Wedding Dress Codes Explained

There comes a time in your life where your entire newsfeed seems to be entirely engagement announcements. Well the one thing you can be assured is that if there are engagements, the weddings will follow and it’s better if you are prepared rather than being caught off guard. Imagine, the elegant invitation arrives in the mail, you open it and see the details and at the bottom you  see it- the dress code. Sometimes it can be something very simple but other might leave you scratching your head. Fear not, we have broken it down for you.

White tie

Firstly, we have white tie formal, this is the most formal of formal. It basically means you have to be at your most formal attire. If you are confused as to what that it, think Downton abbey dinners. The whole get up includes white bowtie, dress shirt, black tuxedo, and black shoes for evening affairs and morning suits for daytime ones. I might not be the most comfortable option to wear but if the bride demands it, best to not look a fool.

Black tie

The next level of formal on the ladder is black-tie. This means that a tuxedo is mandatory and so is a white dress shirt and black shoes. But here you have the option of a black bow tie. However, there might be a slim chance that you can actually substitute the tux with a black suit and black bowtie.

Black-tie optional or formal

Then we have the formal option. This means that you have the option of wearing a tuxedo but yo can opt not to. Instead a dark coloured suit will do for an evening event or for a day time event, a suit in a light colour might be the best option.


Then we have the casual option which indicates a more relaxed and informal affair. Though  a forewarning, you cannot actually go dressed in casual wear. You must dress up to certain limit. Dress pants, a dress shirt and appropriate leather shoes are a must. A sweater vest, a jacket or a tie  is not a necessity but would not be inappropriate.

Ethnic or traditional

If the wedding invite does not indicate the dress code but has a traditional wedding such a Hindu, Muslim or Korean, the appropriate dress code would be formal wear. A dark suit with a dress shirt, tie and leather shoes cannot go wrong. A light coloured suit with a sombre tie and appropriate leather shoes, if for a day time affair.

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