Introduction: Wedding Guest Dress Etiquette guests playing giant jenga outside
By Simon Biffen Photography

Your bestest friend/ family member/ work colleague is getting married and you are over the moon! But it suddenly dawns on you: “what do I wear?” Wearing your Sunday best is no longer the norm for weddings, which can range from quaint rustic affairs, to lavish and extravagant soirees. Have no fear! We are here to decode the various dress codes and help you find the perfect outfit. diy guest book
By Anna Clarke Photography

White Tie

Ladies: A formal, floor length evening gown in a neutral or dark colour. Stay away from white!

Gentlemen: A tuxedo, a long black jacket with tails, white shirt, white bow tie, gloves and evening shoes.

Black Tie

Ladies: A floor length evening gown or a cocktail dress.

Gentlemen: A tuxedo, white shirt, black vest or cummerbund, black bow tie and evening shoes. sean connery as james bond in a tux

Black Tie Optional or Formal

Ladies: A smart dress, long or cocktail, or a dressy suit.

Gentlemen: A tuxedo or a formal dark suit, shirt and tie.

Morning Dress & Suits

Ladies: Daytime cocktail dress that covers shoulders, or alternatively a blazer on top. Hats are optional.

Gentlemen: Morning suit, waistcoat, shirt and tie. groom in chequered suit with an ornate tie pin
By Millie Benbow Photography

Beach Formal

Ladies: a smart sundress, knee-length or maxi.

Gentlemen: a summer suit and shirt, no tie necessary.


Ladies: a cocktail dress or a formal skirt and top.

Gentlemen: A suit and tie, dark or light depending on season and time of day. wedding guest in summery dress at reception
By Anna Clarke Photography


Even though this says casual, jeans and flip-flops are not acceptable.

Ladies: A sundress, skirt and blouse, or trousers and blouse.

Gentlemen: Smart trousers with a shirt or smart polo, loafers or similar styles of shoe.

Festive Attire

Ladies: A bright and fun cocktail dress, paired with statement accessories. 

Gentlemen: A suit, made more fun with a coloured shirt or tie.

Some Extra Tips From Us:

  • While we always encourage you to dress for the weather to be comfortable, never ever show too much flesh, it is against wedding etiquette.
  • We strongly recommend you don’t wear white. Sometimes a cream can be acceptable, but really, the white is the bride’s prerogative.
  • If you are wearing a hat, stick to small and neat. You don’t want to be obstructing the view of everyone behind you!
  • Traditionally daytime celebrations are before 5pm, and evening celebrations commence around 6pm. ladies hats hanging up on pegs at reception
By Fiona Kelly

Happy Dressing!

Browse other similar articles: