Your complete guide to wedding dress codes

Who is this article for? Everyone! You’ve been invited to a wedding and you’ve got no idea what in the world a lounge suit is, you’re not sure whether your venue is suitable for a black tie dress code, or you’re not sure what type of dress code would suit your dress. Stop thinking! We’ve organised all the thinking for you, so take your finger off that google button and read on.


Black Tie:

Men: Suit with a black bow tie.

Women: Floor length formal gown.

Venue: Suitable for a function room, gallery or refined gardens (think Alice in wonderland and giant hedge mazes).

Bride’s gown: A statement! A ball gown, overstated and brilliant. Or a sexy slinky sparkly number.



Men: Suit and tie or bow tie

Women: Floor length formal gown. Not a ball gown.

Venue: Suitable for anything indoors and a little bit flash like a function room, gallery, church wedding, garden wedding, up-market restaurant or golf course.

Bride’s gown: Classic and elegant. Ball gowns, slinky gowns, and anything in between. Sparkles or no sparkles, this dress code suits most gown styles.


Lounge Suit:

Men: Suit with a tie.

Women: Smart daytime dress or skirt and top.

Venue: Suitable for  anything a little less formal, like a garden wedding, beach wedding, church wedding, urban wedding, country wedding or golf course.

Bride’s gown: This style is a little less formal, so anything goes, from a ball gown to a flowy boho style! If your gown is a little bit ostentatious, you’re probably better off going with a black-tie dress or cocktail.



Men: Suit, with an optional tie.

Women: Knee length gown or skirt with suitable top.

Venue: Suitable for any casual outdoor setting, or something a bit more fancy like a gallery, function room or a golf club.

Bride’s gown: This dress code is between black tie and lounge suit. Any gown is ok, but a bit of glitz and elegance never hurts.


Smart Casual:

Men: Smart pants (jeans, chinos, dress pants) with a nice t-shirt or button up. No tie.

Women: Casual daytime dress, or skirt and top.

Venue: Definately a casual venue such as a beach wedding, garden wedding or country wedding. Think bare foot bowls and outdoor dining.

Bride’s gown: This code suits a more causal style of dress, but can still work for a more classic formal style of dress.


Morning dress:

Men: Morning coat or tailcoat, tie, vest, trousers.

Women: Knee length day dress with thick straps or a sleeve. Often complemented with a jacket or a hat.

Venue: This is a very English dress code, so think a church wedding, garden wedding, or a country hall wedding.

Bride’s gown: Very classic and modest. Nothing strapless or above the floor.


Black tie photo: Real bride Sarah

Formal dress photo: Real Bride Courtney, Photographer: Astrid Volzke

Lounge suit dress photo: Real Bride Kelly, Photographer: Lani Carter – Photographer

Cocktail dress photo: Polkadot Bride

Smart casual dress photo: Real bride Lauren, Mark and Kara Photography

Morning dress image: Daily Mail