What Does Semi-Formal Attire Mean For a Wedding?

According to conventional style standards, semi-formal attire typically comprises a suit or blazer and dress shirt; however, depending on the time and day, this could differ significantly.

Daytime semi-formal events require suits, while evening semi-formals require dark suits (tuxedo) and cocktail dresses (for women). Completing your look with accessories will complement it perfectly.

Dress shirts

Semi-formal attire requires something dressier than jeans and a T-shirt but less extravagant than black tie attire, including dark suits for men and tea-length or midi dresses or evening separates for women.

The Spruce notes that when selecting appropriate footwear for an event, consideration must be made in terms of both location and season. Sandals may work for summer weddings, while wedges or heels work better when attending intimate evening gatherings.

Corry and Pollak note that semi-formal dress codes allow guests to express their styles. Feel free to add accessories with personality, such as statement ties or cufflinks. Guys might opt for suits featuring bold patterns or attractive fabrics; this could mean adding color through clutches or pumps in fun hues for ladies.

Blazers or jackets

A blazer or sports jacket is ideal for completing semi-formal attire as it adds style without going overboard. Select one in dark hues that complements the rest of your ensemble, preferably one with subtle shimmer for maximum impact.

If you want an extra dose of elegance, go for a black blazer featuring satin lining or one with floral patterns for extra flair. A patterned blazer with slim-fit dress shirts and matching trousers can also look fashionable.

Women should remember that wedding dress codes should always be slightly more formal than casual wear, yet not as formal as black tie or white tie attire. When selecting what to wear for a wedding event, consider the season and venue: for example, a strapless maxi dress made of light fabric like chiffon is suitable for outdoor summer weddings, while an autumn or winter celebration could require something like a jumpsuit with jewel-tone colors instead.


Semi-formal attire allows more freedom than formal attire for outfit selection. However, anything out of place at a casual beach wedding should be avoided, such as short slip dresses and neon-colored midis, flashy shoes, or accessories that detract from the happy couple and cause visual distraction.

If you need help deciding what to wear for an upcoming event, considering its location, season, and atmosphere should help guide your choices. Luxury wedding planner Victoria Holland and bridal stylist Gina Vinnitsky suggest that daytime outdoor weddings tend towards casual clothing options. In contrast, nighttime indoor or winter functions tend more toward formal looks.

Men should aim for a semi-formal look when dressing for semi-formal events, with quality dress shirts as the centerpiece of an ensemble. Pairing these garments with blazers, suit jackets, and pants completes this look, although ties may add an extra touch. Cufflinks and pocket squares add class. Furthermore, select shoes that complement both pants and shirt to complete this ensemble.


Regarding semi-formal attire, the key is striking a balance between elegance and style. That means avoiding outfits that are either too casual or too formal – which could steal away attention from the happy couple – or are too short or skintight, any of which would look inappropriate at a wedding.

If you still determine the appropriate attire, consult the dress code on your invitation or with the host. Furthermore, The Spruce suggests paying attention to factors like season and venue, as these will influence what types of clothes may be acceptable.

Men can choose a suit or opt for dark-colored dress pants with or without a tie and a dress shirt without a tie for semi-formal weddings. Add in nice shoes for added elegance. Women also have various options: silk-blend maxi dress/tea length sundress/classic slip dress can make an impactful statement at semi-formal events; add pocket square and cufflinks for additional elegance!


Any attire suitable for an informal coffee run shouldn’t be worn to a semi-formal wedding reception (you could always ask the bride and groom if stylish sneakers would be acceptable at their reception). If wearing a gown, ensure your seamstress knows your shoes so she can hem it appropriately.

Midi dresses are ideal for semi-formal weddings as they have a less impersonal atmosphere than floor-length gowns and can adapt better to different seasons and venues. Additionally, dancing on the dance floor won’t risk ruining it!

Men should opt for dark suits as the go-to attire for semi-formal events; loafers or lace-ups may also work depending on the event and time. For daytime semi-formal weddings, however, khaki suits or chinos with a dress shirt and tie could work equally well; avoid shorts or jeans!


As we conclude our exploration of semi-formal attire for weddings, remember that this dress code allows for a perfect blend of elegance and comfort. For both men and women, choosing outfits that balance sophistication with a touch of personal style is key. From cocktail dresses to tailored suits, navigate the semi-formal terrain with confidence. Embrace the celebration, and let your attire reflect the joyous occasion.

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