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Which Wedding Formality Is Right For You?

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What Are The Expectations Are Tied To Your Wedding’s Formality?

Two vital factors that will align your wedding timeline so the rest can fall into place, expectation and formality.


This is the time of day dinner begins, informing your audience to prepare accordingly.

An afternoon ceremony will retreat to cocktail hour followed by reception dining and entertainment. This timeframe educates guests on what to wear and when meal and bar service will begin.

Likewise, late morning ceremonies use an extended cocktail reception with lite entertainment, select beverages and hand passed heavy horderves.


Most believe that the formality of a wedding only picks color and dress type but it does so much more. The formality sets the stage for the dress code, the kid code, decor intricacy, time of day and catering expectations.


You are attending a wedding and the ceremony start time is between 11:00 am and 1:00 pm. This tells you to wear a nice sundress, sensible footwear, kids are invited and there will be a light lunch.


The next invitation you receive has a beautiful design and states the ceremony starts at 4:30 pm. Now you know that the reception will run into the night so you should wear an evening gown and elegant footwear. Reception starts at 6:00 pm, relaying there will be a formal dinner and bar service available to follow. If children are not included on the RSVP you know to secure a sitter and transportation for the night.


A formal wedding is not far from a semi-formal, in fact the wedding timing stays the same. What changes is men know what to wear, you know to hire a babysitter and securing reliable transportation is needed.

The formal status comes with two selections, black tie and white tie.

For Black Tie, men wear suits, ladies wear elegant evening gowns with coordinated hair and makeup. Decor, entertainment and food will be nice but not over the top.

For White Tie, men wear long tail coats with top hats, ladies dress black tie. This status is perceived with very high expectations, an elaborate decor design and high end attire of all involved. Top notch dinner and bar service from a high performance vendor who works to impress.

Happy planning!

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