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How to Include a Dress Code on a Wedding Invitation
Casual? Cocktail? Semi-formal? Black tie? Weddings can be stressful enough without having to worry about what your guests are wearing! Including the dress code on your wedding invitations is an easy way to let your guests know what's expected and helps ensure everyone is properly attired for your event. State the dress code clearly on the invitations to avoid any confusion and use a friendly tone to get your point across.
Including Dress Code Information on the Paper Invitation
Include your dress code in the corner copy of your invitation.The corner copy (at the right or center of the bottom of your invitation) is a great place to include your dress code. Writing on the paper invitation will ensure that your guests don’t miss it.
- This is a great option if your ceremony and reception are in the same place.
Include the dress code on the reception card, if you send one.If your ceremony and reception are in different locations, include the dress code on both the invitation and the reception card. That way, there's no confusion! This can also be helpful if your wedding and reception don't have the same dress code.
- For example, if your wedding is black tie but your reception is casual, mentioning that on the reception card lets your guests know they can change into more comfortable clothing for the reception if they want to.
Write your dress code on an enclosure card, alternatively.Including a simple enclosure card that accompanies your wedding invitation is a great way to let guests know about important guidelines, especially if your wedding invitation design doesn't easily accommodate extra information about the dress code.
- If your wedding is outdoors during winter, for example, you could remind guests here that they’ll want to bring warm layers and appropriate footwear.
- You don't need to include the dress code on both the invitation and the enclosure card, just make sure it's clearly stated on one or the other.
Use straightforward wording to get your point across.Include brief, straightforward phrasing like “black tie event” or “semi-formal” for your guests. Your guests can then research those terms for specifications if they’re not familiar with different dress codes, or you can include brief details next to the dress code. Wording for dress codes might be:
- Black tie (tuxedos and formal gowns)
- Formal, black tie optional (suit and tie and dresses)
- Semi-formal (suit and tie and cocktail dresses)
- Cocktail attire (suits and party dresses)
- Beach or garden party attire (summer suits and summer dresses)
- Casual (button down shirts and slacks and summer dresses or skirts)
Include dress code information on the FAQ page of your wedding website.Be sure to include the website address on your wedding invitation so that your guests know to check the website out. On the FAQ page of the website, you can include a simple question like, “What will I wear?” and answer it for your guests with several examples and outfit ideas.
Reflecting the Dress Code on the Invitation Itself
Design a formal invitation to reflect a formal dress code.Your physical wedding invitations themselves can give clues about your preferred dress code. Design a classy black and white invitation with calligraphy if you want to encourage a formal dress code, for example.
Create a fun, playful invitation to showcase a more casual event.A loopy font on a bright-colored, square invitation reflects a more casual dress code.Play with color and font until you reach the desired effect.
Design your invitations to reflect a themed wedding.Themed weddings are becoming more and more popular. Choose elements of your theme to include on your invitation to make the dress code more clear to guests.
- If your wedding theme is “all white” for example, select white stationery for your invitations.
- If your theme is “under the sea,” include some nautical images on the invitations.
Match dress code to your venue.Your venue also provides clues for your guests about dress code. A beach wedding is probably going to be more casual than a wedding at a resort, for example. On the other hand, if you’re hosting a black tie wedding in a barn, you’ll need to make it very clear to your guests what the expectations are.
- Write kind, encouraging words. You’re absolutely allowed to ask your guests to wear what you want, but aim for guidance instead of enforcement. You don’t want to make your guests feel like there will be consequences if they don’t adhere to your rules.
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