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Ask Kate: Wording an invitations dress code

September 27, 2012

Kate Thompson has been offering heart-felt advice and sparklingly different wedding inspiration for ten years. She is married with two children, and often features in the national press. With her warm and caring nature and off-beat sense of humour, she'll answer every question with knowledgable insight and understanding to help and inspire or simply restore your peace of mind.

I would like all the ladies to wear long dresses to our wedding. Can you tell me the dress code wording for the invitations.

According to Debretts:  ‘Wedding etiquette dictates that dress codes are not included on a wedding invitation unless guests are required to adhere to an uncustomary code (such as black tie). Any unusual dress code should be explained in the extra information that goes out with the wedding invitations.’

There is no hard and fast rule about wording for a dress code, you could go for ‘black tie’ or ‘evening dress’ or ‘formal dress’.  I would suggest asking your guests to wear ‘evening dress’, though if you are particularly keen for all ladies to wear long skirts then you should put this, perhaps as follows:

Dress code: Evening dress – skirts long and suits.

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