Beach weddings are a fun opportunity for guests to try out more casual, laid-back looks.

Don't know what to wear to your next wedding?




From white tie to festive, our style guide decodes the complex range of wedding dress codes.


White Tie Events

This is the most formal wedding dress code. Ladies should opt for floor length evening gowns in neutral colors like black, brown or navy. You'll dazzle in this sweeping off-the-shoulder gown that shows your shoulders while still observing the ceremonious tone of the day. Accessorizing with ornate jewelry long gloves, and elaborate makeup is encouraged at white tie weddings.


Formal or Black Tie Optiona

Don't let the jargon confuse you - 'formal dress' and 'black tie optional' mean the same thing. Men might opt for suits rather than tuxedos, and women may also tend toward cocktail dresses over floor length gowns. Do you stun in a sweetheart neckline, or do you prefer a bold one-shoulder look? The beauty of a black tie optional wedding is that guests are permitted a lot of variety. If you prefer a sweeping gown, feel free, but don't feel an obligation to go below the knee.


Black Tie 

Black tie usually implies that the wedding will be held in the evening. While still a formal occasion, there is a bit more flexibility. Evening gowns and cocktail dresses are both acceptable at a black tie wedding. Why not play around with length and color with this asymmetrical taffeta dress that is formal and fun at the same time?


Beach or Festive

Some weddings ask guests to explore a very specific style of dress. While this presents an opportunity to be creative, certain themes can be vague, confusing and difficult to shop for.

If you are lucky enough to be invited to a beach wedding, consider lighter, breathable materials like linen or lace. Joswen Dresses has a great variety of beach dresses that are a bit more relaxed but still honor the importance of the occasion. 

Beach weddings are a fun opportunity for guests to try out more casual, laid-back looks.Beach weddings are a fun opportunity for guests to try out more casual, laid-back looks.

A 'festive' wedding follows a particular theme. A holiday wedding, for example, might ask guests to dress in apparel similar to what they would wear to a fancy Christmas or New Years party. Embrace all things sparkles, sequins, and glitter. 

While uncommon, festive might also imply something else, like a decade specific or a singular color theme. It will be explicit on the invitation if a wedding requires such a specific dress code, but be careful to toe the line between festive dress and costume party. 


Casual or Informal 

Unless there is a theme or it is explicitly noted, casual doesn't necessarily equate to wearing jeans and sneakers. As a general rule, if you would wear it to a nice restaurant or the office, then your look is safe for a casual wedding. Joswen Dresses has a broad range of casual apparel that will look great at laid-back weddings.


Semiformal or Dressy Casual 

Again, these two are synonymous. At this wedding, an evening gown will be out of place, and cocktail dresses don't need to be as chic. Consider a more flirty dress, and have fun with color. Tend towards neutral colors in the evening, but if the wedding is in the daytime, you'll be free to explore anything in Joswen Dresses' beautiful color palette.

If you still find yourself dumbfounded by a wedding's dress code, don't hesitate to ask the bride herself, a member of the wedding party, or a close friend. It's better to be safe, although there's no way you'll be sorry in a dress from Joswen Dresses!



Some weddings are white tie affairs while others adopt festive themes. Joswen Dresses can help you find the perfect look for any occasion.