(Closed) Dress Code Breakdown

posted 4 years ago in Guests
Post # 31
Member
290 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2018

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dobby98 :  The one I wore jeans to was in a private room at an Italian restaurant comparable to Olive Garden. Lots of people sitting at tables eating their dinner were wearing jeans. In fact, wearing a dress in the main dining room would have probably been too fancy. So I did need clarification and wished I had gotten it! Because if everyone else was in jeans and I was in a dress I would have felt just as awkward 🙁 I guess I just don’t get invited to enough things to inherently know what to wear.

Post # 32
Member
3106 posts
Sugar bee

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sadieblue :  You obviously don’t like the majority of the replies you’ve received, but they do come from a common-sense viewpoint, as well as etiquette. Let’s not forget that etiquette, at its core, has to do with concern for the wellbeing and comfort of others, as well as respect. It does not limit itself to table manners or what some regard as “stuffy” rules. However “unconventional” people might believe themselves to be, they are not exempt from what is widely considered civil behavior.

Having said that, people are perfectly capable of having a pretty good idea of the formality of an event, if not by the invitation, by the venue the hosts have chosen. A five-star hotel? That’s one level of formality. A museum as venue? That’s another level of formality. And so forth. Within all those levels, people choose what to wear, according to their individual style. If I received an invitation that encouraged me to wear glitzy/blingy clothes, I wouldn’t, because that is not my style. I would respect the level of formality of the event, and dress within the style that I personally prefer. If many of your guests are “artsy”, they probably won’t need instructions to wear colorful looks. For those who aren’t, they will wear whatever they feel is their own style. Through your choice of venue, you got to choose the formality of your wedding. You don’t get to choose the style of your guests.

Post # 33
Member
36 posts
Newbee

My fiancé and I both love to dress up (as does his family) but my family is all very casual. I attended a family wedding a few summers ago where people wore jeans/sweatshirts/flip flops…it was not intended to be a casual wedding. I will be including dress code on my wedding website because I DON’T trust my guests to inherently understand proper attire for my wedding. Maybe this is a faux pas but I want to try for a formal event…maybe some people will miss the mark but assuredly fewer will than if I said nothing. 

I recently received an invite to a very wealthy ceo/billionaire’s wedding weekend and there was a dress code listed for every wedding event on the invitation (none were black tie). So maybe this is regional or maybe this etiquette is evolving slightly?

Only you know your family, friends and guests, therefore only you can determine which etiquette rules you should follow by the book and which you may deviate from a bit.

Post # 34
Member
6119 posts
Bee Keeper

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sadieblue :  I disagree with most on here. I say it’s ok and I know I appreciate a dress code. I think cocktail would be good enough to include. And people know you so they likely knoe a little color is ok. ☺

Post # 35
Member
828 posts
Busy bee

I’m not hard against putting a dress code on the website. Don’t put it on the invite. But “garden cocktail” and “creative cocktail” is bizarre. If I don’t know what that means then it literally defeats the point of giving dress code guidance. I shouldn’t feel pressured to wear something “colorful” to your wedding. Even if that’s whst you like it may not be what I like. 

Post # 36
Member
3707 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: July 2018

The problem is, if you’re too vague (“creative cocktail”), you will have everyone second guessing whether their outfit fits the bill. What the hell is creative cocktail? Am I creative enough?

If you’re too specific (“cocktail attire but with lots of color and fun!”), you’re being pretty demanding. Some people LIKE to wear little black dresses and won’t love to be told to wear a specific palette of color, as if they are a prop in your wedding. 

If you must, I would just recommend cocktail attire and leave it at that. 

(Also, not sure why you’re asking for advice if you don’t want to hear any of it??)

Post # 37
Member
875 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2017

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beachbride2018 :  what is beach formal? Is it a  $200 evening gown with a tropical print or a $20 maxi dress from target?

Dress codes like these are not helpful and actually make it more difficult for guests IMO

Post # 38
Member
828 posts
Busy bee

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emsie :  I agree we’re making up dress codes now. Beach formal, creative cocktail is not a thing. 

Post # 39
Member
1441 posts
Bumble bee

The last wedding I went to said something about formal on the website.  Even that prompted confusion amongtst several people.  Does that mean long gown?  Can I wear a sequined cocktail knee-length dress? How ‘formal’ is formal?  People arrived wearing nice clothes.  Several women in long gowns, many cocktail type dresses, but a few sundresses as well, some wore nice pants and jackets.  Most men wore suits/coats but a few wore blazers and khaikis. 

I think anything other than “black tie” or “casual” ends up being confusing and open to interpretation to the guest to some degree.    

Post # 40
Member
13549 posts
Honey Beekeeper

I agree with all those who said it is improper to dictate dress code on a wedding invitation. Even if no one you personally know would be offended, and even if it’s something you’ve seen done elsewhere, it doesn’t make it correct. 

Only black or white tie is appropriate to put on a wedding invitation. There is no such thing as most of those creative dress codes, and even if there were, they’d be a burden and imposition on guests. 

The common sense default for any wedding is cocktail attire. The one and only time it is acceptable to say something is when there is some sort of venue dress code. Otherwise location and time of day will be all the guide anyone needs. 

Post # 41
Member
1312 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2019

If I see “creative cocktail dress code” on an invitation, I’m coming dressed as a banana dacqueri.  That’s all the time I have to put into decoding that.

Post # 42
Member
2761 posts
Sugar bee

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sadieblue :  I’ve been invited to a wedding that had the dress code listed as “Festive” (on the website, not the invitation). That might convey what you intended. 

I also appreciate having a dress code guideline of some kind. I left it off the invite because of the etiquette suggestions, but I did include it on our website, which I think is a good middle ground. 

Post # 43
Member
538 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: June 2012

Hi. First you came here to ask a question as someone unfamiliar with weddings and invitations. When you received very well thought out answers from experienced wedding-attendees you call them passive aggressive and condescending.  Okay. I think you would of had more success if you had asked the question like this- “I plan on putting a cutesy dress code term on my invitations. Please let me know how awesome that is.”

My concern is your creative friends will get a term like “creative cocktail” or  “colorful garden party”, roll their eyes  and start asking their friends “what is she talking about? Should I wear a fun hat? A feather boa? Is my summery cocktail dress I wear to outdoor hot weather ceremonies not fun enough?”

I think it’s your wedding and if you want to put cute dress code terms on your invite that’s fine! There is just fair warning here from everyone that you’re going to create confusion and you should prepare for that.

Post # 44
Member
515 posts
Busy bee

I love it how bees are critising putting a dress code on a wedding invite. The Duke & Duchess of Cambridge put “uniform, morning dress or lounge suit” on their wedding invites under “dress”. I don’t think anyone knows more about etiquette than the royals. They’d hardly commit a faux pas. 

So if someone wants to add dress code to  their invites then go right ahead. 

Post # 45
Member
7903 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

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sadieblue :  Sorry, Bee, it is considered poor etiquette for mere Americans to tell people what to wear unless it is black/white tie. Period. If anyone has a question they will ask.

Your guests will be able to determine from the formality (or lack of formality of) your invitation, the time of day, setting of your ceremony, and the setting for your reception what to wear. 

You may disagree, but check the number of up votes on the posts with which you are disagreeing. Nobody is trying to be difficult or mean, just trying to help you avoid a faux pas. Do you want to look back at your own wedding invitation in ten years and cringe at your failure to listen to those with more experience? If you’re cool with that write whatever you want.

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