What Should We Do if Guests Don't Follow Our Venue's Dress Code Restrictions?

Etiquette, Planning Tips

No matter how hard you try, wedding guests won't always follow your instructions. RSVPing by the deadline? Expect some stragglers (or some who never respond!). Asking for meal selections? Be prepared to make a few calls. Guidance on the dress code? Some will follow it, some won't. But what if it's more than guidance, and instead the dress code includes requirements from your venue? Here are some tips from our experts to deal with guests who don't follow the attire rules.

If you're having your wedding at a venue that has strict dress code requirements, from a place of worship that doesn't allow bare shoulders to an historic building that prohibits stiletto heels, sharing the information clearly with your guests is the most you can do in advance. But once they've arrived, the last thing you want is to turn people away because they aren't dressed properly!

Instead, be prepared with quick fixes to help out those who chose to ignore the memo. At a house of worship, have a few wraps available to cover shoulders or heads, and offer any headwear like yarmulkes that guests may not know to bring or might not personally own.

See more: From Black Tie to Casual: Wedding Guest Dress Code Explained

Worried about protecting floors? Plastic heel covers quickly convert stilettos into a wider heel. Many have rounded edges, making them extra floor-friendly. You could also offer flip flops or foldable flats for women to don if they'd be more comfortable removing their heels completely.

Are you having your wedding at a venue (such as a private club) that enforces its own dress code? Chances are printing "cocktail attire" on your invitation will prevent any guests from donning jeans, but you may want to include an insert specifying if men must wear a jacket and tie. Pick a dress code that will cover any of your venue's rules, and have a few extra ties on-hand for those gentlemen who prefer an open collar.

Give a Subscription to Brides Magazine as a Gift

Get personalized planning advice, exclusive offers and must-read wedding news.

Thank You
for Signing Up!

Check your e-mail inbox for the latest updates from brides.com