top of page

What to Wear to a Wedding?

Received a wedding invitation? Congratulations! That just means you're very special! But you being here only means one thing... you probably don't know what to wear to a wedding since they didn't put their wedding dress codes. Well, there's no need for you to worry as this guide will help you find the perfect outfit that will not only make you look amazing, but will also make the lovely couple happy about you being present on their big day! This guide will cover from different dress codes to wedding attire tips that will surely be useful for you!

At this kind of event, of course, you don't want to outshine the bride nor the groom, do you? Then it's settled! If you want to know more, then keep scrolling through this guide!

White-Tie Dress Code

The highest level of formality for a wedding is white-tie attire. White tie clothing, often known as full dress, is commonly designated for exquisite events such as state dinners, royal parties, and highly formal weddings. While white-tie event are becoming more uncommon, it is still crucial to dress correctly if you are asked to one.

Still looking for right wedding photographer? We have 15+ years of experience and we have shot more than 600 weddings. Check out our wedding photography and wedding videography portfolio today!

For men, this attire consists of a long, black tuxedo tailcoat with material extensions reaching to the back of the knee. A white piqué button-down shirt or a formal white shirt with an attached bow tie and a cummerbund must be placed under a white vest. Pants should be the same color and material as the coat, and white-tie trousers typically feature a satin or jacquard stripe down the outside seams.

For ladies, an evening gown is required for this outfit option. An elegant evening gown with a full-length A-line or sheath style is suitable, but depending upon the formality of the wedding venue, you may even choose from formal floor-length gowns or full-length dresses. If you're going to a white-tie wedding, you may embellish with sparkling jewelry, elegant dress shoes, and elbow-length silk white gloves.

Black-Tie Dress Code

This is the second most formal nuptials dress code and typically indicates that the wedding will be held in the later hours of the day. For the black tie event, women should wear a traditional floor-length gown which does not display their ankles at the hem, but if the wedding is less formal, a stylish cocktail dress may also be appropriate. Elegant pantsuits can also be worn by women.

Men must dress formally. It is also recommended to wear a black bow tie, a black vest or cummerbund, and patent leather shoes. A white evening blazer and black tuxedo slacks are equally appropriate for weddings in the summertime.

Black-Tie Optional Dress Code

The language suggests that something more casual than black-tie is permissible. So, while a tuxedo isn't needed, the occasion is formal enough that one would be suitable.

In terms of ladies, there isn't much of a distinction between black-tie and black-tie optional clothing, although it's more appropriate to wear a dress that reveals the ankles. Men can choose between a tuxedo and a traditional black suit, white shirt, and conservative tie.

When in doubt, wear black tie, however if you want to dress a bit looser, go ahead. Men can substitute a dark suit for a tuxedo and a traditional tie for a bow tie. A chic cocktail dress is also impeccable. Dressy cocktail dress pieces are also acceptable. Footwear can be a little more exciting.

Semi-Formal Dress Code

Semi-formal wedding clothes may appear to be one of the more difficult dress rules to master. And, because cocktail and semi-formal wedding dress are frequently used concurrently, you may be perplexed when it comes time to choose an outfit.

Considering the time of the wedding is an important part of dressing for a semi-formal or dressy casual wedding. For a nighttime wedding, wear darker, more traditional hues, whereas for a midday affair, use lighter colors and materials. Consider a below-the-knee dress or a skirt and top. A sophisticated pantsuit is also suitable. Floor-length gowns, on the other hand, would be improper. Combine with high heels, elegant wedges, or dressy flats. Avoid classic heels that are likely to become trapped in the grass if the event is place outside and you will be strolling over a lawn.


Cocktail clothing is a common wedding attire choice, a step above semi-formal but not quite as formal as black-tie optional or black-tie. It strikes a compromise between elegant and easygoing, being more formal than a day wedding but less formal than a night event.

Women should wear tea-length, knee-length, or midi dresses instead than floor-length gowns.

Regardless of the location of the wedding, men are required to put on a suit and tie. Remember to appear professional and groomed, but avoid wearing anything too extravagant or flashy that detracts from the newlyweds.

Destinations Dress Codes

Bridal party photoshoot at Fullerton Hotel Singapore

Tropical or destination nuptials are typically humid and sweltering occasions, so dress comfortably. This can include a beach wedding. One thing to remember for outdoor wedding, especially in unsheltered sites, is to stay as comfortable as possible. Choose breathable and lightweight materials to make life easier for you under the hot sun.

Remember to always lean on the side of formality. If you're uncertain if what you're going to wear is appropriate, it probably isn't. You'll be just fine if you take it up a notch. Ladies can wear dressy separates or a casual sundress, but bear in mind that a light and breezy attire will match the warmer and more relaxed mood.

Cotton sundresses and beautiful sandals or wedges are appropriate for a casual wedding. If the wedding is held outdoors and the temperature is hot, consider wearing a sunhat to complete the appearance.

For men, to maintain the formal atmosphere of the wedding, the men can forego the blazer in favor of a collar-shirt, short-sleeve, or three-quarter sleeve.

Still looking for right wedding photographer? We have 15+ years of experience and we have shot more than 600 weddings. Check out our wedding photography and wedding videography portfolio today!

Themed Dress Codes

Bridal party photoshoot at Jurong Lake Gardens

Some couples organize conceptual or themed marriage ceremonies, and they insist that their guests dress in accordance with the theme. Some couples, for example, request that all of their guests wear the same hue. Depending on the subject, guests might draw inspiration from movies or celebrities.

What if there's no dress code?

Outdoor Wedding at Bayswater Kitchen

If there's no dress code, then you can easily choose what to wear. Some couples request that their guests dress casually and arrive in whichever way they deem suitable. This may be perplexing for certain guests, so consider the couple's usual attire, the venue of their marriage ceremony, and the time of day to help you choose.

Top 3 Wedding Attire Tips

Don't wear white.

The lady getting married should be the center of attention on her big day, not you wearing white, off-white, or ivory unless it's in the dress code. White gowns are charming, however, the last thing you'd like to do is put on the same color as the bride. The same principle applies to off-white, ivory, and any pale color that resembles white.

Don't be too daring.

Sequins, wild prints, bright colors, and other garish motifs are appropriate for a fun night out but inappropriate for a wedding. You obviously want to look fantastic, but you also do not wish to be the focus of everyone's attention at someone else's wedding. The bride should always be the center of attention, not your dress.

Consider being modest.

Summer calls for exposing some of your skin, but not too much. That is a big no no. Try searching for some modest dress code. This is analogous to the prohibition about being excessively daring. You don't want to be a hindrance to the bride on her special day. When it comes to wedding apparel, it's best to stick on the side of modesty if you're torn between many possibilities.


CleanShot 2023-10-20 at 12.30.45.png

Annabel Law

Annabel Law has 15+ years experience as a wedding photographer. Annabel Law Productions has shot over

600 weddings in Singapore and overseas. She is the only female Canon EOS master and she has been

featured in Straits Times, Business Times, Mothership and many more. Annabel offers wedding photography, wedding videography and boudoir photography services. 

bottom of page