Attire & Accessories Forum

Hawaii Lawn Wedding Guest Attire?

tayphortayphor member
First Anniversary
edited February 2015 in Attire & Accessories Forum
Hi everybody! I am having the hardest time figuring out what kind of attire I should tell our guests to wear. We are getting married at the Kona Beach Hotel on Big Island on a grass lawn right next to the water at 11am. I ended up with a much more formal dress than I expected, but you know how it goes... Here is my dress

I am thinking of "Aloha formal/Resort Formal" But it's so hard to find a definition and pictures of this... so I've just been telling people nice sundresses and khakis and nice button ups/aloha shirts. Is this going to look silly with how formal my dress ended up? 


Re: Hawaii Lawn Wedding Guest Attire?

  • ViczaesarViczaesar Central Coast, CA member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    tayphor said:
    Hi everybody! I am having the hardest time figuring out what kind of attire I should tell our guests to wear. We are getting married at the Kona Beach Hotel on Big Island on a grass lawn right next to the water at 11am. I ended up with a much more formal dress than I expected, but you know how it goes... Here is my dress

    I am thinking of "Aloha formal/Resort Formal" But it's so hard to find a definition and pictures of this... so I've just been telling people nice sundresses and khakis and nice button ups/aloha shirts. Is this going to look silly with how formal my dress ended up? 


    Good news!  You can't tell your guests how to dress, so you don't need to worry about this.  It's extremely rude to try to dictate attire.  The only time you can indicate a dress code is when you are having a true black tie event or if your venue has dress requirements (e.g. collared shirts and jackets for men).



    blabla89doeydo
  • OliveOilsMomOliveOilsMom South Jersey member
    Tenth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    Agree with PP.  You shouldn't put a dress code on the invites unless it is the policy of your venue.  But since people are asking you, you should just describe the venue and encourage people to wear whatever they want to.
  • The most you should do is put something on your wedding website about the venue type, and guests have the ability to dress themselves from there. 

    I would appreciate knowing that the wedding will be outdoors (to dress for weather, wear sunscreen, whatever) and as a woman I would appreciate knowing that I'll be walking on grass so I can opt to not wear stiletto heels. I absolutely would not appreciate having my outfit dictated by someone else. 
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  • ditto PP, but I also wanted to add that whatever your guests wear, it's not going to "look weird" with your dress. You're the bride, you're supposed to stand out. Whether you're wearing a red pantsuit or a giant white ballgown, you don't have to "match" your guests. Your dress is absolutely beautiful, by the way!
  • A mutual friend of mine is having a similar wedding in Hawaii.  Since it was a destination wedding, she told people to dress comfortable. I'm having a standard wedding and won't be telling anyone how to dress but if it's a destination wedding (esp if it's someones first time in Hawaii) I would tell them to dress comfortably (khakis/linen pants/sun dresses) It's going to be warm and you don't want guests to think that it would be rude to dress that way.  Hawaii in my mind is a different ball game.  Summer weddings- I don't know any man who would come to a wedding in an aloha shirt and khakis.  But this is a special circumstance and that is how everyone dresses in Hawaii for a formal occasion due to the climate.  Also, when I'm invited to a wedding I always stress about what to wear if it's an unusual location.  It's nice when you don't have to worry that you will either over dress or under dress.

    Your dress is beautiful and I think the aloha formal (which I totally get because I lived out there for a few months) is appropriate.  It's not your standard summer wedding, you are in an absolutely beautiful location and you want that Hawaiian feel.

    I also got invited to a wedding which will be held on a beach and was told that shoes are optional and flip flops are encouraged.  I was happy to see that detail so I don't wear a pear of heels and end up uncomfortable.  Your guests comfort should be top priority and letting them know that they don't have to wear a full suit is helpful.  

    I'm also going to a "black tie optional" wedding and I find that to be a pain in a the ass because someone is telling me that I have to dress UP.  I'd prefer to be told that I can dress down and be comfortable.
  • PamBeesly524PamBeesly524 member
    Seventh Anniversary 1000 Comments 500 Love Its Name Dropper
    edited February 2015
    @klk111415 there is no such thing as black tie optional... Unless it's black tie, it's black tie optional. So they aren't telling you to dress up, they're telling you you can dress however you want. Which, as a human being, you can do without being told.

