(Closed) Can you set a wedding dress code??

posted 4 years ago in Guests
Post # 2
30388 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

View original reply
brady523 :  Sorry, but unless it is black or white tie (and that involves many things other than clothing), you cannot tell people how to dress on your invitations. An exception would be if the venue has a dress code.

It really doesn’t make any difference though. The people who will wear a shirt and jeans to a wedding (other than to a casual cowboy style wedding) won’t pay attention to your dress code anyhow.

You can include such information on a website if you are using one.

Post # 3
8602 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2015

Unless you’re having a black tie wedding (and it doesn’t sound like they’re tux people anyway) no. Your Fiance can try to suggest suits or khakis/no jeans via word of mouth to the matriarchs typically… but other than that I would just decide to 100% let this go and worry about other stuff. Your side will have suits in their pics and his might have denim. That’s who they are, it’s okay. It will only affect your enjoyment of the wedding if you decide to care about it.

Post # 4
88 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2016

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with stating the dress code on the invite or (if this would be too direct in your social circle) on your website. In fact, as a guest I appreciate having that information. People can still dress how they want, and you might have some guests in jeans, but most people appreciate the guidance. I’ve been to several weddings where, if not for the dress info on the invitation, I would have worn something completely different and felt out of place and not had a good time.

Just keep it polite and general (e.g., “dress: semi-formal” or “casual dress”). I would definitely avoid saying something specific like “no jeans.”  

Post # 5
1239 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 1983

There is no way a dress code on an invitation is polite, other than Black Tie or White Tie. 

Post # 6
632 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2017

I would state it on the website: guests like to know what to expect and a good guide to know what would be appropriate to wear. So unless it’s a white/black tie event, people generally can assume it’s semiformal. But I put it on my site for people like me, who worry or wonder to what to wear. 

Post # 7
38 posts
  • Wedding: April 2017 - Sunset Beach Resort, Siesta Key

I had a fun little map IN our invites that had a drawing of the island we live on (since it’s destination for everyone else.) So on that I added the dress code “beach chic” because I had a lot of people asking! 

I honeslty think it’s ok to put it anywhere you’d like, especially if you are worried that some people will show up in jeans! I always appreciate when it’s stated so I know in advance how to dress. 

Post # 8
4767 posts
Honey bee

Nope. You don’t get to dictate how other adults dress unless they are your employees.

Post # 9
748 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: May 2017

I put it on our website that its cocktail attire. Some people have asked. Some people just assume.

I think there’s confusion sometimes when it’s a backyard wedding or something that would otherwise say “Informal” like a barn.  For the most part, people will default to semi-formal for weddings. Mention it to someone gossipy and let them spread it around. 

Post # 10
612 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: January 2018

Hm… it’s interesting to me that so many people are so certain on a ‘no’ for this one! I’ve been to tons of weddings over the years and as I recall, most of them did inlcude a dress code on the invitation or at least on the wedding website. In fact, I have an invitation sitting in my lap right now that says ‘semi-formal’. It’s listed right under the other wedding details, like this: 




Honestly this is the norm among my family and group of friends. I’m having a nightime winter wedding and I’m planning on putting either ‘formal’ or ‘black tie optional’ on our invites. I think people appreciate being given some direction on what to wear. Most people don’t want to show up to a wedding under or overdressed.

So if I were you, based on what you’ve described, I would put ‘Formal’ or ‘Formal attire suggested’ or something on your invite or at least on the wedding website. Then at least if someone shows up in jeans you’ll know you tried haha!

Post # 11
1593 posts
Bumble bee

I’ve seen cocktail attire on invitations plenty of times. No one thought it was rude. It’s actually helpful to put a dress code so people know what to expect. I don’t get the other comments about how you can’t dictate what other adults wear. No one’s going to get kicked out of the reception for not dressing appropriately, it’s just a thoughtful suggestion to your guests.

Post # 12
524 posts
Busy bee

View original reply
brady523 :  YES!  you can suggest and request, Of course you can’t demand or say get the hell out you tacky guest you.  IDK where all these no’s are coming from, but I’ve seen dress code mentioned in invitations, websites, and I find it helpful. 

People have already asked me about attire, and invitations and website haven’t even gone out yet. 

I’m assuming most will attend ours in cocktail attire, but mentioned semi-formal on our invitations, for that EXACT reason. I’m hoping those that don’t know any better when it comes to proper wedding attire (and yes! I do believe there is such a thing as proper wedding attire), will at the very least up their outfit a notch for the day.


Post # 13
7806 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

If these people wear jeans to formal functions anyways, they’re going to ignore whatever arbitrary dress code you set. Unless there is an ACTUAL dress code requirement – aka black/white tie or a venue requirement, there isnt much you can do.

The topic ‘Can you set a wedding dress code??’ is closed to new replies.

Find Amazing Vendors