Your Complete Cheat Sheet to Wedding Dress Codes

When you reach a certain age, all of a sudden you’ll have a social calendar chock-full of weddings. Weddings with very specific dress codes, mind you. How’s a girl to navigate the difference between black tie optional and dressy casual, formal and semiformal? With our handy guide, naturally.

Scroll through to find out how to decode every dress code, and never worry that you’re overdressed or underdressed for a wedding again.

White tie = a formal, full-length ball gown


Vanessa Jackman

Feel free to accessorize with statement jewellery, and opt for ultra-glamorous hair.

Black tie = a very fancy cocktail dress or a long evening gown


Gary Pepper Girl

This dress code usually indicates an evening affair, so don’t be afraid to pick an elegant dress.

Formal/Black tie optional = a long dress or a formal knee-length dress


Ring My Bell

Just think of this as black tie light.

Semiformal/Dressy casual = a cocktail dress or dressy separates


Stockholm Street Style

Try an above-the-knee dress (not cotton or polyester) or wide-leg silk pants paired with an embellished evening top.

Casual = a sundress, polished jumpsuit, or nice separates


Tuula Vintage

Even though the invite says casual, avoid denim and shorts!

Beach attire = a breezy dress at knee-length or longer



Accessorize with dressy sandals!

Tibi Isis Strappy Long Dress ($473)

Do you have a go-to outfit for weddings? What is it? Let us know in the comments below!