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A Stylish Guest's Guide on What to Wear to Every Type of Wedding

Need help in figuring out what the wedding dress code means?
A Stylish Guest's Guide on What to Wear to Every Type of Wedding
IMAGE INSTAGRAM/tgosingtian. martine
Need help in figuring out what the wedding dress code means?

Wedding dress codes can be confusing, especially if you're coming in as a guest. To help guide you, we created your ultimate cheat sheet for all the types of weddings that you may attend. Below, we dissected each dress code and have put together a little styling guide for your reference:

Decoding Dress Codes for Weddings:

1. White Tie

What it means: White tie is the most formal dress code there is. Usually, this calls for the guests to wear gloves and a floor-length gown, but here in the Philippines, couples rarely opt for this wedding dress code. 

What to wear: Ladies are expected to wear long formal gowns and heels. But to consider practicality and comfort, stick to less pouffy ones. Also mind the fit of your gown. If you're wearing a bustier or a body-hugging dress, be sure to leave some allowance so you can move around in it. That said, your heels should also afford you some comfort. It's better to have a lower heel height than have aching ankles by the end of the night, yes?

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Try:

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Velvet burgundy long gown, price unavailable, MARK BUMGARNERmark-bumgarner.com

2. Black Tie

What it means: Black tie calls for a formal dress as well, but this dress code is more indicative that the event is supposed to be an evening affair.

What to wear: Long gowns are a must in a black tie wedding. But you can also get away with wearing a cocktail dress⁠—just be sure to check in with the couple for the acceptable hemline length, so you don't risk coming in underdressed. For footwear, espadrilles and casual sandals are a no-no.

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Try:

Polka dot dress, price unavailable. VANIA ROMOFF, Greenbelt 5

3. Black Tie Optional / Formal

What it means: This dress code can be quite ambiguous, but when in doubt, always follow black tie.

What to wear: Long gowns are preferred, but formal separates work too. Think dressy suits teamed with cute heels.

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Try:

Pastel suit, price unavailable, C/MEO COLLECTIVE at COMME CI, Power Plant

4. Creative Formal/ Festive

What it means: This dress code usually calls for the guest to follow the wedding's theme and prescribed color palette. 

What to wear: While the ladies are being asked to wear formalwear, they shouldn't be restricted to the traditional type of frocks. Creative formal calls for the guests to have fun in their 'fits so don't be afraid to wear something printed, sequinned, or glittery!

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Try:

Printed long dress, price unavailable, YONG STUDIO BY YONG DAVALOS, yong.com.ph

5. Cocktail 

What it means: A cocktail dress code means the ladies should come in something dressy but not necessarily limited to floor-length gowns or dresses.

What to wear: Of course, you can always wear a midi dress but don't forget about coordinates, too. It's a practical choice that you can re-wear even after the festivities.

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Try:

Lola set, P6999, ZOO LABEL, UP Town Center

6. Beach Formal

What it means: Keep in mind that you're heading to the beach so even if you're required to wear long gowns, make sure that your frock is lightweight and breezy. Otherwise, you'll feel uncomfortably hot on the sandy beach!

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What to wear: Go for dresses with lightweight fabrics. Think eyelet dresses and linen!

Try:

Raya dress, P18,000, CHARINA SARTE, Greenbelt 5

7. Beach Cocktail/ Beach Chic

What it means: This code means to dress in something that's formal enough for a wedding but also appropriate to be worn on the beach.

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What to wear: This dress code calls for the guests to wear something less restricting but not something too casual, like sarongs or kaftans. Opt for dressy coordinates or midi dresses.

Try:

Ida dress, P18,000, CHARINA SARTE, Greenbelt 5

8. Dressy Casual

What it means: Dressy casual is more lenient. This means the couple is not requiring her guests to wear long gowns; instead, simply elevate your everyday wear.

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What to wear: Since dresses aren't a requirement, you're free to wear suits or jumpsuits! But if you still would like to wear a frock, sundresses and skirt coordinates can be worn. The best part? You're not required to wear heels either!

Try:

Jumpsuit, price unavailable, PATTY ANG, Power Plant

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9. Garden Formal

What it means: Garden weddings usually have a rustic theme, which means the couple wants their guests to wear something a little less formal and a bit more laidback.

What to wear: Knowing this, the ladies can opt to wear printed dresses or top-and-skirt combos that have a modest hemline still. For footwear, it is advised to wear block heels, otherwise, you might sink into the garden soil!

Try:

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Amelia top, P13,500 and Belle skirt, P13,000, all from VANIA ROMOFF, Greenbelt 5

10. Modern Filipiniana

What it means: With Filipino-made fashion being on the spotlight nowadays, most couples opt to have fiesta-themed weddings that call for their guests to dress in Filipiniana. Now, pay attention to the invitation or ask the bride herself if she wants modern or traditional Filipiniana.

What to wear: Traditional Filipiniana calls for a more formal look. This means butterfly sleeved terno dress for the ladies. Meanwhile, if the prescribed attire is modern Filipiniana, guests are free to experiment with their own Filipiniana rendition. You can opt to channel the Filipiniana spirit via its traditional fabric (like jusi or piña) or by playing with its iconic silhouettes.

Try:

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Piña shifu & lace ensemble with hand embroidered details, price unavailable, GABBIE SARENAS

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