First thought that hits you after checking "attending" on that RSVP card is always, "oh no, what do I wear?"
The bride and groom may think they have made it clear by stating "semi-formal" or "black-tie optional" on the invitation, but to many of us there is still a large gray area.
Nevertheless, when party throwers include these words on the invitation, they come with some caveats, because you do not want to be the only person in a sundress or a ballgown.
Make sure to pay attention to....the invitation, the time of day, and the venue:
Usually the wedding invitation will say directly "semi-formal" or "black tie" so make sure to read the invitation thoroughly
The next important item on the invitation is the time of day.
If it is a morning or an afternoon wedding and reception then the feel is on the casual side.
No fancy evening gowns or silk gloves involved.
Last but not least, the wedding venue is a huge clue.
Here is a guide to help solidify what is expected...
Casual usually means that any put together look works but just to be on the safe side assume that it is business casual.
Women: Sundress, light summer suit, nice top or sweater set with a skirt and heels.
Men: Khakis or dress pants (no jeans) with a dress shirt or polo, a sport coat is also appropriate.
Lean toward a more formal look for an evening wedding, but opt for light colors and fun fabrics if it's a daytime wedding.
Women: Short dress, preferably a cocktail dress if during the evening, a nice skirt and dress top.
Men: Suit and tie, dark or light depending on the season and time of day.
Formal or Black-tie Optional:
Women: An elegant cocktail dress or a long gown.
Men: A tuxedo is not an absolute requirement but would not be out of place either, or go with a dark suit and tie, regardless of the time of day or season.
This is the most formal wedding dress code, it is safe to assume that this will be an evening affair at an elaborate venue.
Women: A very elegant cocktail dress or a long evening gown.
Men: Tuxedo. If he does not own one personally, he should look into renting one.
Do you have any attire questions that haven't been answered? Write your questions below!