bradshaw lied

Carrie Bradshaw Lied wore a black lace dress that could work for multiple wedding dress codes. With fancier accessories like hers, it's perfect for a cocktail wedding or with flats would work for dressy casual!

Sydne Style shows what to wear to a beach wedding with style charades

A maxi dress is always safe for a beach wedding. Follow Style Charade's lead and accessorize with beach details like a straw clutch and tassel earrings

Sydne Style shows what to wear to a cocktail wedding with the stripe

You can never go wrong with a wrap dress! The Stripe dressed up her blush one with festive footwear, perfect for a cocktail wedding.

Sydne Style shows what to wear to a casual wedding with memorandum

A LBD is a classic. Memorandum's more relaxed dress with flats would fit right in with a casual themed wedding.

Sydne Style shows what to wear to a black tie wedding in fame and partners dress thumbnail
Sydne Style shows what to wear to a semi formal wedding with everyday pursuits thumbnail
Sydne Style shows what to wear to a cocktail wedding with carrie bradshaw lied thumbnail
Sydne Style shows what to wear to a beach wedding with style charades thumbnail
Sydne Style shows what to wear to a cocktail wedding with the stripe thumbnail
Sydne Style shows what to wear to a casual wedding with memorandum thumbnail

Wedding dress codes are so incredibly confusing. Some are obvious. Black tie? Check. I’ll wear a gown. But then you enter the odd ones. I mean really, dressy casual? Isn’t that a contradiction? I once was invited to a wedding where the wedding dress code was business casual. I swear I thought it was a typo! I ended up wearing a modest little black dress, my fool-proof save when the dress code doesn’t make sense.

Since I’m often asked what to wear for different wedding dress codes, today I wanted to cover the 6 most common wedding dress codes. I also brought in some outfit inspiration from some of my favorite blogger babes. I hope this post helps you when your next wedding invitation arrives!

{wedding dress code outfits by} Everyday Pursuits I Carrie Bradshaw Lied I Style CharadeThe Stripe I Memorandum

Wedding Dress Codes Explained

Black Tie

Evening gowns are a safe bet when it comes to black tie weddings. If you don’t like long dresses, you can always do a midi or knee-length cocktail dress. Just opt for fancier fabrics like beading, chiffon or silk. And use a stiletto and jewelry to dress it up. {See what I wore to a black tie wedding}

Black Tie Optional or Formal

One of the most common wedding dress code themes is black tie optional. It’s great because it gives you so much freedom. While a gown is completely appropriate, you can also do a dress mid-length dress. I’m a huge fan of high-low hemlines for black tie optional weddings since it’s a hybrid between both! {See what I wore to a black tie optional wedding}

Cocktail or Semi Formal

A cocktail dress is the obvious choice. If the dress on the simpler side, make it a little fancier with glitzy accessories. If the dress is beaded or lace, keep your accessories minimal.

Beach Formal

Anything long and flowy screams beach wedding. While I love a good jumpsuit, a long maxi dress works equally as well. Opt for a wedge or fancy flats just in case the ceremony is actually on the beach. Also remember to bring a shawl or something to wrap around your shoulders since it get often get quite chilly by the water.  {See what I wore to a beach chic wedding}

Dressy Casual

I personally find this dress code to be the most confusing. Casual is the opposite of dressy. Dressy is the opposite of casual. So what on earth does this mean? Basically it means that the bride wants a relaxed wedding but still wants her guests to look chic. Try a dressy jumpsuit, a less dressy cocktail dress (for example, no embellishments) or a nice skirt and top.

Casual

Just because a wedding has a casual dress code doesn’t mean you should show up in jeans (unless the invite specifies, jeans are usually a no-go for weddings). I prefer to be a little overdressed than underdressed so I would do a lightweight dress with a pair of flats. You could also do a nice pair of pants or skirt and pretty blouse. Just leave the bling at home.

Click here for more ideas on what to wear for different wedding dress codes.

Leave a Comment

2 Comments

  1. Jenn Lake commented:

    Thank you so much for including me, lady! So sweet of you!

    Published 6.4.17 Reply
    • Sydne Summer commented:

      Always love your looks!!!

      Published 6.4.17 Reply

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