Today we are cracking the code – the dress code. ;)  Wedding season is in full swing, which probably means your refrigerator is either starting to fill up, or is already filled, with invitations.  In an effort to spare our Brides from all of the, “What do I wear?” texts, emails, and phone calls, we’ve put together  quick guide (with the help of our go-to etiquette blog, Emily Post) that will answer all of your burning dress code-related questions.

Shannon Gail_Cracking the dress code 6Miller + Miller Photography


This one is a little bit less common, but is the most formal – Think Meta Gala formal.  A White Tie wedding is absolutely a fashion show, and is something that you should definitely prepare for and style in advance.  The Ladies should wear a floor-length evening gown, appropriate hair & makeup, and the gentlemen should wear a black dress coat (tailcoat), formal white shirt, bowtie, gloves, and formal shoes.

Shannon Gail_Cracking the Dress Code 5Evan Hunt Photo


This is the next most formal dress code, and is definitely more common.  When dressing Black Tie, you can look to the red carpet for some inspiration.  Award shows like the Emmys and Golden Globes typically have a Black Tie look!  Ladies can wear a floor-length evening gown or formal cocktail dress, while men should wear a tuxedo with a bowtie.

Shannon Gail_Cracking the dress code 3
T&S Hughes Photography


This is just one notch below Black Tie, and is where you have a little bit more room to play with different looks!  Ladies can get a little bit creative and go with a dressy jumpsuit, LBD, or cocktail dress!  Guys can either wear a tux or dark suit with a white dress shirt and tie.

Shannon Gail_Cracking the dress code 4Katie Kett Photography


Depending on the time of the event (evening, brunch wedding, etc.) you’ll probably want to keep this just a bit more dressy than “casual” and a bit less dressy than “formal.”  Fabric is key here – Don’t go overboard with anything to glitzy/glamorous, and try to stick with soft, light fabrics in light colors.  The guys can get away with wearing a suite and tie!

Shannon Gail_Cracking the Dress Code 1Eager Hearts Photography


If the invitation says “Casual,” the wedding will likely take place outside. Some blogs will tell you that jeans are OK, but we suggest staying on the formal end for a wedding (i.e. a few notches above a backyard BBQ, and a few notches below dress casual).  A maxi-dress with sandals for the gals, and dress pants with a button down shirt for the guys would be your best bet here.

Top Photo by Jeremy Lawson Photography