In addition to all of the other decisions you have to make when planning your wedding, you're going to need to figure out pretty early in the process what your wedding dress code will be. Wedding guests appreciate a dress code, as no one wants to show up at a wedding in a formal gown when the vibe is more rustic chic. Where to begin? We had the same question, so we called upon an expert: Lisa Vorce, owner and creative director of Lisa Vorce Co. An internationally acclaimed wedding planner, Vorce was responsible for the Lake Como wedding of Chrissy Teigen and John Legend, the Aspen wedding of stylist Jamie Mizrahi, and many more stunning affairs.
When we asked Vorce for the 2017 interpretation of different wedding dress codes, she started off by saying, "I always encourage clients to use the natural aesthetic of their wedding vision to guide guest attire. Use words to describe the locale but also the level of formality like 'garden grand,' 'farmhouse fancy,' or 'Aspen chic.' Also, take into consideration the time of the year and whether 'festive attire' may be worth noting, especially if you are celebrating around a holiday (Christmas, New Year's, Cinco de Mayo, etc.). Most guests will understand this equates to a semi-formal dress and can inspire a unique take on that occasion. For instance, if celebrating around the Fourth of July, ladies may choose to wear a fun, flirty frock in a bright, bold red or blue hue."
Read on find out what else Vorce had to say about specific dress codes, from resort casual to black tie and everything in between, and which wedding events they're most often equated with.
Resort Casual/Festive Chic
"For welcome activities and cocktails, women could choose a tasteful cocktail dress with strappy heels or perfectly tailored pants with a flirty off-the-shoulder top. Skip anything too flashy and opt for something festive and tasteful. Men can embrace a great semi-casual pant with a classic button-down or sweater (depending on the location)."
"We love the recently popularized modern take on a chic jumpsuit for ladies and sharp suit for the gentlemen with a fitted blazer and pants. A tie (of either variety) is always a safe bet."
Cocktail to Black Tie
"The venue plays a large role in setting the formality of a wedding for couples and their guests. Estates, villas, and high-end resort hotels naturally warrant a more polished presence, but don't be afraid to be inspired by your surroundings for a beautifully styled look (for instance, an Italian villa may be the perfect place for a feminine, silk floor-length gown with a flirty design and elegant accessories). Black tie is synonymous with a tuxedo, for which we always favor a classic black or dark blue. Otherwise, a formal two-piece suit may be a perfect option for men; that will help him look dapper with a fun pocket square or tie."
"Next-day brunches have shifted from formal sit-down meals to grab-and-go spreads of tasty treats, to help guests recover from festivities the night before and refuel as they their goodbyes. A knee-length daytime garden dress for the ladies can easily transition to the perfect outfit for afternoon shopping or lounging by the pool before a flight home. Linen shorts with a clean-cut button-down or collared tee for the gentlemen means a well-coordinated and comfortable outfit for an afternoon round on the golf course."