Invitation Interpretation: A Guide to Wedding Dress Codes

Okay, it’s officially spring, and that means wedding invitations are about to start rolling in if they haven’t already! During these celebratory times, wedding guests are given a lot to look forward to: bearing witness to love birds exchanging vows (so heart-filling!), the buffet, the dancing, and the photo booth, to name a few. But before any of those memorable shenanigans can go down, you first need to decipher the dress code, and that, friends, can be an all-consuming endeavor. We swear wedding guest dress codes can read like a foreign language! With the expert assistance of Stylist Leigh, we’ve created a spot-on ensemble for three common requests so you won’t have to worry about under-dressing nor overdoing it. Now, about that dance floor…

Black Tie Optional

On Abby: Emphasis on Opulence Fit and Flare Dress in Dusty RoseGinkgo a Long Way EarringsCarrying Class Clutch, and The Zest Is History Metallic Heel in Glittery Gold.

While tux-wearers get off easy on this one, wedding guests planning to fancy up in a dress are left with the question of appropriate length, fabric, and footwear. Customer Care Advocate Abby flaunts an example of how a mid-length dress can make a marvelous statement.

Leigh’s insider tip: Black Tie doesn’t have to mean ballgown! Beautiful details—like the neck, delicate sleeve, and waist ruching on this tulle dress—really up the formal factor. Pair with gold heels and accessories to add even more glam!

Beach Formal

On Lindsay: Brave New Whirl Maxi Dress in Blue FloralClassy Tassels Beaded Earrings in GoldRound and Determined Bag, and Force to Be Beckoned With Leather Sandal in Metallic.

Some see “beach formal” as the best of both worlds, while others of you might be scratching your heads over how sand will work with your fancy outfit situation. Valid concern. This is your chance to get ethereal with it and let shiny add-ons heighten the haute factor.

Here’s what Leigh has to say about HR Coordinator Lindsay’s look: A flowy dress with pale colors always feel beachy, just steer clear of white! The longer length of this dress, paired with its sparkly threads and high neckline, give it a formal feel. Add metallic sandals—because no one wants to wear heels on the beach—and accessories to elevate your look even further.

Dressy Casual

On Shruthi: Glamorous Guest Midi Dress in NavyTile and Nod EarringsStrong, Vibrant Type Beaded NecklaceCaptured Charm Embroidered Clutch, and Old School Experience Peep Toe Heel.

Okay, which is it? We say, a “dressy casual” dress code gives you creative license to put your own spin on something semi-formal. Start with a dress that’s simple but sharp, like Systems Analyst Shruthi did, and let your accessories fill out your ensemble with fun flair.

In Leigh’s words: A shorter-length dress in a neutral color reads casual but classy. Pair it with a block heel for the perfect comprimise between a flat and stiletto, and add bold, printed accessories to give that solid dress your own style!

+What dress will you be wearing as a wedding guest this season?


About Christen

Christen is a smile collector, outdoors enthusiast, and avid appreciator of soggy French fries. She finds inspiration in the veins of leaves, the subtle squeaks of guitar strings against their player's fingertips, the train-whistle soundtrack of city life, and the sweet quiet that can be found at farmers' markets.

Suggested Posts

Galentine’s Day Style + DIY Self-Love Kit
February 05, 2019
This Face Mask Is Like a Bouquet for Your Skin
January 17, 2019
Workplace Besties: A #TeamModCloth Trio Shares the Love
January 10, 2019
How to Style a Party Dress Three Ways
December 20, 2018
The New Black: Styling All-Grey 3 Ways
December 13, 2018
Travel Bug: Saumya Takes Us on a Tour of DC
December 06, 2018
Party Recap: Hello Kitty’s Birthday in LA
November 12, 2018
A Pampering Present: DIY Concentrated Bubble Bath
November 05, 2018
Easy Makeup for Going Out: Featuring Anna Sui Beauty
October 22, 2018
Haunt Now, Haute Later: Three Scary-Stylish Outfits
October 11, 2018


  1. Avatar
    markoweobuwie 05/24/2018 at 5:54 am #

    Excellent! Every future bride should read that advices. Keep up!

  2. Avatar
    shopsatavenue 05/31/2018 at 2:47 am #

    Nice tips…..

Leave a Reply