The Ultimate Dress Code Guide for Wedding Guests

This post is in conjunction with  Harry’s . When it comes to etiquette + dress code, I called on the experts to help steer you in the right direction. You’re welcome!

Every wedding is different. The type of occasion you’re hoping to plan will likely influence how you and your guests are expected to properly dress. Getting an understanding of what kind of function it is and the group of people attending, will better your decision-making about how you should stylize yourself among your peers.

Depending on your invitation you’re going to want to decide right away. With that in mind, use our tips below to complete your bad-ass look for the big day.

White Tie vs Black Tie

At the most formal level of a wedding, the expectation is that guests will be asked to abide by either white or black tie standards. Let’s start with white tie. This is the fanciest and most formal of any wedding dress code. It is known to be the “best of the best” look. For men, a tuxedo with tails, a white dress shirt, and a white tie are required. However, be sure to check the invitation as it may list other requests as well. Likewise for women, selecting your most elegant dress as if you’re attending a gala will be your best bet. Many white tie functions have strict restrictions and requirements so just be keen to abide whatever the bride and groom might ask.

On the other hand, black tie weddings are the most common dress code at weddings. While black tie is a step down in formality from white tie, it is still a very formal event. At these kinds of functions, men should be expected to wear their nicest black tuxedo with an accompanying white dress shirt and black tie. If you want to mix it up with a bow tie, try it out as it can add a little pizazz to a pretty standard look. For women, your options are open. Whether you go with a formal gown or a dressy cocktail dress, this will be when you have to evaluate the kind of wedding and make your choice from there.

Formal vs Casual

If black or white tie is not the vibe you’re going for, the next expectation would be a “formal” dress code. The beauty of a “formal” wedding is that you are welcome to dress with a black-tie wedding if you choose. While it’s not entirely necessary, you won’t look out of place. For ladies, there is no real difference between black tie and a formal event. This means you can go with either an elegant dress or something more casual. Heels or flats are both acceptable and can match your outfit perfectly, just remember to keep your comfort in mind.

The same goes for male guests. At a formal even you have the option to either go all out and wear a tuxedo, but if you won’t look out of place if you opt for a dressed-down look in a nice shirt and tie.

Other Necessities

No matter the dress code, there will be other necessities on your checklist that you’ll have to take care of for the big day. While your outfit will be the majority of your look, the “extras” that will make you stand out should not be forgotten, and can truthfully, make or break your outfit.

For men: Facial hygiene will be most important for male guests as they prepare their look. Starting with their hair, you should be sure that your hair is cut and styled to perfection to prevent any messy situations and potential bad photographs. Likewise, make sure your facial hair is just on point as your hair. Whether you choose to tame your beard or completely shave it off, make sure you shave and upkeep with top-line shaving products days before the wedding to give you the best look.

For women: After it comes to picking out your dress, you’re going to want to decide how to accessorize yourself to match your outfit. Starting with jewelry, you’re going to want to pick something that matches the occasion. If it’s more of a formal event selecting appropriate earrings and necklaces to match the vibe make more sense, rather than fun-colored or flashy, which would better fit a more casual scene. 

In terms of makeup, be sure to decide on how you want to do your makeup and make it match the function. For example, if your wedding is outdoors you may want to do less makeup with a more natural look, rather than you would for a wedding indoors. Don’t ever overdo your look and remember that everyone at the wedding is close friends and family so you shouldn’t stress about applying too much.

Photo by Mark Zamora on Unsplash

A Rustically Colorful, Smashingly Romantic and "Foxy", Winter Wedding


I'd like to introduce you to Rose + Eric, otherwise known as Ms. Rabbit + Mr. Fox. I'm not going to lie, I truly love it when couples have pet names for each other (my hus and I have a few names for each other, but definitely not is cool (or nice for that matter)!). And, in this case, I mean "pet" in the literal sense of the word! It all started because, one day, as these two were enjoying a lovely day in town, they spotted a red fox (um, holy shit!), something extremely rare in such an urban setting. Considering that Rose grew up in the woods, she took this "fox spotting" as a spiritual sign that it was time to tell Eric she loved him. So, she did. And, that is how it all began... From then on, Eric was the fox and she was the rabbit.

Anyway, bridey, I dare you to take this opportunity to be inspired! Don't be afraid to incorporate amazing attributes from other cultures into your wedding. R+E's wedding is exceptionally electrifying; inspired by Indian saree's and African colors. A MAZ ING, right?? And why not? There are no rules, just two people planning a day that symbolizes who they are together, and what they will be in the future. (Wow! That was deep!) Plus, there were several DIY aspects included throughout the wedding making it that much more personal and meaningful. Take a peek at Rose's shawl + the groom's tie. They were crafted by the Rose's mom. But, what I love the most (aside from the exquisite color, delicately beautiful wedding dress, DIY elements and every bit of décor)? Rose + Eric are clearly passionate for one another, and didn't go for broke to express that love and adoration. Enjoy!!!

