Bombshell Guide to Wedding Dress Codes

Decoding Wedding Dress Codes

White tie, Black tie, Morning Suits, Lounge suits... So what does it all mean? With a growing trend for so many different styles of weddings it's no wonder so many of us are in a spin. Here's my Bombshell guide to choosing your perfect wedding guest dress and making sure you ‘get it right.

What Does White Tie Wedding Attire Mean?

Okay, so it doesn't get much more formal than this - ever. Absolutely opt for a full length ball gown or evening dress. It really is the perfect opportunity to go all out. White Tie invitations are often in the evening to occasions such as banquets or very formal weddings, so definitely a full-length dress. There's no better time to wear sequins than at a White Tie event. In the Bombshell Anniversary Sequin Gown, you are guaranteed to shine.

Does the idea full length send you in to a spin? Allow enough time to make any length alterations needed. Be sure to wear your chosen heel height when having a fitting.

When it comes to footwear, go for height yet prioritise comfort. You'll want to create a long line, but you will also need to be able to walk confidently and unhindered. I personally adore White Tie events. You can really channel your inner Marilyn Monroe, Elizabeth Taylor or Dita Von Teese, to name but a few glamour pusses. The man attending will be in tails with a white waistcoat and a bow tie or in military.

Gold Sequin Evening Dress

Red Evening Gown

How About Black Tie Wedding Attire?

Definitely the most seen dress code these days, often for an evening reception. Unless specified, ladies may choose to wear either a cocktail length dress or a ball gown, i.e. a floor-length dress. 

Did you know after 5pm, formal attire for men means a tuxedo? 

This category of wedding invitation is very broad and a wedding guests can choose their favourite Little Black Dress or really go for it with an evening gown. 

It's often a challenge to find great evening dresses with sleeves, but at Bombshell, we've definitely got you covered here!

If your invitation says Black tie optional or formal, it’s likely to be a bit more of a mix, but there's a clear expectation to dress up. Men can wear a suit or a tux.

Rio Red Cowl Neck Dress

Midnight Blue Sequin Dress

Morning Suit Dress Code

Quintessentially English and a very formal day time dress code. For him, think Four Weddings and a Funeral, and for you, elegant block colours are perfect.

Often, this is for a church wedding, so arm coverage is required for wedding guests. Our Confident Bombshell 3/4 sleeve dress is perfect if you don't want to wear a jacket and skirt. Length wise, we love 'just past the knee', and most of our dresses are this length. We have recently added an elliptical midi dress which as been extremely popular too.

Elliptical Scoop Dress

Pale Pink Confident Bombshell Dress

Semi Formal or Smart Casual Wedding Attire

What does this ever mean?! Well, for men, it could mean jeans and a jacket or a short-sleeve shirt or maybe a linen suit. For you, it means you probably wouldn't opt for an evening gown. Choosing a Bombshell Confident Dress is a good idea here. It's a great day-to-evening dress and definitely smart. With an array of plains and prints, there is a lot to choose from. Traditional pale pinks and blues or a more directional print will be a fail-safe option.

Blue Roses Confident Dress
Grey Confident Bombshell Dress

Lounge Suit Wedding Dress Code


For ladies, again, a to the knee or past-the-knee dress. This can often go hand in hand with a registry office wedding in town. More informal wrap dresses or bolder printed dresses can work well here.

Stretch Luxe Velvet Dress

Cap Sleeve Wine Confident Dress

Casual Wedding Attire

Bombshell has an excellent range of dresses that fit this bill perfectly, called the Stretch Luxe Collection, all designed with comfort and adaptability in mind.

Pleated Velvet Dress

Stretch Luxe Flare 3/4 Jersey Wine Dress

Cocktail Attire 

Cocktail dress events are definitely one of my favourite dress codes, as you can opt for a fail-safe Little Black Dress or go for something sparkly like a Bombshell Sequin Cocktail dress. We offer both a sleeved and cap sleeve option here, both styles featuring the signature wrap Bombshell bodice that flatters the body so well.

Gold Sequin Cocktail Dress

Black Scoop Neck Dress

Themed or Vintage Wedding Attire

Vintage-themed weddings are becoming increasingly popular, and we receive many emails from Bombshells seeking advice on what to wear. 

Bombshell dresses have a strong nod to vintage style, and I have always loved the classic and elegant shapes from the 40's and 50's.

By adding accessories like a pillbox hat or gloves to a Bombshell dress can really transform your look without compromising your personal style.

Roses Fit Flare Dress

Navy 3/4 Sleeve Lace Dress

What to Wear for a Christmas or Winter Wedding

Tartan is always wonderful choice at Christmas time. We have found that so many Bombshells adore tartan as much as we do here at HQ. This year, we have a new elliptical tartan scoop-neck dress to sit along side our 3/4 and cap sleeve Confident dress. Red dresses are a popular choice for Christmas brides, so it might be best to check that you're not 'twinning' with the bride. This season, we have some fabulous velvet dresses in both a sarong-skirt style and sunray pleats.

Red Tartan 3/4 Sleeve Confident Dress

Grey Tartan Scoop Neck Elliptical Midi Skirt Dress

Red Confident Cap Sleeve Dress

When it comes to wedding dress codes, it's important to follow the guidelines specified on the invitation. Understanding the different dress codes can help you choose the appropriate attire and avoid any fashion faux pas. Check out Bombshell's Confident Dresses, Stretch Luxe Collection, and Sequin Cocktail Dresses for a great selection of dresses.

1 comment

  • Jane: February 07, 2019

    I have a question perhaps you could help. In Spetember I have a wedding to go to in Virginia USA where the temps will be in the 30’s and very humid. Do you think you may have a suitable dress for this occasion/theheat ?
    Looking forward to a visit anyway👗👗

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