Expert-approved clues you can use to determine the right attire request for your seasonal celebration.

By Alyssa Brown
August 30, 2019

The gentle weather of autumn lends well to wedding dress codes of any variety. It's a time of year when you don't need to worry about groomsmen sweating through tuxedos or bridesmaids complaining about being too chilly in a sleeveless gown. That said, there are a lot of other cues that aren't weather dependent that should be taken into consideration when you're selecting your dress code. Wedding planner Stefanie Miles of Stefanie Miles Events says, "Dress codes should be determined by the venue, formality, and the feel of the event." Here, we discuss those details and how they relate to the season.

Your venue should be a dress code indicator.

The atmosphere in which you're gathering your friends and family will largely determine the formality of your wedding. For example, if you're planning to have an outdoor ceremony on a hilltop overlooking the vibrant fall trees, followed by a reception in a tent beside a vineyard, you have a lot of flexibility in your attire. Depending how manicured the property is, you might find that a semi-formal dress code appeals most to you in this setting.

You can set the formality that suits your personality.

Just because you're hosting your wedding in a very formal museum space doesn't mean you have to select black-tie attire. You can go with what you feel comfortable with instead. A lot of brides will first select their own wedding dress before setting the dress code for guests, allowing their personal style to set the formality. For example, if you're an autumn bride and think a bohemian sheath wedding dress is perfect for the season, you're probably not going to want a white-tie wedding, no matter what the venue setting. Instead, you'd likely go with formal attire or cocktail attire as your dress code, depending which level of formality you prefer.

Reference the words you've used to describe the feel of your wedding.

Dress codes can range from playful and casual to sophisticated and elegant—all synonyms you might use to describe your wedding style. While winter and summer have clear associations with mountains or beaches, fall is a shoulder season that doesn't have as clear a feel. So, it may be that your fall wedding description is less about the season and more about the location or the environment you want to create. If you're using words like regal, romantic, timeless, and classic to describe your wedding day, you might go with a more formal dress code like black-tie.


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