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That's definitely the greatest look ever...


STFU with those dimples, Eric! So dashing!

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Rose, there is something entirely angelic about you. You are incredibly stunning!


Are you DY ING over the all of the color? I totally am!!


Hot damn, that bouquet is absolutely splendid!


Totally love that Rose is barefoot!

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Such a FAB shot!!! 

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Let's go do this!!!


There is so much emotion captured in this shot. Seriously, look at each of their faces... Plus, I LOVE the amazing colors!

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Sexy. Passionate.

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Love the décor! Take a closer look at the mug.

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Love love love the mural!!


Thank you Ms. Rabbit + Mr. Fox for sharing your exuberant wedding with Bitchless Bride! I love everything about it!!! 

Industry Peeps:

Photographer: XSIGHT Productions
Location: Winters Community Center
Submitted via Two Bright Lights

A Stranger Things Inspired Boudoir Sess Rockin' a Total Badass Babe!


Bridey, meet Kaity. Kaity is amongst the bravest women I know. This FABULOUS lady did something so spectacular, so daring and so fucking amazing that she has inspired me to join her in her badassery, and make it a point to do something that scares me. Could be something little or something big, but I'm just going to fucking do it! I'll write about it when I'm done and then we can talk about what you did that scared the shit out of you! Anyway, this post is about more than a badass babe killing a Stranger Things boudoir shoot. It's about conquering self-deprecating behavior, owning who you are and running with that determination to kill our inner beast and replace it with self-love and acceptance.

Kaity said, "To me, self-love was forcing myself to come to terms with who I was, and committing to the fact that I was worthy, regardless of the worth that I was assigned by other parties. My assignment was forgiving myself for not meeting standards that were grossly unattainable, despite setting them myself. It was understanding that one bad interaction did not mean I was incapable of romance, and did not mean that I was unlovable... I had spent so long living under the “if you just lost some weight” mentality. As if a number on a scale would somehow give me the validation to be respected? I got this idea that I could love myself just like I was, in a body that I swore wasn’t worthy. Acting on the idea was an entirely different venture." A MEN sister! Bridey, please remember to love yourself NO MATTER WHAT, because you are worth it. We are ALL worth it... Stop letting fear paralyze your dreams, and go live them! Now, go get inspired by Kaity's awesomeness.


Eggos still make me happy, but not as happy as they make our alien friend, Eleven, in Stranger Things.


Holy heatwave! Kaity you are HOT HOT HOT!!!


I always wanted blue eyes! Kaity, you truly are a hot fucking ticket! DAAAAAMMMMNNN!


Is there a naughty school girl in Stranger Things? Do they need one? Just curious. Asking for a friend...


Kaity. I applaud your bravery + badassery. You owned the SHIT out of this boudoir sess, and you are BEAUTIFUL! Congratulations on conquering your inner beast! Thank you for sharing your journey with Bitchless Bride!!

Industry Peeps:

Photographer: Jessica Hunt Photography
HairVIVID: Cut. Color. Style. 
Beauty: Pretty and Pinned
Venue: 701 Whaley

A Steamy Boudoir Sess or an Insanely Awesome PEACOCK Styled Shoot, or Both?!


I know what you're thinking, bridey. You're 100% thinking that this is a sexy + steamy boudoir shoot, right? Well, not quite... Although it definitely feels like it could be a boudoir shoot based on the photograph above and several of the pics below, it's actually an edgy styled shoot with loads of peacock inspiration running through it's veins! And, it all starts with the bride's hair (and nails too)! OMFG, just look at her FABULOUS locks!!! I can't even... Bridey, if you're looking for some fucking cool inspiration, executed in a fantastically classy + fun way, then today is the best day ever!

We've talked endlessly about how you want your wedding to be different, and stand out from the others, but in order to do that you must adjust your thinking from ordinary to extraordinary! You must act on your passions and whatever you do, don't be afraid to be driven by fearless ideas!! C'mon! Use this shoot as inspiration to tap into your inner peacock, or whatever drives you + your sig other! Dare to have your wedding be the wedding which compels your peers to outdo... If they can! And this shoot? Well, it's a great way to see how to rock a theme in a way that's unique + enchanting! Enjoy! 

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The bride is amazing, but can we just talk about the hair on the makeup artist??

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It's like she's so fucking hot without even meaning to be!

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LOVE this pic! Do me a favor... Zoom in on her nails!! 

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I mean... I can't even handle how amazing this is... The hair, makeup, jewelry and the dress! I'm in wedding heaven! And what I love most is that it's not pushed on us, it's just fantastic!!

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Exquisite details... And, again, not too much, but definitely enough to get people talking about how cool the décor is! You should try it, bridey!


