Dress codes for your wedding

Weddings come in all budgets and styles, and dress codes. To determine the right dress code, it's best to take a few things into account. The theme, the location, the time and the weather will influence the choice of clothing for your guests. To make sure that your guests are dressed appropriately, a rule on the invitation is a good way to announce the dress code. From formal to casual, there is something for everyone.

Photo (top) by Louis David 

White tie

The most formal and strict form is the white tie. Think of an evening at a royal ball. If this dress code is right for your wedding, it means you will have a very formal theme, an impressive venue and not least a reception that starts in the evening or even later. Ladies are expected to wear a floor-length evening gown and men a dinner jacket with white shirt, waistcoat and bow tie. Optionally, it is not uncommon to add gloves and hats as accessories. This is the strictest dress code for your guests.

Black tie

A little less formal and more accessible is the black tie. Inspiration for this dress code can mainly be found on the glamorous red carpet events. Black tie is suitable for all seasons and as a rule these receptions start before 18h00. Women have the choice between a floor-length dress or a cocktail dress. Men are expected to wear a dinner jacket with a black bow tie, a waistcoat and a belly band.

Black tie optional

If the look of the guests is less uniform, but still formal, this option might be something for you. On the invitation you can announce it as black tie optional or formal. This is one of the most popular dress codes and is appropriate for evening weddings as well as late afternoon parties. Women can choose between a floor-length or cocktail dress, dressy separates or even a suit. Men have the choice between a dinner jacket or a tailored suit with tie.


This dress code is disguised under different headings. You'll also come across them as dressy casual or cocktail. This dress code is suitable for most weddings. Guests consider when exactly the wedding will take place and choose the right colour for their attire accordingly. Women can opt for a cocktail or party dress. Outfits that are too short or seem appropriate for a night out are best avoided. A skirt and top are allowed. Men should wear a suit and tie or a nice shirt.

Beach formal

If you're getting married on the beach, but you don't want your guests to arrive in tank tops and flip flops, then there's beach formal. Guests should dress according to the weather, the sun and the sand, but still show respect for the event. Women can wear nice summer dresses with sandals, men for example a linen jacket with shirt and khaki trousers. There are also nice suite clothes for this style. 


If you prefer to keep it casual, you should probably organise a very relaxed party, outdoors or on the beach for example. Guests are allowed to make their own choice in wardrobe, but the general rules still apply: no jeans or shorts. Although casual, guests still want to dress to impress. Women opt for a dress or trousers with a top, while men can wear a polo shirt or shirt with buttons with khaki trousers or a variation on this style.

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