Are you wondering about how to set a dress code for your wedding? Or if a dress code is even right for your big day? We are taking a bit of a step away from discussing bridal fashion and wedding dress shopping advice, and instead focusing on wedding fashion as a whole in this week’s advice post. One of the many important decisions that all couples have to make when planning their wedding is what the dress code for their wedding day will be. This piece of information is typically included on the wedding invitation and wedding website for your guests, so it is a decision that will have to be made somewhat early on in the wedding planning process.
There are so many moving parts to wedding planning, that it may feel overwhelming trying to figure out one more element, such as a dress code or outfit theme for your guests. It can be hard to determine what the appropriate dress code for your wedding should be, but we have tips and advice to help guide you in making a final decision on deciding a dress code for your wedding.
At Lovella, we often hear about many aspects of wedding planning from our brides. They are excited about the plans they are making, and what vibe and style of wedding they are envisioning. As bridal stylists, we are often asked what style of wedding dress best fits a particular wedding venue or wedding style. If you have been a follower of our advice, then you already know that we think there are no rules when it comes to bridal fashion.
When it comes to what dress code is going to be most appropriate for your wedding day, the same rule applies in that there are no rules to follow. Just like we think brides should wear whatever style of wedding dress makes them feel beautiful and confident, you should choose a dress code that best fits what you envision as your dream wedding day.
The most common rule we hear about the wedding attire dress code is that it should be dictated by your wedding venue. We disagree with this rule and don’t think you should limit yourself or your wedding style based solely on your wedding venue or wedding location. We hear all the time from brides getting married on the beach that there is only so much you can dress up at a beach wedding. Or we hear that a bride is getting married in a really grand ballroom that’s over the top and so they have to have a black-tie wedding.
We would encourage you to break these traditional rules. Don’t allow where you're getting married to determine the dress code you have to follow. If you are getting married on a beach in Hawaii, that doesn’t mean you have to have a casual wedding. If you dream of a casual beach wedding with your guests in tropical print shirts and sundresses, then go for it! If you dream of a glamorous beach wedding with guests in evening gowns, go for it!
Whether you are getting married at the courthouse, the beach, a museum, a ballroom, or whatever the wedding venue is, be sure to choose a dress code that fits the overall vision you have for your wedding day. Don’t feel obligated to choose a dress code theme based on your wedding venue alone.
Sometimes we hear from our brides that they feel their dress code needs to take into account their guest list and the number of guests in attendance at their wedding. This is another rule that we don’t think you have to always follow. Even if you are planning an elopement wedding at the courthouse or a mini wedding with 10 people, if you want your guests to come dressed to the nines, then you should set your dress code at a black tie level.
Whether you are having 10 guests, 200 guests, or 500 guests, or whatever it may be, don’t let those logistical components dictate that your wedding needs to be a certain style.
More important to your wedding than following what your wedding venue or guest list may say, is to stay true to your personality and your personal preference. It’s your wedding day and will be a day you never forget. You want to be sure it’s true to who you are as a couple and what you envision for your wedding day. Just because you are getting married at a certain location doesn’t mean you have to have a strict dress code. You can choose to be as formal or informal as you want to be on your wedding day.
If you dream of a casual, laid-back wedding on the beach or at a winery, then you should plan your wedding as such. If you want to plan an over-the-top, lavish wedding where everyone gets completely dressed up because your friends and family never have an excuse to get all glammed up, then go for it. Your wedding needs to be a reflection of you and your personality.
The same wedding guest dress code rules also apply to your wedding party, particularly your bridesmaids' fashion. We have heard from brides at Lovella that they want their wedding to be the most lavish event their guests will ever attend and they are going to buy their bridesmaids a gown that they would never get for themselves so they can really shine. We’ve also heard the complete opposite where brides just tell their bridesmaids to show up in a dress that makes them feel comfortable or to just wear a dress of a certain color or length.
It’s all about what you envision for your wedding and what will make you happy. It’s a completely personalized decision and it’s completely up to you. The sky is the limit when it comes to your own bridal fashion and your wedding day dress code.
The overall theme or vibe of your wedding may help you dictate your wedding dress code as you are thinking of the overall vision for your wedding day. The wedding venue alone can’t dictate your wedding dress code. Think about how many shabby chic barn weddings you’ve seen with lavish chandeliers and glamorous, red-carpet-style fashion. Then compare that to a similar barn wedding that is super laid back where the men are in jeans and the women are in short dresses with cowgirl boots. The same venue but done in totally different themes and styles. There's no right or wrong when it comes to wedding fashion. There isn’t one that's better than the other. What's really beautiful about both styles is that it embodies and exudes the personalities of the couple.
Think about that while you are planning your wedding and deciding on your wedding day dress code. Tap into your personality and what is going to make you excited to plan this event. If you are typically a casual couple but are really excited to throw a fancy event where everyone gets to dress up, then go for it. Encourage your guests to dress for a theme, whether that be to wear all black or wear a garden party print. Whatever your theme or style, that can be a great jumping-off point for your wedding guests. Even if that might not be their own personal style, a great theme will get a lot of people excited to dress up for.
VIDEO: How To Determine The Dress Code For Your Wedding
If you need advice during your wedding planning when it comes to what your guests should wear, don't. miss this advice post with all the tips on how to determine the appropriate dress code for your wedding
More Helpful Wedding Fashion Advice
We hope you found these tips for determining your wedding dress code helpful and insightful. For even more helpful advice when it comes to bridal fashion, be sure to check out our past posts:
- How to Determine What Style Wedding Dress You Want
- What Wedding Dress Style & Shape Should You Wear For Your Body Type
- 5 Questions to Ask Bridal Stores When Wedding Dress Shopping
If you're shopping for your perfect wedding dress, come visit us at Lovella Bridal in Glendale, CA. We carry wedding dresses in all sizes and styles, including plus-size bridal gowns and a full selection of veils and accessories. Lovella Bridal is the premier, luxury bridal wedding dress shopping boutique located in Los Angeles, California. Lovella features couture, feminine, modern and chic bridal gowns in all sizes from the best wedding dress designers. Schedule an appointment to find the wedding dress of your dreams at Lovella Bridal. We can't wait to help you!
About Wedding Fashion Expert
Our wedding dress shopping tips and advice are from Nayri, Lovella's own, in-house wedding fashion expert. Nayri is truly the expert when it comes to bridal fashion and wedding style. As the Wedding Fashion Expert, Nayri is the top bridal fashion stylist and the best-selling author of the book "I'm Getting Married And I Have Nothing To Wear," the ultimate guide to helping brides find their wedding day style and their perfect wedding dress. You can subscribe to her YouTube channel or listen to her podcast for more helpful and practical advice on wedding dress shopping.