Who doesn’t love a summertime wedding? The food, the booze, the overall merriment that goes with celebrating holy matrimony… But the dress codes that come along with all those summer wedding invitations aren’t always so clear. ‘Black Tie Optional’? Isn’t masculine neckwear technically always an option? And ‘Informal’–does that mean your go-to skinny-jeans-and-blazer combo is ok? Well, not exactly.
On our quest to decode these oft-mystifying wedding dress codes, we spoke to three experts in the field of bridal etiquette: Rachel Leonard, the Fashion Director at Brides magazine; Kate Berry, the Style Director at Martha Stewart Weddings; and Sharon Naylor, the author of over 35 wedding books, including The Essential Guide to Wedding Etiquette and The Bride’s Diplomacy Guide. Their helpful advice covers everything from proper accessories to appropriate hairstyles, and the ultimate wedding don’ts.
Let’s face it: No one wants to look out of place at an event, particularly when said event will result in photographs that will potentially be decking people’s walls and Facebooks for generations and Timelines to come. Follow our expert guide to decoding wedding dress codes and you’ll be perfectly wedding-guest dressed in no time, flat.