How to word dress attire on wedding invitations

Written by rochelle connery
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How to word dress attire on wedding invitations
Specify appropriate wedding attire in your wedding invitations (wedding celebration image by Warren Millar from

Ensure that your guests wear appropriate wedding attire to your big day by defining dress formality in the invitations. There are several wedding attire classifications that give guests an idea of how casual or formal they must dress for your wedding, so be as specific as possible to take the guess work out of selecting the proper outfit. The more accurately you word the dress attire, the more likely your guests will be to satisfy your request. The style you specify will help guests determine whether to wear dresses or slacks to your big event.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


  1. 1

    Specify "Casual Dress" for a laid-back outdoor wedding or informal reception. For gentlemen, this entails wearing a button-down dress shirt or polo shirt and nice slacks. Ladies should consider a sundress or dressy slacks with a classy blouse. According to the Wedding Channel, ultra-casual clothing, such as jeans, T-shirts and tennis shoes, is not appropriate.

  2. 2

    Denote "Semiformal" or "Dressy Casual" attire for a classier touch. Your guests shouldn't feel as though they need to purchase a new outfit, but they should rise to the occasion by wearing darker colours and less casual clothing. Men should consider wearing a suit and tie, while women should choose a dress or nice shirt and skirt.

  3. 3

    Indicate "Beach Wedding Attire" or "Beach Formal" for a seaside wedding with an elegant touch. Expect guests to wear dressy clothing, such as khaki linen or white cotton trousers and a button-down top for guys and a cocktail dress or elegant sundress for ladies. According to, guests can wear anything they'd ordinarily wear to a nice restaurant at a beach wedding.

  4. 4

    Request "Black Tie Optional" or "Formal" attire for a decidedly classy wedding. This tells male guests to wear a dark suit or black tuxedo and asks women to wear a long dress, pantsuit or cocktail dress.

  5. 5

    Stipulate the "Black Tie" classification for a very formal wedding. For this type of event, men must wear a black tuxedo with a bow tie (regular suits are not acceptable), while women should select an evening gown or fancy cocktail dress. Wearing dark or neutral colours is best for a black tie optional or formal event, according to

  6. 6

    Instruct guests to wear their most formal clothing by specifying "White Tie" wedding attire. Men should wear a tuxedo, and women should dress in a floor-length evening gown, according to the Wedding Channel.

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