Post # 1
Fiance and I are having and afternoon wedding (3:00) with a full reception (cocktail hour, dinner, dancing 5-11pm). The ceremony is in a historical building and the reception is at a heritage museum.
I thought the dress code would be pretty straightforward – women in summer dresses, then men in suits (or dress pants, shirts, and ties).
BUT, we were having lunch with FI’s parents and were talking about wedding stuff. His mom said, “People we asking what the dress code was since the wedding is at a park the reception is at a rec center. Business casual?”
To me, business casual is Dockers and polo shirts, which seems a little informal for a wedding. I’m not sure if her comment was meant to be snarky (FI’s parents are unhappy we aren’t getting married in a church). I didn’t know what to say, so I just mumbled, and Fiance just said, “Dressier than business casual, but not formal.”
So I guess my question is: what (if anything) should I do about informing people about the “dress code”? I could put it on the wedding website, but I don’t know what else I would do. Also, I don’t know how to appropriately word it so I don’t come off as insulting.
Post # 3
I know loads of bees say no. But I don’t agree.
Traditional etiquette there’s no need to list a dress code unless it’s something other than “informal” – and by informal I mean lounge suits, dresses for women (below the knee!), and hats (in the UK) – like what you’re going for. But like you’ve experienced no one know what traditional etiquette is! (sorry for the ranting). Will and Kate listed it on their invitations, not just an “umbrella” dress code but specifics. So I think there is no “modern” etiquette reason not to list it on your website.
Can put something as simple as: “Dress code: men – lounge suits and ties; women – dress and hats” (or not on the hat front, I know it’s a UK thing). I personally would rather know what I am expected to wear than turn up in inappropriate attire which would only serve to embarrass myself and the hosts.
ETA: OR you can just put “Dress code: lounge suits” – I know it doesn’t include women but I think we’re smart enough to realise that means “semi” formal (no jeans!)
Post # 4
Sorry for the ranting, it just frustrates me that no one seems to understand what is wedding-appropriate anymore. *sigh* I went to a wedding where someone turned up barefoot…
I went to a “black tie” event and I double checked with the organisers (who didn’t strike me as the black tie type) if it was actually black tie “people will be wearing tuxs right? not just suits?”. When it came to the event it was only my date and one other guy in tuxes. The organizers though black jeans and a shirt and tie was “black tie”, we left shortly afterwards since we felt super awkward.
And for the record my 20 year old brother wears what most would consider smart casual or business casual everyday – although he wears a button down not a polo, polo is super casual for him, he’d go to the beach in a polo lol. To him, it wouldn’t even cross his mind to not wear a suit and tie at a wedding. The gall of people! Lol.
Wow i sound like a snob, sorry again.
Post # 5
There will always be some people who dressed completely inappropriately… Nothing you can do to fix their issues!
But for the rest of people, I think it’s good to have a guideline. If there was any confusion, that clears it up. I’d say semiformal I think based on what you described.
Post # 6
- Wedding: August 2012 - Historic Lougheed House
I think it would be best to write “cocktail attire” on your reception cards.
Post # 7
YES clothing seems to be a big hurdle these days for people… and sadly more often than not there is always someone dressed inappropriately (hard not to notice them… I was a funeral recently, and there were women there in short-short-short dresses that could only be described as “clubby”)
Technically, one isn’t supposed to put the dress code on the Invites… although it is ok to add that info to a Wedding Website if you have one (I think these are an INVALUABLE tool for Brides getting info out to their Wedding Guests… for all those things that not so long ago meant spending eons on the phone with folks having Questions)
If Dress Code is important to you (understandable if one is having their Wedding at an upscale Venue with expensive eats etc) then you might want to indeed put it out there in black & white… either on your Website, or YES even somewhere in the Wedding Invite Package
Being specific seems to help… because sadly as noted above by PP a lot of folks don’t understand what Black Tie – Cocktail Wear – Business Wear – Country Club Casual etc seems to mean
Lol, for the most part it isn’t the women who get this stuff wrong… (with the exception of the girl I noted)… more often it is the men who need more direction… having a description somewhere doesn’t necessarily mean they will read it… but chances are higher that their SOs will and have them comply
Hope this helps,
Post # 8
@Miss Eagle: I agree, you should specify coctail attire. As a wedding guest, i really appreciate when the dress code is listed. I really hate being over or under dressed!
Post # 9
on our reception card we requested cocktail attire. on our website we went into a little more detail (no t-shirts, jeans, or baseball caps; narrow heals may be difficult due to some walking surfaces, etc.).
i went to a wedding that was “business casual” and there were guys in cargo shorts and polos. so not wedding appropriate.
Post # 10
I am writing something out on our website under FAQ and would happily answer the same if asked. Instead of writing something like “cocktail” or “summer tea party” we’re putting more of a description–like “men in suits or dress shirt and tie and women in dresses” just to make it a bit more clear.
Post # 11
We want our guests to be comforable, and being a mature, professional couple, everyone understands business casual…we are having h’ordovres, drinks and desserts ( exactly what the invite said) and stated the attire was informal business casualon the invite. I want people there to help celebrate our day and not be worried about what to wear!
Post # 12
I hadn’t actually thought about dress code at all, because every wedding we attended in the past two years (about ten or so) most, if not all, were dressed appropriately. Some were a bit more casual, some more formal, but no one stuck out.
For whatever reason, the phrase “cocktail attire” escaped me. I have a short FAQ on the website, so I’ll probably just throw it on there. Thanks!
I guess I’m just caught up in FMIL’s comment. I just feel like she thinks our wedding isn’t “as good” as a church wedding.
Post # 13
I would put something on your wedding website like, “Cocktail attire/Sunday best attire is appropriate”. I wouldn’t call it a dress code, to me that just sounds pushy and bossy.
Post # 14
I am already breaking all kinds of etiquette rules given I am having a semi-formal wedding after 6 PM so I figured I might as well go out with a bang! Originally I intended to only put “Semi-formal” on the website (and yes I added a link showing what type of attired that consists of). Howeever, after going to a wedding recently where guests showed up in t-shirts, jeans, and ball caps I decided to display it on the invitation as well for people who may not visit the site. To each his/her own, but at my wedding I want people to look nice as it is a special occasion not just for me and my Fiance, but out families as well.
@ladyartichoke: OMG! Barefoot????
Post # 15
Typically the invitation itself dictates the formality of the wedding although today people seem to be ignorant of that (on purpose or by accident, who knows). I don’t think it hurts to put a simple mention of dress code on the invite along with further elaboration on your wedding website. This way no one is confused.
I indicated formal attire on our invites with very specific details on the website and made it very clear that jeans/khakis were not acceptable and that it was black-tie optional. Despite this a friend’s husband had the nerve to show up in jeans.
Post # 16
We put it in the FAQ section on our website, I listed it there as cocktail attire and gave quick guidelines like “Jackets and ties for men, dressy knee length cocktail dresses for women.” We didn’t have anything written on our invitation.