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Wedding season is here!!

At my friend Abigail's wedding
At my friend Abigail's wedding
Photo by: Aimee Wood

Spring brings lots of weddings and if you are at that age when everyone you know is getting married, you have a lot of weddings to attend. Weddings are often fun and definitely a joyous occasion but it also brings about the dreaded question ‘what do I wear?’

The first indication of what to wear is the invitation. There are two bits of information on the invitation that tell you the standard of attire you should work with. The first is the time of the wedding – daytime weddings are traditionally more casual than evening weddings. The second is the hint that is often included. This is usually stated on the invitation as ‘casual’ or ‘black-tie’ but there are several other classifications as well.

Here is a simple guide to etiquette in regards to dress code for these weddings:

• ‘Casual’ – Anything goes (to a certain extent). Please at least try to get more dressed up than you would on a normal day, but a tie or formal gown is not necessary.

• ‘Lounge Suit’ – This is referencing a business or day suit for men and a short dress for women. This could also be referred to as ‘Informal Daytime’ or ‘Semi-Formal Daytime or Evening’

• ‘Cocktail’ – Women should wear a short dress but a significant notch up from what you would wear to the office. Men should wear a suit for this type of event.

• ‘Black-tie/Formal’ – Tuxedo’s for men and long gowns for women are the general rule for these events.

• ‘Morning Coat/Morning Dress’ – Men wear tuxedos with tails and women wear long formal gowns and often wear gloves.

• ‘White-tie’ – This is the ultimate in formal attire. Tuxedo with white tie, vest and shirt for men and long formal gowns for women. Also add gloves, furs, diamonds, etc. to step it up a little more.

In addition to these simple guidelines, there are also many other do’s and don’t’s when it comes to weddings. Here are some helpful hints as to the general etiquette of wedding fashion:

• NEVER (and I really mean never) wear white to a wedding! This is the brides day and no one should be in white but her. I would even stay away from cream and off-white to be safe.

• Don’t show too much cleavage or leg. Even if you may be hitting the club after the wedding, this is just not appropriate. Trust me – people will be talking about you and NOT in a good way.

As a general rule – it is better to be over-dressed than under-dressed. So if you are unclear about the dress code, first ask around to others attending the wedding and if that yields no result, go one step above what you feel the dress code is.

For more information on this or other articles, feel free to contact Amanda at


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