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Do We Have to List Our Wedding's Dress Code on Our Invitations?

There are a few ways to do it.

Contributing Writer
summer wedding guests shoes
Photography by: Ashley Sawtelle

The last thing you want to worry about on your wedding day is whether a guest will arrive in attire that is far from the specified dress code. Which begs the question: Should the bride and groom spell out the dress code on their actual invitations? To avoid fielding calls from confused relatives days before the big day, wedding planners and stationers say you should ensure your celebration's dress code is clearly communicated to your attendees and most stationers will suggest you do just that by displaying your dress code on the lower right-hand side of your invite card. Gretchen Culver, owner of Rocket Science Events says, "If you're having a dress code for the wedding, this is the traditional spot to mention it."

 

Still, it's not your only option. Whether your wedding attire will be casual, cocktail, formal, or black-tie, the important thing is to make sure your guests are in the know about the dress code, not that you inform them in the most traditional way. Here, wedding planners share all of your options. Try one (or more!) for spelling out the fashion requests for your own celebration.

 

RELATED: A Comprehensive Guide to Wedding Guest Attire

 

Add it to your details card.

If you're not crazy about the idea of listing your dress code directly on the invitation itself, Kait Rovnyak, event producer at AaB Creates, suggests playing to your stationer's strengths and including the information in a fun way on your details card. "Work with your stationery designer to create custom drawings of suggested attire to add onto this insert," she explains. "It's a cute way to bring the details to life!" Illustrations—like a bow tie and gown for a black-tie wedding, or a sun dress and plaid shirt for a backyard celebration—not only add interest to your cards, they're also incredibly informative. 

 

Include a separate dress code insert with your invitations.

If you're having a unique dress code, you may want to devote an entire insert card to your attire requests. Feel free to play around with the wording, so long as the message is clear. Rovnyak says her team has been coming up with fun ways to tie the dress code to the location of the wedding, such as "Oceanside Elegant" or "Black Tie/Shoes Optional" for formal beachside receptions. You can even include color swatches if you'd like your guests to wear certain hues.

 

Explain it on your wedding website.

But, if you prefer to direct guests to a wedding website, Julie Savage Parekh, creative director at Strawberry Milk Events, suggests that you keep communication on the insert cards to a minimum to avoid confusion. "Your guests should have to visit the website to find any information about accommodations, transport, attire, and events, too," she explains. Don't include some information on paper and some information online, otherwise guests might not visit the website at all.