Holy shit with the cake. It's literally edible art and it's astonishing.

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Um.... Hi. If you see me rockin' some new color, it's totally because of this shoot! Like, I'm crying right now! It's that good!

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Thank you talented industry peeps for sharing this truly inspirational shoot with Bitchless Bride! LOVE LOVE LOVE IT!

Industry Peeps:

PhotographerJuan Zambrano Photography
Equipment Rentals: Cooke Rentals Cornelius
Floral Designer: Willow Floral Boutique
Cake Designer: Cake Expressions by Lisa
Dress Store: Fabulous Frocks
Reception Venue: The Oaks Events 
Event Planner: Wild Daisy Events 

An Online Wedding Dress "Shop" with Tons of Imagination, Tons of Spunk and No Bullshit

Soooo.... I must say, that I not only am OB SES SED with these stunning wedding dresses, but I am truly amazed at the idea behind the gown! Bridey, allow me to introduce you to Lyra Vega Bridal, an exquisite online wedding dress "shop" with non-exquisite prices. Lyra Vega allows you to try on your wedding dress in the comfort of your own home, eliminating the stress and illuminating everything you love about being a bride. Honestly? It's fucking genius. It's fucking smart. It's fucking awesome. Totally wish I thought of it... Here's a few words from the boss lady (and a pretty FAB coupon!!!):

Lyra Vega Makes Finding the Perfect Dress Oh-So-Simple!

Be honest: how many bridal stores have you been to and how many dresses have you tried on only to hate everything you put on your body? Oh and let's not forget the price tag! You're going to wear this dress for one day and yet pay a whole months' salary, where’s the rational in that? 

As modern day women, we work hard and play hard, we make smart choices, we break glass ceilings, and we do it all with style and grace – so when it comes to shopping for our wedding dress, why are we settling for painful visits to bridal stores and trying on a million dresses you don’t like, unrealistic pricing, or waiting in line to fight 50 other women at sample sales to score a deal? It is time that our wedding dress shopping experience reflected how far we’ve come.

Lyra Vega wants to change up the wedding conversation. By combining online shopping with the wedding dress search, they’re bringing convenience and transparency to the wedding dress shopping experience, while offering elegant, beautiful dresses with modern details.

Started by women who have gone through the every day grind, the Lyra Vega team understands how hard it can be to save up the cash to pay for a wedding, and they believe that every bride should feel as beautiful as they look on their special day, while preserving resources for more future chapters to come in life. 

Shipping is always free with Lyra Vega, and right now, Bitchless readers get to enjoy an exclusive discount ! Enter promo code “BITCHLESS” at check out for a 10% off your order!

Bridey, two words: You're Welcome!!!! 

Because Bustling Doesn't Have to be a Bitch

{Photograph courtesy Person + Killian}

So, I like to think that I am really awesomely good at my job. I am super, annoyingly detailed, I provide excellent customer service, I write kick ass timelines, create and bring to life even the most complicated of floor plans, but there is one part of my job that rocks me every time! The damn wedding dress bustle. Because each one is completely different, and frankly some are designed better than others. I know it's a silly thing to get frustrated with, but it can take a lot of time for whomever is assisting with the process (and quite often, that's part of my job), and sometimes it can create tension where there was none.

All That Glitters Is Not Always Gold

From the Desk of "Goldilocks"... Bride AND Vendor:

I’ve peeked behind the curtain and…. Hum, I was really really disappointed.  To what am I referring to you ask?  In the bridal world, especially on the East coast, there is one spot that is a hands down wedding institution, a place that is a bridal rite of passage for dress shopping: I would say the name, but I don’t want to get in trouble with the ringmaster, so please use your imagination. For now, I will refer to it as “The Institution”.

Kardashian Style

So, I’m just sayin’… I don’t blame Kim for calling it quits after 72 days of marriage. I know I’m like a little bit late (okay, like a lot late or whatever) writing this, but I can’t stop thinking about it, so I thought I’d share the Bitchless point of view on the topic. If Kim Kardashian wasn’t Kim Kardashian, and she was more like you or me or somebody without a shitload of money, fame and beauty, we WOULD feel badly for her and the situation she got herself into. But, because she IS Kim Kardashian, and she does have the money, fame and beauty, the press and every bride getting married crucified her for her decision to get out of a marriage she knew wasn’t right; quickly.

Read Between the Lines

You know what’s NOT pretty walking down the aisle? You. You with your tan lines… Yeah… Tan lines in your beautiful, expensive wedding dress. Think about it… you probably spent a pile of money on your hair, makeup, personal trainers, facials, etc. so that you would look and feel incredible on your big day and frankly, I find it truly amazing how you can fuck it all up with those hideous tan lines. Seriously, you end up looking like some whore on the walk of shame instead of some bride walking down the aisle on her wedding day.