(Closed) Once and for all: Is it OK to put a Dress Code on the Wedding Invitation??

posted 6 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 16
Member
13555 posts
Honey Beekeeper

No, it’s definitely not correct, if that is what you are asking. The only designation that is, is “black tie” which describes the formality of the event. Otherwise, adults should not be considered unable to dress themselves for a wedding.

Word of mouth if people ask is really the only acceptable way to go. An exception would be a place that dictates dress such as a club. On that case, you could always include the info on a website or separate mailing. 

 

 

Post # 17
Member
163 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: July 2015

I did it, and I don’t think it’s rude at all! It’s useful information to the guests imo, and as a guest I wouldn’t like to feel ashamed of what I’m wearing specially because that happened once already. lol!

Here’s how the front page of my invitation looks like and the dress code was written there according to the theme of the invitation itself (in the last paragraph before the RSVP deadline paragraph)  -maybe not too useful to you since I went with an unusual invitation style – but my point is, you could maybe find a subtle-ish way of suggesting the dress code in yours if you think it would be rude to do so! I could probably have been even more subtle with mine but since I never thought it was rude I never worried too much about it. 

Post # 18
Member
315 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2016

Seriously, who wears jeans to the wedding? That is rude regardless of whether there is dress code specified or not. And please don’t mention the money argument – I come from Eastern Europe, far poorer country than US and I’ve never seen anyone in flip flops at the wedding. No one would even wear it to the church on Sunday. 

Post # 19
Member
876 posts
Busy bee

View original reply
EMDEsq:  The only time that dress codes seem to appear on wedidng invitations are when they are black tie or black tie optional. Since you’re having an evening wedidng in a ballroom, this might be your best bet since any decent guest would read this and realize that anything other than a suit/tux for men and gown/very dressed up cocktail attir for women would be the way to go. Sadly, some people are just daft when it comes to weddings..why anyone would wear jeans or sneakers ot just beyond me.

Post # 20
Member
924 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: November 2018

I had a friend’s +1 attend a wedding in jeans (no tie or jacket, just dress shirt) for our best friend – it was DEFINITELY formal and this was innapropriate. At the same wedding one of the groomsmens wives wore a white dress

At my uncle’s wedding, one of my aunt’s friends wore a backless club dress and light up stripper heels (no i’m not kidding) 

I don’t think there’s anything wrong with providing some direction, especially if you have a complicated venue (ex: getting married outside? suggest women wear flats or platforms so they don’t sink. Cocktail reception? suggest semi formal or cocktail attire)

I’m always relieved when I get some guidance so i dont have to stare at my closet in confusion before an event that is “vintage, in a barn followed by formal dinner” 

Post # 21
Member
13555 posts
Honey Beekeeper

Also, if someone does show up inappropriately dressed, it’s a reflection on them, not you. You can’t control or dictate to other people. 

Post # 22
Member
417 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

I put “Dress Code: Formal.” My family knows to dress formal for my wedding anyway, my FI’s family.. some might need a few clues.

Post # 23
Member
1703 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

I don’t care if it’s “proper” etiquette. I absolutely love it when people put the level of formality. I default to cocktail attire for weddings, but it’s nice to know!

Post # 24
Member
1786 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2015

We included dress code on our invitation, along with “adults only” and our website. No complaints from anyone! This is what it looked like for reference:

Post # 25
Member
1256 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

In my country I think it’s perfectly fine. How else are people supposed to know what level of formality to dress with? I went to a wedding where the dresscode was “a nice dress” and it drove me mad 😛

Post # 26
Member
9121 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper

unless it’s black or white tie I wouldn’t put it on the invitation but definitely put it on the wedding website if you think people need some help or if there are certain venue requirements/suggestions (i.e. the country club requires a tie, most of the party will be on grass and you want to warn the ladies to wear wedges instead of stilettos). If you’re mostly worried about your fiance’s college buddies he can tell them “hey guys, do me a favor and bust out the interview suit instead of your Knicks jersey for the night?” for really good friends that should be no big deal. 

Post # 27
Member
2452 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

View original reply
EMDEsq:  My Fiance tends to think putting on a clean t-shirt is dressing up too lol. Like if we’re going out to dinner he makes sure his clothes are clean and don’t have visible holes in them and that’s as far as it goes. But when going to a wedding he wears a full suit. I think a lot of guys aren’t into getting dressed up for low-key occassions but most (hopefully) know well enough to not show up to a formal wedding in jeans and flip flops. If you’re that worried about certain friends I would just have your Fiance talk to them. If they’re good friends he can just say “Hey guys… make sure you actually shower that day and wear something nice for once haha they’re will be some single chicks there you may want to impress!” in a light hearted, joking manner. If you put it on the invitation you might offend some of the other guests who are well aware of how to dress appropriately.

As a side note: I went to a wedding once where the GROOM changed out of his tux (his CAMOFLAUGE tux, btw) right after the ceremony and wore his work boots (mud and all), jeans, and ‘tuxedo t-shirt’ to his reception… which was a fairl formal affair where the bride wore a full ballgown. But I’ve been to other weddings where this groom attended as a guest and he wore a button down shirt with khakis (still not completely appropriate but not picture-ruining).

Post # 28
Member
47 posts
Newbee
  • Wedding: August 2017

Yes.  Especially if the venue has a dress code.

Post # 29
Member
60 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

View original reply
EMDEsq:  If I got an invitation that said “formal attire,” I would interpret that to mean evening formal, so a floor-length formal gown.  I think what you want is “cocktail attire.”

Post # 30
Member
6216 posts
Bee Keeper

View original reply
tyene:  I resent the implication that it’s “rude” to wear jeans no matter what if the event is a wedding – it’s too broad a generalization.  I fully expect to see jeans at my wedding next weekend and I wore them to my cousin’s a few years ago.  Know why?  Because we both said to!  What’s rude is wearing them when you know the event (any event) is more formal than that.

To respond to the actual question in this thread, you can absolutely state a general preference for formality – how else will people know?  What you can’t do is say “you must wear a swing dress” or “renaissance era clothing only.”  

The topic ‘Once and for all: Is it OK to put a Dress Code on the Wedding Invitation??’ is closed to new replies.

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