When picking a dress code for your wedding, there are a lot of details to consider. You'll want to keep in mind the décor you've chosen, the venue, how you'll be serving the meal, and the overall vibe you're hoping to create (so you're not asking guests in tuxedos to heat saucy ribs or encouraging sundresses when your aisle is the state capitol's marble staircase). Another thing to think about is the time of day. If you're inviting guests to a morning or early afternoon celebration, can your wedding be a formal black-tie affair? Our experts weigh in.
While nothing is stopping you from having a formal wedding at 10 in the morning, traditional etiquette states that you can't actually ask your male guests to don black tie attire. In fact, some experts will tell you that you shouldn't wear a tuxedo at all before 6 p.m.!
If you're getting married in the morning and want something especially formal, opt for traditional morning dress, which, for the guys, combines a vest and a cutaway coat (with longer tails that almost reach the knees) and dark pin-striped pants. The top hat is optional, but you might want to include them in the groom and groomsmen's attire.
For something slightly less traditional, the men could wear morning suits (an all-gray version of the above morning vest), or a charcoal gray suit and vest. Having a semi-formal morning or early afternoon wedding? A regular suit in black or dark gray will set the tone, without getting all the way dressed up in a tuxedo.
When it comes to women's attire, tradition states that women shouldn't wear full-length gowns before the evening (aside from the bride, of course!). Invite women to wear formal tea-length dresses or a pretty-colored suit, with either a skirt or pants. An early afternoon wedding may specify cocktail attire, and the closer it is to 6 p.m., the more acceptable a long gown will be.