Photo: Anthony Vasquez Photography
Dress codes are one of the trickiest parts of a wedding invitation, especially if you're opting for something other than the standard "cocktail attire" or "black tie optional." If you've dreamed of a wedding on the beach, with all of your guests in shades of khaki, cream, and white, or if your celebration is SUPER formal, and you're bumping the dress code up to "white tie," you might be nervous that guests won't totally understand your vision. How can you make sure guests follow your instructions when the dress code is super-specific? Here are a few tips from our experts.
Repetition is key in a case like this. If you've fallen in love with a wedding dress in shocking scarlet, you might want guests to all wear black and white so you really pop. Or if you'll be on the coast in Greece, having everyone in ocean hues could create a stunning contrast against the all-white buildings. And if you want guests in white? It's been said enough times that only the bride should wear white, so getting guests to go against their instinct can be hard. However, no one wants to be the one person who didn't get the memo, so do everything you can to make it clear.
First, state the dress code clearly on the invitation. "Shades of Blue" or "Black and White Formal" are great places to start. Then, consider adding an insert to your invitation that offers a little more clarification, whether that means explaining what a morning suit is or emphasizing that yes, the bride would like you to wear white! And be sure to add a page on your wedding website, as well. You might want to include a few photos to illustrate your vision, or a full Pinterest board with pictures of people wearing appropriate attire to really get the point across.
See more: Can We Set a Dress Code for Our Vendors?
And don't be afraid to get playful with it! Worried guests won't totally understand "White Tie"? Consider sending a pre-wedding favor in the form of a white chocolate bowtie. Really want them to stick to your color scheme? Paint or fabric swatches are a fun reminder that guests can tuck into their purse or pocket on their next shopping trip.
What happens if someone shows up in the wrong dress on your wedding day? Just roll with it. Sure, it's not exactly what you wanted, but if a few reminders didn't get the message across, there's not much you can do. That is, of course, as long as no one else is wearing a wedding dress!