(Closed) What is the correct wording for the type of attire i want my guests to wear?

posted 6 years ago in Guests
Post # 2
Member
30393 posts
Honey Beekeeper
  • Wedding: November 1999

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a11ieny:  Where are you planning on conveying your wishes?

It is very impolite to include any dress code other than black tie on the invitation itself. The presumption is that adults do not need to be told how to dress.

If you are planning on including it on your website, you could call it semi formal or cocktail attire.

Post # 3
Member
265 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2002

Hmmm,  traditional wedding attire to compliment our historic and beautiful location? ??

Post # 4
Member
2063 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2010

Yeahhhh…There really isn’t a way to do what you want to do in a polite fashion. 

Extremely technically, it isn’t “proper” to even write “black tie” or “white tie” on the invite because it’s poor etiquette to dictate guests’ attire. However, since it’s become a little more customary to do so, even Miss Post begrudgingly allows “Black tie” on the invitation, but only “if necessary.” So if you’re prepared to do black or white tie, then fine. 

What you are talking about, however, is not really a dress code–you just want your guests to “look nice.” And I hate saying this, but there’s really no way to politely put “look nice for my wedding” in your invitation, no matter how you word it. And yes, some people have used “cocktail attire” or “semi-formal attire” (which is kind of pushing it), but both of those indications are relatively nebulous for a lot of guests (can ladies wear pants for “semi-formal”? Can my dress be in eyelet? etc. etc.) and I would say, still kind of not apporpriate for your invitation. 

I think that your best bet is to put this information on your website, in lieu of your invite, and to use wording like “cocktail attire” or something like that. But use a light touch. 

Post # 5
Member
338 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2016

Personally, I would just let your guests figure it out themselves. If I was invited to a wedding with those details, I wouldnt turn up in jeans and t shirt. It’s a wedding and I would know that wouldn’t be inappropriate.

I’m sure people will be able to determine that they still need to dress up considering they know it is a wedding. 

Post # 6
Member
2015 posts
Buzzing bee

I’d call it dressy casual but I’m not sure you need it. People aren’t fond of being told how to dress in general, and even fewer people follow it. You communicate style mostly with your invitation and wedding website. The more formal those are the more likely people are to translate your wedding as a dressy occassion rather than a hoe down. Are you in an area or are your guests from areas where they’re likely to wear cowboots and jeans? Otherwise, I’m not sure you really have to worry about the country piece.

Post # 9
Member
890 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2010

Most people dress up nicely for a wedding.  The people who are going to wear jeans and sneakers, will wear them regardless of what you put on the invitation – and it really doesn’t matter if someone wears jeans…..  Unless you want people to try to dress for a theme like medieval or like star wars, I wouldn’t put anything.  Plus, how people dress won’t affect the romantic feel of the wedding, your decorations and music will.  I honestly don’t remember what ANYBODY except like my parents, wore to my wedding.

Post # 10
Member
890 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: February 2010

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a11ieny:  But what does traditional wedding attire even mean to most people?  Long ballgowns?

Post # 11
Hostess
4584 posts
Honey bee
  • Wedding: November 2016

 

a11ieny:  I wouldn’t specify attire at all unless it was Black or White Tie.  My best friend had her wedding on a gorgeous farm and because it was a Saturday evening wedding, everyone knew to dress in cocktail/semi-formal attire.  You convey the formality with your wedding day, time, and invites.  I wouldn’t be offended if I saw “semi-formal attire” on the couple’s wedding website, but from responses I’ve seen on this site, I presume that some people would feel otherwise.  All weddings to me are presumed semi-formal/cocktail unless stated otherwise.

Post # 12
Member
328 posts
Helper bee

Call it semi-formal and put it on your wedding website– that way anyone who wants to know can find it and easily get a basic idea of what they should wear.

Post # 14
Member
876 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2016

View original reply
a11ieny:  One of my favorite things I’ve seen on the bee is doing a pseudo FAQs page on your wedding website, and answer some questions people might ask. It’s a nice way to slip in the facts without seeming demanding.

Also, I love the time old traditon of telling your family and bridal party to spread the word.

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