Inspiration for Five Common Wedding Dress Codes


The question of what should I wear to a wedding is a common one. While most wedding invites stipulate the dress code – there are some unspoken rules that female guests should always follow… Don’t be too flashy; don’t reveal too much skin; and don’t show up the bride.

Below you’ll find 5 common wedding dress codes and the compatible attire for each. Make sure you check out Bossy B’s women’s fashion online NZ featuring Lemon Tree Design and the gorgeous Libertine dress.

1. Full evening dress
Full evening dress is the most formal evening dress code. Get your ‘white tie’ mojo on with a full-length ball gown in black, grey, beige or any other neutral colour. Match with a choker, tiara or diamond drop earrings. Dramatic eye makeup and shimmery lips will complete your look beautifully.

2. A ‘black tie’ affair
Black tie events usually require women to wear longer cocktail dresses or evening gowns in neutral hues. While best practice is to wear a floor-length dress, you can confirm the same with someone from the bride’s side. Something dressy, with a flattering A-line and rich details or embellishments are absolutely fine. Browse NZ women fashion online for inspiration.

3. Formal
More relaxed than black tie, but still requiring you to be suitably dressy in an outfit that ends below the knee. To stay on the safer side, slip into a cocktail dress in a black or grey shade.

4. Semi-formal
Semi-formal straddles the line between formal and casual. Go for something knee-length. For a summer wedding, choose a pastel shade or jewel tones and slip into a new little black dress for the reception party.

5. Casual
A wedding with a casual dress code gives you lots of options to choose from and means you can be more experimental and playful. A pretty sundress, a flowing maxi dress, a chic slit tank dress, a tulle mini dress, a peplum midi dress or a drop waist dress accompanied by chunky or elegant jewellery are just some options you can explore.

If you’re attending a backyard wedding and a wedding band is going to perform some classic or alternative rock, a black leather jacket over your chiffon or maxi dress will keep you warm and looking stylish.

Wedding dress code dos and don’ts!

(1) Don’t wear white
Once you’ve figured out the dress code, start picking out your clothes and accessories. As mentioned above, avoid white. It’s the big day for the bride and if anyone should be wearing white it is her. To be on the safe side consider steering clear of blush, cream and eggshell colours too.

(2) Make sure your dress fits you
Make sure the dress you’ve picked fits you comfortably. It should skim your body and not hug your body so tightly that you can’t breathe or sit down. If you’re wearing something strapless, make sure it stays up easily and that you are not constantly adjusting it all night.

(3) Wear shoes you can dance in
If you plan to dance the evening away, do yourself a favour and wear sensible shoes such as ballet flats, sandals or wedges. A good strategy could be to wear whatever footwear you want throughout the ceremony and cocktail hours and then change into something comfortable when it’s time to hit the dance floor.

Online store Bossy B offers women a range of chic and modern apparel from leading and popular designers. Whether you’re looking for designer skirts online or labels such as Libertine, Charcoal or Alibi Clothing NZ, you can get it all in one place at Bossy B’s. Visit to seek out regular women’s fashion sales and gift vouchers that you can give to a fashionable friend or loved one.


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