If you are someone you know has plans to attend a summer wedding this year, we’ve taken the guess work out of deciphering what to wear.  Most wedding invitations will provide you a guide on what to wear with the following terminology:


This is the end-all-be-all of formality.  Dressier than “Black Tie”.
•  Men will want to wear black tailcoat & matching trousers, white piqué wing-collared shirt with stiff front, white dress, white colored studs & cuff links, white bow tie, and black patent shoes.
•  Women will want to channel a glamorous Hollywood movie starlet and select an Oscar worthy floor length gown.

Black Tie or Black Tie Optional:

•  Men should rent and wear a tux if possible.  If a tux is not accessible, men could wear a white dinner jacket for summer with black trousers, a white shirt and black tie.
•  Women should get gussied up in formal gown, preferably to the floor.  A knee-length gown is acceptable but be sure it’s in a darker shade and by no means wear a mini dress.  Accessories include beaded bags, fancy wraps, formal jewelry, and maybe gloves.

Formal or Cocktail Attire:

•  Men should wear a Dark suit and a tie, day or evening.
•  Women should wear a long or short cocktail dress that could include beading, formal jewelry & a wrap.

Semi Formal:

•  Men should wear a suit – light colored for day, dark suit with a tie if evening.
•  Women could wear a cocktail dress or a skirt and top.


•  Men should wear a dress shirt and pants, possibly a Blazer/sports jacket for day and a suit for an evening wedding.
•  Women should wear a summer sundress, skirt, or pants with a nice blouse;   everyday jewelry and accessories.
*** Jeans, shorts and tank tops are not recommended.

Beach Formal:

Dress to Impress
•  Men should wear a summer suit and sandals.
•  Women could wear a flowy, floral & flirty summer sundress/ gown that has enough give to make it comfortable on the beach.  Flat sandals are best.
***Men and Women should assume an elegant beach wedding and dress to impress but be mindful of the sun, sand and water.

Garden Casual:

•  Men, this is not an excuse to wear cargos and a T-shirt.  You still want to look clean and respectful.  Light linen shorts and a camp shirt would be great.
•  Women, look for pretty floral cotton dresses and skirts in a summery shade.

If the attire is not specified on the invitation look at the time of day, location, and the formality of the invitation as a guide.

Daytime Wedding – Morning or Afternoon:

• Men should not wear a tuxedo during the day time, regardless of the formality of the event. A light colored suit for summer or if its winter, slacks with a shirt & tie under a sweater. Dress it up more with a Blazer.
•  Women could wear a fun floral dress, a skirt and sweater set or even a light colored suit.  Business attire is also okay for this type of setting.  Hats or gloves are optional if it’s on wedding is on the formal side.  No black or sequins during the day time.

Evening Wedding:

•  Men cannot go wrong wearing a dark suit with a tie.
•  Women cannot go wrong with a little black dress.  But, women have a lot of options with color of dresses and even a dressy suit.  Stick to a sophisticated look and avoid too many sequins or beads.  Carry a small evening bag rather than a purse.

Whatever you wear, keep in mind that your attire reflects your respect for the Bride and Groom and you can rarely be over dressed.  Please don’t show up in jeans, anything too sexy or revealing, or anything torn or with holes.  And it’s probably a good idea to avoid wearing all white no matter what trendy fashion magazines may advise.

– S.O.