Post # 1
Ok, so I really never even thought about this until my guests started asking this. They would like to know what they should wear to my wedding. Our wedding is really small (25-30 people), immediate family, and only a couple friends. It’s at a restaurant overlooking the beach, we’re going down to the beach for pics then inside for some brunch. Basically not traditional at all…but I’m still wearing the pretty dress and he’s still wearing his nice suit. When they asked me what they should wear I pretty much just said “normal daytime wedding attire” but it didn’t seem like they had been to alot of daytime weddings. So I then said “dresses for the ladies and nice pants and button up shirts for the guys, but bring flip flops for the beach if you would like”. Then they said “oh, so we have to go buy something”. Then they said “flip flops or bare feet are going to look pretty weird with that type of dress code”.
What am I doing wrong? They said they would like to see some pictures for what they should wear. I don’t know how to find pictures for what they should wear. Is this typical? Should I come up with a “Theme” for our wedding? I feel like if I tell them what to wear they will complain that they have to go buy something if they don’t have it, but if I don’t tell them what to wear they will complain because they don’t know what to wear.
What should I tell them? Is there a particular style of dress for a beach wedding? If so, does someone have pictures or know what it’s called? Basically I just didn’t want our guests wearing jeans or any random casual outfit since we are paying to have a photographer there to take some nice pics! I guess since it’s our wedding we do have the chance to come up with something fun for them to wear but I know not everyone has alot of $$ right now and I don’t want them to have to wear something they are not comfortable with.
Post # 3
I don’t have a lot of answers, but I do have sympathy. When people asked me what they should wear, I just said, “church clothes.” (We’re getting married in a synagogue, but I figured most people were aware of church clothes, even if they weren’t Christian.) But I’ve had people who want me to choose the specific outfit they are going to wear. Umm… I probably won’t even notice what they are wearing at the time, because I will have other stuff to think about.
Post # 4
Tell ’em “look cute, but wear something you won’t mind if it gets a little sandy.”
If they’re still confused, instruct them to come dressed as pirates. Then walk away and have a good, stress relieving laugh.
Post # 5
Yeah, I just never thought it would be our job to tell them what to wear. I just figured they would know what daytime wedding attire looked like.
Haha, I love the comment about Pirate attire! We actually made jokes about that and said if we actually did tell them Pirate attire we would have to have a minister talk in Pirate language! Too funny!
Post # 6
I think you said it perfectly with “I just didn’t want our guests wearing jeans or any random casual outfit since we are paying to have a photographer there to take some nice pics!” I think that translates well into “Don’t wear jeans and work boots.” And it was very considerate of you to mention flip flops to the inquiring guests–sure, flip flops don’t necessarily go with more dressy attire, but you give people the option of not having to walk barefoot. It’s not like they can’t change back into dress shoes post-beach time.
I’m not sure why they would think they would have to buy new clothes unless they didn’t own anything other than jeans and tshirts! They are probably just overthinking it. Perhaps your mom can give them a little insight so you have one less thing to worry about?
Post # 7
I would tell them, church attire. You wouldn’t wear a cocktail dress to church or brunch so that way they know not typical wedding attire. But you’re right on target telling them no jeans and t-shirts/ Most people should have these clothes in their closets.
Can you set up a flipflop basket? That way guests don’t have to bring flipflops for the beach and shoes for inside.
Post # 8
i think what you said is fine. we’re telling people dressy casual, whatever that means. if they ask, we’re telling them khakis for boys and sundresses for girls.
Post # 9
I agree. You can tell them what you had in mind on your guests since they asked.
Post # 10
I am a little concerned about this as well. Thanks for posting!
You telling them about the flip-flops is not wrong. It’s only for a short time and then they can put their regular shoes back on. And yes, if they don’t own a nice pair of pants or a dress, then they might have to buy something! I think the term you are looking for is “resort casual” which is used a lot here in AZ to mean no shorts, jeans, bathing suits;) or t-shirts or sneakers but not cocktail attire.
Is it appropriate to put something actually on the invite? Like, “Cocktail Attire”? My Dad’s actually annoyed that he will have to find a suit to wear. He doesn’t ever wear them and I don’t want tuxedos. I have seen other weddings where some of the guests show up in jeans (ugh!) or t-shirts (double-ugh!). Thinking about my guestlist, I am only worried about a couple people, but just wondered if I can put it on the invite or on the website.
Post # 11
Tell them to wear something that’s business casual or something they would wear to church. That means no jeans (something that you could wear to work and not be criticized by HR).
Post # 12
I’m all for terms like “black tie optional” or “dressy casual”. Dressy casual sounds like it probably suits your wedding. Then let people make up their own minds about what that term means to them. If you haven’t sent out your invitations yet, then you can just print “attire: dressy casual”, or “resort casual” on the invites.
Post # 13
Don’t forget, they want to look good in your wedding photos too! That’s probably why they’re asking, although their responses to your answers would make me frustrated too.
Maybe write a little blurb on your wedding website (if you have one) under FAQs? That way you can direct them to that and they can take a look? Then you could have photos there if you really want to.
Post # 14
Thank you all so much for your advice! I used little bits of all your advice. I love the idea of a flip-flop basket and I just might have to do that!
I found a bunch of pics to show them on Flicker by typing in “wedding guests”, “daytime wedding” and “beach wedding”. Then I put them all in a word document and sent the following email:
“So we found and attached some pictures that show some examples of daytime wedding attire. It can also be called dressy casual, church attire, and business casual. Basically it is just dresses, skirts, or nice clothes for the women and slacks or khakis and a button up shirt for the guys (shirt tucked or untucked) – no suits necessary, tie optional. Flip flops are also optional for going on the beach. We are only going to go on the beach for a little while to go take pictures and walk around a little bit so we just thought that you might be more comfortable to change into flip flops – or you can go barefoot while we walk in the sand. Then you can put your nice shoes back on for our brunch. You may also want to bring a shawl, small blanket, or something to cover your shoulders incase it is chilly….but you can put it down for a second when we do the group photos.”
Thanks again for everyone’s help! I know this may have not been the biggest emotional ordeal, but I guess with everything going on even little things like this can be stressful! If anyone needs a word document with pics of dressy casual attire just send me a message!
Post # 15
As far as them complaining if they have to go purchase something to wear- thats not really your problem, a simple sundress, nice slacks and a nice shirt are staple wardrobe attire or so I thought, if they don’t own those thats not your problem. 🙂
I’d tell them a dress (but, not white of course- haha!)/pretty skirt and top for the females but nothing too glitzy/formal and the men could wear nice pants/khakis or possibly khaki shorts and a button down shirt.
JUST TELL THEM “NOT THIS!”. Ha, ha!
Post # 16
Maybe this picture could help them out?