Weddings these days are less traditional and so have fewer typical dress code dictates. Outside of formal and semi-formal, for example, expect to see: beachwear, casual, Caribbean chic, black, white, to name a few.
My recommendation is that couples communicate their expectations as clearly as possible to their guests. If there's no communiqué re:dress code, use the time of day and venue to guide you. Consider the sights, sounds, and temperatures that will surround you.
Regardless of what the dress code is, there are just two rules to wedding guest fashion: never wear white to a wedding (unless the couple requests that you do) and don't upstage the bride (you certainly don't want to be the victim of multiple side-eyes).
If the invite requests casual, perhaps for an outdoor wedding, don't be afraid of shorter hemlines like a midi dress or a knee length style; these can also work for a morning wedding.
For cocktail attire, embrace slip dresses or stand out in a jumpsuit. Bring some drama for evening black-tie, which calls for formal gowns and mid- to floor-length numbers.
There is no denying we live on a tropical island and an outdoor wedding or a beach wedding will call for a completely different thought process here in Jamaica.
Not only are we decoding the dress code, but we're also sharing the best colours, fabrics, and shoes to complete your beach wedding guest outfit!
Tropical wedding attire
Women — Light fabrics that do not cling to the body are best. Materials like linen, chiffon and cotton blends or lace are light but are elegant.
Men — Consider wearing linen or cotton attire, whether slacks and a button-down shirt or a suit, depending on the dress code.
A casual dress code suggests a summer dress for the ladies and dress pants with button-down shirt for the gents.
Cocktail attire, semi-formal or dressy casual
All three of these dress codes ask guests to dress somewhere between formal and casual. We recommend a cocktail dress for the ladies and a suit and tie or a smart blazer for the gents.
When people hear beach they tend to automatically think casual, hence why the word formal is attached. Our suggestion is a formal summer sundress with flats for the ladies and a summer suit with linen shirt, linen pants or khakis for men.
These two indicate that the wedding party will be in formal wedding attire, and it's optional for all guests. We recommend a dark suit or tux for the men and formal evening wear (floor-length dresses or evening pant suits) for the women.
Black tie usually indicates an evening affair where the men wear tuxedos, and the women wear formal gowns.
Where to place
The wedding dress code notice should be printed at the bottom right or bottom centre of your invitation.