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What 5 Wedding Dress Codes Actually Mean

You checked the “yes” box on the RSVP card. The document has been signed, sealed, and delivered. It’s finally time to say yes to your wedding guest dress, pantsuit, skirt pair, or whatever.

However, before you add it to the cart, double-check your invitation for a reference to the wedding dress code. Not all weddings are black-tie occasions, so make sure your outfit is suited for the experience.

If you’re at a loss for what to dress for a wedding after browsing the venue, look at the geotag on social media to see what others have worn in the past. Here are 5 types of wedding dress regulations below to assist you in selecting the appropriate dress.


What it means: While Bingham would go so far as to argue that a “casual” wedding is on par with a night out or a gourmet brunch, you should still approach it with elegance.


What it means: Cocktail clothing may be difficult to master. Think this way: What Bond Girls dress in when James Bond spots them from across the table for the first time. It is somewhere between semi-formal and totally formal.


What it entails: The advantage of formal weddings is that they aren’t as rigorous about guest clothing as black tie celebrations. The disadvantage is that there isn’t much direction on what to wear other than avoiding wearing anything casual because it’s a formal occasion.


What it means: a “semi-formal” wedding dress code is “just a notch below cocktail.” You want to appear great as if you’re going to a fancy place for dinner, but in a less formal style.

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Black Tie

What it entails: In a word, fancy. You’ll want to go all out for this one, with heels, dresses, and complete tuxedos.

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