Dress code on vow renewal invitation

Is it rude to impose a dress code on a wedding invitation by asking guests not to wear pastel or light colors?


Dear Alexi:

Dress notations are not included on a wedding invitation unless the ceremony and reception invitations are combined.


What if the two events are listed as one?

I am having a renewal ceremony followed by an anniversary party which as you know is not a “wedding” but I would like my guests to dress appropriately. (I am not concerned about colors as much as no jeans and t-shirts.)

Donna, Wedding Queen, President; Top Wedding Sites, Inc

Well now, there is a difference between a wedding invitation and a vow renewal invitation.

Vow renewals generally tend to be less formal so, if your party is the informal type, you can list your dress preference on the invitation or you could include a handwritten note with your invitation. You can write something like dressy casual which would be slacks, sport coat, open collar for me and street length dress, skirt and nice top or dressy pants suit for women.

Again, this would be only for informal invitations.

For formal wedding invitations follow Rhonda’s suggestion.

Rebecca Black, Etiquette By Rebecca

I completely agree. And, many guests appreciate a bit of guidance. So, if you wrote this on a separate paper, you could define it as the Wedding Queen has.


So what is the best way to let the guest know that it is a casual but elegant dress with no pastel colors? Our wedding is going to be held at my sister’s house so I am sure everyone will wonder what the dress should be. I am just not sure how to tell them without being rude.

Thank you

Rebecca Black, Etiquette By Rebecca

Probably ‘Dressy Casual’ is best. Describe it and then at the bottom state, Please no: List all of your no-nos.