The invitation to my nephew’s wedding in Melbourne was a little puzzling: under dress code it said “Formal-ish”.
That was a new one on me! And I’m sure most of the other guests were initially equally bemused. But, once I’d thought about it, it made sense. He’s a surfer dude and both he and his bride are slightly hippy-ish but most of their relations are conventional, if not conservative types.
So, the term “formal-ish” kind of neatly covered the dress divide. Their like-minded friends knew they should turn up in something smarter than boardies, thongs and T-shirts while relatives could feel comfortable in their elegant wedding attire.
The whole dress code thing can be a bit of nightmare for both wedding couples and their guests. The range of possibilities is considerable from smart casual through lounge suits and cocktail dresses and on to black or white tie, ball gowns and sequins.
Other interesting, if somewhat intriguing labels that turn up on invitations include: “Resort Casual” and “Country Chic”?? The one that really tickled me was the naturist couple’s invitation that read under dress code: “Birthday Suits Only”. Thank heavens I wasn’t the celebrant at that one!
Maybe it’s the holiday atmosphere or the mostly sunny outlook but couples here generally don’t seem to get overly stressed about their guests’ gladrags (apart from the occasional mothers of both bride and groom, of course!). Most guests make the effort to dress up anyway and usually the bride and groom are more interested in people feeling comfortable, relaxed and having a great time.
There is plenty of info on wedding dress code etiquette to be found online. But, if in doubt, I can now recommend the term “Formal-ish”. It seems to crack ALL the codes!