Post # 1
So I’ve been doing some browsing on the internet, looking at dress codes. There seems to be a fair amount of discrepancy in wedding dress codes.
I’ll be wearing floor length lace; I’m envisioning my groom (and his men) wearing a suit and tie or perhaps a tux. The bridesmaids will definitely be wearing floor length gowns. Our wedding will be held in a historic cathedral.
I’m imagining our guests wearing cocktail dresses or floor length gowns or jackets and ties (or perhaps a tux). I know I can’t dictate what guests will wear — people will wear what they want to wear. (That said, I’d like to have a concise phrase for dresswear suggestions.)
What “dress code” would you describe that as? Formal? Black tie optional?
Looking forward to your suggestions, bees 🙂
Post # 3
@lemiller: Formal and black tie also connote a certain level of reception service. What will your reception be like?
Post # 5
@letigre: good call. If I rented a dress to go to a black-tie reception and there was a buffet, I would be miffed.
Post # 6
@letigre: This. Black tie requires premium open bar, band, white glove service,multiple-course meal, after 6pm start, etc.
Post # 7
Right! And here lies the issue. Cathedral ceremony. Reception will be starting at 6:30, right now we’re banking on a buffet, unless 35% or more of our guest list declines. (I would say it’s a possibility, rather than a probability.)
Edit: If 35% declines, we’ll be making it a seated dinner. There will be an open bar, but it will be well drinks rather than top shelf.
Post # 8
@lemiller: If you aren’t having a black tie wedding — and by this account you are not — you really should not dictate a dress code. You can dictate formality with the type of invites, your venue, etc.
Post # 9
@classyashley: Thanks for sharing your opinion 🙂
I know I can’t dictate guests’ attire, as stated in the OP. I’m looking for some help developing a concise phrase to use when family/guests ask about dress code and what to wear.
Post # 10
@lemiller: I’d simply say this:
The bridesmaids will be in long gowns and the groomsmen will be in suits (or tux if that’s what you choose). From there, your guests can figure out what to wear…
Post # 11
I would say “formal” dress.
Bear in mind that many people dress a dress code down anyway. You don’t want to say “cocktail” or else you’ll end up with people in loungewear!
Post # 12
I would say black tie optional or semi formal.
Post # 13
I would write “cocktail attire” on the invites.
Post # 14
My concern is that if you say black tie optional or formal, your guests are going to expect a specific level of service at your reception that you will not be providing. If you feel that your guests will ask about the dress code, then cocktail or semi-formal attire is a safe bet.
Post # 15
I would go with semi-formal too, of you really want to include a line for it. Hopefully the invites and locale of the service would be enough of a hint, but you never know.
Post # 16
@lemiller: you could always go with semi-formal. this will give the guests the option of suit or tux and long or cocktail length dresses.
keep in mind, if you want a formal or semi-formal dress code, your reception must mimic that. i would be hesitant with a buffet if the ladies will be in long dresses. that is way too awkard and a recipe for disaster. i’m picturing tripping on long hemlines, food flying, guests on the floor. go with a seated dinner for the comfort of your guests.