What to Wear to a Wedding (All Dress Codes)

We all know that it's basically base treachery for women to wear white to a wedding but other than that what are the do's and don'ts of wedding attire? And what does black tie optional mean? Dressy casual?? Don't worry we've decoded those befuddling wedding dress codes so you can focus on celebrating with the happy couple. 

White Tie

White tie is the most formal of all wedding dress codes. Think of it as the oscars with an after party at the white house. Men should wear a black tux with tails, a bow tie, black dress shoes and gloves. Women should wear an evening gown in a neutral color but preferably black. Be mindful to not pick anything too flashy or revealing, you don't want to take any attention away from the bride. Glamorous hair and makeup are a must for this dress code. 

Black Tie

Black tie is next on the fanciness (if that's a word) scale. He should wear a black tux, cummerbund, bow tie and black dress shoes. She should wear either a long evening gown or formal cocktail dress. It's best to consult the bridal party on this one. They'll be able to tell you how formal and what length dress is most appropriate.   

Formal or Black Tie Optional

He should wear a tux or dark suit. She should wear a long dress or formal cocktail dress in a neutral or dark color. This dress code is less formal than black tie so wearing a tux or a long gown are appropriate but not mandatory. 

Semi-Formal or Dressy Casual 

Dressy casual is the middle ground between formal and casual. He should wear a suit and tie. She should wear a cocktail dress or blouse and skirt. Change the color of the dress and suit depending on the time of the wedding. Lighter colors in the morning and afternoon and darker colors for evening. Also take into consideration your fabric choice, lighter more casual fabrics for the spring/summer and heavier more formal fabrics for fall/winter. 



Casual is the most laid back dress code. That being said men should still wear khakis or dress pants with a button up or polo. You can even throw on a blazer. Women can wear a casual dress or a blouse with a skirt or pants. Remember it's better to be a little overdressed than too casual.