(Closed) Suggesting what our guests should (not) wear

posted 10 years ago in Etiquette
Post # 3
80 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: February 2009

Maybe suggesting business casual for the men and sundresses for the ladies? Or perhaps put "dressy summer attire"–if I read that I would think sundresses for the ladies and khakis and button-downs for the men.

And maybe something about no hawaiian shirts 🙂

Post # 4
508 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

depending on the tone of your website, it may be fun to take a casual/fun approach to the question of what to wear.  on our side, we didn’t specify dress, but in the location detail did mention that it does get chilly outside at night and mentioned the ceremony would be on a lawn, so guests should plan footwear accordingly.  it seems obvious on the planning side, but people may not think of it until their stilettos sink into the grass (or sand, perhaps, in your case).

the important thing is to get the tone right – if it comes off as a bossy list of things that aren’t allowed, it may be offputting, but some guidance may be welcome to guests.  I like angiepie’s suggestion of dressy summer attire.  if you are getting married in a tropical destination, you may be able to make a light comment about no hawaiian shirts. 🙂 

Post # 5
27 posts

I recently designed invitations for a friend who is having a beach wedding and we added "Dressy casual attire" to suggest to the guests what to wear.

Post # 6
385 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2008

I passed it along word of mouth… made sure everyone knew my aversion to jeans and/or shorts. We just said collared shirts and khakis and sundresses.

I would say putting it on invitations is kind of tacky, and also setting the tone by your wording of the invitation also sets the tone of the attire of the event. More formal wording shows that it isn’t going to be a casual-casual event… being it on the beach, people should know not to wear heels or suit and tie. 

Post # 7
1245 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: June 2009

"Dressy casual" can mean lots of things to different people. Maybe "Garden party attire?" I don’t know if that would be a little clearer or just more confusing…we’re facing a similar dilemma and also telling people not to wear heels/jackets (we’re getting married on a lawn in the summer), so who knows what people will show up in! I’ve decided to hope most people will dress appropriately and if somebody doesn’t, well…it just makes them look awkward.

Post # 8
235 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: December 1969

You could do a lighthearted “attire” section of your wedding website. I’m picturing a “Glamour” type “Dos and Don’ts of Dressing for a Beach Wedding”.

You could have things like “Do feel comfortable in a fabulous summer sundress”. You could also have “Do remember that there will be photographers” and include a picture of somebody wearing a horrible hawaiian shirt dancing at a wedding. Don’ts could include “Don’t assume a beach wedding means a great tanning opportunity” to discourage people wearing swimsuits, and “Don’t mix high heels and sand” to encourage people to be comfortable. You could make the don’ts section even funnier if it had things like “Don’t forget to wear clothes” or “Don’t floss” with a picture of somebody wearing a thong.

Otherwise, a quick note somewhere that says, “A number of people have inquired about attire. We want our guests to be comfortable, so we suggest khakis and and button downs/polos for the guys and sundresses for the ladies.” That implies that you are being unstuffy by letting people be that casual, but clearly says that shorts/hawaiian shirts is NOT appropriate without being so direct.

Post # 9
67 posts
Worker bee

my gf’s wedding invite said "smart casual"  but she is from NYC and ppl tend to understand dress code cause of all the different functions they attend for business – maybe "smart" may be offensive to some people but it MAY encourage them not to look like idiots and wear "dumb casual"  lol!

Post # 10
282 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2008

I too am having a beach wedding and struggled with the thought of certain people showing up in polo shirts and shorts. While of course it wouldn’t be the end of the world or even come close to ruining the day, I am a stickler about dressing appropriately as a means of showing respect for the occasion.I mean, I don’t even go to church and I shudder to think of people wearing jeans to church! I have a section on our wedding website with some suggestions on what to pack for the long weekend (flip flops, sunscreen, swimsuits, etc) and included this in the list:

"Dressier-than-beach attire for the wedding. We would appreciate no shorts or golf shirts during the ceremony and reception." 

You could always sign all of your guests up for the J Crew catalogue as a hint   

Post # 11
44 posts
  • Wedding: October 2018

I think you should place something on your invitation and website about your dress preference.  We had a Outdoor Wedding and we had "Cocktail Attire" on our website and invitation. I do have to say we did have one person show up in jeans, another person show up in a button up shirt, shorts and flip flops, and another person show up in a polo shirt and khakis. 

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