Ceremony and Vow Ideas

Attire rules for Lakefront Weddings

Our wedding is overlooking a beautiful lake at a Bed and Breakfast Inn and I was wondering how to word the invitation for guests attire choice-we don't want ultra-formal, but church attire to be worn by our guests.  The guys are in suits and the bridesmaids,MOG and grandmother of the Groom are going to be in gowns or cocktail length dresses.  

Re: Attire rules for Lakefront Weddings

  • SP29SP29
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    Agree with the above.

    Unless there are venue specific requirements (i.e. jackets must be worn, etc), it is not appropriate to state attire. However, if a guest asks you, you can let them know the groomsmen will be in suits and the bridesmaids in cocktail length dresses (or whatever they are actually wearing).
    charlotte989875ernursej
  • Jen4948Jen4948 Houston
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    The only instances in which it is ever appropriate to indicate attire on invitations are when the wedding is black tie or white tie, which are degrees of formality.

    Your wedding doesn't qualify as either.

    If you want your guests to wear church-service appropriate attire, then your invitation needs to convey that tone in wording and style. That means no cutesy "fun" wording or Star Trek themes (save that for the reception decor, music and entertainment). Invitations with the standard wording and a formal appearance will help convey the right tone.
    CMGragainInLoveInQueens
  • DrillSergeantCatDrillSergeantCat Oklahoma City, OK
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    I had several people ask me what to wear, I told them to wear whatever they wanted but to remember that they'll be walking on grass.
    InLoveInQueensSP29ahoyweddingbookmaiden17_
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs
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    edited June 9
    You don't ever dictate attire. Let your guests wear what they want. You don't want "ultra-formal"? Why? What if someone shows up in an evening gown? Will that somehow make your marriage invalid. 

    Honestly, you won't even be paying attention to what your guests are wearing. This is not something to stress about. 

    InLoveInQueensSP29
  • SP29SP29
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    scribe95 said:

    Sounds like pretty basic wedding clothes to me. They are adults. They can dress themselves. 


    Agree with this sentiment. Sounds like what you want is pretty standard wedding attire. I would wear a cocktail dress, heels (unless there is grass involved) and some nice jewelry.

    But really, what is church attire? I don't attend church, so I don't have "church clothes". Though I have some idea of what you mean as I watch TV/movies, I think my heels and cocktail dress (depending on which one I wear) may not be suitable for church (a bit too fancy or loud). I also don't think of gowns as "church clothes". And what I see most people wear to church these days is pretty casual- pants and shirt. I'm guessing this isn't what you want.

    The above is why stating a dress code (unless black or white tie) is actually less than helpful. What does "church clothes" mean? It obviously varies. What does lakefront chic/dress casual/ etc mean? Nothing really.

    People realize you dress nice for a wedding. They will take cues from your venue choice, time of day and invitation styling. Let adults dress themselves.
    mollybarker11
  • CMGragainCMGragain
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    edited June 9
    @SP29, church attire varies these days.  In most protestant churches, women wear pants or dresses.  Colors are never an issue, but anything super short, like a club dress, or really low plunging necklines would not be appropriate.  In Catholic churches, things are much more casual, with jeans the norm.
    In the old days, it meant a nice dress or suit, hat and gloves, but that was a long time ago!
    I have seen the description "country club casual" used to describe khakis and knit polo shirts for men.  Of course, no attire description is appropriate on an invitation.  Totally rude to tell your guests what to wear!
    httpiimgurcomTCCjW0wjpg
  • lovesclimbinglovesclimbing Alaska
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    CMGragain said:

    @SP29, church attire varies these days.  In most protestant churches, women wear pants or dresses.  Colors are never an issue, but anything super short, like a club dress, or really low plunging necklines would not be appropriate.  In Catholic churches, things are much more casual, with jeans the norm.
    In the old days, it meant a nice dress or suit, hat and gloves, but that was a long time ago!
    I have seen the description "country club casual" used to describe khakis and knit polo shirts for men.  Of course, no attire description is appropriate on an invitation.  Totally rude to tell your guests what to wear!


    hmm, this has not been my experience. I have never attended a Catholic service, but I tend to think of them as being much more "dress up" than Protestant churches. I have been to lots of Protestant churches and quite recently too. H and I visited 6-7 different churches to find a new one after our move last fall. At all of them, at least 3/4 of the people dressed casually, not much more dressed up than they would be for a regular day. Lots of jeans. In my experience, super conservative baptist churches are the only ones that have most people wearing dresses and suits. 

    But there you go, OP, church attire widely varies. 

    SP29
  • MobKazMobKaz Chicago suburbs
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    CMGragain said:


    @SP29, church attire varies these days.  In most protestant churches, women wear pants or dresses.  Colors are never an issue, but anything super short, like a club dress, or really low plunging necklines would not be appropriate.  In Catholic churches, things are much more casual, with jeans the norm.
    In the old days, it meant a nice dress or suit, hat and gloves, but that was a long time ago!
    I have seen the description "country club casual" used to describe khakis and knit polo shirts for men.  Of course, no attire description is appropriate on an invitation.  Totally rude to tell your guests what to wear!




    hmm, this has not been my experience. I have never attended a Catholic service, but I tend to think of them as being much more "dress up" than Protestant churches. I have been to lots of Protestant churches and quite recently too. H and I visited 6-7 different churches to find a new one after our move last fall. At all of them, at least 3/4 of the people dressed casually, not much more dressed up than they would be for a regular day. Lots of jeans. In my experience, super conservative baptist churches are the only ones that have most people wearing dresses and suits. 

    But there you go, OP, church attire widely varies. 


    Jeans are not the norm in my parish, with the exception of 5:00 PM Saturday Mass.  That mass is definitely more casual than most.  On Sunday, 6:30, 8:00, and 9:30 AM Masses are definitely suits and dresses.  The most casual attire at those services is the "country club casual", particularly in the summer.  11:00 AM and 12:30 PM Mass gets more business casual than suits, with a smattering of jeans.  Often if I see jeans, they are more the colored or dark wash jeans.
  • I wouldn't say that Catholic churches are more casual.   I think it's parish dependent.   

    We live in a coastal town.   In the summer it's common for men to wear nice khaki shorts and women wear capris or sundresses.

    A different parish that DH's cousins attended is far more formal and women may even veil.


  • I had several people ask me what to wear, I told them to wear whatever they wanted but to remember that they'll be walking on grass.


    THIS. If any part of the event is on grass, you can include that detail on your wedding website or have your parents/the family go-to person spread that info via word of mouth. That would also let them know it's outside, so most adults would think to grab a wrap or sweater or something.

    Also "church attire" is very vague. I grew up in a football & hunting town, and church attire was jerseys on game day and blaze orange during hunting season ;)
    SP29adk19mollybarker11
  • climbingwifeclimbingwife NYC 'burbs
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    Jeans are definitely not the norm for Catholic churches in my area. 

  • lyndausvilyndausvi Western Slope, Colorado
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    Jeans are definitely not the norm for Catholic churches in my area. 


    Jeans are seen often around here, but that is not universal at all.   I've attended churches in coastal towns that were shorts and tank tops.   I've attended city churches that were more formal with men in suits, women in dresses.  And everything in between.   

    Like @banana468 said, it's very much parish dependent.  






    What differentiates an average host and a great host is anticipating unexpressed needs and wants of their guests.  Just because the want/need is not expressed, doesn't mean it wouldn't be appreciated. 
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