Dear OSB: Wedding Attire Issue

Dear OSB: Should we tell our guests what to wear at our wedding?


If you want to avoid awkward fashion moments at your wedding then the answer is YES!

That said wedding dress codes are open to all sorts of interesting interpretations, so we suggest sticking with well-known dress codes like the following:

White Tie – This is definitely the most formal attire for a wedding. Gents should wear a tailcoat, a formal white shirt, white vest and tie, white or grey gloves, and shoes without laces. Ladies should wear formal floor-length evening gowns.

Black Tie – For gents this means black tuxedo or evening jacket and matching trousers. It can also mean black tie, black vest or cummerbund, and suspenders. For ladies this means wearing a formal floor length gown or a short cocktail frock.

Black Tie Optional – Guests can wear the same attire as for a black tie event. For guests who want to go a bit more casual, gents can wear a dark suit with a white shirt and conservative tie. Ladies can wear dresses and even dressy separates.

Creative Black Tie – Gents can wear a tuxedo with a fun twist, such as a colourful tie. Ladies can wear a floor length gown or a cocktail dress with a fun twist, such as a colourful shawl or bold piece of jewellery.

Semiformal – Gents can wear a dark suit with a white shirt and conservative tie. Ladies can wear a cocktail dress or a long dressy skirt with a top.

Casual – Gents can wear a button-down shirt with tie and a sport jacket, plus trousers. For the ladies, think sundress or maxi dress.

In the end, definitely define your dress code with examples on your wedding invitation or wedding website and try to avoid ambiguous and confusing dress codes like “boho chic”. I mean really, who knows what the heck that means!

{Image via BHLDN}

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“I’m Marcela, an Aussie expat living in Hong Kong. This space is where I share my love for weddings and bits and pieces from my family’s life and adventures. I love celebrating weddings, motherhood, family, travel and life’s simple joys.”