By Azure Nelson,
Published May 27, 2010
Ask the Experts
is your chance to get all of your wedding questions answered by a panel of wedding professionals. If you have a question for the panel write firstname.lastname@example.org
I’m having an early evening wedding. I’d like people to dress up a little, but not feel like they need to wear suits and ties or long dresses. Basically, I don’t want jeans and sundresses. What should I put on the website, or what should I tell people the dress code is? I think the phrase “dressy casual” is confusing, but is this what I want to say?
Not to Dressy
Ariana of Iris Fields
The issue of attire is always confusing for any event unless you are going with standard "black tie" or "formal." For what you are trying to accomplish I like "cocktail chic." This implies that your guests should dress up but the men don't need to wear a suit. However, one thing I do know from years of planning is that, no matter what you write you will get questions!
Heidi and Leslie of Three Graces Design
As custom invitation designers, we often get asked how to word dress code information for wedding guests. The phrase we would suggest for your event is “smart casual.” Smart casual indicates a together look without being overly dressy, while definitely ruling out jeans. Women can wear a pretty dress, or a blouse with dress pants or a skirt. Men can wear a dress shirt and trousers, sport coat and tie are optional.
About our Experts:
The co-owners of Three Graces Design,
a custom-design invitation business in Oak Park, Illinois, Heidi and Leslie have years of experience in design and event planning.
Ariana Gordon Stecker is the co-founder and Lead Planner for Iris Fields, Inc.
She is a seasoned New York City event professional who has been featured on MTV, Fox News, and the New York Times.