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beach wedding: attire

I posted this on the Beach Weddings board but appreciate your feedback: I'm having trouble coming up with what to call the attire and how to explain it to my guests. People have started asking us and both of our moms what they should wear to the wedding. I don't want it to be black tie or black tie optional, but I still want people to dress up. The ceremony is on the sand, the reception is in a ballroom. It's a Saturday night with live music as the entertainment (Frank Sinatra cover band). It's a sit down dinner. I am wearing a long dress, we're still figuring out what FI will wear. Bridesmaids will be wearing short chocolate brown dresses, GMs we're still deciding. Any ideas/suggestions?

Re: beach wedding: attire

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    edited December 2011
    Ours was pretty similar.  I told everyone to wear what they would normally wear to a wedding, cocktail dresses for ladies, shirt and tie for the guys (I said jacket was optional!)  I left it at that, and let everyone figure it out!  We had no issues!
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    edited December 2011
    This helped me when I was trying to figure the same thing out...I found it from another bride online :) Wedding Guest Attire Cheat Sheet We'll help you decode the dress code. Has a wedding invite ever left you clueless about what to wear? Don't be baffled -- the info you need is likely there. You just have to know how to interpret the invite wording. Here's your cheat sheet for what to wear. The invite says: "White Tie" This is the most formal of all wedding dress codes (think state dinners and the Oscars). He should wear: A tuxedo, a long black jacket with tails, a white pique vest, and a bow tie. Black, formal shoes and even white gloves for dancing are appropriate. She should wear: A formal, full-length ball gown in a neutral color like dark brown or black. Glamorous makeup and dramatic jewelry and hair are appropriate. The invite says: "Black Tie" This is the next most formal wedding dress code and usually means the wedding is an evening affair. He should wear: A tuxedo. A black bow tie, cummerbund, and patent leather shoes are also suggested. She should wear: A chic cocktail dress or a long evening gown in a dark, neutral color like brown or black. The bride, wedding party, or friends can help answer questions about the appropriate dress length. The invite says: "Formal" or "Black Tie Optional" The wording here suggests something slightly less formal than black tie. This means that a tuxedo isn't required but the event is still formal enough for one to be appropriate. He should wear: A tuxedo or a formal dark suit and tie. She should wear: A long dress, a dressy suit, or a formal cocktail-length dress in a dark, neutral tone like brown, gray, or black. The invite says: "Beach Formal" This suggests an elegant beach wedding -- so dress to impress, but also dress for the elements (sun, sand, and water). Anything you'd wear to a nice restaurant on a summer day is appropriate. He should wear: A summer suit with a linen shirt (no ties required), linen pants or khakis, and sandals. She should wear: A formal summer sundress at tea- or knee-length with flat sandals. Makeup and hair can be natural and everyday. The invite says: "Semiformal" or "Dressy Casual" Depending on the time of the event, you'll want to dress somewhere between formal and casual. Wear darker, more formal hues for an evening fete; opt for light colors and fabrics for a daytime wedding. He should wear: A suit and tie, dark or light depending on the season and time of day. She should wear: A cocktail dress or a dressy skirt and top. The invite says: "Casual" Generally, casual means anything goes. That said, jeans, shorts, and tank tops are probably not appropriate unless they're specifically noted as acceptable. For the purposes of wedding wear, assume business casual to be on the safe side. He should wear: Dress pants with a button-down shirt or polo. She should wear: A summer sundress or a skirt or pants with a nice blouse. Makeup and hair can be natural and everyday
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    edited December 2011
    Actually I have two lists I saved..heres another one :) Black Tie Optional - This is if your wedding is formalFormal Dress - dressy but not black tieCocktail Attire - he wears a suit or sport coat she wears a cocktail dressBeach Formal - for an elegant beach wedding; it implies colorful semiformal dresses and summer suitsBeach Chic - sundresses & slacks and polosIsland Festive or Festive Attire - sundresses & island shirts slacks to shortsJacket Required - can be added to of the less formal dress codes if you would like men to not wear shorts and add a jacket [*]Flip Flops Required, Beach Casual, Sarong Style or Tropical Attire - flip flops paired with in-fomal but wedding appropriate wear like sundresses and khakis with white linen shirts. but be forewarned guess my end up in tshirts and shorts
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    bnlchic03bnlchic03 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I think the best thing to do is give people examples. On my wedding Web site, I said "beach chic" or something like that, then gave an example: polos and khakis for the gents, sundresses or skirts and blouses for the ladies. That way even if their idea of "semi-casual" or whatever you want to call it is different than yours, they'll get an idea. Other than the infamous jean jacket bikini top, I had no issues with outfits.
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    Mistym05Mistym05 member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    I was thinking about writing: Beach casual, shoes optional.  ( I'm having a basket for people to put their shoes in, I don't need anyone breaking an ankle trying to wear heels in the sand)I don't care what people wear, as long as it isn't a swim suit!! I am either going to give a description of what "beach casual" means or have it on my website so people know!
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    edited December 2011
    I had a beach wedding and most people will call you or your family/friends to ask what to wear no matter what you put on your invite.  Calling it beach formal sounds good, but most people will still be confused.  I mostly wanted people to know the ceremony would be on the sand to avoid heels, etc, so in my extra info part of my invite, I put on the events of the day "Ceremony on the Sand, Dinner and Dancing to follow in the ballroom."  Good luck!
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    signingjuliesigningjulie member
    First Comment
    edited December 2011
    ladies, thank you for all your feedback.  I really like "beach formal". You're right - people will still ask, I will  try to indicate it as clearly as possible between the website and the invitation, possibly also include a little insert in the invitation further explaining Beach Casual.  I know it's a little neurotic, but people are already asking!
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