Wedding Dress Code 101

Everyone knows the number one cardinal rule as a wedding guest, is to never wear a white dress! However The Center’s team is here to shed some light on what dress codes like semi-formal, black tie, cocktail-attire, or even beach formal, entail. Keep reading to find some beautiful examples from one of our favorite resources, Rent The Runway.

First, formal or black tie weddings: when we hear the words ‘black tie,’ we tend to think of men in tuxedos with bow ties, ball gown dresses, and sparkling champagne toasts. Black tie weddings are all about glitz and glamour, therefore, you want to dress very upscale. Long, classy, floor length dresses are best for this type of wedding. Here are some options from Rent the Runway that are perfect for this occasion!



Another popular dress code selection is cocktail attire. Cocktail attire weddings are still very elegant, but not as formal as a black tie engagement. This attire involves just what it states, a cocktail dress. A sophisticated, knee-length dress is most appropriate for this dress code.


Semi-formal events are another popular selection. This dress code can also be referred to as ‘dressy casual.’ Popular attire for this category of attire usually consists of a pretty maxi or mini dress. This type of dress is not as strict or formal as the previous types, therefore allowing for more flexibility when selecting your outfit of choice. For example, if it is a daytime or summer wedding, you may consider wearing a more colorful dress with a cute pattern. If it is an evening wedding, you may want to wear a darker color or even your favorite ‘little black dress.’


Beach formal weddings are a new trend that is becoming increasingly popular. When we think of beach weddings, we think of beautiful, light, and breezy. A flowy, colorful maxi dress is ideal for this type of attire.

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The last category of dress codes, is casual dress. Casual weddings are  the most common in the summer time. When dressing for this type of event, it is important to keep in mind the weather. As a wedding guest, you can never go wrong with a casual, every day, picnic dress that is cool and comfortable!


Dress codes can range anywhere from black tie to casual so picking the right outfit can be difficult! Rent The Runway is a terrific resource that has plenty of appropriate options to choose from. Hopefully, we have helped to clarify some common questions and concerns for any future events!