    Edited because words are hard on a Friday afternoon.
  • klk111415 said:
    A mutual friend of mine is having a similar wedding in Hawaii.  Since it was a destination wedding, she told people to dress comfortable. I'm having a standard wedding and won't be telling anyone how to dress but if it's a destination wedding (esp if it's someones first time in Hawaii) I would tell them to dress comfortably (khakis/linen pants/sun dresses) It's going to be warm and you don't want guests to think that it would be rude to dress that way.  Hawaii in my mind is a different ball game.  Summer weddings- I don't know any man who would come to a wedding in an aloha shirt and khakis.  But this is a special circumstance and that is how everyone dresses in Hawaii for a formal occasion due to the climate.  Also, when I'm invited to a wedding I always stress about what to wear if it's an unusual location.  It's nice when you don't have to worry that you will either over dress or under dress.

    Your dress is beautiful and I think the aloha formal (which I totally get because I lived out there for a few months) is appropriate.  It's not your standard summer wedding, you are in an absolutely beautiful location and you want that Hawaiian feel.

    I also got invited to a wedding which will be held on a beach and was told that shoes are optional and flip flops are encouraged.  I was happy to see that detail so I don't wear a pear of heels and end up uncomfortable.  Your guests comfort should be top priority and letting them know that they don't have to wear a full suit is helpful.  

    I'm also going to a "black tie optional" wedding and I find that to be a pain in a the ass because someone is telling me that I have to dress UP.  I'd prefer to be told that I can dress down and be comfortable.
    you get it cuz you lived there. Anyone who hasn't lived there will NOT understand what that means.
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    plainjane0415Maggie0829
  • How the hell is "hello/goodbye formal" supposed to make any sense?

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    novella1186plainjane0415Maggie0829doeydo
  • I got married at a beach club in Mexico, and I had a very formal dress, and DH and his GM wore tuxes. I didn't try to label the attire, since it doesn't go on the invitation anyway. However, I got asked a lot what the attire was because it was a beach wedding, so I told them just sundresses (but beware of heels in the garden) and kahkis with a polo would be appropriate for the ceremony. Some asked if they could change into shorts at the reception (because it was so darn hot), and I had no problem with that.

    "There is always some madness in love. But there is also always some reason in madness." -Friedrich Nietzsche, "On Reading and Writing"
  • Viczaesar said:
    Good news!  You can't tell your guests how to dress, so you don't need to worry about this.  It's extremely rude to try to dictate attire.  The only time you can indicate a dress code is when you are having a true black tie event or if your venue has dress requirements (e.g. collared shirts and jackets for men).
    Out of curiosity, what is a proper response when guests ask you directly about wedding attire? I absolutely agree with your statement that you should not specify a dress code on an invitation (or website, or anywhere). But I've had several guests ask me about what to wear and I'm struggling with how to respond politely without dictating how they dress or making them feel like I'm being evasive.

    tayphor said:
    ... so I've just been telling people nice sundresses and khakis and nice button ups/aloha shirts. Is this going to look silly with how formal my dress ended up? 

    Are people asking directly what to wear? Maybe the question is about how to respond politely rather than an (impolite) dress code on invitation question.
  • theartistformerlyknownastheartistformerlyknownas peaced out. member
    10000 Comments 500 Love Its 5 Answers First Anniversary
    edited February 2015


    Viczaesar said:


    Good news!  You can't tell your guests how to dress, so you don't need to worry about this.  It's extremely rude to try to dictate attire.  The only time you can indicate a dress code is when you are having a true black tie event or if your venue has dress requirements (e.g. collared shirts and jackets for men).

    Out of curiosity, what is a proper response when guests ask you directly about wedding attire? I absolutely agree with your statement that you should not specify a dress code on an invitation (or website, or anywhere). But I've had several guests ask me about what to wear and I'm struggling with how to respond politely without dictating how they dress or making them feel like I'm being evasive.

    tayphor said:

    ... so I've just been telling people nice sundresses and khakis and nice button ups/aloha shirts. Is this going to look silly with how formal my dress ended up? 


    Are people asking directly what to wear? Maybe the question is about how to respond politely rather than an (impolite) dress code on invitation question.


    I got married at a pretty fancy private club. Invites were fancy, etc. When anyone asked me *specifically* what to wear, I said "wear whatever you want. Only thing off limits is jeans. If you want to get really dressed up you won't look out of place, but don't feel obligated. The ceremony will likely be outside on the lawn but the reception is inside." Some guys wore khakis, some girls wore rented gowns. My aunt wore a pantsuit. Really though, very few people asked.

