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

posted 6 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 31
Member
851 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

For dress codes, you can encourage and not enforce.  I have never heard of adding a dress code on an invitation to be rude though.  How else are guests to know if you’re having a casual or white-tie wedding?  

That being said, I didn’t add a dress code to my invitations simply because I forgot.  We had a couple of guests ask about it so we added it to our wedding website, but all guests figured it would be semi-formal based on the venue.

Post # 32
Member
826 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2015

It is never okay.  Trust them to be adults and know how to properly dress themselves.

Post # 33
Member
169 posts
Blushing bee

View original reply
EMDEsq:  Etiquette guidelines are fine and dandy.

But if I were you I would ignore the pearl clutchers and put some wording on the invitation.

Even if this happens to you, you’ll at least know you tried:

 

 

Post # 34
Member
1052 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

I’ve never heard that it’s rude to specify the dress code somewhere on an invitation or in another enclosure i.e. details card or whatever.  Unless the dress code is super obvious, I think it’s rude NOT to!

  • This reply was modified 6 years, 4 months ago by pickles325.
Post # 35
Member
1742 posts
Bumble bee

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pickles325:  It is traditionally considered rude because if you put the dress code on the invitation you insult your guests by presuming that they are unaware of how to dress (because a guest should be able to tell how to dress for an event based on the time of day, the venue, and other indicators), and it can also be seen as controlling/dictating what other adults should do.

I think that including anything other than White tie or Black tie on an invitation is a bit precious, especially if it’s some made-up dress code like “dressy beachy” or some such, but it would only be cause for a momentary chuckle and then I’d move on with my life.  I would only think “that’s incredibly rude” if the couple were trying to make guests wear specific colors or specific items of clothing, which I do not believe is ever acceptable.

Post # 36
Member
1099 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2014

View original reply
EMDEsq:  I also don’t really see why it would be considered rude to put a dress code on the invitation. In fact, I think it can be quite helpful for your guests although, as others have said, they may not pay as much attention to it as they should.

I think a few words such as ‘formal attire’ is fine. I think putting a full on sentence, blurb, or how to guide with example pictures is patronising – maybe that’s what people are thinking about when they object to mentioning a dress code. Your idea sounds good to me!

Post # 37
Member
258 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

Not rude at all.  There is nothing wrong with including “formal reception” or “black tie suggested” or something similar.  You would see this on a formal gala (for a charity etc) so no reason not to indicate for a wedding.  Go for it.

Post # 38
Member
1002 posts
Bumble bee

Rude, schmude. People want to know and with the trend towards super casual clothes, I wouldn’t risk it. After all, Pinterest shows grooms and groomsmen in jeans and bridesmaids in cowboy boots. We’ve gotten real slack in dress codes in the USA. Hedge your bet.

Post # 39
Member
1526 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: July 2016

I wouldn’t put it on the invitation if it’s only a few people you’re worried about.  Just have your fiance talk to them!

However, I’m someone who gets pretty annoyed by dress codes that aren’t “correct.”  Like, my job says we need to wear business dress to work every day, which I interpret to mean a suit (or at least a jacket).  But it’s really business casual.  No one wears a suit.  

“Formal” is pretty vague.  I’d definitely go with “cocktail” if I was going to put anything.  When I think about formal, I think high school/sorority “formals,” where most people get really dressed up, often in floor-length gowns.  But at the same time, some people might interpret “semi-formal” as a sundress or that dress and leggings in the picture above!  (Which wouldn’t necessarily be “wrong,” because the descriptions are so vague, people might be thinking they’re doing the right thing!)  Basically, I just think specifying will cause people to be even more self-conscious about their choices. This may be overly optimistic, but I think most people can generally figure out appropriate attire based on time of day, type of location, invitation style, bride and groom style, etc. 

I just went to a wedding a few weeks ago, and multiple guests changed into jeans or khaki shorts after the ceremony.  I was shocked!  I had never seen that before!  

Post # 40
Member
1786 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: August 2016

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JenGirl:  I’m hoping that writing cocktail attire will keep people from wearing club dresses like they are going out for a bachelorette party instead of wedding but im not sure it will help. My wedding isn’t black tie so i can’t say formal attire. maybe semi formal but even then my wedding is all outside so under a tent so cocktail seemed a little better. what do you think guests will understand beter?

Post # 41
Member
452 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: August 2015

Wow i had no idea it wasnt acceptable to do this. EVERY invitation I’ve received for a wedding had a dress code. 

If there isnt one, how are people expected to know whats appropriate? 

Just put it on… then there is no confusion. 

Post # 42
Member
2704 posts
Sugar bee

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jb2015:  same. I’m guessing it’s a regional thing

Post # 43
Member
7111 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: August 2013

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beautyofdreams:  I think of cocktail dresses as short semi-dressy dresses. Pretty similar to club dresses but slightly more formal. Here are some images that come up on a basic google image search of “cocktail dress”

What do you see as the difference between club dresses and cocktail dresses? Personally, I’d just not say anything on the invitation, since it sounds like your wedding will not be formal. You could mention cocktail dresses on the website (that’s where I put attire recommendations). Also if you’re not having a hard floor installed under the tent, I would recommend letting women know that it’s going to be on grass so they don’t wear high heels. 

 

Post # 44
Member
799 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

How is it rude to specify the attire? I don’t think I’ve ever recieved a wedding invitation that did not specify what to wear. I even had one wedding that was “white tie” which I had to google to figure out what that meant! 

Post # 45
Member
238 posts
Helper bee

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EMDEsq:  YES IT SHOULD BE OK. I never grew up with having a dress code to an event as rude. What. It doesn’t even make sense to me on why that would be rude. I always grew up with invitations to weddings/formal dinners/formal parties stating dress code unless it’s a house party or something, but my family would always dress the best we can, because my mum taught us ‘it is a respect to the host’.

You people be cray to be thinking that stating a dress code is rude.

Wouldn’t want people to be dressing up in a clearly old polo tee and jeans to a wedding. I’ve seen it happened, it was horrid to me that people actually do that.

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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