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Wedding dress code overview plus sisterMAG Patterns options

Viktoria from our sisterMAG team had a look at the most common wedding dress codes and checked for us what is required styling-wise and how to use our DIY sewing patterns from sisterMAG Patterns to create your individual wedding wardrobe. She explains the Casual Formality Level, the Cocktail Formality Level, the Black-Tie Formality Level as well as a Boho / Retro or Rustic wedding with individual interpretations for different settings. Get inspired with our interpretations for your summer weddings!

Summer wedding dress codes


Summer weddings are an exciting affair. With the lovely warm weather, they are а prerequisite for a lot of creativity in planning. The different themes can add an exciting touch to any celebration. Daytime weddings or evening weddings – they are always an exciting occasion. However, wedding dress codes can also bring a certain amount of anxiety, as many of us don’t know exactly what wedding guest dress code is appropriate for each given wedding theme. And while for the man the choice can be quite simple, where the choice is between formal white shirt, boat shoes, dinner jacket and the classic dress pants, for us ladies it’s not so simple. As wedding guests, we have a lot to consider. I would rather call it a process that starts with receiving the wedding invitation and continues to the actual decision of what outfit we will wear to the wedding according to the dress code.

Is a dressy casual style fitting for a beach wedding or should you go more in the elegant direction? Is formal style the best choice for a city wedding or perhaps more of a cocktail attire? What about floor length gowns? In general, what dresses or garments to choose according to the dress code? What to wear to a wedding? These are questions many of us ask ourselves.


While you are unsure of which dress style to choose for the particular formality level, ask the bride and groom how they envision the dress code for their wedding. Indeed, this can spare you a lot of hassle. While you’re at it, we recommend you to also take a look at our ultimate guide from sisterMAG, which explains the main concepts of the most common wedding dress codes and themes. To be even more helpful, for all the creative, sustainability-minded people among us, we’ve put together a special DIY selection of sisterMAG Patterns sewing patterns that work for all varieties of wedding themes – from formal wedding attire to casual wedding dress code.

Dress code for weddings: Casual attire


One of the most common wedding themes, and also the most summery, is probably that of the beach wedding. The beach is the place that many couples prefer for the most beautiful day in their lives, as it offers a wonderful background and a calm casual wedding atmosphere. But for the guests, it can be a bit tricky to find the right outfit, because being overdressed or underdressed at a wedding party is a nightmare that no one wants to experience.


Although this wedding theme sets the perfect stage for casual dress code lovers, don’t get too comfortable as showing up in flip flops won’t exactly qualify you for the best wedding guest outfit list. Well, here is what we need to be extra careful about when we have such an event in our social calendar. Beach weddings call for an elegant but casual style. For such gatherings, we should be very careful when choosing fabrics. Airy, romantic styles, even a bit of boho chic are suitable. A nice and comfortable linen dress can also be a good choice to wear to a wedding. On the sandy seashore, breathable and lightweight fabrics are in demand. Rely on bright colours to spice up your outfit. If you’re in the mood for more drama, consider ruffles or frilly lace. The breezy silhouettes will take flight and help make you the best-dressed attendee when the gusts of wind blow in from the sea.


Just in case you need more DIY inspiration on the theme and on some wedding guest attire options, we suggest you browse the selection of beach wedding-worthy outfit ideas to get the inspiration you need. All the patterns are waiting for you in the sisterMAG Patterns Shop.

Dress code for weddings: Cocktail attire

Cocktail attire – although dressy casual, it is super fun to wear. Getting an invitation for a more semi formal event can always be exciting. It can refer to a wedding dress code that gives us the freedom to explore a range of clothes for a special outing that we wouldn’t otherwise wear every day. However, amidst the excitement of choosing the right cocktail dress or dressy skirt and semi formal attire, the process of coming up with the perfect wedding guest attire can be a bit overwhelming.


Cocktail formality can be a challenge in itself. However, what many of us forget is that this theme for a wedding can be very playful and offers us different ways to express ourselves with the elegant cocktail dress we want to wear or the clothes we choose in general. Although it requires a certain level of elegance, it also gives us the opportunity to pick and mix differently. Any length – from mini to midi – is very welcome here. Speaking more specifically, a knee-length cocktail dress can look very chic and appropriate as guest attire. When it comes to fabrics for a bit more formal events, satin is key, and you probably won’t like to miss the opportunity to choose a garment made of said material for the semi formal wedding you are attending. Any type of garment, from suits to slip dresses, would make you one of the best dressed of the evening. While deciding on a style for formal event, the most important thing is to have fun, be chic and be willing to experiment with timeless styles. If you are looking for a special example – in the last two summer sessions, bows were the defining element in the dresses. Even though they are a bit fancier, they enhance the outfit in a playful yet sophisticated way.


Cocktail formality is the preferred style for garden, daytime wedding festivities and city themed weddings, as well as bridal party events. For inspiration, we have collected here in one place the sisterMAG DIY sewing patterns that will guide and inspire you to sew your own outfit for the occasion.

Dress code for weddings: Formal attire – Black-Tie 


To tie the knot, the couple chose the Black-tie/White-tie formality. Black tie attire or formal attire stated on a wedding invitation is likely to strike fear into the hearts of almost all of its readers. Unlike a casual wedding, a black tie can cause anxiety for many people attending a wedding as a guest. It bring to mind a floor length gown or perhaps women in ribbed jacquard hems and men in penguin suits talking animatedly during an opera intermission. But for those who haven’t attended a black tie event lately, let me tell you: that’s not the reality of today. These days, white tie formal attire is more of an anomaly.  Black tie has largely replaced it as an upscale evening wear not only for weddings, but also for galas and soirees.


While black tie wedding styles are the ones that require more formal dress codes, they fortunately leave a lot of room for interpretation. Modern black tie requires a dress or suit for women, or a coordinating two-piece. It should ideally be floor-length evening gown, but doesn’t have to be – dresses shorter than ankle-length can also be appropriate for formal weddings if they have an adequate formal cut and fabric. Embellishments, trains, and a figure-hugging fit are encouraged. Whether one-shoulder, sweetheart neckline or draped, look for dresses in flowing fabrics like silk, chiffon and viscose. Timeless shapes and even a pair of satin gloves would add a dramatic touch to your special occasion attire. However, what you need to pay special attention to are the colours you choose. In the world of wedding guest outfits, white and red are a no-go.


Looking for a DIY formal attire options? Check out our selection of sewing patterns from sisterMAG Patterns, and you’ll definitely find your favourite piece in our creative online shop. 

Dress code for weddings: Boho, Retro or Rustic


Leaving the fancy world of black tie dress code and fancy wedding guest dresses and evening gown options and returning to the more casual dress codes for weddings. Although it can be interesting to dress smartly in a dark suit or a chic floor length dress, the more casual styles also have something to offer every wedding guest. Just in case you’re invited to a boho, retro or rustic wedding, don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. Not so formal attire, but indeed very chic, our sewing patterns can easily fit various dress codes. Check out our other styling suggestions fro the casual dress codes, choose your favourite dressy casual item and get that sewing machine ready!