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    weddingcactus
  • The only reason it might be nice to specify is because if this is a destination wedding, men will have to lug a full suit all the way to hawaii which takes up a lot more room than a pair of khakis.  Also, with it being warm, women should know that a tight fitting dress that doesn't breath would leave them feeling itchy and uncomfortable.  I would just rather know what I can get away with wearing since every wedding is different.  I'm sure a lot of people will ask and it just keeps things clear and avoids making you have the same conversation with each guest.

    Also, if you specify aloha attire, you would obviously explain what that means. You don't even need to give it a name, just explain what people can wear.  I think this is a situation where it's appropriate to specify to guests since if you don't specify, they might feel uncomfortable, especially in a full suit.  
  • klk111415 said:

    The only reason it might be nice to specify is because if this is a destination wedding, men will have to lug a full suit all the way to hawaii which takes up a lot more room than a pair of khakis.  Also, with it being warm, women should know that a tight fitting dress that doesn't breath would leave them feeling itchy and uncomfortable.  I would just rather know what I can get away with wearing since every wedding is different.  I'm sure a lot of people will ask and it just keeps things clear and avoids making you have the same conversation with each guest.


    Also, if you specify aloha attire, you would obviously explain what that means. You don't even need to give it a name, just explain what people can wear.  I think this is a situation where it's appropriate to specify to guests since if you don't specify, they might feel uncomfortable, especially in a full suit.  
    If I knew I was attending a beach wedding, I wouldn't wear a tight, heavy dress. Nor would my H pack a suit for a beach destination wedding. As always, the dress code is implied by the location of the wedding and formality of the invitation..

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    novella1186climbingsingleMaggie0829
  • Wtf is aloha formal?  Black tie optional always amuses me.  Every day is black tie optional!  If I want to leave the house and head to work in a ball gown then I damn well can...because, hey...it's an option!


    thespeshulestsnowflakedoeydo
  • climbingsingleclimbingsingle NYC 'burbs member
    10000 Comments Seventh Anniversary 500 Love Its 5 Answers
    99% of adults know how to dress themselves. I've attended a few destination weddings and I've always been able to figure out what to wear without being told about some silly made-up dress code/guideline.

    theartistformerlyknownas
  • lovesclimbinglovesclimbing Alaska member
    Seventh Anniversary 2500 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    edited February 2015
    Viczaesar said:
    Good news!  You can't tell your guests how to dress, so you don't need to worry about this.  It's extremely rude to try to dictate attire.  The only time you can indicate a dress code is when you are having a true black tie event or if your venue has dress requirements (e.g. collared shirts and jackets for men).
    Out of curiosity, what is a proper response when guests ask you directly about wedding attire? I absolutely agree with your statement that you should not specify a dress code on an invitation (or website, or anywhere). But I've had several guests ask me about what to wear and I'm struggling with how to respond politely without dictating how they dress or making them feel like I'm being evasive.

    tayphor said:
    ... so I've just been telling people nice sundresses and khakis and nice button ups/aloha shirts. Is this going to look silly with how formal my dress ended up? 

    Are people asking directly what to wear? Maybe the question is about how to respond politely rather than an (impolite) dress code on invitation question.
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    If someone truly wants to know specifically, I would tell them. If I asked what I should wear, it's because I want to know, and saying "Wear whatever you want" is not helpful. Maybe you truly don't care what I wear, but I do care, and I want to make sure that I don't end up in a sundress or jean skirt (like I wore at one casual wedding this summer) when other people are in cocktail dresses.

    My friend asked what she should wear to my wedding. I told her whatever she wanted but that the BMs would be in knee-length dresses, my mom would be in a short but partially sparkly dress, and the GMs would all be in dress pants, shirts and ties.

    I think that's fine and perfectly appropriate to say if someone specifically seeks you out to ask what they should wear.

    Viczaesarweddingcactus
  • ViczaesarViczaesar Central Coast, CA member
    Ninth Anniversary 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    Viczaesar said:
    Good news!  You can't tell your guests how to dress, so you don't need to worry about this.  It's extremely rude to try to dictate attire.  The only time you can indicate a dress code is when you are having a true black tie event or if your venue has dress requirements (e.g. collared shirts and jackets for men).
    Out of curiosity, what is a proper response when guests ask you directly about wedding attire? I absolutely agree with your statement that you should not specify a dress code on an invitation (or website, or anywhere). But I've had several guests ask me about what to wear and I'm struggling with how to respond politely without dictating how they dress or making them feel like I'm being evasive.

    tayphor said:
    ... so I've just been telling people nice sundresses and khakis and nice button ups/aloha shirts. Is this going to look silly with how formal my dress ended up? 

