5 smart ways to share your wedding dress code with guests on Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride). (2023)

5 smart ways to share your wedding dress code with guests on Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride). (1)

While I want my wedding guests to dress up, I need help finding a good way to mention that high heels, especially stilettos, are not recommended for our outdoor wedding.

I'd like to be nice about this, but I'm wondering where I should include the information… should it go on our main wedding invitation, on a separate card, or somewhere else entirely?


So you want to tell your guests what to wear, but you don't want to be overbearing, and ideally, you'd like to be a little smart about it.

You're certainly not the first to find ways to artistically explain a dress code to your guests...in fact, we've got a whole archive of posts onwedding dress codes!

Let's go over five awesome, non-bossy ways to give your guests a guide to the wedding dress code, especially when your dress code is anything less traditional than the usual cocktail dress, tuxedo, black tie, optional things that are the standard for formal weddings. (We're all for formal wedding dress codes if you're having a traditional wedding, but here at Offbeat Wed, we're more into casual weddings and cocktail-attire vibes than a floor-length evening gown. .)

Whether you have a casual wedding dress code or a costume wedding, the goal is the same: you want to help your guests choose an outfit that is both comfortable AND fabulous for your wedding.

5 smart ways to share your wedding dress code with guests on Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride). (2)

#1: Include a Brief PS About Your Wedding Dress Code in Your Wedding Invitations

Okay, first things first: If it's clear from the date and name of the venue that the wedding will be outdoors, you may not need to say anything. For example, most American guests at a summer garden wedding will assume they will be outdoors and (probably!) can be trusted to dress accordingly. Similarly, if your invitation makes it clear that you'll be getting married on the deck of a sailboat, your guests will likely understand that you might want to bring a light sweater.

If the comfort factors of clothing areNoobvious from your wedding venue or date AND your dress code is relatively simple (which is yours), you can include a simple PS on your wedding invitations. something as basic asPS: The ceremony and reception will be on the lawn; Choose your footwear accordingly!would do the trick.

I know you said you wanted to be cute, but being cute can be confusing. You want direct. You don't want to be bossy either - sure, you can tell them to wear flip flops or wedges, but it's better to just let them know what the environment will be like and let them make their own decisions.

Including a PS on your invitations works best for dress code guidelines that are simple and important...jumping on the grass is one example. Outdoor ceremonies during winter or late summer may be different: "The ceremony will be outdoors, so be sure to dress for the weather." Your invitations are not the place to get into elaborate discussions about the nuances betweenSteampunkmiRenaissancehas a duration.

The placement of the PS totally depends on the design of the invitation. If it's a short line, you can include it at the end of your actual invitation. If you're making a separate card anyway for instructions, include your dress code note on there.

5 smart ways to share your wedding dress code with guests on Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride). (3)

2. Address wedding dress codes on your wedding website

Lots of eccentric people go this route (me included!), using all kinds of nice words. Keep in mind that not everyone is going to read your website, so this is not a good solution for super pressing dress code questions like "The ceremony will be outdoors on a ski slope, so bring gloves and don't wear a dress." "summer or you'll freeze to death."

However, the FAQ can be a great place to find out the details of creative dressing, especially for themed weddings! FAQs can also be the place to get creative. Here are some real life examples from Offbeat Wed readers:

Q What am I going to wear!?
A The event is semi-formal, but we're sure anything you want to wear will be fine. The bride asks you to avoid wearing a wedding dress, but if that's all you have to wear, she'd rather you go nude (Betazoid wedding style).

“Our style will be Victorian and Tim Burton. The classic Victorian/Steampunk Gothic dress is more than welcome (and recommended!) for the ceremony. Or if you prefer to keep things simple, semi-formal dress is requested. You know us, we are not rigid. We only ask that you keep it elegant for the Ceremony.

Here is another great guide onFrequently asked questions about what to include on your wedding website.

5 smart ways to share your wedding dress code with guests on Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride). (4)

3.show don't tellyour wedding dress code

If a picture is worth a thousand words, some visual guidance on clothing is the best possible way to get the message across. Creating a Pinterest board may be the easiest way to give guests visual clues about wedding attire, but it's certainly not the only way!

5 smart ways to share your wedding dress code with guests on Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride). (5)

At her father's suggestion, our reader Mari createdthis beautiful visual guideto convey what would be awesome to wear at your “indoor casual wedding party”.

He distributed the image to guests via email and guest-friendly Facebook, and using pop culture references, made the wedding dress code very accessible.

This type of visual guide can be very helpful if you are planning a themed wedding where guests could be seriously confused.here it ishow our reader Jen made sure no one showed up to her Halloween wedding wearing a "sexy kitty" costume:

5 smart ways to share your wedding dress code with guests on Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride). (6)

4. Offer guests dress code incentives

5 smart ways to share your wedding dress code with guests on Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride). (7)

While you can never require someone to wear (or not wear) anything to your wedding, some couples offer incredible incentives to encourage them to dress the same way.

My favorite example of this is when a couple encouraged their guests to "get over the bride":

Probably the most “eccentric” aspect of our marriage, besides our homosexuality and my burgundy dress (are those things still eccentric?Please!), was our dress code: wewe specifically instruct our guests to outshine the bride. It was there on our website and on the invite, and our guests did an amazing job!

The “Outshine the Bride” show was easily the highlight of the reception! Our friends made very good use of the support pole in the center of the room, let's put it that way. We offer fun gifts (a veil and a bow tie) for the catwalk winners. One wore a short, tight red dress, andour winning gentleman wore a white shirt with a full kilt! It was great.

Read more about this great ideaand plan ways to offer prizes or gifts for guests to wear.

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OUTSHINE THE BRIDE is the BEST wedding dress code

"The 'Outshine the Bride' show was easily the highlight of the reception! We provided fun gifts (a pinned veil and bow tie) for the winners of the show."

5. Offer encouragement, NOT imposition

5 smart ways to share your wedding dress code with guests on Offbeat Wed (formerly Offbeat Bride). (8)

Above all, remember this: while you can cheer up your guests, it won't do you much good.matter. You already have enough to do at your wedding without assuming the role of fashion police.

Finally, your guests will dress themselves. And whether it's jeans and a dress shirt, white jumpsuit or tie, linen jacket, tuxedo, dark suit, white vest, midi dress, little black knee-length dress, pantsuit or floor-length dress... I guess they'll be fabulous.

Did you advise the guests on what to wear?

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Almost a bazillion wedding dress code writing examples (some with dinosaurs!)

Here are about a million examples of wedding dress code writing, from short and sweet to elaborate and nerdy. We cover everything from informal outdoor weddings to costume weddings and everything in between.

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Play dress up to help the guests with their wedding outfits.

My fiance and I got married in a field in November. We wanted our guests to look elegant but comfortable, so we included inserts in our invitations letting them know to try to look nice but wear sweaters and avoid high heels and ball gowns. But... it only caused confusion. To remedy the confusion, my sister and I played dress-up!

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