Deciding On Your Dress Code

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If determining the right dress code for your wedding seems impossible, don’t despair. Rachel Wagner provides a comprehensive guide to help you navigate the perplexing world of dress codes.

White tie
A white-tie wedding is the most formal affair. Held after 6pm, it gives guests the opportunity to channel glamorous celebrities in their red-carpet attire. This is a chance for ladies to go all out with a full ballgown that will transport them to a fairytale wonderland. Embellishments and dripping jewels keep the look fashionable, while perfectly coiffed hair and flawless makeup will complement the dress. Men should don an evening tailcoat and a white shirt, bow tie and waistcoat to look dapper.

Black tie
Worn after 4.30pm, black tie is a step down from white tie, however it maintains an air of elegance. With a choice between a floor-length evening gown and a cocktail dress, ladies can arrive in whichever style they desire. A bright lip or dramatic jewellery will amp up the wow factor of a fabulous dress. A tuxedo is mandatory for gentlemen at a black-tie wedding and a bow tie and cummerbund are the preferred adornments.

Morning suit
Morning suit attire is worn before 4.30pm and again demands a very formal approach. For the girls, a daytime dress is appropriate, provided it exudes grace. Structured frocks are the winner here, while sundresses and maxi dresses should be avoided. For a day wedding, neutral tones and soft pastels look divine. A stylish hat will
complete this look but is not required. Men will look sharp in a tailcoat, waistcoat and striped trousers, with the option of a top hat for that finishing touch.

Lounge Suit
For a semi-formal daytime wedding starting before 5pm, a lounge-suit dress code will take guests from day to night. For this occasion, a pretty day dress or skirt and top may be appropriate. Cocktail dress is preferred if the wedding is set to take place in the evening, however heels will pull together a more relaxed look.
This is an easy one for a man, who can wear a classic suit with a favourite tie.

The evening version of lounge suit, cocktail wear is worn after 5pm. Suited to a myriad of weddings, guests are invited to dress in smart, fashion-forward attire. Sweet tea or knee-length evening dresses are well suited to a cocktail affair but a short and flirty cocktail dress is ideal. Women can have some fun with their outfi ts and a crowd fi lled with gorgeous colours, striking prints and luxurious silk fabrics will look amazing. For a cocktail event, men will once again look perfect in a classic dark suit and tie.

Ideally suited to low-key events such as a relaxed beach or garden wedding, a casual dress code allows guests to dress for both style and comfort. The girls will look lovely in their sundresses and their feet will be spared from pain in flats or wedges. Maxi dresses in vivid hues are a great alternative to fl oaty summer dresses, as
they make a statement, especially when paired with chunky jewellery. Meanwhile, the men will be at ease in dress pants with a button-down shirt or polo. There is no need to fuss with crooked ties or uncomfortable cummerbunds at a casual wedding.


Words: Rachel Wagner
Image: Eye To Eye Photography

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