    Are people asking directly what to wear? Maybe the question is about how to respond politely rather than an (impolite) dress code on invitation question.
    I would tell them what your bridesmaids and groomsmen are wearing, and maybe your parents' attire if you know what they plan on wearing, to give the guests an idea of what level of formality your event is.



    weddingcactus
  • Its against etiquette to tell guests a dress code (unless you are having a Black tie wedding...then you can say Black tie).

    " Aloha formal" and "Resort formal" are not actual dress codes and will be confusing anyway.

    Rest easy knowing that these people dress themselves without assistance every day. Your wedding day is no different - they'll be fine.
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  • amelishaamelisha Canadian Texas member
    1000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer Name Dropper
    I'm having a destination wedding too, and the only reference I've made to attire is to people who have asked specifically, and then it went like this: 

    Q: "So, should I be buying a new suit for your wedding?"
    A: "You know everything is pretty informal and the restaurant doesn't have a dress code or anything, so you can of course just wear whatever you want. You definitely don't need to get that dressed up if you don't want to. I think my dad is wearing one of those Tommy Bahama shirts and my mom is probably just wearing a sundress or a blouse and capris."

    I have told them there is no venue dress code, given them an example of what someone else plans to wear, and reiterated that they may wear anything they like. If someone asks, it's because they aren't sure, so I don't want to be evasive, but I also don't want to, like...lay down guidelines, because of course guests are welcome to wear anything they choose. 

    If people ask, you definitely should answer, but "Aloha Formal" is not an answer because it doesn't mean anything. Tell the asker about the venue, mention what the wedding party or your family is wearing, but don't prescribe some made-up standard of dress.

    Wedding Countdown Ticker
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    theartistformerlyknownas
  • I was asked a lot what people should wear to my wedding. My usual response was something like "Well, I'll be wearing a formal gown, haha. No, really. Ummm, it's a Saturday night in the city, so we expect most of our guests will be wearing suits and ties and cocktail or semi-formal dresses. You wouldn't be out of place if you wanted to wear a long dress, I know a few of my friends are definitely wearing long dresses. I'm sure whatever you have/want to wear is fine, though!"
    JennyColadatheartistformerlyknownas
  • If you aren't going to specify the attire, at least be sure the ladies know that it's a lawn wedding because heels are going to sink into the ground.  I'm attending an outdoor wedding this summer held in a field and the bride said "leave your heels at home, you will still look beautiful in flats" She also specified that it's going to be casual.  But if you go the root of not telling the ladies this, maybe get a bunch of heel caps for the women who come in heels.  It sucks being in heels and sinking into the ground.


  • JennyColadaJennyColada Awesometown, CA member
    2500 Comments 500 Love Its Third Anniversary First Answer
    MandyMost said:
    I was asked a lot what people should wear to my wedding. My usual response was something like "Well, I'll be wearing a formal gown, haha. No, really. Ummm, it's a Saturday night in the city, so we expect most of our guests will be wearing suits and ties and cocktail or semi-formal dresses. You wouldn't be out of place if you wanted to wear a long dress, I know a few of my friends are definitely wearing long dresses. I'm sure whatever you have/want to wear is fine, though!"
    Haha, this is the line that I pulled "Well I'll be wearing a dress..."
    weddingcactus
  • I was married in Kona and on our wedding website suggest it was a relaxed beach wedding.  

    "

    Attire or other information

    For our shaka beach wedding, we want you to be comfortable!  Ladies, the ceremony will be at the beach, remember that when you choose your footwear!

    Dinner will be in historic Holualoa - the heart of Kona Coffee country.  Due to the high elevation, the evenings can be a bit cooler than on the Coast.  Remember to bring a sweater or wrap for when the sun goes down."



    I did wear a formal gown and have no regrets!  I also think that our Island style casual guests were perfect!  It was just important to me that my dad wore long pants and my mom didn't wear anything to "loud" ie) aloha wear.  I felt that having her in a solid colored dress would have her look just that bit more formal, which I thought she should be as the MOTB. 
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